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Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

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  • enonezed
    I would agree with Dr. Scholer that the Jews mentioned in Rev. 2.9, and 3.9 are ethnic Jews. I am unaware of any reason to understand the references in any
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 12, 2006
      I would agree with Dr. Scholer that the Jews mentioned in Rev. 2.9,
      and 3.9 are ethnic Jews. I am unaware of any reason to understand the
      references in any other way. Does anyone know of an alternative?

      Edmond Long
      PhD student
      New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
    • drjenney2
      I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still unanswered in my own mind. The Apocalypse clearly understands the people of God to be
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 12, 2006
        I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still
        unanswered in my own mind.

        The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised
        of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great
        multitude"["from every nation.." (Gentiles)].

        My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
        covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
        the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
        new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
        irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
        irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
        Rahab, etc.] or the NT?

        Anyone got any thoughts on this question?

        Tim Jenney
        Adj. Prof, NT
        Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
      • KennethGentry@cs.com
        In a message dated 10/12/2006 9:20:29 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... I, too, believe the Jews in 2:9 and 3:9 are ethnic Jews. My understanding of Revelation is
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 12, 2006
          In a message dated 10/12/2006 9:20:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
          drjenney@... writes:


          > My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
          > covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
          > the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
          > new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
          > irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
          > irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
          > Rahab, etc.] or the NT?
          >


          I, too, believe the Jews in 2:9 and 3:9 are ethnic Jews.

          My understanding of Revelation is that it is something of an expansion of the
          Olivet Discourse which was sparked by Christ's rejection of the temple (Mt
          23:38-24:1-2) and his promise to judge it in "this generation" (Mt 24:34).

          I understand its theme verse (1:7) as pointing to the (first century) Jews as
          responsible for the "piercing" of Christ (see: Lk 24:20; Acts 2:22-23, 36;
          3:13-15a; 4:10; 5:28, 30; 7:52; 10:39; 13:28-29; 1 Thess. 2:14-15). As a
          consequence of their covenantal guilt, he "comes" in judgment against them as "the
          tribes" in "the Land" (tes ges). The theme verse (which points to AD 70) occurs
          in the very context where John emphasizes that the events must "shortly take
          place" (1:1) because "the time is at hand" (1:3). (I have a brief paper on 1:7
          from this perspective that I could post on revelation-list if anyone would
          like for me to.)

          The 144,000 represent Jewish converts to Christ in Israel (especially
          Jerusalem) who are protected by escaping to Pella before the Jewish War with Rome
          destroys the city. (The great multitude represent the church outside of Israel,
          with special reference to its multi-racial composition.) The 144,000 correspond
          to the naos and those who worship at the altar in 11:1. They are the ones who
          are to "come out" of Babylon/Jerusalem (18:4) (ther are undergoing an exodus
          from Israel which has become a new Egypt [11:8]). They are those in Judea who
          heed Christ's charge to "flee" (Mt 24:16ff). They are the ones who are to
          expect that he will "come" (spiritually in judgment) against Israel before they
          "finish going through the cities of Israel" (Mt 10:23). They are the "remnant
          according to God's gracious choice" (Ro 11:5).

          I am currently writing a commentary on Revelation titled The Divorce of
          Israel: A Redemptive-Historical Interpretation (I am in Rev 16 currently). I
          understand references to the "earth dwellers" as meaning "those who dwell in the
          Land (of Israel)." They are the apostate Jewish system of the first century whom
          John calls "the synagogue of Satan" (2:9; 3:9) and Jesus charges with being
          "of your father the devil."

          Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
          <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A>
          "Serious Studies for Serious Christians"

          Revelation Commentary Project
          If you would like to give toward funding my research on
          Revelation please go to <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A> then click
          on "Revelation Commentary Project."

          New releases
          Gentry, Covenantal Theonomy: A Response to T. David
          Gordon and Klinean Covenantalism (241 pp; paperback)

          Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology
          (reprint of Second Edition) (600+ pp; paperback)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • jonknewton
          Two brief comments: Some commentators see the 144,000 as another way of viewing the whole church, i.e. under the image of the ancient Israelite tribes numbered
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 12, 2006
            Two brief comments:
            Some commentators see the 144,000 as another way of viewing the whole
            church, i.e. under the image of the ancient Israelite tribes numbered
            for battle, which helps explain their virginity, etc in ch.14. John
            hears the number 144,000 but then sees an innumerable multitude, just
            as in ch.5 he hears of the lion of Judah and sees the lamb as if
            slain, two images for the same reality. Bauckham has some good
            material on the militant imagery.

            The Jews of Rev.2:9 and 3:9 I agree are ethnic Jews, or more
            precisely, non-Christian synagogues, which may also include
            proselytes. By their rejection of the Messiah Jesus they become for
            John a synagogue of Satan.

            Jon Newton, Ph.D. cand.
            Tabor College NSW, Australia

            --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, "drjenney2" <drjenney@...> wrote:
            >
            > I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still
            > unanswered in my own mind.
            >
            > The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised
            > of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great
            > multitude"["from every nation.." (Gentiles)].
            >
            > My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
            > covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
            > the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
            > new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
            > irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
            > irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
            > Rahab, etc.] or the NT?
            >
            > Anyone got any thoughts on this question?
            >
            > Tim Jenney
            > Adj. Prof, NT
            > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
            >
          • ottoerlend
            Sinclair Stable wrote: I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev 2:9; 3:9. I was about to ask you to search the (old) archives, as I
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 12, 2006
              Sinclair Stable wrote:

              "I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev
              2:9; 3:9."

              I was about to ask you to search the (old) archives, as I am sure
              that you will find some information there. (I know this subject has
              been discussed before.) But I was not able to get access to the old
              archive at http://post-boks.dk/rev-list -- in fact, it seems to have
              been removed or deleted. (Perhaps Georg Admamsen knows more about
              this.)


              Best regards

              Otto E. Nordgreen
              Oslo, Norway
            • ottoerlend
              Kenneth Gentry wrote: I have a brief paper on 1:7 from this perspective that I could post on revelation-list if anyone would like for me to. I would very
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                Kenneth Gentry wrote:

                "I have a brief paper on 1:7 from this perspective that I could post
                on revelation-list if anyone would like for me to."

                I would very much like you to post this paper. Thanks!


