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Re: [revelation-list] Re: Babylon: Rome or Jerusalem

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  • Ian Paul
    Don There is an interesting question here on where the burden of proof lies. If I understand correctly, then for your argument to be valid you need a number of
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 5, 2001
      Don

      There is an interesting question here on where the burden of proof lies. If
      I
      understand correctly, then for your argument to be valid you need a number
      of things all to be true:

      -Paul's statement of agreement with John has particular implications in
      terms of what they both write
      -this John is the author of Revelation
      -they are writing with similar concerns and into similar situations.

      For my question to raise problems, only one of these be weak.

      I think it would be very hard to argue that 'the New Jerusalem' expressed in
      this way is a major theme of Paul. Justification by faith, the new
      eschatological era of the Spirit, the expectation of the redemption of all
      creation, yes, but 'New Jerusalem'? Hmmm. And how clear is substitutionary
      atonement in Revelation?

      For myself, I think the question of authorship is difficult to prove. And if
      Revelation
      is even a few years later than Paul, then the Christian community is in a
      very different relationship with Judaism (and therefore the Empire vis-a-vis
      the fiscus judaicus), and the whole dynamic has changed.

      And given the diversity of situations and concerns we already have in the NT
      (cf Romans v Cor v Heb v James v John) we surely need to start with the
      assumption that John has his own agenda, rather than that we can use other
      parts of the NT for exegesis of Revelation. There is a question here of the
      extent to which, even in principle, we can read one text through another
      without doing violence to the integrity of each text. To take Scripture
      seriously must mean allowing it to be as diverse as it really is, rather
      than trying to integrate it doctrinally in a way that it resists.

      Having said that, I agree that John and Paul are not approaching things from
      a fundamentally different doctrinal position. But I have become convinced of
      that by studying the texts each in their own right.

      Ian Paul
      ----------
      >From: "Don K. Preston" <dkpret@...>
      >To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
      >Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Babylon: Rome or Jerusalem
      >Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 08:43:12 -0700
      >
      >Ian, has raised good questions of course, but not, in my view, questions
      >that are unanswered.
      >First, we have Paul's statement that he and John, who I would accept as the
      >author of the Apocalypse, were not in disagreement in their gospel.
      >Second, Paul preached the hope of Israel in his eschatology, and John was
      >also anticipating the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel.
      >Third, Paul and John both write about a common theme, the New Jerusalem
      (not
      >to mention martyr vindication). In Galatians 4, Philippians 3, and
      >(depending on the Pauline authorship), Hebrews 12, Paul sets forth his idea
      >of the New City in a context of contrast between Old Jerusalem and the New.
      >It would seem to me that one would have to reject either Paul's statement
      of
      >gospel accord between he and John, disprove Johannine authorship of
      >Revelation (which of course, in itself would not prove disjunction between
      >"John" and the Pauline corpus, and prove a different situation between Paul
      >and the Apocalypse.
      >So far, I have not been persuaded that any of this can be proven.
      >The accord and agreement between the Pauline epistles and Revelation is
      >consistent thematically and doctrinally so far as I can see. I find no
      >reason to posit a conflict either in doctrine, or circumstances between the
      >two authors.
      >Thus, I don't have a problem with intertextuality.
      >
      >Don K.
    • Ed Garcia
      In Rev. Paul s response to Mr. Preston he says: Hmmm. And how clear is substitutionary atonement in Revelation? More often than not the book of Revelation
      Message 2 of 27 , Sep 6, 2001
        In Rev. Paul's response to Mr. Preston he says:

        "Hmmm. And how clear is substitutionary atonement in Revelation?"

        More often than not the book of Revelation refers to Jesus as the Lamb. As I
        understand it, Jesus as sacrificial Lamb definitely suggests the idea of
        substitutionary atonement. When the Lamb takes the scroll the elders respond
        by saying "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You
        were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and
        tongue and people and nation." The idea of redemption is one of the dominant
        themes of the prophecy.
      • Don K. Preston
        Ian, I will try to address some of the issues that you have raised. Thanks for the input and comments. My thoughts interjected below. Don K ... From: Ian
        Message 3 of 27 , Sep 6, 2001
          Ian, I will try to address some of the issues that you have raised. Thanks
          for the input and comments.
          My thoughts interjected below.
          Don K
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ian Paul" <ian.b.paul@...>
          To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 3:17 PM
          Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Babylon: Rome or Jerusalem


