Re: [revelation-list] Simon J. Kistemaker and the early church on Nero
- Dear Troy:
The early church may have considered Nero to be "a beast"
as he initiated the first imperial persecution of the
following the Great Fire at Rome in AD 64. Quite hideous
tortures and deaths, according to Tacitus, (Annals, Book
But as Nero perished in AD 68 and the Book of Revelation
was not written until (at least) some 20 to 30 years
later, it is not likely
Nero was intended as "The Beast."
Assuming that Nero (or any other Roman emperor for that
matter) was "The Beast"
puts the Christian believer in the awkward position of
trying to defend the truth
of the "prophecy" in the face of the obvious fact that
Christ did not return in those days
and no battle between The Beast and The Lamb transpired.
If one insists on Nero
(or Domitian, for instance) then either one's theory is
wrong or the prophecy is false. Not good choices.
A better supposition would be that the use of sixes and
in Revelation builds (as so
much else there) on OT themes, especially the six days of
creation and the great seventh "day
of the Lord."
According to Archbishop Ussher's classic
"Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti" (1658)
the chronology of scripture suggests that some 4000 years
passed between the Creation and
the appearance of Christ. Counting "one day for the Lord
as one thousand years for mankind"
(Ps 90 and II Peter) this would make for "four days" in
the history of salvation. A bit of allegory, as it were.
The ensuing 2,000 years since Christ, according to
Ussher's calculation, would make for a total
of six days of salvation history, with the year 2001 (or
thereabouts) marking the dawning of
the "seventh day" since Creation and/or the "third day"
since Christ who promised to "rise up" -- or "come back"
on the third day.
The identification of the Resurrection with the Parousia
can be found throughout the Christian
tradition, most recently in 20th century scholars from
Schillebeeks. The schema of 6,000 years of history before
the Second Coming
is deeply embedded in the Christian tradition, reaching
back to the Epistle of Barnabas
(which some, if not many, Christians regarded as
"inspired") as well as in the writings
of the 4th century apologist Lactantius, etc.
Rater than poking around ancient Roman ruins in search of
a candidate for
"The Beast," if one accepts Revelation as a authentic
prophecy, it seems
safer to look about the world today for a seven-headed
an oppressive system tied to global finance and NOT an
Many scholars, of course, approach Revelation as simply a
curious genre of ancient
literature (apocalyptic) and treat it with the same
critical reserve as other non-inspired ancient works.
That's a personal choice.
By the way, the best translation in English of the passage
the "666" is that by Monsignor Ronald Knox. His rendering
is as acute
and subtle as the original Greek -- and also suggests a
Hope this helps provide context -- and hold on to that
Deparment of Philosophy and Religion
Saint Leo University -- Savannah Center (USA)
On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 00:21:46 -0000
"neroad70" <DeltaDiplomacy@...> wrote:
> Hi folks, sorry to just parachute in here, but I try to
>stay on the
> sidelines, like a third string quarterback holding the
>clipboard, as I
> need to learn before I talk (at least my wife thinks
> Anyway, Kistemaker makes the analysis that the
>identification of Nero
> and 666, is not based on early church fathers but rather
> nineteenth-century scholars,
> "W.G.Baines, The Number of the Beast in Revelation
> 16 1975.
> So my question is, why then do many people say that the
> or part of it anyway, felt that Nero was indeed the
> If you can give me any solid verifiable evidence to the
> holding that view or at least portions of the church
>beleiving so, I
> would much appreciate it and any further reading on the
> Thank you!
> Troy Yoppini
- Dear Dr. Ian R. Brown,
I would full-heartedly suggest among many others
Christopher Rowland's and Judith Kovacs's volume on Revelation in the
Blackwell Bible Commentaries series. (Blackwell Publishing, 2004) - A
brilliant multi-aspect and multi-level commentary on the Apocalypse, with an
added emphasis on its reception history.
HUBBES L�szl�-Attila, PhD
"BOD PETER" LIBRARY,
Str. Gabor Aron ut 14,
520008, Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyorgy),
Tel.: + 40 (267) 315577
Tel./Fax: + 40 (267) 351609
FACULTY OF BUSINESS
530104 Miercurea Ciuc (Csikszereda)
Piata Libertatii (Szabadsag ter) 1
Tel.: +40 266-314 657,
Fax: +40 266�372 099
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