The Revelation to John—with its vivid images and portraits of conflict leading up to the formation of a new heaven and a new earth—was widely read, even as it was variously interpreted in the early church. Approaches to its interpretation ranged from the millenarian approach of Victorinus of Petovium to the more symbolic interpretation of Tyconius, who read Revelation in the sense of the universal and unitary time of the church. Tyconius's Book of Rules, deeply admired by Augustine, strongly influenced not only ongoing interpretation of Revelation but the whole of medieval exegesis.
From early on the book of Revelation was more widely accepted in the West than in the East. Indeed the earliest extant commentaries on Revelation in Greek date from Oecumenius's commentary in the sixth century, which was soon accompanied by that of Andrew of Caesarea. Earlier Eastern fathers did, however, make reference to Revelation in noncommentary works.
This Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture volume draws heavily on the Greek commentaries from Oecumenius and Andrew of Caesarea to represent Eastern interpretation, while focusing on six other commentaries as primary witnesses to Western interpretation—those of Victorinus of Petovium, Tyconius, Primasius, Caesarius of Arles, Apringius of Beja, and Bede the Venerable. Every effort has been made to give adequate context so that the creative use of Scripture, the theological interest, and the pastoral intent can be discerned by readers today.
Amid this treasure trove of early interpretation readers will find much that appears in English translation for the first time.