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Re: [revelation-list] Re: chiasmus

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  • Ian Paul
    ... that ... and ... I wonder if we could step back a little and ask a question about methodology, which I think (in this and other areas) is overlooked. What
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 22, 2003
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      John wrote:
      >Although it is liturgical, the *Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice* is also
      >apocalyptic in many ways. In this connection, it is worth pointing out
      that
      >some scholars see a concentric pattern in this work

      and

      >Other scholars, however, see no such concentric structure

      I wonder if we could step back a little and ask a question about
      methodology, which I think (in this and other areas) is overlooked. What are
      the grounds on which we might determine such a structure? What is the root
      of the disagreements? Is it that certain words are or are not present, or
      themes are thought to be present or absent--or what?

      I do not have the arguments about Revelation's structure in my head to do
      such an analysis spontaneously--but I think it would be fruitful to
      enquire... (The one example I have to hand is Alan Garrow's unusual thesis
      about Revelation's structure, and I do think it founders on precisely this
      question of method.)

      Ian Paul
      .......................
      Revd Dr Ian Paul 32 Penn Hill Avenue, Poole, Dorset BH14 9LZ
      01202 745963 fax 01202 385539
      Also Managing Editor, Grove Books Ltd, Ridley Hall Road, Cambridge CB3 9HU
      01223 464748 fax 01223 464849
      http://www.grovebooks.co.uk
    • Richard Anderson
      Dr. Ian Paul wrote: I wonder if we could step back a little and ask a question about methodology, which I think (in this and other areas) is overlooked. What
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 22, 2003
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        Dr. Ian Paul wrote: I wonder if we could step back a little and ask a
        question about
        methodology, which I think (in this and other areas) is overlooked. What are
        the grounds on which we might determine such a structure? What is the root
        of the disagreements? Is it that certain words are or are not present, or
        themes are thought to be present or absent--or what?

        Since my initial inquiry to this list, I have learned that Ian Thompson
        established a criteria which has been cited by others for micro-chiasmus and
        Craig Blomberg a criteria which has been cited by others for macro-chiasmus.
        Both of these studies are cited in the "Literary Development of John 13-17,
        A Chiastic Reading": http://clawww.lmu.edu/~fjust/Review_Brouwer.htm .

        I hope to obtain at least one of these publications and report back to this
        list. I have wondered what basis any one had for a macro-chiasmus covering
        the entire book of Revelation, Gospel of Mark or Amos. However Augustine
        Stock writes that we need to remember that there was no paragraphs, periods,
        capitalization punctuation, quotation marks, and other such synthetic
        devices in ancient Hebrew literature and thus rhetorical devices, such as
        chiasmus, fulfilled this purpose. "Chiastic Awareness and Education in
        Antiquity," Biblical Theology Bulletin 14 (Jan, 1984), 23.

        Richard H. Anderson
      • Ken Flowers <kflowers@alum.mit.edu>
        I ve done some rather extensive study on chiasmus in Revelation. Much of that study is based on an out of print work by Nils Lund called Studies in
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 23, 2003
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          I've done some rather extensive study on chiasmus in Revelation.
          Much of that study is based on an out of print work by Nils Lund
          called "Studies in Revelation."

          Lund approaches the topic at a much more scholarly level of detail
          that would be appropriate for most. I have done some work
          simplifying Lund's presentation, and removing some arcania.

          Lund convinced me that there is micro and macro chiasmus in
          Revelation. (And Parallelisms, FWIW)

          I'm adding some flavor of the material here. If you're serious about
          Chiasm and can handle the oddities of a book in draft state, I can
          send you the Word file of my book.

          Ken Flowers
          Lexington, MA

          ------
          Longer chiasm exists outside Revelation:

          Psalm 3:7-8
          Save me
          O my God
          For thou hast smitten
          All my enemies
          On the cheek-bone;
          The teeth
          Of the wicked
          Thou has broken
          To the Lord
          The salvation

          1 Corinthians 14:1b-5
          But rather than ye may prophesy;
          For he that speaketh with a tongue,
          Speaketh not unto men but unto God;
          For no man understandeth.
          But in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries.
          But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men
          Edification
          And exhortation
          And consolation
          He that speaketh in a tongue
          Edifieth himself;
          But he that prophesieth edifieth the church
          Now I would have you all speak with tongues
          But rather that ye may prophesy.

          Note the center of this "But he ...
          Edification/Exhortation/Consolation." Lund posits, and it seems
          strongly born out in Revelation, that such triplets (and sometimes
          quadruplets or septuplets) add emphasis and very frequently
          numerically symbolic meaning. (But that's a whole other topic.)

