Apocalyptic Studies - Revelation - Introductory Matters


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Apocalyptic Studies - Revelation - Introductory Matters

  1. 1. Apocalypse of John: Introductory Matters Tankiso Letseli Apocalyptic Studies (Rev) REB431
  2. 2. Introductory Matters <ul><li>Title of the Book </li></ul><ul><li>Pertinent Themes from Daniel </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of Revelation </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of Apocalypse of John </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalypse friendly to African worldview </li></ul><ul><li>Occasion of the Apocalypse </li></ul><ul><li>Authorial Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Genre </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introductory Matters… <ul><li>8. Interpretive Models </li></ul><ul><li>9. Theology / Themes </li></ul><ul><li>10. Lord’s Day </li></ul><ul><li>11. Dating </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Themes from Daniel <ul><li>Judgment (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9-12) </li></ul><ul><li>End-time concept (1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9-12) </li></ul><ul><li>Remnant (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12) </li></ul><ul><li>Great Controversy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-9, 12) </li></ul><ul><li>Sanctuary (8, 9) </li></ul><ul><li>Test (1, 4, 5, 6) </li></ul><ul><li>Theonomy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9-12) </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. Title of the Book <ul><li>  apokalupsis </li></ul><ul><li>A laying bear, making naked. </li></ul><ul><li>A disclosure of truth, instruction. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>concerning things before unknown. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manifestation, appearance. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Away from” α po & “veiling” kalupsis </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Greek manuscripts, as well as the writings of several Church Fathers beginning with Irenaeus (c. a.d. 130 to c. A.D. 202), entitled this book simply “ Apocalypse of John .” </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Later, medieval manuscripts elaborated the title to “ Apocalypse of John the Theologian and Evangelist ” and “ Apocalypse of St. John the Theologian .” The name as it stands in the KJV is a variant English rendering of this last title. ( between the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and the early 15th century ) </li></ul>
  8. 8. 3. Overview of Revelation <ul><li>The Book of Revelation divides naturally into two parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev. 1-12 covers major events of prophetic history between the two Advents of Christ, though each series led up to the end. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and Rev. 12 (Rev. 4-12) offer three parallel lines covering the entire Christian Era : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Seven Seals paralleled the Seven Churches as an outline of the major periods of Christian history; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Seven Trumpets is contained primarily the judgments of God upon the Western and Eastern portions of the Roman Empire; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev. 12 depicts the Great Controversy in heaven and its outworking in the experience of the Church on Earth. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Rev. 13-22 covers events connected with the Second Advent itself </li></ul><ul><li>The Letter(s) to Seven Churches to be addressed initially to seven first-century churches over which John had a supervisory interest, and also extended as well [by symbolic representation] to the seven major periods of Christian history (Rev. 1-3). </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Rev. 13-19 points to the End-time, leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. 20-22 points beyond the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 4. Occasion of the Apocalypse <ul><li>Emperor Worship & persecution of Christians are the Occasion for the writing of John’s Apocalypse </li></ul><ul><li>There were two persecuting emperors (Nero and Domitian) who were responsible for many martyrs for Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Emperor worship began before Nero. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Julius Caesar was worshipped in the provinces. </li></ul><ul><li>Octavius was called Augustus ( Sebastos , Reverend). </li></ul><ul><li>The Emperor Caius Caligula not simply claimed to be divine, but actually demanded that his statue be set up for worship in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. He was killed in January a.d. 41 before he could execute his dire purpose. