Re: [revelation-list] Re: Revelation's allusions to the OT
- Greetings! As to Kyn Smith's comments on 2 Peter 3, it seems to me that if
the author was responding to Revelation, his picture of the world's
consummation would not be so totally different from that of Revelation 20.
In Revelation the heavens and earth flee; it is flight, not fire. I would
be more inclined to think Revelation is modifying 2 Peter (which has much in
common with Sybiline Oracles) or is perhaps simply totally independent from
the tradition of 2 Peter.
Juan Stam, Costa Rica
> My position is that much of the NT was written after the Revelation wasgiven and with the words and images of the Revelation in mind. As an
example, in 2 Peter the apostle says that 'the heavens and earth that now
exist have been stored up for fire' (3:7) and that 'the day of the Lord will
come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise,
and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works
that are on it will be burned up' (3:10). This, I believe, Peter wrote in
response to the Revelation. Now these statements are not in the middle of a
burst of apocalyptic hyperbole. He was saying in plain language exactly what
he thought would happen. It was what he understood the Revelation to be
indicating in its (perhaps) hyperbolic terminology. Of course, with the
immediate fulfillment of the Revelation still to happen (Nero's persecutions
as I date it) he was still of the opinion that the whole of the Revelation
was about to be fulfilled.!
- Dear Juan,
While we must always be careful with apocalyptic language - and I may well be guilty of being too literal where I should not be - Peter's understanding that the heavens and earth would be devoured by fire need not be negated by the heaven and earth fleeing in Rev 20:11. This verse is in reference to the Lord's return to judge the earth. That judgment must happen in the presence of those who are to be judged (the sea - which has no place in the new [21:1] gives up the dead in it).
The new heavens and new earth of 21:1f are post judgment, they are the eternal home of the eternal family. By this stage the first heaven and first earth had not simply 'fled' but 'was no more' (ouk estin eti - no longer is). The destruction of the old 'by fire' occurs between the judgement of those of the old, bringing this age to and end, and the appearance of the new and eternal.
Peter's understanding that the earth would be destroyed by fire may have come from the many useages through the Scriptures as fire as a means or expression of God's judgment. It may be a contrast to the destruction of the flood. It may be an extension of the use of fire in judgment in teh Revelation (e.g. 20:9). But it may also be something he/they had been taught directly from Jesus.
As for 1 Peter being after the Revelation, I think (and have produced an historical reconstruction to support) that the only books written prior to the Apocalypse were Galatians, 1&2 Thess, 1&2 Cor, Romans, Philippians and Hebrews. The last two of these especially were, I believe, written soon before and into the situation that the Revelation was given. Apart from John, Matthew, Luke and 2&3 John, I think the rest of the books were written in the two years following the Revelation (mid 62) and before Nero's persecution commenced (late 64). They were all written with the Revelation in mind and were part of the apostles' preparation of the Church for the final tribulation they thought would preceded the return of Christ.