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Re: [revelation-list] Re: The early church and "666"

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  • George F Somsel
    This is, of course based upon the myth of Nero Redivivus which was common for some time after Nero. While our author makes use of the myth, I do not think
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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      This is, of course based upon the myth of Nero Redivivus which was common for some time after Nero. While our author makes use of the myth, I do not think that he thereby intends to assert that the figure is Nero. There are considerable problems with the series including uncertainty as to precisely who is to be considered the first emperor if this is to be taken as referencing the Roman emperors.

      george
      gfsomsel

      Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.

      - Jan Hus
      _________



      ----- Original Message ----
      From: ottoerlend <ottoerlend@...>
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 9:35:26 AM
      Subject: [revelation-list] Re: The early church and "666"

      Hi,

      I am referring to message # 927.

      According to Kenneth Gentry, Rev 17:8a ("The beast that you saw was,
      and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit
      [...]") "does not demand that he [= the 'beast king', OEN - cf. Rev
      13:18] is already dead when John writes". As support, he has
      presented the following reasoning:

      << [...] the angelic statement in 17:8b-9 is not providing a new
      chronological insight into the beast's activity and therefore
      demanding a later date for John's writing. Rather the statement is a
      descriptor reminding John (and his readers) of the beast's overall
      history and significance to the storyline which had already been
      established in Rev 13, irrespective of the beast's current condition.
      >>

      I have a hard time accepting this argument. Does this logic also
      apply to Rev 17:9:10-11? If I have understood Gentry correctly, his
      argument for a Neronic date is based on an identification of the
      sixth king with Nero.

      In my opinion,

      [Rev 17:8] "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to
      ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction" (NRSV)

      is parallel to

      [Rev 17:10-11] "of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the
      other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain for only a
      little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth
      but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction" (NRSV)

      ...which would indicate that the beast in Rev 13:18 (understood as a
      single emperor) cannot be equated with the sixth king in Rev
      17. He is one of the (first) five kings and, at the same time, a king
      # 8).

      Am I the only one having problems with Gentry's argument?

      Best regards

      Otto E. Nordgreen
      Oslo, Norway.



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
      http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • KennethGentry@cs.com
      The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to his not accepting the fluid nature of the beast image in Revelation. Virtually every
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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        The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to his not
        accepting the fluid nature of the "beast" image in Revelation. Virtually every
        commentator that I have read agrees that the concept of the "beast" shifts
        between the specific (a particular king) and the generic (the king's empire).

        See commentaries by: Moses Stuart 2:277; Philip Desprez 264-65; Charles,
        1:349; E. W. Hengstenberg 2:10-11; I. T. Beckwith 695; BBC 12:331; Philip Mauro,
        402; Martin Kiddle, 346, 348; G. R. Beasley-Murray, 206; Brady 1983:292n; J. R.
        Michaels, 157, 199. Even dispensationalists agree: R. L. Thomas Rev 8-22,
        158; J. F. Walvoord, 199-200; C./ C. Ryrie, 82.

        In my view (the view of many commentators) this shifting imagery moves
        between a Roman emperor and the Roman empire. My argument in Rev 17 involves this
        realization.

        Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
        Director, GoodBirth Ministries
        <A HREF="www.goodbirthministries.com">GoodBirth Ministries</A>

        Owner, KennethGentry.Com
        <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."
        </HTML>


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • ottoerlend
        Dear Kenneth L. Gentry, You wrote:
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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          Dear Kenneth L. Gentry,

          You wrote:

          << The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to
          his not accepting the fluid nature of the "beast" image in Revelation.
          Virtually every commentator that I have read agrees that the concept
          of the "beast" shifts between the specific (a particular king) and the
          generic (the king's empire). >>

          Like you, I think that the beast imagery has a dual focus: (a) the
          Roman Empire as such a n d a particular emperor. I am, however, not
          able to see how you can argue that Rev 17:8a does not indicate that
          the beast (if understood as Nero; cf. Rev 13:18) is already dead: "The
          Beast that you saw was, and is not [...]"). It seems to me that Rev
          17:8 is parallel to Rev 17:10f. Thus, the beast "that (...) is not"
          (Rev 17:8) cannot be the same as the "one living" (Rev 17:10); he has
          to be one of the five kings already fallen. I F your argument that
          Rev 17:8 does not demand that Nero is already dead, is correct, why
          should we conclude that Rev 17:10 "recount this vision in a strict
          chronological sequence" (contra Koester, "End of All Things, p. 162),
          indicating that John wrote during the time of emperor # 6?


