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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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