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Re: [revelation-list] The Seven Thunders

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  • Keith Starkey
    gfsomsel: What function then do the thunders serve? Is it in the nature of thunders, etc. in a theophany? The problem is that such thunders are not said to
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 9, 2004
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      gfsomsel:
      What function then do the thunders serve? Is it in the nature of thunders,
      etc. in a theophany? The problem is that such thunders are not said to have
      been intelligible.

      Starkman:
      Oh, I think the thunders were intelligible; John understood them well enough
      that he could have written what they uttered. Considering, however, an OT
      context from Ezekiel and Zechariah with regard to the scroll and thunders in
      Revelation, and noting that the thunders are in the context of the sixth
      trumpet--the trumpets being a series of judgements--it is sound to interpret
      the thunders as judgements, of some sort. If the thunders are specific in
      nature, as are the trumpets, in whose framework the thunders are couched,
      then we can expect the thunders to be discernable events as they are
      executed. If, however, they are not specific, but are a time-spanned event
      within the context of judgement, they will not easily be discerned. Either
      way, God had ordered John to be seal their contents, but seal them
      permamently? I can't see the sense in that. Why mention them at all, if
      that's the case. That the thunders are noted both after (or, rather, as part
      of) the revealing of the sixth trumpet and before the seventh may be a clue
      as to their content.

      Finally, I wish to note another important clue with regard to the nature of
      the thunderous utterances in Revelation ten (I apologize for the repitition
      in doing so). The proximity of the measuring of Jerusalem and of the visions
      of the menorah in Zechariah chapters two and four closely parallels the
      measuring of the temple and the reference of the two witnesses in Revelation
      chapter eleven. This same structure is seen in the eating of the scroll and
      the noting of the thunderous, rumbling sounds of the Living Beings in
      Ezekiel chapters two and three with the thunders and the eating of the
      scroll in Revelation chapter ten. A clue emerges: Zecharia two and four, and
      Ezekiel two and three are directed to the Jews, and, as noted, are namely
      judgements. This may be very significant as to the why the contents of the
      thunders in Revelation are sealed; if it is the Jews who are the focus of
      the thunderous utternances, it may be that God does not wish for the Jews to
      know about these until it is time. As it was for Ezekiel's ministry to the
      Jews, there is something personal about these judgements that God has deemed
      necessary to not disclose before the appropriate time. Following the
      thunders is the measuring of the temple and the noting of the two witnesses
      in Revelation eleven, a message of hope in the midst of this judgement; yet,
      the two witnesses are kept veiled in enough anonymity to support this
      concept for secrecy.

      Keith R. Starkey

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    • Charles Larkin, 42130
      No, I did not mean to suggest that Jesus was an astrologer but simply that the people of his age were very attuned to astrological lore, as testified by the
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 9, 2004
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        No, I did not mean to suggest that Jesus was an astrologer
        but simply that the people of his age were very attuned to
        astrological lore, as testified by the mosaic of the
        zodiac found in the 2nd century synagogue at Tiberias on
        the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

        Do not forget that according to "Acts" Paul and Barnabas
        were once mistaken for Zeus and Apollo -- although, as you
        say, Saint Paul no doubt immediately disabused his well
        intentioned new friends from any such pagan notions.

        Forgive me if my comments were a source of scandal.

        Cordially,
        Charles G. Larkin


        On Tue, 9 Mar 2004 11:08:11 -0600
        "Ed Garcia" <Ed.Garcia@...> wrote:
        >With all due respect to STAFF FACULTY, do you actually
        >believe all this
        >(your comments of earlier today)? Jesus an astrologer? I
        >fail to see the
        >value of such a fanciful interpretation. Jesus walking
        >around and
        >talking about the age of Aquarius? I don't see it, mainly
        >because it is
        >not there. But people do read into things. which is what
        >I think
        >happened here.
        >
        >"A Greek or Roman, on hearing of "thunders" would have
        >immediately
        >thought of the thunderbolts of Zeus." that may have very
        >well been the
        >case, however his view would have to have been or should
        >have been
        >corrected by the one teaching him. Essentially that Zeus
        >has nothing to
        >do with lightning.
        >
        >I hope I have not come across as harsh or rude but this
        >sort of think
        >simply amazes me.
        >
        >Ed
        >Kansas

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      • polycarp66@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/10/2004 10:11:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, keith_starkey@hotmail.com writes: gfsomsel: What function then do the thunders serve? Is it in
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 10, 2004
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          In a message dated 3/10/2004 10:11:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, keith_starkey@... writes:
          gfsomsel:
          What function then do the thunders serve?  Is it in the nature of thunders,
          etc. in a theophany?  The problem is that such thunders are not said to have
          been intelligible.