          Best regards

          Otto E. Nordgreen
          Oslo, Norway
        • George F Somsel
          In the rush to interpret the heads of the Beast as Roman emperors, has anyone ever considered the image in Dan 2.31-35? 31 אַנְתְּה
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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            In the rush to interpret the heads of the Beast as Roman emperors, has anyone ever considered the image in Dan 2.31-35?


            31 אַנְתְּה מַלְכָּא חָזֵה הֲוַיְתָ וַאֲלוּ צְלֵם חַד שַׂגִּיא צַלְמָא דִּכֵּן רַב וְזִיוֵהּ יַתִּיר קָאֵם לְקָבְלָךְ וְרֵוֵהּ דְּחִיל׃
            32 הוּא צַלְמָא רֵאשֵׁהּ דִּי־דְהַב טָב חֲדוֹהִי וּדְרָעוֹהִי דִּי כְסַף מְעוֹהִי וְיַרְכָתֵהּ דִּי נְחָשׁ׃
            33 שָׁקוֹהִי דִּי פַרְזֶל רַגְלוֹהִי מִנְּהֵון דִּי פַרְזֶל וּמִנְּהֵון דִּי חֲסַף׃
            34 חָזֵה הֲוַיְתָ עַד דִּי הִתְגְּזֶרֶת אֶבֶן דִּי־לָא בִידַיִן וּמְחָת לְצַלְמָא עַל־רַגְלוֹהִי דִּי פַרְזְלָא וְחַסְפָּא וְהַדֵּקֶת הִמּוֹן׃
            35 בֵּאדַיִן דָּקוּ כַחֲדָה פַּרְזְלָא חַסְפָּא נְחָשָׁא כַּסְפָּא וְדַהֲבָא וַהֲווֹ כְּעוּר מִן־אִדְּרֵי־קַיִט וּנְשָׂא הִמּוֹן רוּחָא וְכָל־אֲתַר לָא־הִשְׁתֲּכַח לְהוֹן וְאַבְנָא׀ דִּי־מְחָת לְצַלְמָ֗א הֲוָת לְטוּר רַב וּמְלָת כָּל־אַרְעָא׃

            Here we have five distinct kingdoms represented corresponding to Re 17.10a οἱ πέντε ἔπεσαν. Then we have (Re 17.10b) ὁ εἷς ἔστιν which is Rome. He then envisions ὁ ἄλλος οὔπω ἦλθεν, καὶ ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὀλίγον αὐτὸν δεῖ μεῖναι. Thus the author has picked up Daniel's vision and expanded it.


            george
            gfsomsel

            Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth,
            learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
            defend the truth till death.

            - Jan Hus
            _________



            ----- Original Message ----
            From: ottoerlend <ottoerlend@...>
            To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 12:33:49 PM
            Subject: [revelation-list] Re: The early church and "666"

            Dear Kenneth L. Gentry,

            You wrote:

            << The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to
            his not accepting the fluid nature of the "beast" image in Revelation.
            Virtually every commentator that I have read agrees that the concept
            of the "beast" shifts between the specific (a particular king) and the
            generic (the king's empire). >>

            Like you, I think that the beast imagery has a dual focus: (a) the
            Roman Empire as such a n d a particular emperor. I am, however, not
            able to see how you can argue that Rev 17:8a does not indicate that
            the beast (if understood as Nero; cf. Rev 13:18) is already dead: "The
            Beast that you saw was, and is not [...]"). It seems to me that Rev
            17:8 is parallel to Rev 17:10f. Thus, the beast "that (...) is not"
            (Rev 17:8) cannot be the same as the "one living" (Rev 17:10); he has
            to be one of the five kings already fallen. I F your argument that
            Rev 17:8 does not demand that Nero is already dead, is correct, why
            should we conclude that Rev 17:10 "recount this vision in a strict
            chronological sequence" (contra Koester, "End of All Things, p. 162),
            indicating that John wrote during the time of emperor # 6?

