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Unformatted text preview: CHRI 4292 Senior Seminar: Revelations June 6, 2007 Characteristics of Apocalyptic Literature Primary Eschatological This is not the developed chronological idea we see talked about today. It’s a panoramic time. Dualistic This is not in the Gnostic sense of spirit= good, flesh= evil, but this is a cosmic sense of there is always a constant conflict between good and evil. Deterministic Not in a fatalistic sense, but in the sense that the end is determined… Good wins. God wins. Historically Conditional Identified Written for their time, usually arising out of hard times. Have even been nicknamed “tracts for hard times” Secondary Visions I mages Combinations of human/animal images in Revelations… Symbols Ex. Numbers – carry messages Jewish numerology; 1- Unity, but not singularity; 2- Added strength and companionship; 3- Divine (faith, hope, and love); 4- Four Corners of the earth, Four seasons; 6- Incomplete, and depending on context symbolizes evil ; 7- Completion and Perfection; 10- Human number, 10 Israelites could form a synagogue, 10 fingers, toes; 12- Organized Religion, People of God number, ex. 12 baskets- enough left over for all of God’s people Multiples of these numbers are for emphasis or intensity Fractions of these numbers indicate partiality Authorship John the Apostle I t’s also possible that a community started by John, and even possibly later led by another man (prophet) named John, developed the Johannine literature. Why is he w riting? The Revelation is generally dated 96-98 A.D. The fact that John was exiled to Patmos rather than executed shows that he possibly had some pull with the Roman authorities. Domitian would have been emperor and there’s not a lot of evidence, other than anecdotal, that Domitian heavily persecuted Christians, though the “emperor cult” was popular in some areas. The other possibilities are that John is writing earlier or perhaps looking back on either the Nero-nian persecutions of 64-66 AD or even on the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Other possibilities are that John is addressing Gnosticism or even just the political situation, portraying the battle of good v. evil in an effort to get the Church to step out of complacency and wake them up to the evil they’re really embracing. The language of the book however does indicate a persecution situation, though it may not be as intense as the extremity of the Nero-nian persecution, nonetheless it is extreme enough with possibility to become extreme. The Revelation The word “revelation” is “apocalypsis” or “unveiling.” One idea is that John wrote the book in this way to protect the readers from persecution because it was subversive literature. This is probably wrong....
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- Winter '07
- New Testament, Christian terms, Revelation