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Nero likewise demanded worship and blamed in A.D. 64 the burning of Rome on the Christians, though guilty of it himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Nero set the style for persecuting Christians, which slumbered on and burst into flames again under Domitian, </li></ul><ul><li>Domitian , himself commonly termed Dominus ac Deus noster (Our Lord and God). </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The worship of the emperor did not disturb the worshippers of other gods save the Jews and the Christians, and in particular, the Christians were persecuted after the burning of Rome when they were distinguished from the Jews. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Christians were regarded (as by Gallio in Corinth) as a variety of Jews and so entitled to tolerance, but they had no standing in law by themselves and their refusal to worship the emperor early gave offence, as Paul indicates in 1 Cor 12:3. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>For Christians it was Kurios Iēsous or Kurios Kaisar . </li></ul><ul><li>Paul in 2 Thess 2:3 cautions of the man of sin who sets himself above God as the object of worship. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3; 2 John1:7 the term antichrist applied apparently to Gnostic heretics. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The Apocalypse of John was written to encourage and give hope to Christians going through persecution during the time of the Roman Empire. </li></ul><ul><li>The Apocalypse of John was written during the reign of Emperor Domitian (AD 81 – 96). </li></ul>
  19. 19. Domitian 81 – 96 AD <ul><li>The emperor Domitian condemned his relatives Clemens (nephew) and Domitilla, together with others he suspected of conspiracy, on a charge of Atheism and Jewish manners, an association of ideas which could properly applied only to Christians. </li></ul><ul><li>Those ideas boarded on refusal to recognise him as Lord above or on the same level with other Lords & refusal to offer sacrifices to him. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Domitian slew his brother, and then raised the second persecution against the Christians. </li></ul><ul><li>Killed some Roman senators, some through malice and others to confiscate the estates. </li></ul><ul><li>Commanded all the lineage of David to be put to death. </li></ul><ul><li>Martyred Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified. </li></ul><ul><li>John was boiled in oil, and afterward banished to Patmos. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Recapping <ul><li>Title of the Book </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Unveiling” or “uncovering” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>apo “away from” and k α lupsis “ a veiling” or “a covering.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Themes from Daniel </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of Revelation </li></ul><ul><li>Occasion of the Book </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The reign of Domitian (81-96) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Recap on Assignments <ul><li>Bi-weekly test on “The Occasion” of the Apocalypse on Thursday, 3 August 2006 - (10 points). </li></ul><ul><li>Research paper due Friday, 27 October 2006. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Domitian AD 81 – 96 - Contd. (27 July 2006) <ul><li>Domitian passed this Edict: &quot;That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, would be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>If famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Nicodemus, a benevolent Christian of some distinction, suffered at Rome. </li></ul><ul><li>Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and at some point a bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the church until Timothy severely reproved the procession as idolatrous, they fell upon him and beat him with clubs, expired of the bruises two days after. </li></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>It was generally recognized as a capital crime to be connected to the church, and it had been the custom to put an accused Christian to the test by requiring him to sacrifice to the image of the emperor. </li></ul><ul><li>The church of Asia was in the midst of an awful and bloody persecution which was resulting in the torture and death of multitudes of Christians. </li></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>An edict of Domitian's in AD 92 in the interests of Italian wine-growers ordering half the vineyards in Asia Minor and other provinces to be uprooted. </li></ul><ul><li>The opposition was so strong that it was revoked before it was put in effect. </li></ul><ul><li>His brother was part of the opposition – he slew