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Re: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13

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  • Alan Missen
    Dear Georg Thanks for your comments on the above issue. I certainly agree that the argument for 11:13 referring to conversion is open to debate. However, your
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 3, 2001
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      Dear Georg
       
      Thanks for your comments on the above issue.  I certainly agree that the argument for 11:13 referring to conversion is open to debate.
       
      However, your comments raise two further questions.
       
      The first derives from your argument about proskunew.
      Whether the 24 elders are seen as angelic beings, or representatives of the redeemed, they are still in a position FOR God rather than one of neutrality or opposition.
       
      QUESTION 1:
      If the use of prosunew in Rev 14.7 and 15.4 does not imply a stance of faith, is this accepted as a genuine possibility? Does scripture elsewhere, and even other apocalyptic writings, support such a stance of unbelieving worship in God?
       
      QUESTION 2:
      Where then does Revelation contain, for the bulk of the unbelieving world, the opportunity for a faith reponse in the God of the universe?  Or is it a question of John presenting a "point of no return"?
       
      Blessings
      Alan Missen
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2001 12:42 PM
      Subject: RE: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13

      Hi Alan
       
      Two monts ago we discussed Rev 11:13. Then I had to concentrate on other issues.
       
      I remain unconvinced that Rev 14:7 and 15:4 supports that 11:13 refers to conversion. First, to give God glory and to worship him does not necessarily imply conversion. Rather, both in 11:13 and 14:7 they give glory to God due to fear, not to faith and a proper salvific relationship to God and Christ. In Rev 14:7 either those who will be judged or all must worship God since he will know judge. Thus, all will be forced to acknowedge him as God and judge etc., but this does not mean that they repent and are saved.
      Rev 15:4 does not specify whether the nations will come and worship due to fear -- or they are the nations who worship in faith. Thus, to give glory to God is an acknowledgement of God's majesty etc., but it does not necessarily express faith and a salvific relationship.
       
      Terminologically, to give glory, fear and be terrified are either negative or ambiguous terms. This is also the case with proskunew. This verb is used in 3:9 where it refers to those who will suffer the great reversal of roles (cf. the underlying Isaiah text). Thus, the use of proskunew does not necessarily imply conversion, but only their ackknowledgement etc. of God's majesty and power. On its own it means 'to prostrate oneself as an act of homage, worship or obeisance'. Only the context makes clear which meaning it has in each case. In 3:9; 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16 and 19:4 it is not an act of faith by converted people, but an act of homage by his angelic "courtiers".
       
      What is explicitly stated, however, is that the plagues in ch. 9 and 16 do not lead to repentance. It is possible that 11:13 describes repentance, but in my view it is only a possible interpretation, not the most likely one. The relationship to Christ is neither mentioned nor hinted at in any way in 11:13. Acts of judgment (Rev 11) should not be expected to lead to judgment. Indeed, the other judgment plagues in Rev 9 and 16 are explicitly said not to lead to conversion/repentance.
       
      Georg S. Adamsen
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Alan Missen [mailto:westhaven@...]
      Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001 11:51 PM
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13

      Georg
       
      You comment concerning the Two Witnesses,
      It is therefore questionable whether their prophecy is an act of evangelistic testimony. I also doubt whether the results in 11:13 are different from those in 9:20f. I remain unconvinced that the
      homage in 11:13 is an expression of conversion. Rather, I suggest that
      the incongruity results from an inadequate interpretation of 11:3-13
      rather than from inconsistencies in Revelation.
      Does Rev 11.13 indicate conversion, with the amazing associated reversals suggested by Bauckham ("The Climax of Prophecy"), or does it indicate a response that falls short of conversion, as Beale argues in his commentary?
       
      For me, the connections within the Apocalypse to 14.7 and 15.4 are supportive of conversion.
       
      The comparisons are as follows:
       
      Rev 11.13 "the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven."
       
