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Re: Trumpets

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  • Christian Maymann
    Alan, I think that for a large part, I can agree with you. But I have following comments and thoughts: i) I agree with you, that the sixth
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 30, 2002
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      Alan,

       

      I think that for a large part, I can agree with you. But I have following comments and thoughts:

       

      i)                    I agree with you, that the sixth seal and the sixth trumpet have to be understood as finally. As I see it, Scholars who argues for a totally linear structure have some trouble right here. The book have a least an ending in the following verses: 6:16-17 11:15-19 14:14-20 – And 15:1-19:10 have to been seen as one long description of the end. (Just as 19:11-21:8 is another description of the end). What come between these texts are different descriptions of a theme called “the church and the world”.

      ii)                   I’m not sure that I say about the relationship between the first six trumpets and the two witnesses. This problem includes two questions, that I cannot find good answers to – one question concerning the “story” and one question concerning the “history”.

      a.       At the “story”-level I cannot see, if the trumpets and the witnesses depict the same action from different viewpoints or if they depict different kinds of actions at the same time?

      b.      At the “history”-level my question goes as following: How should we relate the action described in the trumpets to the historical experiences of the churches, describe in chapter 2 and 3 in the book?

      iii)                 Concerning “conversion”:  You are (partly) right in the point, that conversion is not mentioned before 18:4 – but maybe only partly. In the sixth trumpet it is a point that “they did not repent of the works of their hands ( 9:20). If this comment has a point, I think we have to conclude, that some of the trumpet have to depict a call to conversion. Otherwise the point looses the contact with the context.

      iv)                 I agree with you, that 11:15-19 have “a ring of finality to them”. As I see it, they have to been seen in close connection with the throne I chapter 4 and 5. Let me point to two of the connection between chapters 4 5 and 11:

      a.       One of the points in these chapters is that God and them Lamb is worthy to take the power (4:11, 5:12). In 11:17 it is said, that God “You have taken your great power and reigned.” So chapter 11:17 came as a conclusion on that is confessed in chapter 4 and 5.

      b.      The next is the naming of God. In 4:8 God is named as the one “who was, is and is to come”. (Just as in 1:4). In 11:17 God is named as the one “who is and was”.

      This point in the direction, that chapter 4 and 5 depict God as the one who is not yet come, and in chapter 11 as the one who has come, then it can explain perfectly the formulation in 11:19 “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,”

      v)                  At the same time, I think, that we have to say, that the sixth seal have “a ring of finality to them” I cannot see that the screen in 6:12-17 otherwise as the judgment.

      We have (at least) to grounds for that conclusion:

      a.       The screen in verses 12 is an allusion to Joel 2:10 and that text is and description of the day of the Lord.

      b.      If the sixth seal does not describe the “day of the Lord”, then we have no means to explain the talk of people in 6:15-17 (especially Verses 17)

       

       
      Med venlig hilsen
       

      Christian Maymann
      Christian@...
    • Alan Fuller
      Ian, One thing I will focus on is the history level. I think you are asking if the trumpets are a description of historical events that happened to the
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 31, 2002
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        Ian,

        One thing I will focus on is the "history" level. I think you are
        asking if the trumpets are a description of historical events that
        happened to the seven churches. The question I ask is whether or not
        the message to the churches is actually to the seven historical
        churches?

        The whole book is said to be a prophecy (1:3,22:19). And I think we
        agree there is much symbolism. So I am wondering if the message to
        the seven churches is actually meant for the seven literal historical
        churches in Asia, or it that part of the symbolism to be
        interpreted? After every church message is the call "He who has an
        ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." This is a
        phrase usually associated with "spiritual" interpretation. Mat
        11:14-15, 13:13,43 15:10, 17:12, Mark 4:3,23,24, 7:16, Luke 8:18,
        John 2:21, 12:40

        As you point out, we haven't discussed whether we should consider the
        events in Revelation as something that is fulfilled in the first
        century, something fulfilled in later history, something still to be
        fulfilled in our future, or some combination of these things. Or it
        could be that it is none of these things, but some kind of idealistic
        story or message. Here again it might be a message and a combination
        of the other things. I guess there's a lot to sort out.

        Another thing I will address is endings and how they should be used
        to divide chapters four through eleven. Often the trumpets are seen
        as growing out of, or following the seals. As I see it, there are
        three main verses to consider, 6:14, 7:3 and 8:2.

        In 6:14 we have a cataclysmic destruction of heaven and earth. It
        sounds like the day of the Lord. But then in 7:3 we are told "Do not
        harm the land or the sea or the trees." You would think with all the
        previous events in the sixth seal there would have already been some
        harm to those things mentioned. And all of this is within the same
        sixth seal. But then we aren't really hearing about literal events
        are we? It sounds like 7:3 is setting things up for the seven
        trumpets.