                Regards

                Otto E. Nordgreen
                Oslo, Norway
              • George F Somsel
                Due to the fact that the number is given as precisely 144,000 as opposed to an innumerable multitude, I would say that these are the faithful Jews of the Old
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                  Due to the fact that the number is given as precisely 144,000 as opposed to an innumerable multitude, I would say that these are the faithful Jews of the Old Covenant. This is, of course not to say that there are exactly and only 144,000 Jews and that they are comprised of precisely 12,000 from each tribe. Rather, what this indicates is that the number is now complete. As regards the innumerable multitude, on the other hand, the number is not complete so no number (even a representative number) can be given.

                  george
                  gfsomsel
                  _________



                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: drjenney2 <drjenney@...>
                  To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:18:07 PM
                  Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

                  I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still
                  unanswered in my own mind.

                  The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised
                  of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great
                  multitude"[" from every nation.." (Gentiles)].

                  My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
                  covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
                  the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
                  new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
                  irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
                  irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
                  Rahab, etc.] or the NT?

                  Anyone got any thoughts on this question?

                  Tim Jenney
                  Adj. Prof, NT
                  Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Ramsey Michaels
                  If ethnic Jews are meant, isn t John saying that when a Jew calls himself a Jew he is lying? Is that what we should say to our Jewish friends? Does a Jew stop
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                    If ethnic Jews are meant, isn't John saying that when a Jew calls himself a
                    Jew he is lying? Is that what we should say to our Jewish friends? Does a
                    Jew stop being a Jew just because he does not accept Jesus as Messiah?

                    I believe the interpretation of Rev 2:9 and 3:9 as referring to ethnic Jews
                    reads the text altogether too much through the lens of Romans 2:28-29. But
                    even Paul stops short of saying that those who are Jews "outwardly" are
                    lying when they call themselves Jews. And surely the author of the Gospel of
                    John did not hesitate to call ethnic Jews "Jews."

                    For an alternative view (Judaizing Gentiles), see my IVP Commentary, pp.
                    73-74, 84.

                    Ramsey Michaels


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Sinclair Stable" <sincink@...>
                    To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 3:23 PM
                    Subject: [revelation-list] Rev 2:9; 3:9


                    > beloved,
                    >
                    > I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev 2:9; 3:9.
                    > Spacifically if the identity of "Jews" is of ethnic origin = children from
                    the whole house of Israel.
                    >
                    > This could be according to the historical evidences / documents we have at
                    the time
                    > the book of Revelation was given to John; or the church age as a whole.
                    >
                    >
                    > Rev 2:9
                    > I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I
                    know] the
                    > blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the
                    synagogue of Satan.
                    >
                    > Rev 3:9
                    > Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
                    Jews, and are not, but do lie;
                    > behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know
                    that I have loved thee.
                    >
                    >
                    > Thank you, I will read the replies in the digest.
                    >
                    >
                    > barb sinclair
                    > <saskatchewan>
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • David L Barr
                    Colleagues: I would like to recommend two articles that I think complicate this discussion; they both appear in *The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                      Colleagues:

                      I would like to recommend two articles that I think complicate this
                      discussion; they both appear in *The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and
                      Politics in the Book of Revelation* (David L. Barr, ed.; Society of Biblical
                      Literature, 2006). In the first Steve Friesen ("Sarcasm in Revelation 2-3:
                      Churches, Christians, True Jews, and Satanic Synagogues") explores how the
                      rhetoric of slander functions to define the communities that John included
                      and excluded. After reviewing scholarly appraisals of John's rhetoric as
                      "vilification" or "polemic" and considering especially who and what John
                      means by the expression "synagogue of Satan," he suggests ways to cast the
                      discussion in new terms. First, we need to recognize the ironic strategies
                      employed by the author of Revelation. The sarcasm directed against
                      opponents must be read as sarcasm; it is not a claim to be the true Israel.
                      Second, we need to reject the term "Christian" as an appropriate description
                      of John, his text, or his congregations. The term is an anachronistic
                      retrojection which diverts the discussion. John's imagery and language
                      depict the churches as an eschatological movement that cannot be described
                      with the terms "Jew," "Israel," or "Christian." John was guilty of
                      sarcastic name-calling, but not of supercessionist ideology.

                      In the second Paul Duff ("The 'Synagogue of Satan': Crisis Mongering and the
                      Apocalypse of John") focuses particularly on the "synagogue of Satan"
                      accusation that occurs in two of the so-called letters, those addressed to
                      the churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia. Traditionally this accusation has
                      been understood to refer to the Jewish communities in these cities and the
                      hostility has been linked to the supposed cooperation of the Jews in the
                      persecution of Christians. After reviewing recent studies that question
                      this identification, Duff argues that the traditional view is (partly)
                      right: John does intend the Jewish synagogue. He also argues that the
                      Apocalypse itself contains little evidence (indeed, none outside what some
                      infer from these expressions) of any Jewish hostility towards John's
                      community. Based upon this and the fact that John's overall attitude toward
                      Judaism is positive throughout the Apocalypse, he argues that John demonized
                      the local Jewish communities in order to drive a wedge between his most
                      conservative churches and the synagogues in their respective cities. Faced
                      with the ascendancy of the liberal "Jezebel" faction in some of these
                      churches, John was trying to discourage his most loyal (and most
                      conservative) allies from deserting their churches for the synagogue, a
                      place where it might be easier for his followers to maintain the high walls
                      between themselves and the larger society.

                      The biggest problem I have with Mayo's book is that he assumes what he must
                      prove: Jewish hostility toward John's communities. A far more likely
                      hypothesis, for my money, is that John demonizes these synagogues precisely
                      because they accommodate to Greco-Roman culture. Such accommodation is the
                      cardinal sin of John's opponents.

                      David L. Barr
                      Professor of Religion
                      Wright State University
                      Dayton Ohio, USA
                    • John W. Marshall
                      Colleagues, David Barr s helpful reference to very recent (too recent for libraries at my institution) articles from Friesen and Duff has helped turn the
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                        Colleagues,

                        David Barr's helpful reference to very recent (too recent for libraries at
                        my institution) articles from Friesen and Duff has helped turn the
                        converstion away from unsupported assumptions about clear distinction of
                        Judaism from Christianity and mutual hostility between John and other Jews.