      Rev 14.7 "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
       
      Rev 15.4 "Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
       
      I think that any line of interpretation on Rev 11.13 needs to also take these other passages into account.  Commenting on 14.7, Beale concedes that
       
      ... "glory" is given to God in the Apocalypse only by beings who are part of God's spiritual community (so twelve times). Similarly, "worship" of God is always carried out by true believers or angelic beings (so twelve times). Those who "worship the beast" (v 9) are exhorted to repent and "worship the Creator." (Commentary, p. 753)
       
      Although Beale sees the response called for in 14.7 as one that does not result in conversion, he concedes that the interpretation of "worship" (proskuneo) that is then required is at odds with its use in the rest of the Apocalypse.
       
      What do others think?
       
      Alan Missen


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    • Georg S. Adamsen
      Dear Alan As regards your first question, your question presupposes that proskunew means worship . If you translate proskunew differently (and I argued in my
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 4, 2001
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        Dear Alan
         
        As regards your first question, your question presupposes that proskunew means "worship". If you translate proskunew differently (and I argued in my last letter in this thread that this is possible), then the incongruence between PROSKUNHSIS and non-salvation is diminished. Proskunew does not necessarily mean worship in the positive sense in which we normally use it, at least not in Revelation. And yes, they are in a position where they can acknowledge God as God, i.e. they will no longer be able to deny his existence, majesty, royal power etc. However, as a forced acknowledgement, it is not salvific. In Rev 14:10 the third angel announces that they who worship the beasts (v. 9) "will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb". It is this presence which is not salvific, but the judgment which includes that they will know that God is the Lord. All will see Christ (1:7), but this does not mean that all will be saved. That all will be forced to acknowledge God, namely on the Day of the Lord, is a Biblical notion, I think. See below on 6:15-17.
         
        As regards your second question: Revelation does not primarily deal with the unbelieving world. It is explicitly addressed to churches, some of which are in need of repentance. What Revelation does is to urge those to repent before Christ comes. If they do, he will come as their bridegroom and save them on that Day. If not, he will come as the divine warrior and judge and make war against them and judge them. The opportunity and call for renewed faith is expressed by the exhortations in Rev 2-3. What Rev 4-22 describes is indeed "the point of no return". The earthquake(s) in Revelation is/are the very result of God's theophany and the terror (cf. 6:15-17) results in a recognition of what is happening and of what the reason is, namely the coming of God and his Christ. I think that 11:13 which also mentions this theophanic earthquake is parallel to Rev 6:12-17. It is, therefore, a point of no return. Consequently, it is important, indeed essential, to respond appropriately to the exhortations in Rev 2-3. This, in short, is the main argument of my thesis "Parousia and Paraenesis: The Parousia Motif and Its Paraenetic Use in the Book of Revelation" which I submitted recently.
         
        However, if this is the options for the churches, then it also essential for the unbelieving world to repent and believe in Christ. This is, however, not the primary purporse of Revelation, but a legitimate theological deduction. In this sense (only) Revelation is a missional document, in my view at least.
         
        I hope this may contribute some aspects to your questions, but I will be happy to pursue these issues further.
         
        Georg S. Adamsen
        Ass. Prof. of NT, LSTA
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Alan Missen [mailto:westhaven@...]
        Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2001 4:08 AM
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13

        Dear Georg
         
        Thanks for your comments on the above issue.  I certainly agree that the argument for 11:13 referring to conversion is open to debate.
         
        However, your comments raise two further questions.
         
        The first derives from your argument about proskunew.
        Whether the 24 elders are seen as angelic beings, or representatives of the redeemed, they are still in a position FOR God rather than one of neutrality or opposition.
         
        QUESTION 1:
        If the use of prosunew in Rev 14.7 and 15.4 does not imply a stance of faith, is this accepted as a genuine possibility? Does scripture elsewhere, and even other apocalyptic writings, support such a stance of unbelieving worship in God?
         
        QUESTION 2:
        Where then does Revelation contain, for the bulk of the unbelieving world, the opportunity for a faith reponse in the God of the universe?  Or is it a question of John presenting a "point of no return"?
         
        Blessings
        Alan Missen
      • irbrown@andrews.edu
        Georg, Let me say a bit more about my second reason involving Rev 10:6-7. Rev 10:6-7 exhibits the construction OUKETI . . . ALLA . . . showing a strong
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 4, 2001
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          Georg,
          Let me say a bit more about my second reason involving Rev 10:6-7.

