Fr. Skiadaresis John, Liturgical Scenes and Hymns in the Revelation of John, P. Pournaras Press, Thessaloniki, 1999, pages 445.
Fr. Skiadaresis’ project is an attempt to present the hymns of John’s Revelation and the problems connected to them and has come about from the author’s general interest in the hymns of the New Testament, which are unknown and remain unexploited by our Church.
After the prologue and the introduction, where the writer refers to the hymns of Revelation, the history of the research and the criteria for the definition of this material, the study is divided in five chapters.
The first chapter deals with the setting and the ways in which the hymns of John’s Revelation were rendered. According to the author, the Apocalypse functioned as a bridge for the transfer of forms of expression from the outer-Christian to the Christian and, moreover, the devotional area.
The second chapter investigates the new ode of the 4 animals and the 24 elders (Rev. 5, 9b.10). The new ode, sung by the four animals and the twenty-four elders in the 5th chapter of the Revelation is the first hymn offered to the lamb-Christ after the on his behalf taking of the seven-sealed book from the hands of the one sitting “on the throne”. The ode, placed in the closed unity of the hymns of ch. 4 and 5, is the chief Christological centre of the Apocalypse.
The third chapter refers to the ode of Moses and the Lamb (Rev. 15,3b.4). Ch. 15 is the apex of the Revelation. In it, the linear display of inflictions and catastrophes that occur on earth is again interrupted and images of Heaven are provided. The ode constitutes a top ingredient of the basic for the understanding of ch. 15, but also of the Apocalypse in general, broader typology and thematic of Exodus.
The fourth chapter studies the hymn of the angel of waters (Rev. 16,5b.6). The hymn is offered by the responsible for the waters angel, immediately after their turning into blood. According to the author, the basic function of the hymn is connected with one of the main thematic axis of the Revelation, the martyrological one.
In the fifth chapter of the study, the writer examines the function of hymns in the Revelation as well as their contribution to its liturgical dimension.
The book has an appendix, where the author makes a general reference to hymns, as elements of the early Christian worship and analyses the problem of the survival of the New Testament hymns.
The project closes with general conclusions, abbreviations and an extensive bibliography.