Cotton Mather

Biblia Americana

America's First Bible Commentary. A Synoptic Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. Volume 10: Hebrews – Revelation
Edited, with an Introduction and Annotations by Jan Stievermann

[Biblia Americana. Der älteste amerikanische Bibelkommentar. Band 10: Hebräerbrief – Offenbarung.]

2023. XVI, 1101 pages.
189,00 €
including VAT
eBook PDF - unrevised ebook edition 2024; original editon 2023
ISBN 978-3-16-163504-5
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Published in English.
Cotton Mather's commentary on Hebrews-Revelation, together with several appended essays, offer a mixture of devotional readings and textual-historical criticism. They give insight into his millennialism, his experiential hermeneutic, and how he situated Judaism and Christianity in the history of ancient religions and cultures.
This volume of the Biblia Americana (1693–1728) contains Cotton Mather's annotations on Hebrews, James, 1–2 Peter, 1–3 John, Jude, and Revelation, as well as two series of essays on various matters of biblical interpretation. A mixture of pious explications and historical-textual criticism, the annotations are a treasure-trove for scholars interested in the development of Reformed theology and biblical exegesis during a decisive period of intellectual change in the early modern Atlantic world. Mather, an apologetically oriented but deeply learned scholar, confronts the early Enlightenment challenges to the authority of the Bible and core doctrines like the Trinity. He discusses problems of translation, textual variants (e.g., the Johannine comma), but also authorship and canonicity, especially with a view to the so-called Catholic Letters and James. The extensive annotations on Revelation offer a window into the development of Mather's millennialism and, more specifically, his changing interpretations of hotly-debated issues such as the eschatological conversion of the Jews, the expected date for the return of Christ and the nature of His kingdom. In the appended essays, Mather, in conversation with German Pietism, develops a biblical hermeneutic that emphasizes an experiential approach and the need for spiritual illumination. He also engages with antiquarian scholarship on the Scriptures, their original contexts, provenance, and transmission, as well as with literature that situates Judaism and Christianity in a larger history of ancient religions and cultures.

Cotton Mather (1663–1728) The leading New England theologian of his period, Mather was both a defender of Reformed orthodoxy and an intellectual innovator, who propagated the Pietist renewal of Protestantism and embraced ideas of the Early Enlightenment. Best known for his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), he published more than 400 works in various fields including church history, natural theology, and medicine.

Jan Stievermann Born 1975; 2005 PhD in American Studies from the University of Tübingen; since 2011 Professor for the History of Christianity in the USA at the University of Heidelberg.


The following reviews are known:

In: Early American Literature — 59 (2024), pp. 231–233 (Christopher Trigg)
In: Das Historisch-Politische Buch — 70 (2022), p. 117 (Till Kinzel)
In: —