          Rev 10:6-7 exhibits the construction OUKETI . . . ALLA . . . showing a strong
          contrast (Cf. the uses of this construction and its variations throughout the
          NT and also see BDF 448[1]). The first clause by saying “Time/delay will be no
          longer” points to a future point at which the delay ends. The second clause
          points to what stands in place of that delay, the completed mystery of God. In
          addition, the second clause pinpoints the time at which this reality occurs (in
          the days of the sound of the seventh angel, when he is about to trumpet).
          These temporal indicators also implicitly pinpoint the time at which the delay
          ends. Given that in the panorama of the trumpets the seventh has yet to sound
          (note Rev 11:14-15), it seems evident that the delay is not over when the angel
          makes his declaration in Rev 10:6-7.

          Before returning to the relevancy of this to Rev 11:13, let me comment further
          on the delay. I feel that this delay refers back to the delay/time mentioned
          in the fifth seal. This is the delay before the rendering of the justice
          called for by the slain people of God. When one examines the language of the
          fifth seal, the sixth seal, and Rev 15-19, one finds that the rendering of the
          justice is the outpouring of God’s wrath, shown briefly in the sixth seal and
          more fully in 15-19. To support this point, I encourage people to examine the
          verbal and thematic parallels existing between the fifth and sixth seals on the
          one hand and Rev 15-19 on the other. I could outline them here, but that would
          take up many more screens. Keeping all of this in mind about the delay, when
          one looks at Rev 10:6-7, it would appear to identify when God will render the
          called for justice. That justice will come in conjunction with the seventh
          trumpet. And that justice involves an earthquake (6:12 and 16:18).

          Back to Rev 11:13 now. The following two verses (14-15) have the ending of the
          second woe and the coming of the seventh trumpet (the third woe?). This
          suggests that Rev 11:13 refers to an earthquake prior to the seventh trumpet,
          prior to the rendering of justice and the earthquake of 6:12 and 16:18, and
          therefore an earthquake different from that of 6:12 and 16:18.

          This suggestion becomes even stronger for me when taking into consideration the
          other reasons I mentioned (partiality of the earthquake in 11:13, no mention of
          God’s wrath in 11:13, and a contrasting response among those living through the
          experience of 11:13).

          Ian R. Brown
          Ph.D. student
          Andrews University

          Quoting "Georg S. Adamsen" <georg.adamsen@...>:

          > Ian,
          >
          > As regards your first reason I and many others have also noticed this
          > development from a partial judgment in ch. 6ff to the complete judgment
          > in 15f. However, I think there are reasons which support that the
          > partial judgment is nevertheless the judgment of the Day of Judgment
          > and
          > the parousia. The theophanic earthquake is one of these.
          >
          > As regards your second reason, Rev 10:6 explicitly says that "there
          > will
          > no further delay", which means that the end has arrived.
          >
          > Georg S. Adamsen
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: IAN BROWN [mailto:irbrown@...]
          > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 11:10 PM
          > > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: RE: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13
          > >
          > >
          > > Georg,
          > > I find it difficult to identify the earthquake in 11:13 with
          > > those in 6:12
          > > and 16:18.
          > > First, the whole city is affected in 16 and all the cities of
          > > the nations
          > > fall, while only a portion of the city is affected in 11:13.
          > > Second, 10:6-7 and 11:14 suggest that the end has not arrived
          > > yet in 11:13.
          > > Third, those who suffer the seven plagues, yet do not seem to
          > > be explicitly
          > > killed, blaspheme God and do not give him glory. This
          > > contrasts with a
          > > group who escape death and do give God glory.
          > > Fourth, there is no mention of God's wrath, which is
          > > characteristic of the
          > > contexts of 6:12 and 16:18.
          > > The first and the second reasons hold the most weight for me.
          > >
          > > Ian R. Brown
          > > Ph.D. student
          > > Andrews University
          >
          >
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        • Georg S. Adamsen
          Hi Ian I agree that there is a contrast in the OUKETI ... ALLA construction, but not that this proves your point. First, that the delay will end only expresses
          Message 4 of 19 , Nov 4, 2001
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            Hi Ian