          >
          > Don
          >
          > There is an interesting question here on where the burden of proof lies.
          If
          > I understand correctly, then for your argument to be valid you need a
          number
          > of things all to be true:
          >
          > -Paul's statement of agreement with John has particular implications in
          terms of what they both write
          Response: Yes, Paul's statement of agreement between he and John would have
          directly implications for what they both write. I have never found the
          suggestions of disagreements and conflicts between any of the NT writers
          convincing in anyway. On the other hand, I find direct statements of
          agreement (Galatians 2; 2 Peter 3:15f, etc). Given these statements, the
          burden of proof that John and Paul did disagree would seem to be on the one
          that says they did disagree.

          > This John is the author of Revelation
          Response: I made note of this in my other post. Even if one were to prove
          that the John of Galatians 2 was not the author of Revelation, (I am not
          convinced at all of this suggestion), one would still have to concretely
          prove that this John was in disagreement with Paul. I see no evidence of
          this.


          >They are writing with similar concerns and into similar situations.
          Response: The concerns in Paul and the Apocalypse are certainly similar in
          many regards. The issues of persecution, martyr vindication, the New
          Creation, the fulfillment of Israel's prophetic hopes at the eschatological
          consummation, all play a major role in Pauline theology. And, these are very
          important themes in Revelation as well. Thus, as I suggested earlier,
          thematically, Paul and Revelation are related.

          >
          > For my question to raise problems, only one of these be weak.
          >
          > I think it would be very hard to argue that 'the New Jerusalem' expressed
          in
          > this way is a major theme of Paul. Justification by faith, the new
          > eschatological era of the Spirit, the expectation of the redemption of all
          > creation, yes, but 'New Jerusalem'? Hmmm. And how clear is substitutionary
          > atonement in Revelation?
          Response: To suggest that the new eschatological era of the Spirit, and the
          redemtion of creation were significant to Paul but that the New Jerusalem
          was not, is, I believe, to draw a line of delineation that is not found in
          scripture. The New Creation included the life of the Spirit, and assuredly
          involved the New Jerusalem.
          Further to ask "how clear is substituionary atonement in Revelation" is, it
          seems to me, to argue ex silencio. Because John does not provide a lengthy
          discourse on the atonement does not mean it is not present (Revelation 5,
          7), nor does it mean that he would disagree with Pauline thought. I think
          Kaylor's suggestion, (Paul's Covenant Community), while made in his
          discussion of the book of Romans, is valid in regard to Revelation as well.
          The word covenant might not appear in Romans, but the thought is dominant.
          Likewise, the word atonement might not appear in Revelation but the thought
          lies behind much of what is written.
          Finally on this issue, the New Jerusalem was sufficiently important to Paul
          that provided the ground for his discussion of the rejection of the Old
          Jerusalem, the reception of the inheritance, the identity of the true seed
          of Abraham, etc--which incidentally, are issues addressed in Revelation.

          >
          > For myself, I think the question of authorship is difficult to prove. And
          if Revelation
          > is even a few years later than Paul, then the Christian community is in a
          > very different relationship with Judaism (and therefore the Empire
          vis-a-vis
          > the fiscus judaicus), and the whole dynamic has changed.
          Response: This takes, it seems to me, for granted that Revelation was
          written later than Paul. I am not convinced of that at all. Instead, I find
          that the issues of Revelation were the identical issues confronting Paul at
          a very early stage, even the eating of meats sacrificed to idols (Romans 14;
          1 Cor. 10; Rv. 2-3).