          -----
          Micro chiasm in Revelation really is everywhere:

          Rev. 4-1
          After this
          I looked, and, behold, a door was opened
          in heaven:
          and the first voice which I heard
          was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
          which said,
          Come up hither,
          and I will show thee things
          which must be hereafter.

          Rev. 8:3-5a
          And another angel came and stood at the altar,
          having a golden censer;
          and there was given unto him

          much incense,
          that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints
          upon the golden altar
          which was before the throne.

          And the smoke of the incense,
          which came with the prayers of the saints,
          ascended up
          before God

          out of the angel's hand.
          And the angel took the censer,
          and filled it with fire of the altar,

          Rev. 10:8,9a
          And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again,
          and said, Go and take the little book which is open
          in the hand of the angel
          which standeth upon the sea
          and upon the earth.
          And I went unto the angel,
          and said unto him, Give me the little book.
          And he said unto me,


          ----
          Elemental Chiasm

          Death and Hades Introduced – 6:8
          The Dragon Introduced – 12:3
          The First Beast Introduced – 13:1
          The False Prophet Introduced – 13:11
          The Harlot Introduced – 17:1
          The Harlot Destroyed – 18:16-19
          The Beast and the False Prophet Destroyed – 19:20
          The Dragon Destroyed – 20:10
          Death and Hades Destroyed – 20:14


          ----
          Chiastic/parallel outline

          A key of point understanding this outline is to notice the grouping
          of sets of sevens contained herein. Besides the obvious groups of
          seven (B. Epistles, C. Seals, D. Trumpets, D'. Plagues, Bowls, or
          Vials), there are two seldom noted groups of seven angels in C' and
          B' which pair up and complete the sevens of B and C. These seven
          angels sequences are less obvious because in each case the place of
          the fourth angel is taken by Christ Himself.

          A: Prolog (1:1-20)
          B: Seven Epistles (2:1-3:22)
          C: Seven Seals: Part A (4:1-8:1)
          D: Seven Trumpets Given (8:2)
          C: The Seventh Seal Concluded (8:3-5)
          D: The First Six Trumpets (8:6-9:21)
          E: Godly Approaches to Saving the World (10:1-11:13)
          D: The Seventh Trumpet (11:14-19)
          E': Evil's Approaches to Taking the World (12:1-13:18)
          C': Seven Angels Part A (14:1-20)
          D': Seven Plagues Introduced (15:1)
          C': The Second Heavenly Scene: The Song (15:2-4)
          D': Seven Plagues Part B (15:5-16:21)
          B': Another Seven Angels (17:1-22:5)
          A': Epilogue (22:6-22:21)

          ---
          Interesting global parallels

          B
          Three Letters"Children of Israel" (2:14)
          Letter (Jesus in Intro and Promise, Rod of Iron)
          Three Letters
          B'
          Three Angels
          Jesus in Angel's Place (Rod of Iron
          Three Angels"Children of Israel" (21:12)

          C
          Two Heavenly Scenes
          Four Seals – War and Crops
          Two Seals – Martyrs and Calamity
          Two Heavenly Scenes: 144,000
          One Seal – Silence and Calamity
          C'
          Heavenly Scene: 144,000
          Three Angels – Be Faithful, Babylon Falls
          Three Angels and Jesus – War and Crops
          Heavenly Scene

          D
          Four Trumpets
          Introduction to woes
          Three Trumpets/Woes (Interrupted by E)
          The Sanctuary Opened
          Overall Result
          D'
          The Opened Sanctuary
          Three Plagues
          Interlude
          Four Plagues
          Overall Result
        • kymhsm <ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au>
          Dear list, Unaware of the discussion on the list, I am in the middle of working through the authors mentioned and their criteria for establishing chiastic
          Message 4 of 24 , Jan 23, 2003
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            Dear list,

            Unaware of the discussion on the list, I am in the middle of
            working through the authors mentioned and their criteria for
            establishing chiastic structures. I 'm doing it because I am
            rewriting a book on the structure of John which involves many
            micro-chiasms and several macro-chiasms. (A primitive version
            of that book - without the macro-chiasms which is one of the
            reasons for the rewrite - can be found at
            http://homepages.picknowl.com.au/sherpub). Not being home
            at themoment I cannot send much but hope to later today. I have
            access to the books by Brouwer (whose book on Jn 13-17
            inspired the rewrite) and Thomson and am awaiting a reply from
            Criswell College whose journal (Criswel Theological Journal)
            has the article by Blomberg.

