> I am wondering why this has to be either/or? There is here a
> 'surplus of meaning' (Ricoeur) which need not invalidate reading in
> historical context. Beware false dichotomies...<<
I suppose you're right about that.
>> Not sure what you mean by 'spiritual'. Are you reading back in a
I was trying to explain what I meant by 'spiritual' with the
references I gave to the gospels. Often when Jesus taught in
parables or parabolic sayings He would say "He that hath ears to
hear, let him hear." This is very similar to what it says after each
message to the churches. To me that might indicate that the mesaage
to the churches is something like a parable.
Another example that comes to mind is the incident where Jesus told
Nicodemus "you must be born again." Jesus was not talking about a
physical re-birth, but a spiritual one. That's why I chose the
word 'spiritual'. Another example that comes to mind is where the
Jews accused Jesus of saying that He would destroy the temple, and
build it up again in three days. What is the best word to describe
that type of thing, parabolic, figurative, allegorical, metaphoric?
I chose the word spiritual. I am using the word 'spiritual' as
opposed to 'literal'.
So since there is the part about "He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches," and there are symbols like
lampstands, etc., I think the churches, as well as the rest of the
book could be understood as metaphor or allegory. Then again maybe
it's a more literal description of things. And maybe there's a
possibility of both. I'm the student here :)
What do you call methodological presuppositions? You mean whether it
was written as a literal description of events far in the future, or
perhaps things in the very near future, or even about current events
or some combination of those things.
You are saying that those things can be determined from the text
> > After every church message is the call "He who has an
> >ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." This is
> >phrase usually associated with "spiritual" interpretation. Mat
> >11:14-15, 13:13,43 15:10, 17:12, Mark 4:3,23,24, 7:16, Luke 8:18,
> >John 2:21, 12:40
> >As you point out, we haven't discussed whether we should consider
> >events in Revelation as something that is fulfilled in the first
> >century, something fulfilled in later history, something still to
> >fulfilled in our future, or some combination of these things. Or
> >could be that it is none of these things, but some kind of
> >story or message.
> You are alluding here to the classic four-fold differentiation of
> 'approaches' to Revelation (viz preterist, church historical,
> idealist). The key thing here is that these are actually
> conclusions from the text, rather than methodological
> they are often presented as.
> Ian Paul