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Re: [revelation-list] Question on Revelation 6:2 bow

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  • Juan Stam
    Rev 6:1-2 is a difficult passage where the textual data in themselves do not permit a definitive interpretation. But I agree with Jason Coates (I must look
    Message 1 of 35 , Oct 18, 2002
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      Rev 6:1-2 is a difficult passage where the textual data in themselves do not
      permit a definitive interpretation. But I agree with Jason Coates (I must
      look for Chilton's book), and I think Cullmann and Ladd give the best
      suggestion: the first horseman symbolizes the victorious advance of the
      gospel across the world. There are good reasons to reject the
      presupposition that all the horsemen must be evil. In the first volume of my
      Spanish-language commentary I appeal to the same arguments that Jason Coates
      mention, and also:

      1) in contrast to the other horsemen, the description of the first ( white
      horse) gives no hint of any damge done or ills inflicted on humanity; it
      only mentions the note of victory (color white; crown placed on horsemen
      before race is over; conquering and to conquer)

      2) the fourth horseman (a sick yellowish color; death & Hades) kills with
      sword (2nd horsemen on red horse), famine (3rd horseman, on black horse,
      like the black market), and pestilence (corpse-like yellow, chloros,
      thanatos means plague as well as death), but does not kill by bow and arrow
      (first horsemen). The Seer usually adapts the OT to his own design, but
      here he does not insert "bow/arrow" in the traditional "quartet" of death,
      but leaves "wild beast" from the OT passages.

      3) I find a symmetry in the development of the seals and trumpets (the 7
      trompets constitute the carrying out of the 7th seal)

      a) a symbol of hope and life (white horsemen; victorious)
      b) 5 symbols of death and disaster (war, famine, pestilence, perscution,
      earthquake)
      c) 7th seal: our prayers, answered by the trumpets & moving history toward
      the Kingdom
      d) 6 trumpets of horrible disaster, each worse than the previous!
      e) a 7th trumpet: the Reign of God and the judgment of the oppressors. So,
      balanced with the white horse, Christ (gospel) is Alpha and Omega. The
      struggles and tribulations of history and eschaton are bracket withing the
      Good News.

      Juan Stam (Costa Rica)



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "coates" <jasonnola@...>
      To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 5:01 AM
      Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Question on Revelation 6:2 bow


      >
      > David Chilton points out that Habakkuk 3:9 is the OT scriptural basis for
      > Revelation 6. (The Days of Vengeance, Tyler, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987
      > p.186.) Christ is depicted here as the warrior-king of Habakkuk carrying a
      > bow. The victory of the Redeemer over His enemies is seen in Psalm 45
      where
      > again the warrior-king is seen going forth conquering and to conquer. (The
      > sense here is that conquest is ongoing and not yet completed.)
      >
      > I find it interesting that there is no mention of an arrow or quiver of
      > arrows. The bow of the warrior-king is empty. One explanation is that the
      > "one" arrow - Christ's redemption of man - was released, and therefore any
      > act of Christ, such as the judgement and conquest of his enemies, is
      > predicated upon this.
      >
      > Chilton continues to offer some very interesting explanations of where the
      > bow comes from, and how it fits in the scheme of judgement on apostate
      > Israel. (Op. cit. p186-7.)
      >
      > Jason Coates
      > Johannesburg, S. Africa
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • Georg S. Adamsen
      Hi Jason, Interesting message to which I have a few comments. Sorry for the delay. ... It is certainly possible that Hab 3:9 is the OT scriptural basis, or at
      Message 35 of 35 , Nov 3, 2002
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        Hi Jason,

        Interesting message to which I have a few comments. Sorry for the delay.

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: coates [mailto:jasonnola@...]
        > Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 1:01 PM
        > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Question on Revelation 6:2 bow
        >
        >
        >
        > David Chilton points out that Habakkuk 3:9 is the OT
        > scriptural basis for
        > Revelation 6. (The Days of Vengeance, Tyler, Texas: Dominion
        > Press, 1987
        > p.186.) Christ is depicted here as the warrior-king of
        > Habakkuk carrying a
        > bow. The victory of the Redeemer over His enemies is seen in
        > Psalm 45 where
        > again the warrior-king is seen going forth conquering and to
        > conquer. (The
        > sense here is that conquest is ongoing and not yet completed.)

        It is certainly possible that Hab 3:9 is the OT scriptural basis, or at
        least, background. It could also be just a parallel. Habakkuk 3,
        however, describes a theophany, and Revelation describes the coming of
        both God and Christ as a theophany, or epiphany, if you like. I have
        argued in my thesis that it is important to be able to explain why God
        features so prominently in Revelation.

        Several scholars point to Psalm 45 as the background. In my thesis I
        have pointed to a large number of parallels between Psalm 45 and
        Revelation, but I was not able to show that Revelation contains any
        certain allusions to Psalm 45. I think, however, it is fair to conclude
        that Psalm 45 may provide us with a model for the understanding of
        Christ as the coming warrior-king. The wedding motif also seems to be
        present in both Psalm 45 and Revelation, as McIlraith, among others, has
        shown. This is one of the reasons why I suggest that Christ is depicted
        as a Warrior-Bridegroom in both texts, but especially in Revelation.


        >
        > I find it interesting that there is no mention of an arrow or
        > quiver of
        > arrows. The bow of the warrior-king is empty. One explanation
        > is that the
        > "one" arrow - Christ's redemption of man - was released, and
        > therefore any
        > act of Christ, such as the judgement and conquest of his enemies, is
        > predicated upon this.

        Bornkamm argued convincingly already in 1937 that it is part of John's
        narrative technique that he does not always mention everything. One of
        his (or his primary) argument was a careful comparison of Rev 14:14-20
        and 19:11-21. This article is rather important, but few seems to have
        read it. That there is no mention of an arrow or a quiver of arrows does
        therefore not necessarily mean that there were no arrows or quiver. It
        may rather be one example of his narrative technique.

        If Revelation employs theophany language -- and it does e.g. here and in
        6,12-17 -- then I think it is important to provide an explanation which
        fits the theophany concept. One could argue that John used theophany
        language without any notion of theophany. However, I wonder how any
        reader well acquainted to the OT (and the pervasive use of the OT in
        Revelation suggests that John assumed that his readers were acquainted
        with the OT) should have been able to see that. It would only have been
        possible if the texts itself makes clear that the theophany language is
        used without the very theophany notion. If this is indeed the case, then
        it should be easy for us to detect. Several studies have, however,
        argued that John makes use of the theophany concept.

        >
        > Chilton continues to offer some very interesting explanations
        > of where the
        > bow comes from, and how it fits in the scheme of judgement on apostate
        > Israel. (Op. cit. p186-7.)

        I am well aware that Chilton and others interpret the plagues as a
        judgment on apostate Israel. It is true that Revelation uses OT texts
        which describe that, but Revelation also uses a number of other texts
        which are concerned with the judgment on other nations. Indeed, I think
        that just as God's people is international, so are those who will be
        judged.

        One problem, which I think it unsatisfactorily answered by Chilton and
        other AD 70-interpreters, is what relevance the AD 70-judgment has for
        the seven cities of Asia. Another is what "every eye" in Rev 1:7 means.

        Georg S. Adamsen
        LSTA, Denmark
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