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A unique commentary on the messages to the seven churches in Revelation. This book is a first of its kind: an innovative exegetical commentary on the messages (letters) to the Seven Churches in Revelation (Rev 2–3). It examines the Graeco-Roman local references from the first century, in the tradition of William Ramsay and Colin Hemer, but with the newest archaeological research. This commentary also considers the Hebraic-Semitic covenant lawsuit influences dealt within the material set out in Graves’ Ph.D. dissertation “The Influence of Ancient Near Eastern Vassal Treaties on the Seven Prophetic Messages in Revelation with Special Reference to the Message to Smyrna” at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (2008).
     All seven message in Revelation are considered, first in a chapter on the historical setting of the city and then an exegetical commentary of the text follows. It is the first commentary, on the seven messages, arranged after the ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty structure of preamble, historical prologue, stipulations, blessing and cursing, witness, and deposit/public reading. A scholarly/academic commentary, yet accessible for students, pastors, scholars, teachers, seminarians, and interested laypeople.

“Dr. Graves seeks to shed light on the problem of the structure of thought in Revelation by placing the work as a whole and the messages to the seven churches in particular firmly in the context of the ancient Near Eastern vassal treaties that have also influenced the shape of covenantal theology in the Old Testament. This carefully researched thesis brings a new contribution to the interpretation of the apocalypse and deserves close examination.”
                                 — I. Howard Marshall, The Late Professor of New Testament Exegesis
                                                                                             University of Aberdeen, Scotland

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Figure 173

Kunsthistorisches Museum (no. IX A 79) Photograph by James Steakley, PD Roman cameo of Gemma Augustea (AD 9–12). A depiction of Emperor...