Gentry on the Temple in Rev 11
You are correct in stating my view regarding the Temple in Rev 11. And you
are also correct in pointing out that the Temple reference is doing "two things
at the same time." The reasons I hold to this double image from the Temple are
as follows (excuse brevity; I am very busy):
1. John is prone to double-meaning images. For instance, most commentators
(the majority, perhaps) see the Beast as representing an individual in some
texts and as a generic image of the Empire as a whole in other contexts.
Furthermore, in Rev 17:9-10 the seven heads of the beast mean two things, kings and
mountains. The image of the Lamb is one of suffering and death, as well as
victory and life. Many commentators (not me, though) view the 144,000 as also being
the "great multitude no man can number." The bowls appear to restate
(recapitulate) the trumpets. Etc., etc.
2. Johannine literature more broadly appears to employ double meanings, as
many commentators note (e.g., Leon Morris on The Gospel of John). For instance,
in Jn 2 Jesus' comment about "destroy this Temple" alludes to the Herodian
Temple but also signifies his own body (as many commentators note). In Jn 3
Jesus' statement that man must be born anothen (Gk) means both: both "born again"
and "born from above." Jesus' being "raised up" in Jn 12 refers to both his
resurrection and his ascension. Etc., etc.
3. John specifically sets up his reader for seeing a distinction within the
Temple: He mentions two destinies, one for the inner (naos) Temple and the
other for the outer courts (aule). He is hinting at a double-significance that
leads on the one hand to preservation and on the other to destruction.
4. The Temple itself contained a double significance: It is an earthly place
of worship; but it also a mirror of the heavenly Temple above. The temporal
and the eternal meet in the Temple.
5. G. K. Beale and other prominent Revelation scholars frequently speak of
double meanings in Revelation.
You also write: " IF John wrote Rev 11 'before Jerusalem fell' and the "most
natural interpretation" would indicate...." In response, I would note that the
"most natural interpretation" is not always the way to go in Revelation,
hence John's occasional need of an interpreting angel. Especially notice the seven
heads as kings and mountains. In fact, the "most natural" image of a lamb is
not of a mighty conqueror.
Though you "seriously" doubt the utility of Rev 11 for the early date, this
position has been and is still being held by many competent scholars, beginning
with Lightfoot, Westcott, Hort, Torrey and others. I would not argue the
ENTIRE case for the early date on this ONE datum. But when considered in
conjunction with a host of tributary arguments, I am persuaded Revelation was written
while Nero was alive.
Unfortunately, I have some contract deadlines rushing toward me.
Consequently, I probably will not be able to respond to any further comments. Though I
hope to read them!
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
Director, GoodBirth Ministries
<A HREF="www.goodbirthministries.com">GoodBirth Ministries</A>
"Serious Studies for Serious Christians"
Revelation Commentary Project
If you would like to give toward funding my research on
Revelation please go to <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A> then click
on "Revelation Commentary Project."
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