            I agree that there is a contrast in the OUKETI ... ALLA construction,
            but not that this proves your point. First, that the delay will end only
            expresses a terminus ad quem, not a terminus a quo. Second, the fact you
            mention yourself, namely that the fifth and sixth seal and Rev 15f and
            17-19 employ judgment language, indicates that the judgment events
            called for is rather begun already with the fifth and indeed the first
            four seals. The "end" is not a flat one action event, but a series of
            events which takes place at the Day of the Lord. The ultimate judgment,
            however, must await something (cf. the fifth seal). The important
            question for the determination of the terminus a quo is then at what
            time the fifth seal will take place. If it is possible to show that it
            is part of the events which will happen at the Day of judgment, then
            your argument is less convincing.

            I do not accept that the mention of the second and third woe (i.e. the
            sixth and seventh trumpet) indicates a significant temporal progression
            so that the sixth seal (and the first five as well) could not also take
            place at the Day of Judgment. The reason why I do not accept this is
            that at least the sixth seal refer to the day of God and His Christ's
            wrath, i.e. to the Day of Judgment. The progression at the textual level
            (the discourse level, to use e.g. Seymour Chatman's terminology) does
            thus not necessarily imply a (significant) chronological progression at
            the level of the events which the text describes (i.e. the story level).
            (There are certain similarities between this discussion and the
            well-known between so-called recapitulationists and progressionists. I
            disagree with both). If this is so, then the partiality may belong to
            either the discourse level or to the story level. You presuppose, I
            think, the latter. I would opt for the former for the reason that Rev
            6,1ff also makes use of judgment language. It is true that God's wrath
            is not explicitly mentioned in 11:13, but it is presupposed because in
            theophanic language earthquake is the result of God's appearance,
            normally or most often (I do not remember the deatails of this
            particular point right now) before his enemies. Moreover, the earthquake
            could last more than a single second, e.g. an hour, such as the hour of
            judgment.

            Finally, is not the future used sometimes about what is and will be from
            the time of speaking? This seems to me to be the case in e.g. Rev
            7:15-17.

            Georg S. Adamsen, LSTA

            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: irbrown@... [mailto:irbrown@...]
            > Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2001 3:50 PM
            > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: RE: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13
            >
            >
            > Georg,
            > Let me say a bit more about my second reason involving Rev 10:6-7.
            >
            > Rev 10:6-7 exhibits the construction OUKETI . . . ALLA . . .
            > showing a strong
            > contrast (Cf. the uses of this construction and its
            > variations throughout the
            > NT and also see BDF 448[1]). The first clause by saying
            > “Time/delay will be no
            > longer” points to a future point at which the delay ends.
            > The second clause
            > points to what stands in place of that delay, the completed
            > mystery of God. In
            > addition, the second clause pinpoints the time at which this
            > reality occurs (in
            > the days of the sound of the seventh angel, when he is about
            > to trumpet).
            > These temporal indicators also implicitly pinpoint the time
            > at which the delay
            > ends. Given that in the panorama of the trumpets the seventh
            > has yet to sound
            > (note Rev 11:14-15), it seems evident that the delay is not
            > over when the angel
            > makes his declaration in Rev 10:6-7.
            >
            > Before returning to the relevancy of this to Rev 11:13, let
            > me comment further
            > on the delay. I feel that this delay refers back to the
            > delay/time mentioned
            > in the fifth seal. This is the delay before the rendering of
            > the justice
            > called for by the slain people of God. When one examines the
            > language of the
            > fifth seal, the sixth seal, and Rev 15-19, one finds that the
            > rendering of the
            > justice is the outpouring of God’s wrath, shown briefly in
            > the sixth seal and
            > more fully in 15-19. To support this point, I encourage
            > people to examine the
            > verbal and thematic parallels existing between the fifth and
            > sixth seals on the
            > one hand and Rev 15-19 on the other. I could outline them
            > here, but that would
            > take up many more screens. Keeping all of this in mind about
            > the delay, when
            > one looks at Rev 10:6-7, it would appear to identify when God
            > will render the
            > called for justice. That justice will come in conjunction
            > with the seventh
            > trumpet. And that justice involves an earthquake (6:12 and 16:18).
            >
            > Back to Rev 11:13 now. The following two verses (14-15) have
            > the ending of the
            > second woe and the coming of the seventh trumpet (the third
            > woe?). This
            > suggests that Rev 11:13 refers to an earthquake prior to the
            > seventh trumpet,
            > prior to the rendering of justice and the earthquake of 6:12
            > and 16:18, and
            > therefore an earthquake different from that of 6:12 and 16:18.
            >
            > This suggestion becomes even stronger for me when taking into
            > consideration the
            > other reasons I mentioned (partiality of the earthquake in
            > 11:13, no mention of
            > God’s wrath in 11:13, and a contrasting response among those
            > living through the
            > experience of 11:13).