          Starkman:
          Oh, I think the thunders were intelligible; John understood them well enough
          that he could have written what they uttered.
          That was never in question.  If he had not understood them, he would not have been inclined to write down the message and therefore would not have been commanded to seal them.  The inarticulateness is in regard to OT thunders accompanying theophanies.
          Considering, however, an OT
          context from Ezekiel and Zechariah with regard to the scroll and thunders in
          Revelation, and noting that the thunders are in the context of the sixth
          trumpet--the trumpets being a series of judgements--it is sound to interpret
          the thunders as judgements, of some sort. If the thunders are specific in
          nature, as are the trumpets, in whose framework the thunders are couched,
          then we can expect the thunders to be discernable events as they are
          executed. If, however, they are not specific, but are a time-spanned event
          within the context of judgement, they will not easily be discerned. Either
          way, God had ordered John to be seal their contents, but seal them
          permamently? I can't see the sense in that. Why mention them at all, if
          that's the case. That the thunders are noted both after (or, rather, as part
          of) the revealing of the sixth trumpet and before the seventh may be a clue
          as to their content.
          The question was specifically regarding whether the thunders are indeed sealed permanently as well as the content of the scroll.  You seem to think the thunders can be equated to the trumpets.  On what basis?  Because the one succeeds the other? 
          Finally, I wish to note another important clue with regard to the nature of
          the thunderous utterances in Revelation ten (I apologize for the repitition
          in doing so). The proximity of the measuring of Jerusalem and of the visions
          of the menorah in Zechariah chapters two and four closely parallels the
          measuring of the temple and the reference of the two witnesses in Revelation
          chapter eleven. This same structure is seen in the eating of the scroll and
          the noting of the thunderous, rumbling sounds of the Living Beings in
          Ezekiel chapters two and three with the thunders and the eating of the
          scroll in Revelation chapter ten. A clue emerges: Zecharia two and four, and
          Ezekiel two and three are directed to the Jews, and, as noted, are namely
          judgements. This may be very significant as to the why the contents of the
          thunders in Revelation are sealed; if it is the Jews who are the focus of
          the thunderous utternances, it may be that God does not wish for the Jews to
          know about these until it is time. As it was for Ezekiel's ministry to the
          Jews, there is something personal about these judgements that God has deemed
          necessary to not disclose before the appropriate time. Following the
          thunders is the measuring of the temple and the noting of the two witnesses
          in Revelation eleven, a message of hope in the midst of this judgement; yet,
          the two witnesses are kept veiled in enough anonymity to support this
          concept for secrecy.
          The rumbing noises you refer to in Ezekiel are the wings of the Cherubim in the transportation account.  I fail to see that it has any particular relation or parallel to the thunders in this passage.  The thunders seem to be the accompaniment of a theophanic event, but I'm loathe to equate them with the whirling of the wings of the Cherubim.  In Ex 19.16, e.g. "there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain" as an accompaniment to the theophany.  In 2 Sam 22.14 we have
           
          "The LORD thundered from heaven,
          The Most High uttered his voice."
           
          In Re 4 it likewise mentions lightning flashes and peals of thunder in the throne-room scene. This really seems more equivalent to me -- especially in view of the fact that it speaks of seven thunders here which is parallel to the Seven Spirits as well as the seven eyes and seven horns of the Lamb.
           
          I don't really wish at this time to get into the question of the witnesses, but will simply state that I take them to be the prophets of the Old and New Testaments.  In keeping with this, I also do not take the measuring of the temple to refer solely to the Jerusalem temple (or it's archetype).  It would seem that this extends to the Church as well.
           
          gfsomsel
        • Jon Newton
          My research also involves interacting with Hellenistic thinking. Please tell me more about Momigliano (like where can I get hold of it?) and other good sources
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 11, 2004
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            My research also involves interacting with Hellenistic thinking. Please tell
            me more about Momigliano (like where can I get hold of it?) and other good
            sources on ancient astrology and Hellenistic thought relevant to Rev. I've
            read Malina's provocative book.

            jon Newton

            -----Original Message-----
            From: STAFF FACULTY [mailto:charles.larkin@...]
            Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 10:00 AM
            To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [revelation-list] The Seven Thunders


            Dear Keith, et al:

            I'm new to the list and appreciate my inclusion.

            I find myself approaching much of the NT from the
            background of the classics and Hellenistic philosophy,
            with due regard, of course, for the Hebrew background.

