Archive for 5. Relationship to the rest of the Bible

Three verses in Revelation 3.14-22 that allude to the Old Testament

  1. In Revelation 3.14, Jesus calls himself the “ruler of God’s creation.” Proverbs 8.22 speaks of wisdom as the first or chief of God’s works.
  2. In Revelation 3.17 Jesus quotes the church in Laodicea as saying “I am rich; I have acquired wealth”. This is nearly identical to Ephraim’s boast in Hosea 12.8: “I am very rich; I have become wealthy”.
  3. In Revelation 3.19 Jesus says that he rebukes and disciplines those whom he loves. This is an allusion to Proverbs 3.12 that says that God disciplines those he loves.

Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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Four verses in Revelation 2.12-17 that allude to the Old Testament

  1. Revelation 2.12 and 2.16 allude to Isaiah 49.2, in which the Servant of the Lord has a mouth like a sharpened sword.
  2. Revelation 2.14 alludes to the story of Balaam’s enticing the Israelites to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. This story is told briefly in Numbers 25.1-2 and 31.16.
  3. Revelation 2.17 mentions that Jesus will give his faithful followers manna and a new name.
    • Psalm 78.24 mentions God’s giving of manna in Moses’ time. See Exodus 13 and Numbers 11 for more on manna.
    • Isaiah 62.2 and 65.15 mention the new name that God will give his people.

Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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Several parallels between Revelation, Acts and the General Epistles

  1. There is one parallel between Revelation and Acts: in Revelation 2.20-24, a prophetess whom John names Jezebel entices the church in Thyatira to engage in sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. In Acts 15.28 the council in Jerusalem prohibits the churches from engaging in these two activities.
  2. There is one parallel between Revelation and the book of James: in Revelation 2.10 Jesus warns the church in Smyrna that they will be tested, and promises that those who are faithful will receive the “crown of life”. James 1.12 says that the person who passes the test will receive the crown of life.
  3. There are two parallels with 1 Peter:
    • Revelation 13.8 speaks of the “Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” 1 Peter 1.19-20 also compares Jesus to a sacrificed lamb, and says he was chosen from the creation of the world.
    • Both Revelation 16.19 and 1 Peter 5.13 refer to Rome as Babylon.
  4. Revelation has numerous parallels with 2 Peter and Jude. For a full list, see Wilson, 40. Here are a few notable examples:
    • False teachers compared to Balaam: Revelation 2.14; 2 Peter 2.15, 3.17; Jude 11.
    • False and true knowledge contrasted: Revelation 2.17, 24; 2 Peter 1.2-3, 16; Jude 10.
    • Christ called a Morning Star: Revelation 2.28, 22.16; 2 Peter 1.19.
    • The day of Christ compared to a thief: Revelation 3.3, 16.15; 2 Peter 3.10.
    • The disappearance of the current heaven and earth: Revelation 6.14, 16.20, 20.11; 2 Peter 3.10.
    • Fallen angels chained in an abyss: Revelation 20.1-3; 2 Peter 2.4; Jude 6
    • Mentions of Sodom and Egypt: Revelation 11.8; 2 Peter 2.6; Jude 5, 7.

    Sources: William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986), 47; Mark Wilson, Charts on the Book of Revelation. (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007), 40.

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    Six parallels between Revelation and Paul’s letters

    1. Revelation 1.5 and Colossians 1.18 both refer to Jesus as the “firstborn from the dead” in contexts that speak of his rule.
    2. Revelation 3.3 and 16.15 say that Jesus will come like a thief. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5.2 and 5.4 say that the day of the Lord will come “like a thief in the night.”
    3. Revelation 3.12, 21.2 and 21.10 refer to a new Jerusalem that descends from heaven. Galatians 4.26 refers to “the Jerusalem that is above”.
    4. Revelation 17.14 and 1 Timothy 6.15 refer to Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.
    5. Revelation 18.4 calls its readers to come out of Babylon and not take part in her sins. 2 Corinthians 6.17 quotes Isaiah 52.11, which is also a call to come out of Babylon. In Ephesians 5.11 Paul tells his readers not to take part in the sins of darkness.
    6. In Revelation 21.4, a voice from the throne says that the old order of things has passed away, and in verse 5 God says “I am making everything new!” 2 Corinthians 5.17 says if anyone is in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come.

    Mark Wilson also has a chart containing eschatological topics that Revelation and Paul both write about, such as shouts, trumpets, crowns, and angels at the last day; Jesus coming on the clouds and ruling the nations; a day of vengeance and wrath; the nations being deceived; judgment and reward; exhortations to keep awake and to endure.

    Sources: William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986), 47; Mark Wilson, Charts on the Book of Revelation. (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007), 36-37.

