Analyzing J. W. Colenso's Unpublished Comments on the Book of Revelation
Sahmyook Theological Review
ANZSRC / FoR Code
220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)
John W. Colenso was an Anglican missionary in South Africa in late 19th
century who took a role as a philanthropic legal advocate for the uncivilized. He
also contributed in pioneering linguistics of Zulu, one of the official languages
used by many in South Africa. However, he is known for his destructive views
on interpretation of the biblical texts, to be evaluated as one “smashing the
Old Testament text,” and it caused him to be disgraced by his own church.
His unpublished comments on the Book of Revelation, personally acquired
to this researcher, are selectively presented and analyzed in this study, and his
methodology of interpretation on the biblical texts examined. It was found that
he invented words that are not in the text, transformed those which are in the
text, and conflated some nouns as identical that are syntactically separated.
He foregrounded interpretation with a preteristic model but backgrounded
it now and then with a historicistic model. These findings confirm the
existing evaluations on his theology. His calculated attempt to break down
the inspiration of the Scripture is one of the biggest ironies regarding his
philanthropic services as a missionary.
van Wyk, K., & Kim, S. (2018). Analyzing J. W. Colenso's unpublished comments on the Book of Revelation. Sahmyook Theological Review, 20(1), 151-180.