The Explanation Of The Apocalypse By The Venerable Bede
The Explanation of the Apocalypse by Ven. Bede is the earliest of the many works of our own writers on that Book, and, as such, may well deserve to appear in a form accessible to English readers.
The chief characteristics of Bede’s method of exposition may be thus stated. The several visions are considered not to be successive, but contemporaneous, with occasional recapitulations and to represent the condition of the Church in all ages, under different aspects. The thousand years, in the twentieth chapter, are interpreted of the present period of the Church’s existence, in accordance with the opinion of St Augustine, in the second part of his De Civitate Dei. The ‘attention is closely directed to the text, and to corresponding passages of Holy Scripture, that the meaning of the symbolic language may be elicited. The previous exposition of Tichonius is mainly, but not exclusively followed. Beda appears, for example, to have adopted several opinions from St. Gregory the Great, and Frimasius, as well as St. Augustine.
The date of the “Explanation” is circa. A.D. 710 — 716. It is described by Beda as an “Exposition” but it is called an “Explanation” in the printed editions of his works.
Bede (/biːd/ BEED; Old English: Bǣda [ˈbæːdɑ], Bēda [ˈbeːdɑ]; 672/3 – 26 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable (Latin: Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles (contemporarily Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey in Tyne and Wear, England).
Born on lands belonging to the twin monastery of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow in present-day Tyne and Wear, Bede was sent to Monkwearmouth at the age of seven and later joined Abbot Ceolfrith at Jarrow, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles, even visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria.
He is well known as an author, teacher (Alcuin was a student of one of his pupils), and scholar, and his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title “The Father of English History”. His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates. One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort that was mired in controversy. He also helped popularize the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ (Anno Domini – in the year of our Lord), a practice which eventually became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800.
In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church. He is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation; Anselm of Canterbury, also a Doctor of the Church, was originally from Italy. Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, and his work made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed significantly to English Christianity. Bede’s monastery had access to an impressive library which included works by Eusebius, Orosius, and many others.
The Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John, Revelation to John or Revelation from Jesus Christ) is the final book of the New Testament, and consequently is also the final book of the Christian Bible. Its title is derived from the first word of the Koine Greek text: apokalypsis, meaning “unveiling” or “revelation.” The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic book in the New Testament canon.[a] Thus, it occupies a central place in Christian eschatology.
The author names himself as “John” in the text, but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Melito (the bishop of Sardis), Clement of Alexandria, and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the “John” of Revelation. Modern scholarship generally takes a different view, with many considering that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet. Some modern scholars characterize Revelation’s author as a putative figure whom they call “John of Patmos”. The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (AD 81–96), which evidence tends to confirm.