            Best regards

            Otto E. Nordgreen
            Oslo, Norway





            ____________________________________________________________________________________
            Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
            http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • KennethGentry@cs.com
            In a message dated 12/10/2007 12:34:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Otto: My problem in communicating my view is that it requires more space and time than I
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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              In a message dated 12/10/2007 12:34:08 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              ottoerlend@... writes:


              > Like you, I think that the beast imagery has a dual focus: (a) the
              > Roman Empire as such a n d a particular emperor. I am, however, not
              > able to see how you can argue that Rev 17:8a does not indicate that
              > the beast (if understood as Nero; cf. Rev 13:18) is already dead: "The
              > Beast that you saw was, and is not [...]"). It seems to me that Rev
              > 17:8 is parallel to Rev 17:10f. Thus, the beast "that (...) is not"
              > (Rev 17:8) cannot be the same as the "one living" (Rev 17:10); he has
              > to be one of the five kings already fallen. I F your argument that
              > Rev 17:8 does not demand that Nero is already dead, is correct, why
              > should we conclude that Rev 17:10 "recount this vision in a strict
              > chronological sequence" (contra Koester, "End of All Things, p. 162),
              > indicating that John wrote during the time of emperor # 6?
              >

              Otto:

              My problem in communicating my view is that it requires more space and time
              than I have available. I am dealing with this at length in my commentary
              research. But I will try to piece it together briefly so that you can (hopefully)
              see something of what I am saying. My earlier inclination to not get engaged in
              the discussion (due to me time burdens) is coming back to haunt me! :)

              The beast seen in Rev 17:8, 11 is the generic empire, not the specific
              emperor. I argue this because:

              (1) The verse speaks of "the beast that you saw" which (according to Rev
              17:3) was the full seven headed beast not the individual emperor.

              (2) The full seven headed beast (the Roman empire) underwent death throes in
              the Year of the Four Emperors during the Roman Civil Wars, which looked to all
              the world like the empire was over. As Tacitus puts it: "This was the
              condition of the Roman state when Servius Galba, chosen consul for the second time,
              and his colleague Titus Vinius entered upon the year that was to be for Galba
              his last and for the state almost the end [ad fin]" (Hist. 1:11). Seneca
              laments that "the world itself is being shaken to pieces" (Nat. 6:1). I do not hold
              to the Nero redivivus interpretation of the passage; rather I see John
              refering to the Roman Civil Wars of AD 68-69.

              (3) The beast (the full seven headed beast) is himself "an eighth" (note the
              lack of the definite article before "eighth"). The lack of the definite
              article sets this statement apart from "the five," "the one," and "the seventh" of
              17:10. The number eight is the number of resurrection (Beale, Revelation, 875;
              Farrer 70-72; EBC 12:560). Jesus was resurrected on the first (eighth) day of
              the week; eight people were saved on the ark (1Pe 3:20) to "resurrect" the
              human race. The beast as a whole seven-headed beast was resurrected in the
              arrival of Vespasian to assume imperial rule. This "eighth" imagery makes this
              shortened version of the "was/is not/ is to come" (17:8a, d) have the "is to come"
              feature, though in a different form (it is a resurrected one, an eighth).

              (4) The recurring reference to the beast as "was, is not, is" does not speak
              of his already having died in history as John writes, but of the prophecy of
              his coming death and return in the near future. This phraseology is a reminder
              of the prophecy already given in Rev 13:3. John has a tendency of picking up
              on some defining characteristic of a person and repeating it, as with the "Lamb
              that was slain" (even though he is no longer dead). The phrase "was/not/is to
              come" is simply designating the resilient character of the corporate beast in
              the prophecy, not the current circumstance of the corporate beast.

              I regret that due to time pressures I can't develop all of my argumentation.
              I should have just remained silent and read the other folks' discussions. I am
              enjoying the discussions, however.

              Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
              Director, GoodBirth Ministries
              <A HREF="www.goodbirthministries.com">GoodBirth Ministries</A>

              Owner, KennethGentry.Com
              <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."
              </HTML>


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ian R. Brown
              To all, This is how I think the text has to be read and any interpretation about Roman emperors or otherwise ought to conform to the restrictions of the text.
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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                To all,

                This is how I think the text has to be read and any interpretation about
                Roman emperors or otherwise ought to conform to the restrictions of the
                text.