                        My own take on it is expressed in Parables of War: Reading John's Jewish
                        Apocalypse (Waterloo: 2002):


                        And so I read the "synagogue of Satan" as referring to a group of people who
                        do not stand in opposition to Rome and the wider Greco-Roman culture in the
                        way John does. Given the problems of translating names, I could justifiably
                        translate sunagwgh\ tou= Satana as "gathering of the adversary." The
                        questions of Jew and Christian that interpreters ask of Rev 2:9 and 3:9 are
                        not the questions that occupy John in the messages to the angels of the
                        seven assemblies. This makes it difficult to say who his adversaries are in
                        terms of a Jew/Christian/Pagan/Godfearer scheme. But to press forward with
                        the question here in spite of John's evident lack of interest in it, it
                        seems that John's concerns about integration with Greco-Roman religion and
                        culture as well as his concerns about using the term "Jew" suggest that the
                        group he opposes consists of a mixture of Pagan Godfearers and comfortably
                        Hellenizing Jews who welcome the Godfearers without requiring a substantial
                        (in John's eyes) separation from Greco-Roman culture in either themselves or
                        their adherents. <outbind://9/#_ftn1> [1]

                        _____


                        <outbind://9/#_ftnref1> [1] As noted, the exceptions are Gager (1983:
                        132), Shepherd (1971), and Wilson (1992: 614-15; 1995: 163). Kraft suggests
                        that John's polemic in Rev 2:9 and 3:9 is undertaken within the "church"
                        over issues of syncretism (1974: 60-61). Stephen G. Wilson's quotation of
                        Dio Cassius provides a very concrete example of the judaizing phenomenon:
                        "This title [I|oudai=oj] is also borne by other persons who, although they
                        are of other ethnicity, live by their laws" (fe/rei de\ kai\ e)pi\ tou\j
                        a)/llouj a)nqrw/pouj o(/soi ta\ no/mima au)tw=n, kai/per a)lloeqnei=j
                        o)/ntej, zhlou=si. Roman History 37.16.4) The unreliability to which Dio
                        witnesses for the title "Jew" would apply even more to the less specific
                        term sunagwgh/.


                        _____________________________________
                        John W. Marshall
                        Assistant Professor
                        Department for the Study of Religion
                        University of Toronto


                        <http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?s=97359714/grpId=3221869/grpspId=1705082179/msgId
                        =859/stime=1160751314/nc1=3848518/nc2=3848576/nc3=3848568>



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • George F Somsel
                        I would take that as referring to ethnic Jews who opposed the Church. Remember that after Jamnia there was considerable antipathy for Christians. I believe
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                          I would take that as referring to ethnic Jews who opposed the Church. Remember that after Jamnia there was considerable antipathy for Christians. I believe Bar Kochba also martyred some Christians. I'm probably alone on the list in not viewing Bar Kochba as an anacronism to the Apocalypse.

                          george
                          gfsomsel
                          _________



                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: ottoerlend <ottoerlend@...>
                          To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 2:56:47 AM
                          Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

                          Sinclair Stable wrote:

                          "I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev
                          2:9; 3:9."

                          I was about to ask you to search the (old) archives, as I am sure
                          that you will find some information there. (I know this subject has
                          been discussed before.) But I was not able to get access to the old
                          archive at http://post- boks.dk/rev- list -- in fact, it seems to have
                          been removed or deleted. (Perhaps Georg Admamsen knows more about
                          this.)

                          Best regards

                          Otto E. Nordgreen
                          Oslo, Norway






                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • George F Somsel
                          Since the whole Church is represented by the innumerable multitude and the two groups are clearly distinguished, I don t think it likely that the 144,000 would
                          Message 12 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                            Since the whole Church is represented by the innumerable multitude and the two groups are clearly distinguished, I don't think it likely that the 144,000 would also represent the Church. The rest of the book seems to be against that.

                            george
                            gfsomsel
                            _________



                            ----- Original Message ----
                            From: jonknewton <jonknewton@...>
                            To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 2:50:34 AM
                            Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

                            Two brief comments:
                            Some commentators see the 144,000 as another way of viewing the whole
                            church, i.e. under the image of the ancient Israelite tribes numbered
                            for battle, which helps explain their virginity, etc in ch.14. John
                            hears the number 144,000 but then sees an innumerable multitude, just
                            as in ch.5 he hears of the lion of Judah and sees the lamb as if
                            slain, two images for the same reality. Bauckham has some good
                            material on the militant imagery.

                            The Jews of Rev.2:9 and 3:9 I agree are ethnic Jews, or more
                            precisely, non-Christian synagogues, which may also include
                            proselytes. By their rejection of the Messiah Jesus they become for
                            John a synagogue of Satan.

                            Jon Newton, Ph.D. cand.
                            Tabor College NSW, Australia

                            --- In revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com, "drjenney2" <drjenney@.. .> wrote:
                            >
                            > I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still
                            > unanswered in my own mind.
                            >
                            > The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised
                            > of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great
                            > multitude"[" from every nation.." (Gentiles)].
                            >
                            > My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
                            > covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
                            > the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
                            > new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
                            > irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
                            > irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
                            > Rahab, etc.] or the NT?
                            >
                            > Anyone got any thoughts on this question?
                            >
                            > Tim Jenney
                            > Adj. Prof, NT
                            > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
                            >






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • John W. Marshall
                            Twice John sees the world in a two part taxonomy of Jews and Gentiles: 7.1-9 (144,000 from Israel and innumerable Gentiles) and 14.1-6 (144,000 on Mt Zion and
                            Message 13 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                              Twice John sees the world in a two part taxonomy of Jews and Gentiles: 7.1-9
                              (144,000 from Israel and innumerable Gentiles) and 14.1-6 (144,000 on Mt
                              Zion and a different angel proclaiming good news to the nations). The
                              history of trying to make the two part taxonomy of how John sees the world
                              into a three part taxonomy matching the way later Christian interpreters see
                              the world shows clearly the ingenuity by which the the Bible treated as
                              scripture can be made into the something nearly opposite to ancient texts
                              treated as objects of historical investigation.

                              --jwm
                              _____________________________________
                              John W. Marshall
                              Assistant Professor
                              Department for the Study of Religion
                              University of Toronto



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • George F Somsel
                              No, I don t think the author of the Apocalypse means that when a Jew calls himself a Jew he is lying. What I think he is saying is that the then current
                              Message 14 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                No, I don't think the author of the Apocalypse means that when a Jew calls himself a Jew he is lying. What I think he is saying is that the then current representatives of Judaism were not true to the tradition of Judaism (as the author conceived it, of course). Since the Church viewed itself as the legitimate successor to the religion of the OT, anything which did not tend toward its viewpoint was ipso facto a deviation from the religion of the OT and its proponents heretics (perhaps a reaction to the "blessing" of the Nazorenes reputed to have been a part of the 18 benedictions?).