him. </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Domitian killed his secretary Epaphroditus because 27 years before, he had helped Nero commit suicide. </li></ul><ul><li>Other servants felt threatened and together with the Emperor's wife Domitia conspired to kill him. </li></ul><ul><li>When the appointed moment came, Domitia's servant struck the first blow; four others took part in the assault; and Domitian struggling madly met death. </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>When the news of his death reached the Senators, they tore down and shattered all images of him in their chamber, and ordered that all statues of him, and all inscriptions mentioning his name, should be destroyed throughout the realm. </li></ul><ul><li>Domitian (81 - 96) exercised his cruelty socially, politically, economically, and religiously. </li></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>Eusebius, Church father & historian ( Ecclesiastical History iii . Vol. 20. pp. 8, 9) records that John was sent to Patmos by Domitian, and that when those who had been unjustly banished by Domitian were released by his successor, Nerva (AD 96–98), the apostle John returned to Ephesus. </li></ul>
  30. 31. <ul><li>Christians and Jews refused to bow or sacrifice to Emperor Domitian (The last 12 th Caesar ). </li></ul><ul><li>The strong emphasis against Roman Emperor/Caesar worship: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Throne </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sanctuary language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law of God (Sabbath) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The figurative cry of the saints under the alter (5 th Seal of Rev. 6:9-11) is a response to these persecutions – and represents the cry of the persecuted saints throughout the centuries (between the time of writing & Parousia ). </li></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>The theme of Rev. “Come, Lord Jesus, Come” is encouragement and hope and prayer of the persecuted saints. </li></ul><ul><li>The promises to those who are victorious (Letters to the 7 Churches) are intended to keep saints from stumbling or compromising. </li></ul>
  32. 33. 5. Perceptions of Apocalypse <ul><li>Martin Luther </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denied apostleship and prophetic nature; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not same status with the Gospels, Letters of Peter and Paul in his translation of the NT; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not put “Saint” in front of John’s name; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He thought it was an edifying book, but not of the same status </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>Luther made woodcuts / sculptors to illustrate that papacy was antichrist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the whore of Babylon wearing a papal crown. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the seven-headed beast wearing a papal crown. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 35. <ul><li>When Luther began, he was uncomfortable with the Book of Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>As the Reformation went he became more and more interested in Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>Tried to figure out all the symbolism in it, to determine when the end of the world was going to come. </li></ul>
  35. 36. <ul><li>Tina Pippin – female scholar feels that the book was written against women: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The woman of Rev 17 & the mention of Jezebel. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tina Pippin, Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1992), p. 105. See also work by the same author, “Eros and the End: Reading for Gender in the Apocalypse of John,” Semeia 59, 1992, pp. 193-210; “The Heroine and the Whore: Fantasy and the Female in the Apocalypse of John,” Semeia 60, 1992, pp. 67-82. </li></ul>
  36. 37. <ul><li>Josephine M Ford </li></ul><ul><li>Ford maintains that John the Baptist wrote the Book of Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>She contends that chapters 4-11 came from the pen and thought of John the Baptist and the rest of the remaining chapters [12-22] originated from the disciples of John the Baptist. [Josephine Massyngberde Ford, “Revelation,” Anchor Bible 38 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975), p. 28.] </li></ul><ul><li>She is a loner in this view. </li></ul><ul><li>John the Baptist was not an apocalyptic prophet, and he understood himself as a “forerunner” for Christ. </li></ul>
  37. 38. <ul><li>Few sermons from Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>Few scholars on Revelation. </li></ul>