                You have the sequence of seven kings:
                *Five have fallen (past)
                *One is (present)
                *The other has not yet come (future)

                As for the beast, one learns that
                *Was (past)
                *Is not (present)
                *Will rise (future)
                *Going to be destroyed (future)

                And
                *Was (past)
                *Is not (present)
                *An eighth (future)
                <<That it is future is shown by the above sequence of seven and by
                the need for a future appearance of the beast ("will rise"); one could put
                the eighth before the five fallen, but then what lines up with the future
                "will rise"?>>
                *One of the seven (past -- of the five fallen)
                <<This link is perhaps the most difficult, but it is the only one
                that matches all the rest of the data; one cannot say it is the sixth,
                because during the present the beast/king is not; one might suggest the
                seventh future king, but then there is no accounting for the fact that the
                beast/king was; therefore only by seeing the beast/king as synonymous in
                some way with one of the five fallen kings can one have it be that the beast
                was (past) and is not (present)>>
                *Going to be destroyed (future)


                Perhaps as Kenneth Gentry suggests, "was and is not (and will rise)" is
                simply there to recall the beast and not as explanation per se.
                Nevertheless, it lines up with what is apparently explanation, namely, the
                beast is an eighth king and one of the seven and has a future destruction.
                As an eighth king, the beast again clearly must be in the future. As one of
                the seven, the beast must be in the past; otherwise, what sense is there in
                saying that the beast "was" at some time.

                Of course, I have not suggested at this point any specific definition of the
                period of the "present" (the time of the sixth king, when the beast is not).
                That is a much trickier issue. To me it would seem to point to the time of
                John (supposedly) receiving the vision. Ah, but there is the rub. How do I
                know when John (supposedly) had the vision? Even if we assume that it must
                be close to the time of composition, we are still left with the conundrum of
                trying to find out when the book was composed.

                Ian R. Brown
                Ph.D. in Religion Candidate
                Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary



                -----Original Message-----
                From: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:revelation-list@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ottoerlend
                Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 12:34 PM
                To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [revelation-list] Re: The early church and "666"

                Dear Kenneth L. Gentry,

                You wrote:

                << The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to
                his not accepting the fluid nature of the "beast" image in Revelation.
                Virtually every commentator that I have read agrees that the concept
                of the "beast" shifts between the specific (a particular king) and the
                generic (the king's empire). >>

                Like you, I think that the beast imagery has a dual focus: (a) the
                Roman Empire as such a n d a particular emperor. I am, however, not
                able to see how you can argue that Rev 17:8a does not indicate that
                the beast (if understood as Nero; cf. Rev 13:18) is already dead: "The
                Beast that you saw was, and is not [...]"). It seems to me that Rev
                17:8 is parallel to Rev 17:10f. Thus, the beast "that (...) is not"
                (Rev 17:8) cannot be the same as the "one living" (Rev 17:10); he has
                to be one of the five kings already fallen. I F your argument that
                Rev 17:8 does not demand that Nero is already dead, is correct, why
                should we conclude that Rev 17:10 "recount this vision in a strict
                chronological sequence" (contra Koester, "End of All Things, p. 162),
                indicating that John wrote during the time of emperor # 6?


                Best regards

                Otto E. Nordgreen
                Oslo, Norway




                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • drjenney2
                My own reconstruction places the writing of the Apocalypse after the death of Nero [the fifth ] and during the reign of the sixth [Galba?], waiting for
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 10, 2007
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                  My own reconstruction places the writing of the Apocalypse after the
                  death of Nero [the "fifth"] and during the reign of the "sixth"
                  [Galba?], waiting for Vespasian [the "seventh"] to arrive in Rome.
                  Currently, Vespasian has lifted the seige on Jerusalem and left Titus
                  in charge, while he makes his way back to Rome with enough soldiers to
                  demonstrate his proper claim to the throne. The "eighth" is Nero
                  "resurrected," who is also one of the five that have fallen. The
                  author expects his immanent return [to the throne] and the final
                  battle with the Messiah [now long resurrected].

                  666 refers not only to Nero and "the beast," but to the solution of
                  the three seven-fold liturgical rites: the author finds himself living
                  at the time of the sixth seal, sixth vial and sixth trumpet = 666 the
                  age of man, when human society is ruled by beast(s).

                  I should add that standard exegetical technique for apocalyptic
                  eschatology is that the vision becomes longer and more detailed as the
                  author approaches his present. Note that the sixth of each of the
                  seven-fold series is clearly the longest. The sixth of each is also
                  separated from the seventh by non-liturgical materials [ranging in
                  size from several chapters to a single verse].