                                george
                                gfsomsel
                                _________



                                ----- Original Message ----
                                From: Ramsey Michaels <profram@...>
                                To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 9:25:24 AM
                                Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                If ethnic Jews are meant, isn't John saying that when a Jew calls himself a
                                Jew he is lying? Is that what we should say to our Jewish friends? Does a
                                Jew stop being a Jew just because he does not accept Jesus as Messiah?

                                I believe the interpretation of Rev 2:9 and 3:9 as referring to ethnic Jews
                                reads the text altogether too much through the lens of Romans 2:28-29. But
                                even Paul stops short of saying that those who are Jews "outwardly" are
                                lying when they call themselves Jews. And surely the author of the Gospel of
                                John did not hesitate to call ethnic Jews "Jews."

                                For an alternative view (Judaizing Gentiles), see my IVP Commentary, pp.
                                73-74, 84.

                                Ramsey Michaels

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Sinclair Stable" <sincink@imagewirele ss.ca>
                                To: <revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com>
                                Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 3:23 PM
                                Subject: [revelation- list] Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                > beloved,
                                >
                                > I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev 2:9; 3:9.
                                > Spacifically if the identity of "Jews" is of ethnic origin = children from
                                the whole house of Israel.
                                >
                                > This could be according to the historical evidences / documents we have at
                                the time
                                > the book of Revelation was given to John; or the church age as a whole.
                                >
                                >
                                > Rev 2:9
                                > I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I
                                know] the
                                > blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the
                                synagogue of Satan.
                                >
                                > Rev 3:9
                                > Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
                                Jews, and are not, but do lie;
                                > behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know
                                that I have loved thee.
                                >
                                >
                                > Thank you, I will read the replies in the digest.
                                >
                                >
                                > barb sinclair
                                > <saskatchewan>
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >






                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • enonezed
                                When the identities of the Jews and the 144,00 are considered, one issue to be addressed is how John understood the source and nature of the conflict the
                                Message 15 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                  When the identities of the "Jews" and the 144,00 are considered, one
                                  issue to be addressed is how John understood the source and nature of
                                  the conflict the churches were encountering. If the "Jews" were the
                                  gathering of the adversary, who was the adversary from John's point of
                                  view? The Jews, the Romans, gentiles in general? Or, was the source of
                                  the conflict inside the church and not external to it (cf. Duff's "Who
                                  Rides the Beast?")? One certain opponent of John was Jezebel. Could
                                  the "gathering of the adversary" have been Jezebel's group of
                                  followers? Further, since the 144,000 had not defiled themselves with
                                  women, might they not have been a symbolic representation of those
                                  among the churches who had rejected both Jezebel and her teaching and
                                  remained faithful to John and the gospel he taught? If sarcasm (and
                                  parody, by the way) were a part of John's strategy, could he not have
                                  been slandering Jezebel (beyond the use of a slanderous name)?

                                  Edmond Long
                                • Robert Dalrymple
                                  I agree that the Jews in Rev 2:9 are ethnic jews. As for the two groups in Rev 7, I have recently published an Article in Biblica 86 (2005) 396-406 titled
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                    I agree that the Jews in Rev 2:9 are ethnic jews. As for the two groups in Rev 7, I have recently published an Article in Biblica 86 (2005) 396-406 titled 'These are the Ones.' Here I argued that the two groups in Rev 7--the 144,000 and the innumerable multitude--are indeed the same based on literary and thematic issues.

                                    Rob Dalrymple


                                    ----- Original Message ----
                                    From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
                                    To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 10:41:36 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                    Since the whole Church is represented by the innumerable multitude and the two groups are clearly distinguished, I don't think it likely that the 144,000 would also represent the Church. The rest of the book seems to be against that.

                                    george
                                    gfsomsel
                                    _________

                                    ----- Original Message ----
                                    From: jonknewton <jonknewton@yahoo. com.au>
                                    To: revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 2:50:34 AM
                                    Subject: [revelation- list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                    Two brief comments:
                                    Some commentators see the 144,000 as another way of viewing the whole
                                    church, i.e. under the image of the ancient Israelite tribes numbered
                                    for battle, which helps explain their virginity, etc in ch.14. John
                                    hears the number 144,000 but then sees an innumerable multitude, just
                                    as in ch.5 he hears of the lion of Judah and sees the lamb as if
                                    slain, two images for the same reality. Bauckham has some good
                                    material on the militant imagery.

                                    The Jews of Rev.2:9 and 3:9 I agree are ethnic Jews, or more
                                    precisely, non-Christian synagogues, which may also include
                                    proselytes. By their rejection of the Messiah Jesus they become for
                                    John a synagogue of Satan.

                                    Jon Newton, Ph.D. cand.
                                    Tabor College NSW, Australia

                                    --- In revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com, "drjenney2" <drjenney@.. .> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still
                                    > unanswered in my own mind.
                                    >
                                    > The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised
                                    > of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great
                                    > multitude"[" from every nation.." (Gentiles)].
                                    >
                                    > My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or
                                    > covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
                                    > the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
                                    > new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
                                    > irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
                                    > irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
                                    > Rahab, etc.] or the NT?
                                    >
                                    > Anyone got any thoughts on this question?
                                    >
                                    > Tim Jenney
                                    > Adj. Prof, NT
                                    > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
                                    >

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • David Scholer
                                    For what it is worth, I agree. I will look for Rob s article, which I had not seen. The discussion of this whole issue has been fun. As G. K. Chesterton
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                      For what it is worth, I agree. I will look for Rob's article, which I had
                                      not seen. The discussion of this whole issue has been fun. As G. K.
                                      Chesterton said (in Orthodoxy): St. John saw many strange creatures in this
                                      visions, but none so strange as his commentators!



                                      David M. Scholer

                                      Professsor of New Testament and Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced
                                      Theological Studies

                                      Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA 91182

                                      626-584-5288; dscholer@...



                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                      [mailto:revelation-list@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Dalrymple
                                      Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 1:45 PM
                                      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9





                                      I agree that the Jews in Rev 2:9 are ethnic jews. As for the two groups in
                                      Rev 7, I have recently published an Article in Biblica 86 (2005) 396-406
                                      titled 'These are the Ones.' Here I argued that the two groups in Rev
                                      7--the 144,000 and the innumerable multitude--are indeed the same based on
                                      literary and thematic issues.



                                      Rob Dalrymple





                                      ----- Original Message ----

                                      From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>

                                      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com

                                      Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 10:41:36 AM

                                      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9



                                      Since the whole Church is represented by the innumerable multitude and the
                                      two groups are clearly distinguished, I don't think it likely that the
                                      144,000 would also represent the Church. The rest of the book seems to be
                                      against that.