            >
            > Ian R. Brown
            > Ph.D. student
            > Andrews University
            >
            > Quoting "Georg S. Adamsen" <georg.adamsen@...>:
            >
            > > Ian,
            > >
            > > As regards your first reason I and many others have also
            > noticed this
            > > development from a partial judgment in ch. 6ff to the
            > complete judgment
            > > in 15f. However, I think there are reasons which support that the
            > > partial judgment is nevertheless the judgment of the Day of Judgment
            > > and
            > > the parousia. The theophanic earthquake is one of these.
            > >
            > > As regards your second reason, Rev 10:6 explicitly says that "there
            > > will
            > > no further delay", which means that the end has arrived.
            > >
            > > Georg S. Adamsen
            > >
            > > > -----Original Message-----
            > > > From: IAN BROWN [mailto:irbrown@...]
            > > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 11:10 PM
            > > > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            > > > Subject: RE: [revelation-list] earthquake in Rev 11:13
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Georg,
            > > > I find it difficult to identify the earthquake in 11:13 with
            > > > those in 6:12
            > > > and 16:18.
            > > > First, the whole city is affected in 16 and all the cities of
            > > > the nations
            > > > fall, while only a portion of the city is affected in 11:13.
            > > > Second, 10:6-7 and 11:14 suggest that the end has not arrived
            > > > yet in 11:13.
            > > > Third, those who suffer the seven plagues, yet do not seem to
            > > > be explicitly
            > > > killed, blaspheme God and do not give him glory. This
            > > > contrasts with a
            > > > group who escape death and do give God glory.
            > > > Fourth, there is no mention of God's wrath, which is
            > > > characteristic of the
            > > > contexts of 6:12 and 16:18.
            > > > The first and the second reasons hold the most weight for me.
            > > >
            > > > Ian R. Brown
            > > > Ph.D. student
            > > > Andrews University
            > >
            > >
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          • Ken Flowers
            ... refers to ... I ve been wondering if this is the right question for this verse. For me the thing to note is that there seems to be at least an opportunity
            Message 5 of 19 , Nov 5, 2001
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              --- In revelation-list@y..., "Georg S. Adamsen" <georg.adamsen@1...>
              wrote:
              > I remain unconvinced that Rev 14:7 and 15:4 supports that 11:13
              refers to
              > conversion.
              > ...

              I've been wondering if this is the right question for this verse.
              For
              me the thing to note is that there seems to be at least an
              opportunity
              for conversion. In fact, I find this to be a (perhaps the) recurring
              theme throughout the book.

              Take:
              9:20, 21 - "yet repented not of the works of their hands."
              16:9 - "and they repented not to give him glory."
              16:11 - "and repented not of their deeds."

              These verses all imply an opportunity for conversion. I also see the
              numerous warnings as such opportunities. Even the prolonged, and
              partial nature of the judgments should imply opportunities and
              warnings rather than God using the world as a big cat toy.

              I've written more of this up as a small appendix to a book I'm
              working
              on. I can send the longer text upon request.

              Ken Flowers
              Lexington MA
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