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Re: Trumpets

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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