                                      george

                                      gfsomsel

                                      _________



                                      ----- Original Message ----

                                      From: jonknewton <jonknewton@yahoo. com.au>

                                      To: revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com

                                      Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 2:50:34 AM

                                      Subject: [revelation- list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9



                                      Two brief comments:

                                      Some commentators see the 144,000 as another way of viewing the whole

                                      church, i.e. under the image of the ancient Israelite tribes numbered

                                      for battle, which helps explain their virginity, etc in ch.14. John

                                      hears the number 144,000 but then sees an innumerable multitude, just

                                      as in ch.5 he hears of the lion of Judah and sees the lamb as if

                                      slain, two images for the same reality. Bauckham has some good

                                      material on the militant imagery.



                                      The Jews of Rev.2:9 and 3:9 I agree are ethnic Jews, or more

                                      precisely, non-Christian synagogues, which may also include

                                      proselytes. By their rejection of the Messiah Jesus they become for

                                      John a synagogue of Satan.



                                      Jon Newton, Ph.D. cand.

                                      Tabor College NSW, Australia



                                      --- In revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com, "drjenney2" <drjenney@.. .> wrote:

                                      >

                                      > I agree [ethnic Jews], though there is a related question here, still

                                      > unanswered in my own mind.

                                      >

                                      > The Apocalypse clearly understands the "people of God" to be comprised

                                      > of two groups: "the 144,000" ["ethnic Jews"] and the "great

                                      > multitude"[" from every nation.." (Gentiles)].

                                      >

                                      > My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity or

                                      > covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in

                                      > the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the

                                      > new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,

                                      > irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again

                                      > irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,

                                      > Rahab, etc.] or the NT?

                                      >

                                      > Anyone got any thoughts on this question?

                                      >

                                      > Tim Jenney

                                      > Adj. Prof, NT

                                      > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando

                                      >



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









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                                    • Ramsey Michaels
                                      Isn t that just a more polite way of saying the same thing? Alternatively, if those who say they are Jews and are not are actually Judaizing Gentiles, then
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                        Isn't that just a more polite way of saying the same thing?

                                        Alternatively, if those who say they are Jews and are not are actually
                                        Judaizing Gentiles, then John is telling the literal truth: they are lying
                                        in claiming to be Jews.

                                        In the very city to which Rev 3:9 is directed, notice Ignatius' polemic
                                        against Gentiles who preach Judaism (Philadelphians 6.1; see also Magnesians
                                        10.3).

                                        Ramsey Michaels



                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel@...>
                                        To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 3:08 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Rev 2:9; 3:9


                                        > No, I don't think the author of the Apocalypse means that when a Jew calls
                                        himself a Jew he is lying. What I think he is saying is that the then
                                        current representatives of Judaism were not true to the tradition of Judaism
                                        (as the author conceived it, of course). Since the Church viewed itself as
                                        the legitimate successor to the religion of the OT, anything which did not
                                        tend toward its viewpoint was ipso facto a deviation from the religion of
                                        the OT and its proponents heretics (perhaps a reaction to the "blessing" of
                                        the Nazorenes reputed to have been a part of the 18 benedictions?).
                                        >
                                        > george
                                        > gfsomsel
                                        > _________
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message ----
                                        > From: Ramsey Michaels <profram@...>
                                        > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 9:25:24 AM
                                        > Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Rev 2:9; 3:9
                                        >
                                        > If ethnic Jews are meant, isn't John saying that when a Jew calls himself
                                        a
                                        > Jew he is lying? Is that what we should say to our Jewish friends? Does a
                                        > Jew stop being a Jew just because he does not accept Jesus as Messiah?
                                        >
                                        > I believe the interpretation of Rev 2:9 and 3:9 as referring to ethnic
                                        Jews
                                        > reads the text altogether too much through the lens of Romans 2:28-29. But
                                        > even Paul stops short of saying that those who are Jews "outwardly" are
                                        > lying when they call themselves Jews. And surely the author of the Gospel
                                        of
                                        > John did not hesitate to call ethnic Jews "Jews."
                                        >
                                        > For an alternative view (Judaizing Gentiles), see my IVP Commentary, pp.
                                        > 73-74, 84.
                                        >
                                        > Ramsey Michaels
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > From: "Sinclair Stable" <sincink@imagewirele ss.ca>
                                        > To: <revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com>
                                        > Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 3:23 PM
                                        > Subject: [revelation- list] Rev 2:9; 3:9
                                        >
                                        > > beloved,
                                        > >
                                        > > I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev 2:9;
                                        3:9.
                                        > > Spacifically if the identity of "Jews" is of ethnic origin = children
                                        from
                                        > the whole house of Israel.
                                        > >
                                        > > This could be according to the historical evidences / documents we have
                                        at
                                        > the time
                                        > > the book of Revelation was given to John; or the church age as a whole.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Rev 2:9
                                        > > I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and
                                        [I
                                        > know] the
                                        > > blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the
                                        > synagogue of Satan.
                                        > >
                                        > > Rev 3:9
                                        > > Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
                                        > Jews, and are not, but do lie;
                                        > > behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to
                                        know
                                        > that I have loved thee.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Thank you, I will read the replies in the digest.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > barb sinclair
                                        > > <saskatchewan>
                                        > >
                                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                      • George F Somsel
                                        Almost, but not quite. The difference is that those whom he labels as not being Jews are probably the more negative ones. george gfsomsel ... From: Ramsey
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                          Almost, but not quite. The difference is that those whom he labels "as not being Jews are probably the more negative ones.

                                          george
                                          gfsomsel
                                          _________



                                          ----- Original Message ----
                                          From: Ramsey Michaels <profram@...>
                                          To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 5:38:55 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                          Isn't that just a more polite way of saying the same thing?

                                          Alternatively, if those who say they are Jews and are not are actually
                                          Judaizing Gentiles, then John is telling the literal truth: they are lying
                                          in claiming to be Jews.

                                          In the very city to which Rev 3:9 is directed, notice Ignatius' polemic
                                          against Gentiles who preach Judaism (Philadelphians 6.1; see also Magnesians
                                          10.3).