            Another interesting approach is being taken by Warren Gage and
            others of Knox Theological Seminary, see:
            http://www.knoxseminary.org/Prospective/Faculty/FacultyForum/J
            ohnRevelationProject/

            For criteria you could also look at John Breck, 'The Shape of
            Biblical Language'. He has a useful appendix. That book also
            has a fascinating postscript written by Charles Lock.

            Sincerely,

            Kym Smith
            Adelaide
            South Australia
            khs@...
          • kymhsm <ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au>
            Dear Listers, As promised, here is an edited bit of the section I am writing. I have included the footnotes as they may also be useful. ... Brouwer has
            Message 5 of 24 , Jan 24, 2003
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              Dear Listers,

              As promised, here is an edited bit of the section I am writing. I
              have included the footnotes as they may also be useful.
              -------------------
              Brouwer has provided a concise appraisal of several scholars'
              guidelines for assessing micro- and macro-chiastic structures.
              Beginning with Nils W. Lund's `seven theses', he notes R. Alan
              Culpepper's criticism and David J. Clark's development of these. He
              then cites Ian H. Thomson's re-writing of the first four of Lund's
              theses and his addition of another two criteria for micro-chiastic
              formations.(1) Brouwer has his own criticisms of Thomson's list but
              it is satisfctory for our purposes here. Following, then, are
              Thomson's criteria (2) with responses to them concerning the micro-
              chiasms in John as per the following chapter. It is important to note
              that Thomson himself insists, `The point must be carefully made that
              these are characteristics that are frequently but not necessarily
              present.'(3)
              a. Chiasms frequently exhibit a shift at, or near, their centre. This
              change can be varied in nature: a change of person of the verb, a new
              or unexpected idea suddenly introduced, and so on. Usually, after
              the `shift', the original thought is resumed. For this reason, in
              this study, the phrase `shift and reversion' is preferred to Lund's
              simple term. This immediately highlights the problem associated with
              all such characteristics. Many passages have `shifts', but are
              obviously not chiastic; in a chiasmus `shifts' that are not at its
              centre will occur, marking, for example, points of development in an
              argument.
              b. Chiasms are sometimes introduced or concluded by a frame passage…
              a `frame-passage' is a spring-board from which to launch into the
              chiasmus, or a section which acts as a tail-piece to a chiasmus
              without itself being part of the chiastic pattern.
              c. Passages which are chiastically patterned sometimes also contain
              directly parallel elements.(4)
              d. Identical ideas may occasionally be distributed in such a fashion
              that they occur in the extremes and at the centre of a given system.
              e. Balancing elements are normally of approximately the same length.
              On the few occasions when this is not the case, some explanation
              seems to be called for.
              f. The centre often contains the focus of the author's thought. …this
              is a particularly powerful feature with obvious implications for
              exegesis.

              While the criteria according to Thomson seems most satisfactory to
              Brouwer for the identification of micro-chiasms, his limitation of
              such structures to around fifteen verses means that they fall down at
              the very point that he (Brouwer) requires their support.
              In essence, Thompson rigorously develops criteria for assessing micro-
              chiasm while denying the possibility of macro-chiasm as a literary
              device.(5)
              For a further set of criteria by which he can appraise the macro-
              chiastic formation of the Farewell Discourse in John (chs. 1-17),
              Brouwer turns to Craig Blomberg's nine criteria for macro-chiasms.(6)

              1. Brouwer, W., The Literary Development of John 13-17: A Chiastic
              Reading, (SBL, 2000), pp. 29-38.
              2. Thomson, I.H., Chiasmus in the Pauline Letters, JSNTS Series III,
              Sheffield Academic Press, 1995, p. 27, italics Thomson's.
              3. Ibid, p. 26
              4. Brouwer finds fault with Thomson at this point claiming that his
              (Thomson's) idea of `directly parallel elements' is restricted
              to `clearly articulated word and phrase parallels'. He rejects what
              Lund saw as `thematic parallelism' (Brouwer, W., The Literary
              Development of John 13-17: A Chiastic Reading, [SBL, 2000], p. 32). I
              must agree with Brouwer that this option must not be closed.
              5. Brouwer, W., The Literary Development of John 13-17: A Chiastic
              Reading, (SBL, 2000), p. 37.
              6. Ibid, p. 38-45.
              -----------------

              I've not yet included them but, after a large quote from Welch
              (mentioned in a previous post I think) Thomson adds
              three 'requirements' apart from which a structure could not be
              accepted as chiastic (he says).
              1. The chiasmus will be present in the text as it stands, and will
              not require unsupported textual emendation in order to 'recover it'.
              2. The symmetrical elements will be present in precisely inverted
              order.
              3. The chiasmus will begin and end at a resonable point.

