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648Re: [revelation-list] rev. 11:1-2

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  • irbrown@andrews.edu
    Jan 28, 2004
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      Having begun my major graduate research with looking at Rev 11:1-13 as a
      whole and not specifically the two witnesses, I have some familiarity with
      debates over elements of Rev 11:1-2. Most of the work that I did do with
      these two verses centered on interpreting the temple language. The main
      interpretations could be summarized as follows:

      Primarily literal:
      1) Temple language as relating to ancient earthly Jerusalem temple.
      2) ... as relating to future, rebuilt earthly Jerusalem temple.
      Primarily symbolic:
      1) ... as representing the church in some sense.
      2) ... as representing the Jewish people in some sense.
      3) ... as representing the center of the Jewish religion in some sense.
      Literal? Symbolic?
      Temple language as relating to the heavenly temple that is portrayed
      elsewhere in Revelation.

      I wrote a rough paper critiquing the typical arguments used to support
      those views labelled "Primarily symbolic." My conclusions about those
      arguments were not very positive. I can send a cleaned up copy of the
      concluding section of that paper upon request.

      Personally, I favor the last alternative above. In part I do so because
      of its serious consideration of how the author "John" speaks and uses
      language *throughout* the book. At least two authors who speak to this
      are Bachmann (?) and Giblin.

      Perhaps a need in many of the discussions of Rev 11:1-2 is the need to
      integrate that segment in with the content of chapter 10. The end of
      chapter 10 focuses in on the participation of John within the visionary
      experience; chapter 11:1 at least continues that focus. After that John
      becomes less "explicit" within the visionary experience and his main role
      as narrator/explainer resumes its dominance.

      Ian R. Brown
      Ph.D. Candidate
      Andrews University
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