                                          Ramsey Michaels

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel@yahoo. com>
                                          To: <revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com>
                                          Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 3:08 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [revelation- list] Rev 2:9; 3:9

                                          > No, I don't think the author of the Apocalypse means that when a Jew calls
                                          himself a Jew he is lying. What I think he is saying is that the then
                                          current representatives of Judaism were not true to the tradition of Judaism
                                          (as the author conceived it, of course). Since the Church viewed itself as
                                          the legitimate successor to the religion of the OT, anything which did not
                                          tend toward its viewpoint was ipso facto a deviation from the religion of
                                          the OT and its proponents heretics (perhaps a reaction to the "blessing" of
                                          the Nazorenes reputed to have been a part of the 18 benedictions? ).
                                          >
                                          > george
                                          > gfsomsel
                                          > _________
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ----- Original Message ----
                                          > From: Ramsey Michaels <profram@comcast. net>
                                          > To: revelation-list@ yahoogroups. com
                                          > Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 9:25:24 AM
                                          > Subject: Re: [revelation- list] Rev 2:9; 3:9
                                          >
                                          > If ethnic Jews are meant, isn't John saying that when a Jew calls himself
                                          a
                                          > Jew he is lying? Is that what we should say to our Jewish friends? Does a
                                          > Jew stop being a Jew just because he does not accept Jesus as Messiah?
                                          >
                                          > I believe the interpretation of Rev 2:9 and 3:9 as referring to ethnic
                                          Jews
                                          > reads the text altogether too much through the lens of Romans 2:28-29. But
                                          > even Paul stops short of saying that those who are Jews "outwardly" are
                                          > lying when they call themselves Jews. And surely the author of the Gospel
                                          of
                                          > John did not hesitate to call ethnic Jews "Jews."
                                          >
                                          > For an alternative view (Judaizing Gentiles), see my IVP Commentary, pp.
                                          > 73-74, 84.
                                          >
                                          > Ramsey Michaels
                                          >
                                          > ----- Original Message -----
                                          > From: "Sinclair Stable" <sincink@imagewirel e ss.ca>
                                          > To: <revelation- list@ yahoogroups. com>
                                          > Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 3:23 PM
                                          > Subject: [revelation- list] Rev 2:9; 3:9
                                          >
                                          > > beloved,
                                          > >
                                          > > I was wondering if the group could give the understanding of Rev 2:9;
                                          3:9.
                                          > > Spacifically if the identity of "Jews" is of ethnic origin = children
                                          from
                                          > the whole house of Israel.
                                          > >
                                          > > This could be according to the historical evidences / documents we have
                                          at
                                          > the time
                                          > > the book of Revelation was given to John; or the church age as a whole.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Rev 2:9
                                          > > I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and
                                          [I
                                          > know] the
                                          > > blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the
                                          > synagogue of Satan.
                                          > >
                                          > > Rev 3:9
                                          > > Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
                                          > Jews, and are not, but do lie;
                                          > > behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to
                                          know
                                          > that I have loved thee.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Thank you, I will read the replies in the digest.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > barb sinclair
                                          > > <saskatchewan>
                                          > >
                                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >






                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • KennethGentry@cs.com
                                          In a message dated 10/13/2006 3:10:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D. Revelation is the most difficult
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Oct 13, 2006
                                            In a message dated 10/13/2006 3:10:33 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                            ottoerlend@... writes:


                                            > "I have a brief paper on 1:7 from this perspective that I could post
                                            > on revelation-list if anyone would like for me to."
                                            >
                                            > I would very much like you to post this paper. Thanks!

                                            "EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM"

                                            Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.



                                            Revelation is the most difficult book to interpret in all of Scripture.
                                            And it becomes even more difficult when would-be exegetes overlook its stated
                                            theme. Anytime we endeavor to understand a work, we must seek to do so on the
                                            basis of the original author's theme. This is especially true when the author
                                            states his theme — as the Apostle John does in Revelation.

                                            As with the temporal indicators provided in Revelation 1:1 and 3, John
                                            places his thematic statement early in his prophecy. In fact, it appears in his
                                            seventh verse (in our modern versions):

                                            "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even
                                            those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
                                            Even so. Amen" (Rev. 1:7).



                                            The initial impression this verse leaves on us today is the conviction
                                            that John is speaking of the Second Advent. It certainly does involve language
                                            quite applicable to the future, glorious, history-ending Second Coming of
                                            Christ. The Scriptures speak often of his Second Coming, and even with this sort of
                                            cloud-coming judgment language (cp. Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Thess.
                                            1:7-10). And the historic, universal Christian Church has always affirmed that
                                            majestic event.

                                            Yet looks are deceiving. Despite this reasonable first impression, strong
                                            evidence compels us to interpret Revelation 1:7 differently. I believe this
                                            verse presents us with a judgment prophecy against first century Jerusalem,
                                            whose destruction occurs in AD 70. John's theme looks to the approaching
                                            devastation of the Temple and Jerusalem under the Roman generals Vespasian and Titus.
                                            In that this interpretation of John's theme is not immediately obvious and is
                                            quite unfamiliar to most modern Christians, I will need to defend it in some
                                            detail.

                                            Several compelling reasons move us away from a Second Advent
                                            interpretation to an AD 70 one. I will prsent eight lines of evidence supporting a first
                                            century interpretation.



                                            The Preceding Context of the Theme
                                            Perhaps the leading interpretive principle for understanding any document
                                            can be summarized in three words: "Context. Context. Context." Before we
                                            arrive at Revelation 1:7 upon opening John's book, we must pass through verses 1
                                            and 3. These two verses emphatically declare that the events expected in
                                            Revelation "must shortly take place" (Rev. 1:1) because "the time is near" (Rev.
                                            1:3).
                                            We must carefully note that not only does John declare the events of his
                                            book near, but in those nearness declarations he relates his purpose, applying
                                            it to his first century audience. Revelation 1:1 informs the original
                                            recipients that he is writing about "the things which must shortly take place" (Rev.
                                            1:1). One would think that if he is writing about "the things which must
                                            shortly take place" this would involve his very theme. It would be strikingly odd
                                            if John were to declare temporal nearness for the very purpose of his writing,
                                            then give a theme which reached thousands of years beyond his day. After all,
                                            does not he declare the nearness of "the time" as reason why his first century
                                            readers must read, hear, and "heed the things which are written in it" (Rev.
                                            1:3)? Why would he urge their heeding the things written, if his thematic
                                            purpose lies untold centuries in the future?
                                            So then, just four verses before John states the theme of Revelation, he
                                            declares the events near and applies them to us original audience.

                                            The Following Context of the Theme

                                            Not only does John introduce his theme in a way demanding its fast
                                            approaching fulfillment, but just two verses after stating it he applies it to the
                                            grueling circumstances of his original readers: "I, John, your brother and
                                            fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in
                                            Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the
                                            testimony of Jesus" (Rev. 1:9).