              Hope this is helpful.

              Sincerely,

              Kym Smith
              Adelaide
              South Australia
              khs@...
            • Juan Stam
              I m grateful for the valuable discussion on chiasmus. I have two more questions about the alleged concentric structure of Revelation: 1) I agree with Jon that
              Message 6 of 24 , Jan 24, 2003
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                I'm grateful for the valuable discussion on chiasmus. I have two more
                questions about the alleged concentric structure of Revelation:

                1) I agree with Jon that Revelation is not only apocalyptic but also
                prophetic, epistolary and dramatic. It seems to me that its prophetic
                character lies in its message (theology) more than it's literary form or
                structure. It is certainly more similar formally to the apocalyptic
                literature than to the biblical prophetic writings. And though it begins
                and ends with epistolary formulas, I think the concentricity is claimed
                primarily for the development of its apocalyptic drama.

                2) That being so, I would expect many other apocalyptic writings to be
                concentric. Can anyone come up with examples?

                Juan Stam (Costa Rica)
              • Bob MacDonald
                The passages that have the phrase Synagogue of Satan speak of those that the author claims say that they are Jews but are not . I have not seen it suggested
                Message 7 of 24 , Jan 26, 2003
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                  The passages that have the phrase "Synagogue of Satan" speak of those that
                  the author claims "say that they are Jews but are not".

                  I have not seen it suggested in commentaries that the group might be an
                  assembly of God-fearers and gentile believers in Jesus who do not practice
                  circumcision and who have a looser attitude towards meat sold in the
                  markets. (This is almost suggested by Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the
                  ancient world, 1993. He calls them sympathizers or half-way Jews. He
                  mentions the verse in passing as a Christian reference.)

                  Is it possible that the author of Revelation represents a stricter Judaism
                  than what was evolving through Paul's efforts? The two authors still appear
                  to be supporting an opening of worship of the God of Israel to all peoples.

                  Or is Marshall's reading: "a group of people who do not stand in opposition
                  to Rome", translating a "gathering of the adversary" able to be supported?
                  (p 133)

                  Such people would have had to be named as Jews or wanting for privilege sake
                  or for the sake of faith to be named as Jews also, making it difficult to
                  see them just as a "group".

                  A parallel passage "those who claim that they are apostles but are not"
                  (2:2c) might contribute to the weighing of evidence - though by the tenses,
                  (Aune 1998 vol 1 p 143), the false apostles appear to have been dealt with
                  rather than still presenting a current problem.

                  Marshall also takes up the phrase "Those who keep the commandments" as
                  pointing to traditional Mitzvoth but if the Revelation is at all related to
                  the 4th gospel, the commandments might be as simple as the faith and love
                  commanded there (6:29, 13:34, 15:12-17).

                  Perhaps the warning is that any 'gathering', political or religious of any
                  stripe, can fail 'to overcome' and can submit to those who accuse or act on
                  behalf of the accuser, such as the archetypical Nicolatians, Balaam, or
                  Jezebel. There seems to be a play on words in the verb nikon, overcoming,
                  and the name Nicolaus (or Balaam - almost a Hebrew equivalent). Does that
                  suggest to anyone a complementary role for Jezebel?

                  Something bothers me about the traditional interpretation that makes
                  'Synagogue of Satan' Christian anti-Jewish polemic. I am trying to see if
                  this 'insult' along with the others is intra-mural or not. I suspect it must
                  be. Prophesy traditionally is in-house criticism.

                  Bob

                  mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                  + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                  Catch the foxes for us,
                  the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                  for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                  http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                • goranson@duke.edu
                  Perhaps you might read: David Frankfurter, Jews or Not? Reconstructing the Other in Rev 2:9 and 3:9, HTR 94 (2001) 403-25 Stephen Goranson, Essene Polemic
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jan 27, 2003
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                    Perhaps you might read:
                    David Frankfurter, "Jews or Not? Reconstructing the 'Other' in Rev 2:9
                    and 3:9," HTR 94 (2001) 403-25

                    Stephen Goranson, "Essene Polemic in the Apocalypse of John," in Legal
                    Texts and Legal Issues [J.M. Baumgarten FS] (STJD 23; Leiden: Brill,
                    1997)453-60.

                    best,
                    S. Goranson
                  • Paul Anderson
                    Thanks, Bob, I read in that reference the sort of tensions that Lou Martyn and Raymond Brown have argued was a dialectical set of tensions between Johannine
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jan 27, 2003
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                      Thanks, Bob, I read in that reference the sort of tensions that Lou Martyn and Raymond Brown have argued was a dialectical set of tensions between Johannine Christians and leaders within local Jewish communities. Whether the similarities imply anything about direct convergence is beyond what is arguable, but at least parallel issues might have been experienced among the mission churches of Asia Minor.