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    Eleven parallels between Revelation and the Synoptic Gospels

    1. Both Revelation 1.3 and Luke 11.28 pronounce a beatitude on those who hear and obey God’s word.
    2. Both Revelation 1.7 and Matthew 24.30 say that Jesus will come on the clouds and that the nations will mourn because of him.
    3. The description of Jesus in Revelation 1.16 is similar to the description of Jesus’ transfiguration in Matthew 17.2.
    4. The phrase “He who has an ear to hear” in Revelation 2.7, 2.11, and 2.17 echoes Jesus’ usage in Matthew 11.15, 13.9, etc.
    5. Jesus’ coming is compared to a thief in Revelation 3.3, Matthew 24.42-43 and Luke 12.39-40.
    6. In Revelation 3.5 Jesus says he will acknowledge those who overcome before his Father. In Matthew 10.32 and Luke 12.8, Jesus says he will acknowledge before his Father those who acknowledge him.
    7. Revelation 3.20-21 says that Jesus knocks, and those who invite him in and overcome their trials will eat and drink with Jesus and sit on his throne. Luke 12.35-40 speaks of servants who need to open the door when their master knocks. Luke 22.28-30 says that Jesus’ disciples will eat and drink with him and sit on thrones. Matthew 19.28 also mentions the thrones of Jesus’ twelve disciples.
    8. The seven seals in Revelation 6 and Jesus’ eschatological discourse in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 mention the same phenomena in roughly the same order: false Christs, wars, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, persecution, and the disturbance of the sun, moon and stars.
    9. Revelation 12.9 and Luke 10.18 both speak of Satan’s fall from heaven.
    10. Revelation 13.10 and Matthew 26.52 have somewhat similar proverbs about dying by the sword.
    11. Revelation 18.24 holds “Babylon” (i.e., Rome) responsible for the death of all the prophets. Luke 11.50 holds Jesus’ generation responsible.

    Mark Wilson also gives a full chart of eschatological parallels between Revelation and the Synoptic Gospels, including fig trees, angels, four winds, trumpets, trampling Gentiles, the deception of the nations, exhortations to keep awake and to endure, harvests, banquets, etc.

    Sources: David E. Aune, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 52: Revelation 1-5. (Waco, TX: Word, 1997); William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986), 47; Mark Wilson, Charts on the Book of Revelation. (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007), 36-37, 77.

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    Three verses in Revelation 2.18-29 that allude to the Old Testament

    Revelation 2.18 describe Christ, whose feet are like burnished bronze. Daniel 10.6 describes a man in a vision whose legs are like burnished bronze.

    Revelation 2.20 compares a false prophetess to Jezebel, and says that she leads Christ’s people away to sexual immorality and food sacrificed to idols.

    • Numbers 25.1-2 is about Balaam, but mentions Israel being misled into sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols.
    • 1 Kings 16.31 mentions Jeroboam’s marriage to Jezebel and his subsequent idol worship.
    • In 2 Kings 9.22 Jehu mentions the idolatry and witchcraft of Jezebel.

    In Revelation 2.23 Christ says he will execute the children of Jezebel, with the result that the churches will know that he is one who “searches hearts and minds” and repays people according to their deeds.

    • In Psalm 7.9 the psalmist prays to the God who searches hearts and minds.
    • In Psalm 62.12 the psalmist expresses confidence that God will “reward each person according to what he has done.”
    • Proverbs 24.12 connects the thoughts of the two verses from Psalms noted above. God weighs hearts and will repay people according to their works.
    • Jeremiah 11.20 likewise sees God as one who tests hearts and judges people appropriately.
    • Jeremiah 17.10 appears to be the principal verse alluded to by Revelation. In this verse God says he searches hearts and minds, and rewards people according to their deeds.

    Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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    Five verses in Revelation 1.9-20 that allude to the Old Testament

    In Revelation 1.13, One like a Son of man stands among lampstands dressed in a long robe and a golden sash.

    • In Ezekiel 9.2 and 9.11 a man in linen appears in Ezekiel’s vision.
    • In Daniel 7.13, One like a Son of man approaches God’s throne.
    • Daniel 10.5 mentions a man dressed in linen and a belt of fine gold.

    Revelation 1.14-15 describe Christ’s appearance: head and hair like snow and wool, eyes like fire, feet like glowing bronze in a furnace, and voice like rushing water.

    • In Daniel 7.9 the Ancient of Days is described as having hair as white as wool. The verse also uses snow to speak of whiteness, and mentions fire.
    • Daniel 10.6 describes a man in a vision whose face is like lightning, whose legs are like burnished bronze, and whose voice is like the sound of a multitude.

    In Revelation 1.16 a  sharp double-edged sword protrudes from Christ’s mouth.  In Isaiah 49.2 the Servant says that God made his mouth like a “sharpened sword.”

    In Revelation 1.17 Christ says he is the first and the last. In Isaiah 44.6 and 48.12 God says that he is the first and the last.

    In Revelation 1.19 Jesus commands John to write what he has seen – “what is now and what will take place later.”

