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654Re: [revelation-list] rev. 11:1-2

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  • Chris Larimer
    Jan 28, 2004
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      Thanks for your reply.
      First, I am preterist and post-millennial in my leanings.  Therefore, I am not given to interpretations that focus on an earthly rebuilding of the Temple and a reinstitution of the Mosaic law/sacrificial system (which has been fulfilled in God's Christ). 

      Secondly, I do not follow the three-fold division of the Revelation into the things "which you have seen, the things which are, and the things which are to come."  The Apocalypse is simply too non-lineal to support that view (otherwise, you would have at least five falls of Babylon between chapters 11-22).  Instead, I side with David Aune and Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza in viewing the progressive action of the Apocalypse in successively more powerful symbolic systems.  My own division of the book as a whole is thus:
      Prologue and Epistolary Introduction (1:1-3:22)
      Heavenly Throneroom Vision (4:1-11:18)
      Cosmic War Vision (11:19-22:5)
      Epilogue and Epistolary Ending (22:6-21)
      I see a definite spiraling of events (not parallelisms because the content "touches" too much) that is also chiastically structured.  The chiastic structure is also intentionally a reversal of the prehistoric claims held in the first 11 chapters of Genesis.  Notice that there is a movement away from cities in the Abrahamic cycle and a definite distrust of city life and established religious systems before the time of slavery in Egypt.  That pattern is what I am claiming is reversed (or, in my language, reclaimed for God's holy ones as a righteous way of life).  That's why I posit that the Heavenly City (which is the size of the Roman empire) and the Heavenly Temple (which is the size of Jerusalem, c. 70 AD) are figurative ways of saying that God's reign is extended into secular life (symbolized as the city) and religious life (temple).
      Chris Larimer
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 3:22 PM
      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] rev. 11:1-2

      In a message dated 1/28/2004 2:41:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, chris.larimer@... writes:
      I also think that there is at least some merit to the thesis that the new Temple and the New Jerusalem portray a reclamation of these forms.  Certainly in the Ezekiel text there is a sincere desire that the glory of Solomon's temple be reinstituted.  Depending on your dating for the Apocalypse, you can see the desire for a new temple that recaptures the glory of the former (whether Herod's or, more likely, Solomon's) or (in my view) a reclamation of the Temple as a true house of worship to YHWH.  The city, likewise, is presented in a numerically perfect form and is described in aureate tones.  This shows that, like the temple - purged of fornication with the Beast (a corrupt Sadducean priesthood?) - the city is purged of her influences from Roman dominance.  Purified, there are only "dogs without".
      Since you are replying to what I had written, I must assume that you are understanding what I said to refer to a "reclamation of these forms."  I am well aware that there are those who maintain that there will be a rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.  This is most emphatically not my position.  Rather, I take the 144,000 to refer to literal members of the nation of Israel / Judea, the measuring of the temple to refer to the historical temple once built in Jerusalem, and the woman with the sun, moon and stars to refer to the literal Israel from whom Christ was born.  This is all historical material -- a part of the Heilsgeschicte.
      I hear in my mind's ear someone asking, "What about the summons in chapter 4 which states that 'John' would be shown what was "about to happen."  This is a fair question.  This did seem somewhat troublesome when I began to consider the references as applying to things which had already occurred.  If this were the total of what is contained in this "Book of Destiny", it would be a most valid criticism.  I do hold, however, that there are matters in this "Seventh Seal" which are yet coming in the view of our author.  It is this to which the "about to happen" refers.  This involves the ongoing life of the New Jerusalem which is ever "coming down from God out of heaven" and never resides on earth.  This New Jerusalem is envisaged as covering the Roman Empire in its entirety (calculate the dimensions).  Most specifically this refers to the preaching of the word  and the administration of the sacraments.  The Church as the Bride says "Let everyone who is thirsty come to the water" and the congregation as "those who hear" in their turn say "Come."  This is that which is about to happen.
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