                      I think "intra-mural" is going in the right direction here. The author of Revelation is clearly Jewish, and he sees Jesus as fulfilling Jewish ideals. "Those who claim to be Jews" should be seen as his competition, to at least some degree, not his enemies.


                      Paul Anderson

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Bob MacDonald [mailto:bobmacdonald@...]
                      Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 4:58 PM
                      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [revelation-list] Say that they are Jews but are not


                      The passages that have the phrase "Synagogue of Satan" speak of those that
                      the author claims "say that they are Jews but are not".

                      I have not seen it suggested in commentaries that the group might be an
                      assembly of God-fearers and gentile believers in Jesus who do not practice
                      circumcision and who have a looser attitude towards meat sold in the
                      markets. (This is almost suggested by Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the
                      ancient world, 1993. He calls them sympathizers or half-way Jews. He
                      mentions the verse in passing as a Christian reference.)

                      Is it possible that the author of Revelation represents a stricter Judaism
                      than what was evolving through Paul's efforts? The two authors still appear
                      to be supporting an opening of worship of the God of Israel to all peoples.

                      Or is Marshall's reading: "a group of people who do not stand in opposition
                      to Rome", translating a "gathering of the adversary" able to be supported?
                      (p 133)

                      Such people would have had to be named as Jews or wanting for privilege sake
                      or for the sake of faith to be named as Jews also, making it difficult to
                      see them just as a "group".

                      A parallel passage "those who claim that they are apostles but are not"
                      (2:2c) might contribute to the weighing of evidence - though by the tenses,
                      (Aune 1998 vol 1 p 143), the false apostles appear to have been dealt with
                      rather than still presenting a current problem.

                      Marshall also takes up the phrase "Those who keep the commandments" as
                      pointing to traditional Mitzvoth but if the Revelation is at all related to
                      the 4th gospel, the commandments might be as simple as the faith and love
                      commanded there (6:29, 13:34, 15:12-17).

                      Perhaps the warning is that any 'gathering', political or religious of any
                      stripe, can fail 'to overcome' and can submit to those who accuse or act on
                      behalf of the accuser, such as the archetypical Nicolatians, Balaam, or
                      Jezebel. There seems to be a play on words in the verb nikon, overcoming,
                      and the name Nicolaus (or Balaam - almost a Hebrew equivalent). Does that
                      suggest to anyone a complementary role for Jezebel?

                      Something bothers me about the traditional interpretation that makes
                      'Synagogue of Satan' Christian anti-Jewish polemic. I am trying to see if
                      this 'insult' along with the others is intra-mural or not. I suspect it must
                      be. Prophesy traditionally is in-house criticism.

                      Bob

                      mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                      + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                      Catch the foxes for us,
                      the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                      for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca



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                    • Alan Fuller <rocsy@yahoo.com>
                      Bob, If John was familiar with the writings of Paul, then he may have been referring to Jews that were not worshipping Christ (Romans 2:17,28,29 9:6).
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jan 29, 2003
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                        Bob,

                        If John was familiar with the writings of Paul, then he may have been
                        referring to Jews that were not worshipping Christ (Romans 2:17,28,29
                        9:6).
                      • Alan Fuller <rocsy@yahoo.com>
                        Ken F, I like your outline, but I have a couple of questions. ... I only find 6 announcing angels here. (14:6, 8, 9, 15, 17, 18) Do you count the one like the
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jan 29, 2003
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                          Ken F,

                          I like your outline, but I have a couple of questions.

                          >>C': Seven Angels Part A (14:1-20)<<

                          I only find 6 announcing angels here. (14:6, 8, 9, 15, 17, 18)
                          Do you count the one like the Son of Man (14:14)?

                          >>B': Another Seven Angels (17:1-22:5)<<

                          I find six angels that seem to be giving explanations. (17:1, 18:1,
                          18:21, 19:17, 20:1, 21:9) Where do you find the seventh?

