A few months ago I mentioned that I was trying to find a commentary on the Book of Revelation from the Eastern Orthodox Church. Well, I found one – The Apocalypse: In The Teachings of Ancient Christianity. Originally written in Russian by Archbishop Averky Taushev, it was translated into English by Father Seraphim Rose in 1985.
In a nutshell – it was the best book on Revelations I have ever read.
Yeah. It was that good.
Well, for starters the book wasn’t about trying to map out the “end times”, find out what everything John means and how it plays together in the 21st century. Instead, the commentary was written with the knowledge that Revelation is a book of mysteries:
The deep things bound up with the beginning and end of all things, the ultimate purpose of the world and man, the opening of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven; and so we must read it with fear of God, and with a humble distrust of our own wisdom.
Keeping with this heart, Archbishop Taushev takes the reader through a journey of Revelation; highlighting the Glory of God and His triumph over evil. It is a book that will leave you encouraged and strengthened – instead of confused about how it all “works.”
God is in control. He gave St. John the vision of Revelation not to confuse or to trouble His people. But to encourage and uplift them in their times of trouble – that is what the Orthodox view of the end times does; and what the Protestant view often lacks.
Another thing I love about this commentary is Archbishop Taushev’s use of the Church Fathers. For example, a lot of the material in the book is from St. Andrew of Caesarea commentary on Revelation written in the 5th Century – which is one of the best books about Revelation written by the Ancient Fathers.
In addition to seeing what the Church Fathers had to say about Revelation, Archbishop Taushev quotes passages from the Old and New Testament relating to the subject at hand. He does this in a way that I have not seen before – as in he actually quotes entire passages instead of just referencing verses or taking out small portions. This allows the reader to see what is happening and make their own choices.
As I type this review, I wish I could take the time and quote pages of The Apocalypse so you all could see the difference… yet that is not possible for several reasons…. Sigh.
I guess I shall end with this simple statement: