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1208Re: [revelation-list] Comparing two scenes of heaven

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  • Jon Newton
    May 4, 2011
      Good insights, David

      Resseguie, I and others see a more conventional "plot" in the narrative of Revelation.

      In my article, I see it building up to a climax like a play or novel, which ends with a wedding (hence my attention to the romance element)

      (Dr) Jon Newton

      --- On Tue, 3/5/11, David Brubaker <dave@...> wrote:

      From: David Brubaker <dave@...>
      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Comparing two scenes of heaven
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Received: Tuesday, 3 May, 2011, 2:03 PM


      Quoting Jon Newton <jonknewton@...>:


      > What stands out in our comment was the narrative structure in Rev,

      > which is still being unpacked by scholars, e.g. Resseguie, see also

      > my article "Reading Revelation Romantically" in JPT 2009

      I'm going to have to take a closer look at Ressequie. Your article

      sounds interesting and rather unique too.

      Here are a few more observations about the narrative structure:

      The "story" aspect appears in several ways in the series of series of

      plagues (seals, trumpets, bowls) on the earth, in ways that both move

      the story along progressively and tie it together coherently with

      common elements.

      For instance, there is the increasing resemblance of the Revelation

      plagues to the plagues sent upon Egypt in Exodus leading up to the

      release of the children of Israel. The seals bear virtually no

      resemblance to the Exodus plagues, some of the trumpets bear

      significant resemblance, and many of the bowls bear even stronger


      But there is another connection to the Exodus plagues that I don't

      often hear discussed. That is the parallel in the story structure

      itself--in Exodus, the plagues come one right after another until the

      next-to-last of the series is finished. Then between the next-to-last

      and last plagues, there is a sort of interlude when God gives

      instructions to Moses on how to prepare the people for the last plague

      so that they will be saved from it in the original Passover. Then

      comes the final plague. A similar story structure appears in the seals

      and the trumpets--all but one plague in the series occurs, then there

      is an interlude, and then the final plague of the series comes. Even

      the series of series follows that pattern--all but one of the series

      (seals and trumpets) happens, then there is a long interlude

      (12:1-14:20) before the final series (bowls). Of all the series of

      plagues and series of series of plagues, only the final bowls series

      does not have the characteristic Exodus-like interlude before its last


      Another progression in the story as well as a tying-together factor is

      the sequence of what the Revelation story says about the wrath of God

      and the Lamb through these series. In the seals, the wrath of God is

      present but not explained in the text. "The great day of their wrath

      has come" (6:17) but Revelation doesn't tell us any reason for God's

      anger. We can make the natural assumption that it is because of sin,

      but it may be useful to note that there is no mention of sin, the law,

      or repentance in the whole seals section of the story, including the

      seals themselves and the interlude before the last seal.

      Then in the trumpets, Revelation says explicitly that God's wrath is

      about lack of repentance for sin. 9:20-21 lists a number of kinds of

      sin for which people have failed to repent.

      Finally, in the bowls "the wrath of God is ended" (15:1). Interesting

      sequence about wrath--no reason is stated for wrath, wrath is a result

      of unrepentant sin, wrath is ended.

      David Brubaker

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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