                          Thanks,
                          Alan
                        • kymhsm <ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au>
                          Dear Alan, You wrote,
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jan 29, 2003
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                            Dear Alan,

                            You wrote,

                            <<< If John was familiar with the writings of Paul, then he may
                            have been referring to Jews that were not worshipping Christ
                            (Romans 2:17,28,29; 9:6).>>>

                            I think this is exactly what John/the Revelation means, whether or
                            not he was familiar with Paul's writings. What Paul expresses in
                            the passages you mention would have been the common
                            understanding. As it happens I think the two apostles were very
                            close and familiar with each others thinking and writings.

                            Christians had been in Asia from the beginning (Acts 2:9). There
                            would have continued to be a trickle of converts among the
                            pilgrims returning from Jerusalem each year. No doubt these
                            young Christians met great opposition, especially from their
                            Jewish brethren (I think Heb 10:32 is ikely to fit here), so that,
                            even before Paul's mission to Asia after two decades, the
                            believers had been 'forced' into considerable compromise. They
                            would need to repent for their own faithlessness, but the Jews
                            who had refused the gospel and opposed them would also be
                            answerable for their actions.

                            Sincerely,

                            Kym Smith
                            Adelaide
                            South Australia
                            khs@...
                          • Bob MacDonald
                            Alan:
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jan 31, 2003
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                              Alan: <<< If John was familiar with the writings of Paul, then he may
                              have been referring to Jews that were not worshipping Christ
                              (Romans 2:17,28,29; 9:6).>>>

                              Kym: >>As it happens I think the two apostles were very
                              close and familiar with each others thinking and writings. << snip
                              >> No doubt these young Christians met great opposition,
                              especially from their Jewish brethren (I think Heb 10:32
                              is ikely to fit here)<<

                              Response: (still searching)
                              It seems too early historically for a consolidated 'Christian' view of 'Jews
                              not worshipping Christ' to be considered as a Synagogue of Satan. This is an
                              extreme polemic even for 'brethren' and it makes nonsense out of the plea
                              for unity expressed in Romans - a plea which Mark Nanos (Mystery of Romans)
                              thinks had a relatively long term unifying effect on Christ believers and
                              Jewish non-believers in the Roman situation. (I tend to agree with Marshall
                              when he complains of the imposition of the word Christian onto the ekklesia
                              of Asia which John is addressing.)

                              We must not also impose our rapid and instantaneous communication onto this
                              century. I wonder who had copies of the emerging writings about Jesus. One
                              or two centres, Corinth maybe, possibly Ephesus, may have had more than one
                              apostolic missive or sayings collection. I even wonder if John expected his
                              letter to get to the seven churches - or if he just wrote it because he was
                              told to. (I do not see any problem about the reality of John's vision or
                              auditory experiences. They are not psychologically verifiable but they are
                              equally plausible and within bounds of a person who is immersed in the
                              Jewish tradition.) If John was familiar with Paul's writing - surely we
                              would see echoes of this in the Revelation. It is an indication, if we do
                              not, that the letters of Paul were not available to him - perhaps indeed
                              they were available in these assemblies and John was not in agreement with
                              the assemblies' interpretation - much as Paul was not in agreement with the
                              Corinthian interpretation of his first preaching.

                              The letter form 'grace and peace' seems similar - but is not. The Pauline
                              (and deutero-Pauline) corpus letters are personally from 'Paul' and his
                              fellows, with a very regular formula (varied only in the pastorals and
                              Colossians) of grace and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus
                              Christ. The Revelation blessing (1:4) is considerably more complex including
                              a blessing from the seven spirits before the throne.

                              The above is not a 'position' I am taking, merely a question to open up
                              possible exploration of answers that do not imply that John is 'Christian'
                              and that these 'Jews' are already separated from others by the witness and
                              faith of Jesus.

                              Bob

                              mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                              + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                              Catch the foxes for us,
                              the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                              for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                              http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
                            • Greg Carey
                              I offered a paper on this topic at SBL last November. The abstract is below. As I worked on the paper, I realized that it also needed a discussion of
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jan 31, 2003
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                                I offered a paper on this topic at SBL last November. The abstract is
                                below. As I worked on the paper, I realized that it also needed a
                                discussion of Revelation as colonial literature: I argued that the
                                pressure of self-definition within the Empire likely created tension
                                between the synagogues and the churches. Rev 2:9; 3:9 would be
                                symptoms of that tension.