    • In Isaiah 48.6 (especially in the LXX version) God says that he will tell the prophet new, previously hidden things.
    • In Daniel 2.28-29 and Daniel 2.45, Daniel tells the king that through a vision, God has shown the king “what must take place in the future”.

    Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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    Six verses in Revelation 1.1-8 that allude to the Old Testament

    In Revelation 1.1, God gives Jesus a visión in order to show his servants “what must soon take place.” In Daniel 2.28-29 and Daniel 2.45 Daniel tells the king that through a vision, God has shown the king “what must take place in the future”.

    In Revelation 1.4, John wishes grace and peace on his readers “from him who is, and who was, and who is to come.”

    • In Exodus 3.14, God says that his name is “I am.” In other words, he is the One who is.
    • In Isaiah 41.4, God uses the same name of himself, but also says he is from the first and the last, stressing his eternal nature.

    In Revelation 1.5, Jesus is called the “firstborn, ruler of the kings of the earth”, and is said to have freed us from our sins by his blood.

    • The language of the “firstborn, ruler of the kings of the earth” comes from Psalm 89.27.
    • Psalm 130.8 and Isaiah 40.2, which speak of the Lord redeeming Israel from their sins and their sins being paid for, have also been mentioned in connection with Revelation 1.5. They seems less of like allusions and more like cases of similar language.

    In Revelation 1.6, Jesus is said to have made believers a “kingdom and priests” to serve God.

    • In Exodus 19.6 God tells Israel she will be a “kingdom of priests.”
    • In Isaiah 61.6 the prophet tells the people returning from exile that they will be called priests and ministers of God.

    Revelation 1.7 describes Jesus as coming with clouds, and those who pierced him and the people of the earth mourn because of him.

    • In Daniel 5.13, One like a Son of man appears on clouds, arriving at God’s throne.
    • In Zechariah 12.10-14 God says that Israel will look on “me, the one they have pierced”, and will lament and mourn.

    In Revelation 1.8, echoing 1.4, “the Lord God” describes himself as the one “who is, and who was, and who  is to come, the Almighty”.

    • In Exodus 3.14, God says that his name is “I am.” In other words, he is the One who is.
    • In Isaiah 41.4, God uses the same name of himself, but also says he is from the first and the last, stressing his eternal nature.
    • Amos 3.13 and 4.13 emphasize God’s title, “the Lord God Almighty”

    Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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    Nine verses in Revelation 12 that allude to the OT

    1. In Revelation 12.2 the heavenly woman cries out as she goes into labor pain.
      • Isaiah 66.7 speaks of Jerusalem giving birth to a son, before going into labor.
      • Micah 4.10 tells Jerusalem to writhe in labor, because her people must go to Babylon. But Micah promises that the Lord will rescue her.
    2. Revelation 12.3 introduces a red dragon with ten horns. Daniel 7.7 mentions a beast with ten horns.
    3. In Revelation 12.4 the dragon sweeps a third of the stars from the sky with its tail. In Daniel 8.10 a horn rises up to heaven and threw stars from the sky.
    4. In Revelation 12.5 the woman gives birth to a son who rules over the nations with an iron scepter.
      • Psalm 2.9 speaks of the Son of God ruling over the nations with an iron scepter.
      • Isaiah 7.14 prophesies that a virgin will give birth to a son.
      • Isaiah 66.7 speaks of Jerusalem giving birth to a son, before going into labor.
    5. Revelation 12.7 speaks of a war in heaven between Michael and the dragon, with their respective armies. Daniel 10.13 and 10.21 mention fighting between the prince Michael and the prince of Persia. Daniel 12.1 also speaks of Michael, “the great prince who protects your people”.
    6. In Revelation 12.9 details how the dragon is cast from heaven to earth. In Isaiah 14.12 a morning star that once laid waste the nations was cast down to the earth.
    7. In Revelation 12.10 the dragon is described as an accuser. In Job 1.9-11, Satan accuses Job, and in Zechariah 3.1 Satan accuses Joshua the high priest.
    8. In Revelation 12.14 speaks of “time, times and half a time” (3 and a half years). This time period is mentioned in this way in Daniel 12.7, though in a different context.
    9. Revelation 12.17 the dragon leaves the woman in order to wage war against her children. In Daniel 7. 21 a horn wages war against the saints. Some indexes mention Daniel 7.7 in connection with Revelation 12.17, but this author does not see a clear connection.

    Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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    Three OT verses that Revelation 3.5 alludes to

    In Revelation 3.5, Jesus promises to never erase from the book of life the name of anyone who overcomes. There are three OT passages that refer to books that God keeps and adds or takes names away from.

    1. In Exodus 32.32-33, Moses tells God that if God won’t forgive Israel’s sins, Moses would prefer that God erase his name from the book he has written. God responds that the ones whom he will erase from his book are those who sin against him.
    2. In Psalm 69.28, the psalmist asks God to erase his attackers’ names from the book of the living.
    3. And according to Daniel 12.1, everyone whose name is found in ‘the book’ will be delivered from calamity.

    Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

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