        However, I feel there should be a division after the seventh silent
        seal, and before the seven trumpets. Here is why. The scene
        switches back to the throne in heaven in verses 8:3-8:6.

        I am in favor of an outline that follows a pattern from heavenly
        presence, then proceding to earthly and final judgment.

        Alan
      • Ian Paul
        ... I am wondering why this has to be either/or? There is here a metaphorical surplus of meaning (Ricoeur) which need not invalidate reading in historical
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 1, 2002
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          >The whole book is said to be a prophecy (1:3,22:19). And I think we
          >agree there is much symbolism. So I am wondering if the message to
          >the seven churches is actually meant for the seven literal historical
          >churches in Asia, or it that part of the symbolism to be
          >interpreted?

          I am wondering why this has to be either/or? There is here a metaphorical
          'surplus of meaning' (Ricoeur) which need not invalidate reading in
          historical context. Beware false dichotomies...

          > After every church message is the call "He who has an
          >ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." This is a
          >phrase usually associated with "spiritual" interpretation. Mat
          >11:14-15, 13:13,43 15:10, 17:12, Mark 4:3,23,24, 7:16, Luke 8:18,
          >John 2:21, 12:40

          Not sure what you mean by 'spiritual'. Are you reading back in a mediaeval
          hermeneutic?
          >
          >As you point out, we haven't discussed whether we should consider the
          >events in Revelation as something that is fulfilled in the first
          >century, something fulfilled in later history, something still to be
          >fulfilled in our future, or some combination of these things. Or it
          >could be that it is none of these things, but some kind of idealistic
          >story or message.

          You are alluding here to the classic four-fold differentiation of supposed
          'approaches' to Revelation (viz preterist, church historical, futurist,
          idealist). The key thing here is that these are actually hermeneutical
          conclusions from the text, rather than methodological presuppositions, as
          they are often presented as.

          Ian Paul
        • Alan Fuller
          ... metaphorical ... I suppose you re right about that. ... mediaeval hermeneutic?
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 1, 2002
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            >>
            > I am wondering why this has to be either/or? There is here a
            metaphorical
            > 'surplus of meaning' (Ricoeur) which need not invalidate reading in
            > historical context. Beware false dichotomies...<<

            I suppose you're right about that.

            >> Not sure what you mean by 'spiritual'. Are you reading back in a
            mediaeval hermeneutic?<<

            I was trying to explain what I meant by 'spiritual' with the
            references I gave to the gospels. Often when Jesus taught in
            parables or parabolic sayings He would say "He that hath ears to
            hear, let him hear." This is very similar to what it says after each
            message to the churches. To me that might indicate that the mesaage
            to the churches is something like a parable.

            Another example that comes to mind is the incident where Jesus told
            Nicodemus "you must be born again." Jesus was not talking about a
            physical re-birth, but a spiritual one. That's why I chose the
            word 'spiritual'. Another example that comes to mind is where the
            Jews accused Jesus of saying that He would destroy the temple, and
            build it up again in three days. What is the best word to describe
            that type of thing, parabolic, figurative, allegorical, metaphoric?
            I chose the word spiritual. I am using the word 'spiritual' as
            opposed to 'literal'.

            So since there is the part about "He who has an ear, let him hear
            what the Spirit says to the churches," and there are symbols like
            lampstands, etc., I think the churches, as well as the rest of the
            book could be understood as metaphor or allegory. Then again maybe
            it's a more literal description of things. And maybe there's a
            possibility of both. I'm the student here :)

            What do you call methodological presuppositions? You mean whether it
            was written as a literal description of events far in the future, or
            perhaps things in the very near future, or even about current events
            or some combination of those things.

            You are saying that those things can be determined from the text
            itself?

            Alan


            >
            > > After every church message is the call "He who has an
            > >ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." This is
            a
            > >phrase usually associated with "spiritual" interpretation. Mat
            > >11:14-15, 13:13,43 15:10, 17:12, Mark 4:3,23,24, 7:16, Luke 8:18,
            > >John 2:21, 12:40
            >
            > >
            > >As you point out, we haven't discussed whether we should consider
            the
            > >events in Revelation as something that is fulfilled in the first
            > >century, something fulfilled in later history, something still to
            be
            > >fulfilled in our future, or some combination of these things. Or
            it
            > >could be that it is none of these things, but some kind of
            idealistic
            > >story or message.
            >
            > You are alluding here to the classic four-fold differentiation of
            supposed
            > 'approaches' to Revelation (viz preterist, church historical,
            futurist,
            > idealist). The key thing here is that these are actually
            hermeneutical
            > conclusions from the text, rather than methodological
            presuppositions, as
            > they are often presented as.
            >
            > Ian Paul
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