                  Dr. Timothy P. Jenney
                  Adjunct, Regent University & Asbury Theological Seminary
                  Moderator


                  --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, "Ian R. Brown" <irbrown@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > To all,
                  >
                  > This is how I think the text has to be read and any interpretation about
                  > Roman emperors or otherwise ought to conform to the restrictions of the
                  > text.
                  >
                  > You have the sequence of seven kings:
                  > *Five have fallen (past)
                  > *One is (present)
                  > *The other has not yet come (future)
                  >
                  > As for the beast, one learns that
                  > *Was (past)
                  > *Is not (present)
                  > *Will rise (future)
                  > *Going to be destroyed (future)
                  >
                  > And
                  > *Was (past)
                  > *Is not (present)
                  > *An eighth (future)
                  > <<That it is future is shown by the above sequence of seven and by
                  > the need for a future appearance of the beast ("will rise"); one
                  could put
                  > the eighth before the five fallen, but then what lines up with the
                  future
                  > "will rise"?>>
                  > *One of the seven (past -- of the five fallen)
                  > <<This link is perhaps the most difficult, but it is the only one
                  > that matches all the rest of the data; one cannot say it is the sixth,
                  > because during the present the beast/king is not; one might suggest the
                  > seventh future king, but then there is no accounting for the fact
                  that the
                  > beast/king was; therefore only by seeing the beast/king as synonymous in
                  > some way with one of the five fallen kings can one have it be that
                  the beast
                  > was (past) and is not (present)>>
                  > *Going to be destroyed (future)
                  >
                  >
                  > Perhaps as Kenneth Gentry suggests, "was and is not (and will rise)" is
                  > simply there to recall the beast and not as explanation per se.
                  > Nevertheless, it lines up with what is apparently explanation,
                  namely, the
                  > beast is an eighth king and one of the seven and has a future
                  destruction.
                  > As an eighth king, the beast again clearly must be in the future.
                  As one of
                  > the seven, the beast must be in the past; otherwise, what sense is
                  there in
                  > saying that the beast "was" at some time.
                  >
                  > Of course, I have not suggested at this point any specific
                  definition of the
                  > period of the "present" (the time of the sixth king, when the beast
                  is not).
                  > That is a much trickier issue. To me it would seem to point to the
                  time of
                  > John (supposedly) receiving the vision. Ah, but there is the rub.
                  How do I
                  > know when John (supposedly) had the vision? Even if we assume that
                  it must
                  > be close to the time of composition, we are still left with the
                  conundrum of
                  > trying to find out when the book was composed.
                  >
                  > Ian R. Brown
                  > Ph.D. in Religion Candidate
                  > Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  > [mailto:revelation-list@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ottoerlend
                  > Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 12:34 PM
                  > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [revelation-list] Re: The early church and "666"
                  >
                  > Dear Kenneth L. Gentry,
                  >
                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > << The problem Otto is having with my argument is apparently due to
                  > his not accepting the fluid nature of the "beast" image in Revelation.
                  > Virtually every commentator that I have read agrees that the concept
                  > of the "beast" shifts between the specific (a particular king) and the
                  > generic (the king's empire). >>
                  >
                  > Like you, I think that the beast imagery has a dual focus: (a) the
                  > Roman Empire as such a n d a particular emperor. I am, however, not
                  > able to see how you can argue that Rev 17:8a does not indicate that
                  > the beast (if understood as Nero; cf. Rev 13:18) is already dead: "The
                  > Beast that you saw was, and is not [...]"). It seems to me that Rev
                  > 17:8 is parallel to Rev 17:10f. Thus, the beast "that (...) is not"
                  > (Rev 17:8) cannot be the same as the "one living" (Rev 17:10); he has
                  > to be one of the five kings already fallen. I F your argument that
                  > Rev 17:8 does not demand that Nero is already dead, is correct, why
                  > should we conclude that Rev 17:10 "recount this vision in a strict
                  > chronological sequence" (contra Koester, "End of All Things, p. 162),
                  > indicating that John wrote during the time of emperor # 6?
                  >
                  >
                  > Best regards
                  >
                  > Otto E. Nordgreen
                  > Oslo, Norway
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
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