  38. 39. 6. Apocalypse friendly to African <ul><li>Type of songs, </li></ul><ul><li>Kingship & thrones, </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage of the Lamb, </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice / Redemption, </li></ul><ul><li>Praise-poems to King-God, </li></ul>
  39. 40. 7. Authorial Matters <ul><li>i. The author identifies himself as “John” (Rev. 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8 ASV): </li></ul>
  40. 41. <ul><li>Rev. 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John ;” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. 1:4 “ John to the seven churches that are in Asia : Grace to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne;” </li></ul>
  41. 42. <ul><li>Rev. 1:9 “ I John, your brother and partaker with you in tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus , was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. 22:8 “ And I John am he that heard and saw these things . And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things.” </li></ul>
  42. 43. <ul><li>The Greek form of this name, Iō α nnēs (see on Luke 1:13), represents the common Hebrew name Yochanan , “Johanan,” which appears numerous times in the later books of the OT, the Apocrypha, and Josephus. </li></ul><ul><li>This identifies the author as a Jew. </li></ul>
  43. 44. ii. The author did not use a pseudonym, but used his real name. <ul><li>Many Jewish authors and Christian apocalyptic works bore pseudonyms , and were attributed to Hebrew Patriarchs and Prophets, and to Christian Apostles. </li></ul><ul><li>The author gives his name because he was known among the Seven Churches of Asia Minor (Rev. 1:9 “your brother”). </li></ul>
  44. 45. <ul><li>His name was well known among the Churches that his name alone was sufficient to identify him, and lend credence to his record of the visions he had seen. </li></ul>
  45. 46. <ul><li>In the intertestamental period, there was no recognised prophet among the Jews , and religious writers used the names of the ancient personage of high repute to their work in order to gain general acceptance. </li></ul>
  46. 47. <ul><li>In the 1st Century the gift of prophecy flourished with the coming of Christianity , and there was no need for pseudonymity – Christians were convinced that their apostles and prophets spoke from God. </li></ul><ul><li>The Book of Revelation was written in the 1 st Century. </li></ul>
  47. 48. <ul><li>In the 2nd Century the gift of prophecy or prophetic office, among Christians, fell into disrepute and finally disappeared , pseudonymous works bearing names of various apostles began to appear. </li></ul><ul><li>The Book of Revelation had already been written. </li></ul>
  48. 49. <ul><li>Therefore, the Book of Revelation came from the 1st Century, and is not pseudonymous, and it bears the real name of the author– “John”. </li></ul>
  49. 50. iii. Who was this John? <ul><li>The NT mentions several men by this name: </li></ul><ul><li>The Baptist </li></ul><ul><li>The son of Zebedee, who was one of the 12 Apostles, </li></ul><ul><li>John who was surnamed Mark, and a relative of the high priest Annas before the crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 4:6 “ and Annas the high priest was there , and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest.” </li></ul>
  50. 51. Analysis of Possible Authors through process of elimination… <ul><li>a. Obviously the author of the Book of Revelation could not be John the Baptist, for that John died before the crucifixion of Jesus; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no evidence that John the Baptist’s disciples wrote any book or even continued to operate after the death of John. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no evidence that Jews that were baptised by John the Baptist wrote books, except that they were re-baptised by Paul (Acts 19:1-4). </li></ul></ul>
  51. 52. <ul><li>b. There is no reasonable probability that it was the relative of Annas the high priest, of whom there is no indication that he ever became a Christian. </li></ul>
  52. 53. <ul><li>c. There is little evidence that John Mark was the author of the Revelation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The style, wording, and approach of the Gospel of Mark are quite different from those of the Revelation, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no evidence that anyone in the early church ever seriously connected the Revelation with Mark. </li></ul></ul>
  53. 54. <ul><li>d. By a process of elimination, John the son of Zebedee and the brother of James is left for consideration. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He was one of the Twelve, and also a member of Jesus’ inner circle. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Almost unanimously early Christian tradition recognizes him as the author of the Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>Every Christian writer until the middle of the 3d Century, whose works are extant today and who mentions the matter at all, attributes the Revelation to John the apostle. </li></ul>