          >
          > And given the diversity of situations and concerns we already have in the
          NT
          > (cf Romans v Cor v Heb v James v John) we surely need to start with the
          > assumption that John has his own agenda, rather than that we can use other
          > parts of the NT for exegesis of Revelation. There is a question here of
          the
          > extent to which, even in principle, we can read one text through another
          > without doing violence to the integrity of each text. To take Scripture
          > seriously must mean allowing it to be as diverse as it really is, rather
          > than trying to integrate it doctrinally in a way that it resists.
          Response: I would heartily disagree that we need to start with the
          assumption that Paul and John had their own agenda. I am convinced that
          there was in fact, a unifying principle lying behind their writings, and
          that is the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel, and they both state
          that in their writings. If the promises made to Israel was the guiding
          principle/issue for both writers (not to mention the other NT writers) then,
          we have every reason to look for unity and thus, inter-textuality is not
          only tenable but proper. When Peter said that Paul wrote of the New
          Creation, just as he, (Peter), did, I do not expect to find disagreement, I
          expect to find harmony. As I stated above, given statements like this, it is
          incumbent on the one positing disagreement/conflict between the authors to
          prove that Peter was wrong, or misguided, and that Paul did not actually
          write the same things he did.
          >
          > Having said that, I agree that John and Paul are not approaching things
          from
          > a fundamentally different doctrinal position. But I have become convinced
          of
          > that by studying the texts each in their own right.

          Finally, I still do not feel that the issues of Matthew 23--->1
          Thessalonians 2:15f---Revelation have been addressed. It seems to me that we
          are being asked to virtually ignore the parallels between the texts, even
          though they are thematically identical. Further, I have pointed out that
          Paul, in agreement with what Jesus said about the filling the measure of
          sin/sufferring in Matthew 23, said that God had set forth the apostles "last
          of all, as men condemned to die." This agrees with the picture of Revelation
          17-18, which does not carry the theme of martyrdom beyond the apostles.
          Since Jesus limited the framework of persecution to his generation, his
          apostles and Jewish culpability, I think it very significant that the
          Apocalypse stays within those strictures.

          Well, that is more than enough. Thanks again. I enjoy the exchange.
          Don K.


          >
          > Ian Paul
          > ----------
          > >From: "Don K. Preston" <dkpret@...>
          > >To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
          > >Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Babylon: Rome or Jerusalem
          > >Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 08:43:12 -0700
          > >
          > >Ian, has raised good questions of course, but not, in my view, questions
          > >that are unanswered.
          > >First, we have Paul's statement that he and John, who I would accept as
          the
          > >author of the Apocalypse, were not in disagreement in their gospel.
          > >Second, Paul preached the hope of Israel in his eschatology, and John was
          > >also anticipating the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel.
          > >Third, Paul and John both write about a common theme, the New Jerusalem
          > (not
          > >to mention martyr vindication). In Galatians 4, Philippians 3, and
          > >(depending on the Pauline authorship), Hebrews 12, Paul sets forth his
          idea
          > >of the New City in a context of contrast between Old Jerusalem and the
          New.
          > >It would seem to me that one would have to reject either Paul's statement
          > of
          > >gospel accord between he and John, disprove Johannine authorship of
          > >Revelation (which of course, in itself would not prove disjunction
          between
          > >"John" and the Pauline corpus, and prove a different situation between
          Paul
          > >and the Apocalypse.
          > >So far, I have not been persuaded that any of this can be proven.
          > >The accord and agreement between the Pauline epistles and Revelation is
          > >consistent thematically and doctrinally so far as I can see. I find no
          > >reason to posit a conflict either in doctrine, or circumstances between
          the
          > >two authors.
          > >Thus, I don't have a problem with intertextuality.
          > >
          > >Don K.
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > revelation-list-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Don K. Preston
          That is why I referred to Rv. 5, and 7 due to the referents to the redeeming shed blood. Atonement is very much present. I probably did not communicate what I
          Message 4 of 27 , Sep 6, 2001
            That is why I referred to Rv. 5, and 7 due to the referents to the redeeming
            shed blood. Atonement is very much present. I probably did not communicate
            what I meant clearly enough however. Thanks for the additional comment.
            Don K
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Ed Garcia <Ed.Garcia@...>
            To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 3:31 PM
            Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Babylon: Rome or Jerusalem


            > In Rev. Paul's response to Mr. Preston he says:
            >
            > "Hmmm. And how clear is substitutionary atonement in Revelation?"
            >
            > More often than not the book of Revelation refers to Jesus as the Lamb. As
            I
            > understand it, Jesus as sacrificial Lamb definitely suggests the idea of
            > substitutionary atonement. When the Lamb takes the scroll the elders
            respond
            > by saying "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You
            > were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and
            > tongue and people and nation." The idea of redemption is one of the
            dominant
            > themes of the prophecy.
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > revelation-list-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
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