            I concur with Polycarp that the "seven thunders" imply a
            context of judgment. A Greek or Roman, on hearing of
            "thunders" would have immediately thought of the
            thunderbolts of Zeus. That's just the way the ancients
            thought.

            It is perhaps helpful to recall that John's target
            audience is Graeco-Roman and that interest in astrology
            and the movements and nature of the stars continued to
            exercise a major influence in ancient "divination". Varro,
            Cicero and Nigidius Figulus, of course, stand out as
            Rome's three major sources on matters "divine".

            In his characteristically brilliant collection of essays
            "On Pagans, Jews and Christians", A. Momigliano tells us
            that the interests of Nigidius included "occultism,
            astrology, and Persian doctrines about the ages of the
            world. He wrote on grammar, on gods, on the
            interpretation of dreams, and augurium privatum, on
            animals, men, and land, and on stars and thunders." (p.60)

            Interpreters of "Revelation" are often hindered by today's
            widespread ignorance of the Greek and Roman classics, and
            by the modern prejudice against astrological wisdom. The
            latter may be fine for us, but failing to appreciate the
            central role of astrology among the ancients is often
            fatal to understanding the meaning of their texts.

            A case in point is the figure of "the son of man" in
            Daniel which later assumes prominence in the Gospels. New
            Testament scholars engage in all kinds of contortionist
            mental gymnastics trying to derive the awkward Greek
            phrase in the New Testament from a postulated Aramaic
            original. With all due respect to Mel Gibson, the use of
            Aramaic in Hellenistic Galilee is greatly overrated. Greek
            would have been the normal language by the first century
            BCE.

            In any event, in astrological science, the "son of man" is
            obviously Aquarius, the only human figure among the signs
            of the Zodiac. Thus, when in the Little Apocalypses of
            the Gospels, Jesus says that "when you see the SIGN of the
            son of man coming in the clouds of heaven", he is speaking
            in the language of the day and pointing to the end of the
            Age of Pisces (The Fish), which had then just begun, and
            was looking forward to the Age of Aquarius, which has now
            just dawned, since astrological ages run just short of
            2,000 years. An invaluable treatment of all this can be
            found in Carl G. Jung's great final masterpiece "AION:
            Researches Into The Phenomenolgy of the Self", (Princeton
            University Press, 1959).

            Thus, too, when Jesus tells his disciples to go into
            Jerusalem and look for a man carrying a jug of water on
            his shoulder (something a Semite never would be caught
            dead doing!)in order to lead them to the place where they
            would celebrate the Last Supper, Jesus is signifying that
            the Messianic Banquet is to be held at the time of dawning
            of the Age of Aquarius, i.e., just about the year AD 2000,
            since the Sign of Aquarius is precisely the man carrying a
            jug of water on his shoulder.

            The sacred system of Sevens found in "Revelation" also has
            astrological significance in terms of the "ages of the
            world" and in terms of the "six days of creation" followed
            by the great Seventh Day. On 'the ages of the world', see
            also A. Momigliano's "The Origins of Universal History" in
            the above referenced collection of essays. The genius of
            Momigliano lies in his unique ability to wed Talmudic
            wisdom with classical scholarship. Would that we all
            could even approximate the vast fund of learning which he
            had so graciously mastered.

            Hope this may be helpful -- and glad to be aboard!

            Charles Gerard Larkin
            Department of Philosophy and Religion
            Saint Leo University / Savannah Center
            (912) 234-5687 Home



            On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 02:24:55 EST
            polycarp66@... wrote:
            >In a message dated 3/6/2004 2:16:05 AM Eastern Standard
            >Time, keith_starkey@... writes:
            >Once the thunders are uttered and their contents
            >conceiled, the open-scroll is given to John; he must
            >prophecy again (either in style of a Genesis chapter two
            >recap of chapter one, or with brand-new information) about
            >many peoples, nations, languages, etc. His prophecy
            >is--what else--judgement. I believe, therefore, that
            >John's scroll is not specifically the contents of the
            >thunders--since John does, in fact, reveal his "again"
            >prophecies as irrupting from having eaten the scroll--but
            >that the thunders are in the context of the scroll. What
            >this means is that we are not to loose site of the hidden
            >specifics of the thunders--they are not directly uttered
            >in John's prophecy--but, from OT passages, are directly
            >linked to the scroll. If nothing else, they are
            >contextualized in judgement(s).
            >_________
            >
            >What function then do the thunders serve? Is it in the
            >nature of thunders, etc. in a theophany? The problem is
            >that such thunders are not said to have been intelligible.
            >
            >gfsomsel

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