  54. 55. Witness from Tradition <ul><li>The following writers attribute Revelation to John the Apostle: </li></ul><ul><li>Justin Martyr at Rome (c. A.D. 100 – c. 165; Dialogue with Trypho 81); </li></ul><ul><li>Tertullian at Carthage (c. A.D. 160 – c. 240; On Prescription Against Heretics 36 ); </li></ul><ul><li>Clement of Alexandria (died c. A.D. 220; Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? xlii ); </li></ul>
  55. 56. <ul><li>Hippolytus at Rome (died c. A.D. 235; Treatise on Christ and Antichrist xxxvi ); </li></ul><ul><li>Irenaeus at Lyons (c. A.D. 130 – c. 200; Against Heresies IV. 20. 11 ); Irenaeus (op. cit. iii. 3. 4; ANF, vol. 1, p. 416) claims that in his youth he had seen the aged Polycarp of Smyrna, who “conversed with many who had seen Christ,” among them John, who remained permanently at Ephesus until the days of Trajan (A.D. 98-117). </li></ul>
  56. 57. Strong evidence for John’s authorship in Domitian’s era (as opposed to Nero’s)… <ul><li>Irenaeus claims to have had a personal connection with John through Polycarp, and Polycarp declared of the Revelation: “For that was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign” ( op. cit. v. 30. 3; ANF , vol. 1, pp. 559, 560 ). </li></ul>
  57. 58. <ul><li>Victorinus (died c. a.d. 303) says, “When John said these things he was in the island of Patmos, condemned to the labour of the mines by Caesar Domitian. There, therefore, he saw the Apocalypse” ( Commentary on the Apocalypse, on ch. 10:11; ANF , vol. 7, p. 353; see on Rev. 1:9). </li></ul>
  58. 59. <ul><li>Polycrates (A.D. 130 – c. 200), bishop of Ephesus, the eighth of his family to be a Christian bishop, testifies that Revelation was written by John “who reclined on the Lord’s bosom…. he rests at Ephesus” ( Epistle to Victor and the Roman Church Concerning the Day of Keeping the Passover; ANF, vol. 8, p. 773 ). </li></ul>
  59. 60. The are two Dissenting Voices… <ul><li>Against the authorship of the Apostle John, the writer of the 3 Epistles & Gospel of John… </li></ul><ul><li>1. Father Papias (died c. A.D. 163). His works are lost, and all that is extant from his works is contained in highly fragmentary from in quotations preserved by later writers. </li></ul><ul><li>Two of those quotations relate to John’s death. </li></ul>
  60. 61. <ul><li>Father Papias’ views are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“John the Divine and James his brother were slain by the Jews.” (John died too early to can write Revelation). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He argues for two unknown Johns (one who wrote the 3 Epistles & Gospel of John; and the other one who wrote the Book of Revelation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Papias argument is not strong and convincing, and not supported by Christian writers in the first 3 Centuries. </li></ul>
  61. 62. <ul><li>2. Dionysius. Bishop of Alexandria (d. AD 265), [together with his student - Eusebius], was the first Church Father to question the apostolic authorship of Revelation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A number of words that occur with particular frequency in one are found in Gospel of John , but infrequently in the Book of Revelation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The GK in the Gospel of John is correct and idiomatic, whereas in Revelation is unusual – and cannot be explained in terms of Gk syntax & grammar. </li></ul></ul>
  62. 63. <ul><li>Examples of a number of words that occur with particular frequency Gospel of John, but infrequently in Revelation : </li></ul>
  63. 64. <ul><li>“world” kosmos appears in John 79 times, but in the Revelation only 3 times; </li></ul><ul><li>aletheia “truth” in John 5 times, but in Revelation not at all; </li></ul><ul><li>phos “light” in John 22 times, but in Revelation 3 times; </li></ul><ul><li>agapao “to love” in John 37 times, but in Revelation 4 times; </li></ul><ul><li>pisteuo “to believe” in John 100 times, but in Revelation not at all; </li></ul>
  64. 65. <ul><li>alla “but” in John more than 100 times, but in Revelation 13 times; </li></ul><ul><li>enopion “before” in John once, but in Revelation 36 times; </li></ul><ul><li>emos “mine” in John 42 times, but in Revelation once; </li></ul><ul><li>amnos referring to Christ as “the lamb” in John, whereas in Revelation always uses arnion – both of which means “the lamb.” </li></ul><ul><li>Hierosoluma “Jerusalem” in John, and in Revelation it is consistently Hierousalem. </li></ul>