                                            John is ministering to a persecuted minority: God's concern with those
                                            suffering for the faith in the first century is a major, recurring theme running
                                            throughout Revelation (Rev. 2:9-10; 3:9-10; 6:9-12; 13:5-7; 14:13; 20:4).
                                            Surely he is not telling these persecuted saints that the time is near, that they
                                            must heed that which he is writing, that God is concerned with theirr
                                            persecution — but he will avenge his people thousands of years in the future?
                                            Revelation 1:7 must apply to the first century circumstances.



                                            The Apocalyptic Language in the Prophecy
                                            John frames his thematic statement in apocalyptic imagery by speaking of
                                            Christ "coming with the clouds" (Rev. 1:7). And though this sounds like the
                                            Second Advent, and though that glorious event will be literally "with the
                                            clouds," we find this type of language can be used symbolically of divine historical
                                            judgments other than the Second Coming. Anyone reading Revelation quickly
                                            recognizes that he is in a work with strange imagery. And that imagery must often
                                            be understood symbolically. I believe such is true here in our theme verse as
                                            well. Let us note just two examples of apocalyptic imagery used of historical
                                            events.
                                            In Isaiah 19 we find a warning to Old Testament Egypt. In that prophecy
                                            God threatens judgment upon that ancient nation, a judgment which transpires
                                            when the Assyrian king Esarhaddon conquered Egypt in 671 B.C. Yet notice the
                                            language Isaiah employs: "The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the Lord is riding
                                            on a swift cloud, and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will
                                            tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them"
                                            (Isa. 19:1). Clearly the prophecy applies to Egypt. And just as clearly it claims
                                            the Lord "is about to come" to Egypt. Yet no interpreter believes the
                                            Egyptians saw God Almighty sitting on a cloud and descending among them in judgment.
                                            In Matthew 26 the Lord Jesus himself uses this language in speaking of
                                            his judgment against Israel in AD 70:
                                            "And the high priest stood up and said to Him, 'Do You make no
                                            answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?' But Jesus kept
                                            silent. And the high priest said to Him, 'I adjure You by the living God, that You
                                            tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.' Jesus said to him, 'You
                                            have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son
                                            of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of
                                            heaven.'"
                                            Verse 64 is similar to Revelation 1:7: "you shall see the Son of Man sitting
                                            at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." And note that
                                            he is speaking to the high priest and those gathered around him: "you shall
                                            see." This must refer to the AD 70 judgment, which is prophesied in several
                                            places by Christ (see particularly Matt. 21:33-34; 22:1-7; 24:1-34), and which
                                            would be witnessed by many of those who stood against Christ on that day.
                                            So then, Revelation 1:7 can be applied to the historical judgment
                                            befalling Israel in AD 70. Nothing in Scripture prohibits such an apocalyptic
                                            rendering. As the evidence mounts, we will be driven to that very conclusion.

                                            The Lord's Prior Teaching on the Subject
                                            In the preceding evidence I mentioned as an aside that Christ himself
                                            employs apocalyptic judgment-coming language when referring to the approaching
                                            destruction of the Temple. Let us look a little more closely at this phenomenon
                                            as we unpack the meaning of Revelation 1:7.
                                            In Matthew 21:33-48 Jesus presents the Parable of the Vineyard Owner. In
                                            that parable we have a picture of God's loving blessings upon Israel over the
                                            centuries (21:33-34). But God's providential care of Israel is portrayed
                                            against the backdrop of her stubborn disobedience leading her to kill the prophets
                                            whom God sent to her (21:35-36). Finally God sends his very son, only to have
                                            Israel kill him (21:37-40). Based on this parable Jesus asks the religious
                                            leaders of Israel: "Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he
                                            do to those vine-growers?" (21:40).
                                            Israel's leaders unwittingly respond to his query: "They said to Him, 'He
                                            will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard
                                            to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons'"
                                            (21:41). He shocks them by catching them in their own words: "Therefore I say to
                                            you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation
                                            producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to
                                            pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust" (21:43-44).
                                            They then understand his point: "And when the chief priests and the Pharisees
                                            heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them" (21:45).
                                            This parable and its consequent discussion look to the AD 70 destruction
                                            of the Temple, speaking of the AD 70 judgment as a "coming" of the Lord: "when
                                            the owner of the vineyard comes" (21:40). In the following context another
                                            parable speaks more literally: "But the king was enraged and sent his armies,
                                            and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire" (Matt. 22:7).
                                            Clearly then, Revelation 1:7 can at least theoretically be applied to AD
                                            70. And given its contextual setting (and other matters I will rehearse
                                            below), this is the preferred understanding of John's theme.

                                            The Specific Cause of the Judgment

                                            Having established the context and the possibilities, we must now focus
                                            on the express wording of Revelation 1:7. John applies the prophecy
                                            particularly against "those who pierced him": "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and
                                            every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the
                                            earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen" (Rev. 1:7). This provides a clue for
                                            the proper interpretation of the theme which is as overlooked as the clues
                                            regarding John's temporal expectations.

                                            We are all aware that the Roman soldiers were the direct, physical
                                            instruments of Christ's crucifixion. The Bible, however, strongly and repeatedly
                                            emphasizes Israel's covenantal responsibility for the whole terrible event. I
                                            will list several verses that point directly to Israel as the cause of Christ's
                                            crucifixion (in a later chapter we will see how relevant this is to the message
                                            of Israel).

                                            "And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our
                                            children!'" (Matt. 27:25).

                                            "They therefore cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify
                                            Him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priests
                                            answered, 'We have no king but Caesar'" (John 19:15).

                                            "This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge
                                            of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death"
                                            (Acts 2:23).

                                            "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by
                                            hanging Him on a cross" (Acts 5:30).

                                            See also: Acts 7:52; 10:39; 13:13-15; 1 Thess. 2:14-16.

                                            The unrelenting testimony of the New Testament blames Israel for Christ's
                                            death. She is covenantally responsible; she should have known better (Matt.
                                            23:37; John 1:11). So then, Revelation 1:7 promises judgment upon "those who
                                            pierced him," which demands that that judgment fall in the first century while
                                            "those who pierced him" were still alive — especially given the near-term
                                            temporal indicators in the very context of this statement (Rev. 1, 3). The events
                                            of AD 70 present us with a most perfect, relevant, and compelling fit.



