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448RE: [revelation-list] On Rev 21

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  • jonp
    Mar 9, 2003
      At the 1988 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in
      Chicago I presented a paper entitled "Looking Both Ways: A Study of the
      Duodirectionality of the Structural Seams in the Apocalypse." In that
      paper I argued for a deliberate literary strategy of duodirectionality
      on the part of the author. For me duodirectionality means that the
      structural seams of the Book of Revelation function both as the climax
      of a preceding structure and the introduction to the next. I would
      understand Rev 21:1-8 to be such a duodirectional seam. I include the
      abstract below. Copies of the paper (never got around to preparing it
      for publication) are available from me upon request at jonp@....

      Recent literature has noted that the structural seams or
      boundaries of the Apocalypse are not hard and fast, but allow for
      thematic and structural interaction between sections of the book.
      Schüssler Fiorenza, for example, describes what she calls "intercalation
      of texts," a compositional technique that divides elements that belong
      together, making attempts at structuring the book quite difficult.
      Leonard Thompson, in his paper presented at the 1985 Annual Meeting in
      Anaheim, implied that the structural seams of the Apocalypse are "soft
      boundaries." Sufficient attention has not been given, however, to the
      boundary structures themselves.
      Perhaps the most significant structural seam in the book of
      Revelation comes at the center of the book, Rev 11:18,19. While 11:18
      contains the content of the seventh trumpet, which climaxes the seven
      trumpet structure, it also incorporates a cryptic summary of the rest of
      the book. Similarly, Rev 3:21; 8:1,2; 14:9-11 and 17:18 all function as
      both the climax of a preceding structure and the introduction to the
      next. This duodirectional language structure, therefore, appears to be
      intentional on the part of the author. Since commentators have observed
      that passages in the Gospel of John such as 2:1-11 and 4:46-54 are
      similarly duodirectional, the structural parallelism between the two
      books may suggest that they in some way partake of a common tradition.

      Jon Paulien, Chair
      New Testament Department
      Andrews University

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ariel Alvarez Valdes [mailto:arialvavaldes@...]
      Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2003 12:04 PM
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [revelation-list] On Rev 21

      I am working on Rev 21:1-8. I would like to know what
      do you think about the possibility to join this
      paragraph with the precedent or posterior section of
      the book. IN fact, Aune´s commentary joins 21:1-8 with
      the precedent section, i.e. 19:11-21:8 as "The final
      defeat of God´s remaining foes". But according with F.
      Comblin it is part of 21:1-22:5. Thank you.

      Ariel Alvarez Valdes

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