  65. 66. Other authors have observed Striking Similarities between Rev. & Gospel of John: <ul><li>Jesus as “the Word of God” in Rev. & Gospel of John - (Jn. 1:1-14; Rev. 19:13); </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus as “the Lamb” in Rev. & Gospel of John – [different words in GK] – (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:6-8). </li></ul><ul><li>Both quote “those who pierced him” from Zech. 12:10 (Jn 19:37; Rev. 1:7). </li></ul>
  66. 67. <ul><li>Both use the word “Tabernacle” (Jn. 1:14; Rev. 7:15). </li></ul><ul><li>Both are founded on the word of testimony or witness (Jn 21:24; Rev. 1:2). </li></ul><ul><li>Both invite “anyone who is thirsty” (Jn 7:37; Rev. 22:17). </li></ul>
  67. 68. There is a strong Evidence for one writer for 4th Gospel, 3 Letters, and Revelation: <ul><li>Internal evidence points to John, the son of Zebedee. </li></ul><ul><li>External evidence (Church Fathers & witnesses) point their fingers to John. </li></ul><ul><li>Difference (irregularities) in the usage of Gk language can be attributed to the Genre of the Book (Apocalyptic) & circumstances of writing; </li></ul><ul><li>The Gospel of John, 3 Letters of John are not a product of pain or crisis. </li></ul>
  68. 69. Muratorian Fragment, composed at Rome c. AD 170: <ul><li>When encouraged by his fellow disciples and bishops to write or recount the story of Jesus Christ (after his Patmos experience), John is quoted to has said: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fast together with me the next three days, and whatever shall be revealed to each of us we shall recount to one another.” </li></ul><ul><li>That night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that while they all revised, John should narrate it all in his own name (Tregelles, ed., Canon Muratorianus , pp. 17, 18). </li></ul>
  69. 70. 9. Genre <ul><li>Epistle </li></ul><ul><li>Prophecy </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalypse </li></ul>
  70. 71. i. Epistle <ul><li>The Book of Revelation is an epistle. It was written by a prophet-pastor. </li></ul><ul><li>The letter / epistle follows the same way that Paul wrote to the Churches or the format of his letters. </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously the letter is addressed to 7 Churches. </li></ul>
  71. 72. <ul><li>Different views: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 letters to the 7 Churches, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 long letter to the Seven Churches. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Archaeological excavations point to the historicity of the Revelation - that there was indeed Patmos, and also the remains of the 7 Churches. </li></ul><ul><li>The epistle part of the Revelation challenges the idealists’ view (that the events never took place – or could not be located within a specific time history. </li></ul>
  72. 73. ii. Prophecy <ul><li>The Book of Revelation fits the description of prophecy (Rev. 1:3; 22:7, 10, 18, 19) because it was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>The Book of Revelation looks into the future to events that “must soon take place,” (Rev. 1:1), and those that would “take place hereafter,” (Rev. 1:19). </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation has a prophetic touch. Taking after Old Testament prophecy, the book addresses and responds to the issues and needs of its primary and immediate context - the situation of Christians in the seven churches in Asia Minor . </li></ul>
  73. 74. <ul><li>John, a Christian prophet, following in the footsteps of the Old Testament Jewish prophets, did not only see visions, but he acted out or participated in the unfolding of the vision (Cf. Rev. 10:1-11; with Ezekiel 3: 1-3 and Hosea 1:1-11.) </li></ul>
  74. 75. <ul><li>Hosea’s prophetic office involved his endeavor to express the idolatry of Israel through imagery borrowed from his own dysfunctional matrimonial circumstance . </li></ul>
  75. 76. iii. Apocalypse <ul><li>The Book of Revelation is apocalyptic (Rev. 1:1). </li></ul><ul><li>The Book of Daniel was the first apocalyptic book. </li></ul><ul><li>The Apocalyptic Books thrived during the inter-testamental times following the Book of Malachi. </li></ul>
  76. 77. <ul><li>People longed for the coming Kingdom because of the anguish and persecutions of God’s people from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in 137 B.C. to the uprising of Bar Kokhba in 135 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalyptic literature is characterized by the view that the current world is meaningless, evil, wicked. God has given it over to destruction and in due time he will intervene and bring in the end of this age while inaugurating his kingdom. </li></ul>