                                {SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1}The œSynagogue of Satan (Rev 2:9; 3:9) “ What™s at Stake for
                                Us?
                                Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary
                                Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 allude to œthose who say they are
                                Jews and are not, but are instead œthe synagogue of Satan. This
                                paper examines both in historical identity of John™s opponents and
                                in cultural discourses of historical scholarship. First,
                                conversations about John™s opponents cannot escape two
                                discourses of biblical interpretation, the legacy of scholarly anti-
                                Semitism and the renewed awareness that the distinction between
                                œJews and œChristians is often anachronistic. Indeed,
                                Revelation™s commentators have tended to express their anti-
                                Semitism in their treatment of Rev 2:9; 3:9, while they have also
                                assumed a clean split between œchurch and œsynagogue.
                                Second, I will argue for the traditional case that in
                                Revelation œthe synagogue indeed represents Jews who are
                                outside of the churches of Asia Minor, and who “ in John™s view “
                                were a threat to the security of his audience. Many scholars,
                                sensitive to Christian anti-Semitism, have minimized the
                                overwhelming evidence that some early Jews persecuted some
                                early Jesus people. While it is not at all evident that any Jews
                                were persecuting any of the Jesus people in Smyrna or
                                Philadelphia, there are strong reasons to believe that Revelation
                                reflects tensions between Jews who were not Jesus believers and
                                participants in John™s churches.
                                Third, if indeed Revelation reflects what we might
                                anachronistically call Jewish-Christian tension, what might
                                represent an ethically responsible scholarly reconstruction? It is
                                not appropriate to follow John™s lead by simply transferring his
                                polemic into the discourse of modern anti-Semitism, nor is it
                                sufficient to minimize the conflicts between some Jews and some
                                Jesus followers in the ancient world. A more viable option would
                                be to ask what might have been at stake for some Jewish
                                communities when confronted with the presence of Jesus people,
                                especially when those Jesus people contended for Jewish identity.
                                ------------------------------------
                                Greg Carey
                                Associate Professor of New Testament
                                Lancaster Theological Seminary
                                555 W. James St.
                                Lancaster, PA 17603
                                717/ 290-8753
                                gcarey@...
                                http://www.lts.org/faculty/carey/carey.html
                              • kymhsm <ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au>
                                Dear Bob, In response to parts of your post,
                                Message 15 of 24 , Feb 2, 2003
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                                  Dear Bob,

                                  In response to parts of your post,

                                  <<<It seems too early historically for a consolidated 'Christian'
                                  view of 'Jews not worshipping Christ' to be considered as a
                                  Synagogue of Satan.>>>

                                  How early is too early, I wonder? As you probably know, I think
                                  that the Revelation was given in 62, and yet such a term for
                                  hostile, Church-opposing , unbelieving Jews could still be given
                                  (consider the riots against Paul in a number of places, his
                                  stoning [Acts 14:19] – even the riots in Rome at `the preaching of
                                  Chrestus'). I do not know that the apostles would have normally
                                  thought in such terms, especially not if Paul's affection for his
                                  own countrymen (Rom 9-11) is any indication. If, however, the
                                  Revelation was given /dictated in a vision – something with
                                  which you do not see as a problem – then the term is not
                                  something the disciples / apostles generated. It was part of the
                                  language given to John. It was not just `extreme polemic' but part
                                  of the symbolic language of the Apocalypse.

                                  <<< This is an extreme polemic even for 'brethren' and it makes
                                  nonsense out of the plea
                                  for unity expressed in Romans>>>

                                  Sorry, `brethren' was a poor choice of words, it usually has
                                  connotations of shared faith (i.e. Christian faith). Countrymen,
                                  kinfolk or fellow Jews may have been better.

                                  <<<I tend to agree with Marshall when he complains of the
                                  imposition of the word Christian onto the ekklesia of Asia which
                                  John is addressing.>>>

                                  While the Revelation speaks of people and issues broader than
                                  the Christian Church itself, I cannot see that it can be understood
                                  in any sense other than a communication to and for the Christian
                                  communities in Asia and elsewhere; those who hold the
                                  testimony of Jesus (Rev 1:2; 19:10).

                                  <<<We must not also impose our rapid and instantaneous
                                  communication onto this
                                  century.>>>

                                  Instantaneous communication, no, but I think we underestimate
                                  the speed of communication. Relative to the technology of the
                                  day, quite rapid and widespread communication was possible.
                                  That is one of the reasons the Romans built their extensive road
                                  system – not to mention the shipping available. A letter or book
                                  written probably anywhere in the Mediterranean could have been
                                  in the hands of all centres around the sea within a couple of
                                  months. My early date for the Revelation means that much of the
                                  NT was written afterwards and meant for rapid dissemination,
                                  e.g. Ephesians, 1 John, 1&2 Peter, even the Gospel of Mark.