                                            The Ultimate Focus of the Judgment
                                            But there is more! Revelation 1:7 also states that: "all the tribes of
                                            the earth will mourn over him." Who are these "tribes of the earth"? And why do
                                            they "mourn"?
                                            The reader must understand that the Greek word translated "earth" (ge)
                                            can also be translated "land." In fact, it often refers to "the land of Israel,"
                                            i.e., "the Promised Land." In a number of places in the New Testament this
                                            word speaks either of the Promised Land as a whole, or some portion of it. In
                                            those places we find it in such phrases as "the land of Judah" (Matt. 2:6), "the
                                            land of Judea" (John 3:22), "the land of Israel" (Matt. 2:20, 21), "the land
                                            of Zebulun" (Matt. 4:15), "the land of Naphtali" (Matt. 4:15), and "the land
                                            of the Jews" (Acts 10:39). Thus, upon purely lexical considerations, the term
                                            can be understood as designating the Promised Land.
                                            When we note that this "land" contains "tribes," we move even closer to
                                            the proper interpretation. The Greek word for "tribe" is phule, which in
                                            Scripture most frequently refers to the Jewish tribes. The New Testament often names
                                            particular "tribes" of Israel: Asher (Luke 2:36); Benjamin (Act 13:21; Rom
                                            11:1; Phil 3:5); Judah (Rev. 5:5; Heb 7:14). The "tribes" found their home in
                                            Palestine; these are "the tribes of the land" Revelation 1:7 mentions. John's
                                            reference to the "tribe of Judah" in Revelation 5:5 clearly points to the
                                            tribal division among racial Jews. The term "tribe" obviously has that racial
                                            import in Revelation 7:4-8 (where it is used of each of the specifically named
                                            Twelve Tribes) and in Revelation 21:12 (where John refers to "the twelve tribes of
                                            the children of Israel").
                                            As a matter or fact, literal translations of the Scripture lean in this
                                            direction:
                                            "Lo, he doth come with the clouds, and see him shall every eye, even
                                            those who did pierce him, and wail because of him shall all the tribes of the
                                            land. Yes! Amen!"
                                            "Behold he comes with the clouds, and will see him every eye and
                                            [those] who him pierced, and will wail over him all the tribes of the land. Yes,
                                            amen."
                                            This not only fits nicely with the near-term temporal indicators, but
                                            also Jesus' warnings of impending judgment upon Israel. Notice three examples
                                            from Luke (in addition to the parables mentioned previously in Matthew):
                                            "And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying,
                                            'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But
                                            now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you when
                                            your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in
                                            on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you,
                                            and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not
                                            recognize the time of your visitation'" (Luke 19:41-44).

                                            See also: Luke 21:20-22 and 23:28-31.
                                            The evidence for an AD 70 meaning of Revelation 1:7 is becoming
                                            insurmountable. John's theme in Revelation is Israel's judgment for rejecting the Lord
                                            Jesus Christ.

                                            The Particular Parallel in the Gospels

                                            Interestingly, Revelation 1:7 finds a remarkable parallel in the Lord's
                                            teaching in the Olivet Discourse. Observe the similarities between Revelation
                                            1:7 and Matthew 24:30, noting particularly the italicized words:

                                            "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all
                                            the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming
                                            on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." (Matt. 24:30)

                                            "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him,
                                            even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
                                            Even so. Amen." (Rev. 1:7)

                                            Both of these verses are unique in Scripture in merging portions of
                                            Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10. John draws the "coming on the clouds" imagery from
                                            Daniel, and the "mourning of the tribes" from Zechariah. No other passage in
                                            Scripture merges these two verses.

                                            Furthermore, both of the prophetic discourses in which we find these
                                            verses speak of "the great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21 and Rev. 7:14). And most
                                            commentators note the parallel between Matthew 24:6-11 and the first four seals in
                                            Revelation 6:1-8. And both prophecies are associated somehow with the Temple
                                            of God (Matt. 24:1-3, 15 and Rev. 11:1-2). In fact, we should note that Luke's
                                            version of the Lord's teaching appears to be the source of John's language in
                                            Revelation 11 (note especially the italicized portions):

                                            "They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive
                                            into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles
                                            until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

                                            "And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not
                                            measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot
                                            the holy city for forty-two months." (Rev. 11:2)

                                            Interestingly, John's Gospel lacks the Olivet Discourse which is found in the
                                            other three Gospels — perhaps because John covers the same material in
                                            another work, Revelation.

                                            Now remarkably for our purposes, both prophecies also expressly focus on
                                            near-term events. I show above that John insists his Revelation prophecies
                                            "must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1; 22:6) "for the time is near" (Rev. 1:3;
                                            22:10). In Matthew, the Olivet Discourse opens with Christ's denouncing the
                                            Temple (Matt. 23:38) and the disciples pointing out the current Temple's beauty
                                            (Matt. 24:1). Jesus responds to their wonder by stating: "Do you not see all
                                            these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another,
                                            which will not be torn down" (Matt. 24:2), to which the disciples reply: "Tell
                                            us, when will these things be?" (Matt. 24:3). After providing them with
                                            precursory signs, he finally answers their question: "Truly I say to you, this
                                            generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matt. 24:34),
                                            which happens to match very nicely with John's assertion that these things "must
                                            shortly take place." And we know from history that that very Temple was
                                            destroyed in AD 70, just forty years after Jesus spoke.



                                            Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
                                            <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A>
                                            "Serious Studies for Serious Christians"

                                            Revelation Commentary Project
                                            If you would like to give toward funding my research on
                                            Revelation please go to <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A> then click
                                            on "Revelation Commentary Project."

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                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • hubbes.laszlo
                                            I cannot pronounce myself on this special issue, since I m not a specialist in this aspect of the Revelation, but this is a good opportunity for me to try to
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Oct 15, 2006
                                              I cannot pronounce myself on this special issue, since I'm not a
                                              specialist in this aspect of the Revelation, but this is a good
                                              opportunity for me to try to catch the attention again on the next
                                              year's joint SBL-EABS conference in Wien, which will have a special
                                              session organized around the theme of the Revelation in the section
                                              "Early Christianity between Hellenism and Judaism". Maybe somebody
                                              would be interested in submitting a paper to it. Anyone intrerested in
                                              the issue, should contact Michael Labahn at am.labahn@... and
                                              visit the EABS-homepage at http://www.eurassbibstudies.group.shef.ac.uk
                                              I'm not insisting on it, just take the chance of this discussion, and
                                              post again the call for papers, maybe there is somebody who just
                                              haven't noticed the first time.

                                              Hubbes Laszlo
                                              doctorand, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj, Romania

                                              P.S. I'll defend my thesis on Apocalyptic in november, please pray for me.
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