  77. 78. General Features of Apocalyptic Literature <ul><li>The Apocalyptic Literature has the following basic characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Striking contrasts : demarcates between good and evil; God’s forces & Satan’s; righteous and wicked; salvation for God’s children and doom for their enemies; seal of God & mark of the beast; virgin of Rev. 12 and harlot of Rev. 17; armies of heaven and armies of earth; fruit of the tree of life and the wine of the fury of God’s wrath; Glories of New Jerusalem & destruction of Babylon; sea of glass & lake of fire. </li></ul>
  78. 79. <ul><li>(a) Cosmic sweep : classical prophecy concentrates on local & contemporary situations as its primary focus – with a certain degree of broadening to depict a final great day of the Lord. Apocalyptic concentrates on cosmic sweep or universal scope; good and evil in apocalyptic prophecy are not approached from local and contemporary historical framework, but from the vantage point of the entire world and for the whole span of human history. E.g. Dan. 2 & 7 (from time of Dan. to the setting of God’s kingdom - the same with Rev. </li></ul>
  79. 80. <ul><li>(c) Eschatological emphasis : general prophets broaden their scope of the doom oracles to portray briefly a final judgment at the end of earth’s history – but the major thrust of their writing is for the situation of their own day. Apocalyptic prophecy (while treating history through the stream of time) focuses on the end-time events. Apocalyptic prophecy describes an ongoing struggle between good & evil in history - (history degenerates as it proceeds in time). General Prophets looked at history from their standpoint and time – apocalyptic prophets looked a history from its eventual climax. </li></ul>
  80. 81. <ul><li>(d) Origin in times of distress and perplexity . Dan. & Rev. arose in times of distress, perplexity, and persecution. Apocalyptic literature is intended to give comfort, hope and encouragement in time of distress – and it teaches that God is still active and in control. </li></ul>
  81. 82. <ul><li>(e) Basis in vision and dreams : apocalyptic prophecy is characterized by dreams & visions than is true with general prophecy. Appearance of angels to interpret such visions & dreams is not uncommon. </li></ul>
  82. 83. <ul><li>(f) Extensive use of symbolism : classical / general prophecy uses symbolism to some degree, apocalyptic prophecy may be distinguished by it. The Book of Revelation is permeated with symbols of various sorts; its imagery is particularly rich. </li></ul>
  83. 84. <ul><li>(g) Use of composite symbolism : classical / general prophecy uses true-to-life patterns, whereas apocalyptic prophecy uses unconventional forms (e.g. animals that are non-existent in nature – seven-headed dragon, sea beast of Revelation, the winged lion and four-headed leopard of Daniel. Composite symbolism was common in the art and literature of ancient Near East. </li></ul>
  84. 85. Dan. 7
  85. 87. Rev. 12
  86. 88. Rev. 13
  87. 90. Rev. 6
  88. 91. <ul><li>(i) Literary Form of Apocalyptic . Much prophecy is in poetic form, whereas Apocalyptic prophecy (and similarly non-canonical literature) is almost entirely in prose, with only an occasional insertion of poetry, particularly in the case of hymns (Rev. 4:11; 5:9, 10; 11:17, 18; 15:3, 4; 18:2–24; 19:1, 2, 6–8). </li></ul>
  89. 92. Methods of Interpretation <ul><li>Preterist </li></ul><ul><li>Idealist </li></ul><ul><li>Futurist </li></ul><ul><li>Historical </li></ul>
  90. 93. Preterist <ul><li>The word &quot;Preterist&quot; is from a Latin word meaning “past.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Preterist interpretive approach, sometimes labelled “contemporary-historical,” sees the entire book of Revelation as the ancient history whose events take place during the author’s time and finding their fulfilment in 312 A.D., and not excluding the era of the conversion of Constantine to Christianity. </li></ul><ul><li>This approach is usually ascribed to the innovation of Luis de Alcazar, a Spanish Jesuit around the 1610s. </li></ul>
  91. 94. <ul><li>The proponents of this view identify the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 as the main focus of Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>John’s vision of the beasts, in Revelation 13, is interpreted to mean the “Imperial Rome and the Imperial priesthood.” </li></ul><ul><li>The messages of John, according to this view, are intended only for the encouragement of saints in their historical setting, addressing issues facing them in their context, but not to apply to any other context. </li></ul>
  92. 95. <ul><li>The apparent weakness or problem of this approach is that some of the predictions were not fulfilled during the time of John and after the post-Apostolic era. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, God did not overthrow Rome, and saints did not gain victory that was promised in the Apocalypses of John, and Jesus has not come. </li></ul><ul><li>The only strength of Preterist method is that it takes seriously the primary audience. </li></ul>