                                  As an exercise I once copied the first chapter of Mark. It took me
                                  49 minutes (in English, perhaps Greek would be quicker for
                                  someone familiar with it) which meant that it would take about 15
                                  hours to do the whole book. Someone (Mark?) on board a ship –
                                  let's say from Rome – could write several copies by himself (and
                                  still enjoy the scenery) in the sailing time from Rome to Corinth.
                                  If he left a copy there and another in Ephesus to be copied and
                                  distributed through Achaia and Asia, doing the same in Anticoch
                                  and Jerusalem, by the time he reached Alexandria, there would
                                  be few churches around the Mediterranean that did not have a
                                  copy of the book. It could all be done in a month or two.

                                  Incidentally, I don't think that the Revelation was copied in great
                                  quantities until the end of the first century. It was too dangerous
                                  to have it freely available; the Romans could only interpret it as
                                  anti-state propaganda.

                                  Sincerely,

                                  Kym Smith
                                  Adelaide
                                  South Australia
                                  khs@...
                                • Ken Flowers
                                  I ve had two requests for a breakdown of the seven angels in section C and B from the chiastic outline I posted a few days again. Here s how I (and Lund)
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Feb 4, 2003
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                                    I've had two requests for a breakdown of the seven angels in section C' and
                                    B' from the chiastic outline I posted a few days again. Here's how I (and
                                    Lund) break them down:

                                    C': Seven Angels
                                    One - 14:6,7
                                    Two - 14:8
                                    Three - 14:9-11
                                    Jesus in Fourth Angels Place - 14:14
                                    Five - 14:15,16
                                    Six - 14:17
                                    Seven - 14:18-20

                                    B': Seven Angels
                                    One - 17:1-18
                                    Two - 18:1-20
                                    Three - 18:21-24
                                    Jesus in Fourth Angels Place - 19:11-16
                                    Five - 19:17-21
                                    Six - 20:1-15
                                    Seven - 21:9-22:5

                                    Ken Flowers
                                    Lexington, MA
                                  • Bob MacDonald
                                    Kym wrote ... still be given (consider the riots against Paul in a number of places, his stoning [Acts 14:19] – even the riots in Rome at `the preaching of
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Feb 6, 2003
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                                      Kym wrote
                                      >>and yet such a term for hostile, Church-opposing , unbelieving Jews could
                                      still be given (consider the riots against Paul in a number of places, his
                                      stoning [Acts 14:19] – even the riots in Rome at `the preaching of
                                      Chrestus') I do not know that the apostles would have normally thought in
                                      such terms, especially not if Paul's affection for his own countrymen (Rom
                                      9-11) is any indication. <<

                                      response: I think sources of conflict are many and varied. It is not just
                                      Romans 9-11 that expresses Paul's concern for his countrymen, it is the
                                      whole letter. (I have found Nanos helpful on this. I think he is right to
                                      consider that Paul did not call the non-Christ-believing Jew faithless.

                                      Kym wrote
                                      >>I cannot see that it [Revelation] can be understood in any sense other
                                      than a communication to and for the Christian communities in Asia and
                                      elsewhere; those who hold the testimony of Jesus (Rev 1:2; 19:10).

                                      response: Aune volume 1 reviews the source criticism of Revelation. He shows
                                      visible if arguable seams and structure that would put most of the text,
                                      1:7-12a, 4:1-22:5, into a Jewish perspective pre 70. Chapters 1:12b-3:22 are
                                      part of the postulated second edition (mid '90s). What we may have, if your
                                      suggestion is true, is a growth away from a pre-70 Jewish apocalyptic text
                                      where the Christology is nascent but not a problem for Judaism, to a revised
                                      text by a Hebrew leader of Christ-believing Jews in the 90s when the
                                      Christology is becoming more and more an adoration of the sacrifice of Jesus
                                      and there is a group of Jews who isolate and report the now less-licit
                                      religion. At least then we might see a change in viewpoint in the years 68
                                      to 95. But even this is too much vindictiveness for me - for no
                                      Christ-believing Jew worth his salt - and we have a Jewish writer by all
                                      accounts, would put this text onto his 'former' colleagues when he knows
                                      that a Lamb was sent to shepherd the sheep - and that the judgment of God
                                      fell on that shepherd.

                                      Perhaps there are alternatives in the analysis of this conflict. In the
                                      absence of allusions in Revelation to Paul or Acts, are there any hints in
                                      the postulated earlier material that would help interpret the redactor's
                                      framing vision?

                                      Bob

                                      mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                                      + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                                      Catch the foxes for us,
                                      the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                                      for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                                      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
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