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Re: [revelation-list] Re: Apostolic Interpretation

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  • George F Somsel
    Allegory is not simply the presentation of matters in a pictorial form.  In such a case Jesus parables would be considered allegories -- a sower went forth
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 14, 2011
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      Allegory is not simply the presentation of matters in a pictorial form.  In such
      a case Jesus' parables would be considered allegories -- "a sower went forth to
      sow ...", a man was on a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho, a man's son was to
      get married so he sent invitations to all to come to the wedding feast.  These
      are not properly allegories.  An allegory is the pictorial representation in
      which the characters and events take on a deeper meaning.  We see such a
      situation in Hermas.  We see such in the interpretations of Philo of
      Alexandria.  This is not a proper method for the interpretation of scripture
      where the scripture itself does not state that such is the case.  Resort to
      allegorical interpretation leads to "one's own interpretation" to use the
      wording of 2 Peter.

       george
      gfsomsel


      … search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.


      - Jan Hus
      _________




      ________________________________
      From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, January 14, 2011 10:07:12 PM
      Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Apostolic Interpretation

       


      Greetings,

      An allegory is a story represented in figures, symbols or events in narrative,
      dramatic, or pictorial form. Considering the strange nature of the Apocalypse
      and apocalyptic literature I think it makes them good candidates for that kind
      of interpretation, if we only knew what the story was about. Christ claimed the
      scriptures are about Him (Luke 24:25-27, John 5:39, Heb 10:7). It is the
      Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1).

      Allegory is a Greek word, and when they found their myths a little hard to
      swallow on a literal level, they decided they were allegory. Origen said the
      Egyptian myths were considered allegory.

      IMO Revelation should not be interpreted so much by its symbols, but by its
      pattern, and the overriding pattern is the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus
      Christ.

      I think Justin Martyr was the first to directly mention the Apocalypse and
      Irenaeus writes quite a bit about it. Victorinus wrote the first commentary in
      the 4th century. Before that, in the early second or maybe even in the late
      first century, Hermas uses some of the same symbols, a false prophet, a beast of
      tribulation, a tower rather than a temple of God, a series of seven angels,
      white stones and garments of righteousness.

      To me, one of the main differences between amillennialism and postmillennialism
      is the latter's optimism. I don't know any of the early church fathers that
      didn't expect a future persecution of the church by antichrist.

      Thanks for asking,
      Alan Fuller
      http://www.lulu.com/arfuller


      --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, Jon Newton <jonknewton@...> wrote:
      >
      > Time for me to jump into this interesting discussion again.
      >
      > Alan, I think you still haven't shown why Revelation (as opposed to Daniel)
      >should be interpreted allegorically. I agree there are problems with a fully
      >preterist reading but it seems closest to what the opening words of Rev suggest.
      >The old historicist reading is largely discredited, though it builds on some of
      >the fathers' writings you have referred to (i.e. the antichrist coming out of
      >the breakup of Roman empire). Parts of Rev (e.g. Rev.20:11-15) are best read as
      >future but modern futurism is unsustainable (as I argued in my book Revelation
      >Reclaimed). I tend myself therefore to a preterist-idealist reading, but this is
      >different to allegorical if I understand correctly because it still allows for
      >some historical reference and doesn't make Rev about the individual christian
      >life as some allegorical readings did. So can you give me a more specific
      >summary of how you read Rev and why one should follow this reading?
      >
      > Second, since you guys know the fathers better than I do, do any of them
      >espouse views similar to postmillennialism?
      >
      > (Pastor) Jon Newton
      >







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    • George F Somsel
      You must also remember that this would have been read more than once so there would be opportunities to pick up further details later.  george gfsomsel …
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 15, 2011
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        You must also remember that this would have been read more than once so there
        would be opportunities to pick up further details later.

         george
        gfsomsel


        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________




        ________________________________
        From: Jon Newton <jonknewton@...>
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sat, January 15, 2011 4:05:32 PM
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation

         
        Thanks for those comments George

        I fully agree about the intended audience which is clearly stated in Rev.1

        I also fully agree about the centrality of Jesus is the text, which seemed to be
        Alan's key thought too.

        Not sure about your comments about the details and speed reading. While I'm sure
        each detail is by no means random, the original audience would have been
        hearing, not reading, the text. This helps explain the sevens and other
        structural features in Revelation. But it makes it unlikely they could
        concentrate on the intricate detail of each stage of the revelation.

        Jon

        (Pastor) Jon Newton

        --- On Sun, 16/1/11, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:

        From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Received: Sunday, 16 January, 2011, 3:31 AM

         

        I really don't know why we should discuss either Constantine or Justinian or any


        other figure subsequent to the penning of the Apocalypse.  It was not written

        primarily for a later age.  It was written for those to whom the book was

        delivered by the author's courier in his circuit around the loop which

        constituted the diocese of the author of the Apocalypse.  It was meant to be

        understood by them -- one must accept that it would have been compreshensible to


        them with their knowledge of the OT and the apocalyptic literature as well as

        the intimate knowledge they would have of their own age.  This was not something


        which would only become clear years and centuries or even millenia thereafter. 

        It was a message to the bishop's parishoners.  It is only a message to us today

        in the sense that they still convey the same vital message which was set to

        "paper" when it was written just as Paul's letters were primarily letters to

        living and breathing people of the time in which he lived.  They are still

        meaningful and even vitally significant to us today, but we understand them much


        less easily than the original recipients would have.

         george

        gfsomsel

        … search for truth, hear truth,

        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,

        defend the truth till death.

        - Jan Hus

        _________

        ________________________________

        From: asteresplanetai <asteresplanetai@...>

        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com

        Sent: Sat, January 15, 2011 6:27:46 AM

        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation

         

        +++

        > Posted by: "e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n" rocsy@... e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n

        > In the fourth century the Roman emperor Constantine made

        > Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire.

        Just a minor correction, although it may color the way one sees some

        things: Constantine did *not* make Christianity the religion of the

        Roman Empire. Constantine made Christianity *legal*-- that is, he

        stopped the persecutions-- by the Edict of Milan, and he certainly

        encouraged it-- but it was Justinian who made it officially 'the

        religion of the Roman Empire', about 2 centuries later.

        And as usual, it's good to keep in mind that 200 years back then were

        the same as 200 years today. From Constantine to Justinian would be

        the same length of time as between, say, Thomas Jefferson and Barack

        Obama.

        kind regards,

        John burnett.

        Help Uganda high school students graduate!

        http://jbburnett.com/africa/uganda%20kids%2020090111.pdf

        My South Africa education mission:

        http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=johnbburnett

        Contribute through Paypal at

        http://jbburnett.com/blogs/blogafrica.html

        or send checks to---

        St Nicholas African Education Fund

        102 Ross Avenue, San Anselmo, CA 94960

        Tel 415 454 0982

        Thanx!

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