  93. 96. Idealist <ul><li>This approach, which sometimes is labelled “non-historical,” or “ahistorical,” interpretation, states that John’s messages did not target any particular people and church in history, but it is a struggle between righteous and evil for the duration of the church’s pilgrimage until Jesus Christ comes. </li></ul><ul><li>This view does not relate or derive meaning of symbols and allusions from either history or future. </li></ul>
  94. 97. <ul><li>The beast, according to the idealist's approach, is the Roman Empire and other ungodly empires that would succeed the Roman Empire. </li></ul><ul><li>Christians have been persecuted in many centuries, so each generation should decide whom to be their beast. </li></ul><ul><li>This simply means that any persecutor of Christians at any given time in the history of the Church is the beast. </li></ul>
  95. 98. <ul><li>The negation of historical context renders the interpreter vulnerable to subjectivity. </li></ul><ul><li>The internal evidence of the book of Revelation (4:1) disputes this approach because the factors of concrete events in history, names of places and persons, and also John’s future predictions militates against the idealist approach. </li></ul>
  96. 99. <ul><li>The idealist approach subjects the Scriptures to the mercy of our own interpretation, instead of allowing the sacred text to speak for itself. </li></ul><ul><li>John did not write to an unreal situation and people, but he addressed the concrete situations as indicated by people’s names, places and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>The Idealist Approach offers encouragement to saints in persecution (its only strength) </li></ul>
  97. 100. Futurist <ul><li>This method sees the book of Revelation from chapter four to the end (Rev 4-22) as proclaiming prophecies yet to be fulfilled. </li></ul><ul><li>The future that is referred to is that which will be realised shortly but beyond our present time. </li></ul>
  98. 101. <ul><li>While the futurist approach focuses to the future, but it also wipes the Christian era clean of any prophetic significance by removing the bulk of the prophecies of Revelation (and certain aspects of Daniel) to the end of the age for their fulfilment. </li></ul><ul><li>This approach ignores the fact that Rev. 5 took place soon after Resurrection of Jesus Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Pentecost took place in the 1 st Century. </li></ul>
  99. 102. Historist <ul><li>The Apocalypse is a prophetic compend of church history and covers all Christian centuries – from the time of John to the final consummation. </li></ul><ul><li>It speaks of things past, present, and future; some of its prophecies are fulfilled, some are now being fulfilled, and others await fulfillment in the yet unknown future. </li></ul>
  100. 103. Reasons why Adventists prefer this methodology… <ul><li>Meaning for the primary audience : the epistolary form must is taken seriously. The futurists come into grief on this datum. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation looks beyond John’s day : The theme of the Second Coming is quite strong, and all visions move towards the end – the New Jerusalem & Advent – “a new heaven and new earth” (Rev. 21:1). The Preterist School is devoid of this aspect of the visions. </li></ul>
  101. 104. <ul><li>3. Genuine Sequential movement : We should note Rev. 1:19 “Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter.” There is a movement of visions towards the end – a development in time. </li></ul>
  102. 105. Examples of development in time / sequence of events <ul><li>Rev. 12 – the woman is pregnant; she gives birth; the child is snatched away; the woman flees to the desert; she finds protection for 1260 days (years); the dragon makes war with the rest of her offspring. </li></ul>
  103. 106. <ul><li>Rev. 13 – there is a sequence of some sort: dragon, sea beast, and land beast; the land beast promotes the sea beast; the sea beast, in turn devises existence for the dragon; the dragon, having failed to destroy the holy Child, pursues the “seed” of the women (Rev. 12:13, 17). </li></ul>
  104. 107. <ul><li>d. Symbols embody a philosophy of Divine Activity : Events in history provide understanding of Rev., and also the symbols provide an understanding of transcendal view or philosophy of divine activity – a timeless portrayal of the struggle between the forces of good and evil. Rev. brings more than hope for the Second Coming; it speaks existentially to all loyal followers of the Lamb, especially those who are undergoing persecution. </li></ul>
  105. 108. <ul><li>e. Year - day Principle of interpretation : The Continuous-historical school of interpretation takes into cognizance the biblical year-day principle </li></ul>