Archive for February, 2011

Nine ways in which the exodus event is echoed by Revelation

Richard Bauckham and James Ressequie say that Revelation portrays an ‘eschatological exodus’ of a new Israel to a new promised land (the new Jerusalem), where Christ leads his people out of Babylon just as God led his people out of Egypt. Here is the evidence they provide:

  1. Jesus is portrayed as a lamb that acts as a ransom (similar to the Passover lamb)
  2. Jesus makes his people a kingdom and priests that serve God (Rev. 1.6, 5.10; see Exodus 19.5-6)
  3. The ten plagues of the exodus are intentionally echoed by many of the plagues in Revelation.
  4. The sealing of the saints in Revelation 7 to protect them from the plagues (see especially Rev. 7.3 and 9.4) is similar to the protection God gave Israel during the Passover, when the last plague hit the Egyptians but did not touch the Jewish people who had the blood on their doorposts.
  5. Revelation 10.1, where the angel’s legs are described as pillars of fire
  6. The two witnesses in chapter 11 have the power to turn water into blood and strike the earth with all kinds of plagues, just as God did through Moses in Egypt (Rev. 11.6). And in Revelation 11.8 Jerusalem is called Egypt.
  7. Revelation 15.2-4 is reminescent of Exodus 15: just as Israel stood by the sea and sang the song of Moses in praise to God after pharaoh’s army was destroyed by the red sea, so in Revelation 15.2-4 the people of God stand by a sea in heaven and “sing the song of Moses”. In Exodus 15.11 the people sing of God’s glorious deeds and wonders, and ask, “Who is like you?” In Revelation 15.2-4 the people sing of God’s great and amazing deeds, and ask, “Who will not fear you?”
  8. The cosmic phenomena in Revelation 16.18 are reminescent of those at Mt. Sinai when God appeared there.
  9. Revelation 18.4, where a voice from heaven calls out, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues”.

Sources: Richard Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); James Ressequie, The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009)

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Five evidences for the divinity of Christ in the book of Revelation

  1. Jesus shares the title ‘Alpha and Omega / the First and the Last / the Beginning and the End’ with God the Father himself (Alpha and Omega (Rev. 21:6; 22:13); First and Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13), Beginning and End (Rev. 21:6; 22:13). This is all the more amazing considering that the source of the phrase is Isaiah 44.6, where Yahweh says, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
  2. The angels in Revelation don’t allow John to worship them, but Jesus is worshiped in Revelation chapter 5.
  3. Jesus shares the throne with God the Father (Rev. 3.21, 22.3)
  4. There is a doxology in Revelation 1.5-6 that is directed to Christ.
  5. Jesus is given many exalted titles in the book (see the names for God in Revelation)

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Two mentions of another John who could be the author of Revelation

  1. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, quotes Papias, a disciple of the Apostle John, writing around A.D. 120: “And if anyone chanced to come who had actually been a follower of the elders, I would enquire as to the discourses of the elders, what Andrew or what Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas or James, or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples [said]; and the things which Aristion and John the elder, disciples of the Lord, say.” This appears to distinguish the apostle John from a ‘John the elder.’
  2. Third century Bishop Dionysius stated that there were two Christian leaders named John, and two tombs that claimed to be the tomb of John.

Sources: David E. Aune, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 52: Revelation 1-5. (Waco, TX: Word, 1997); G. R. Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, book of”, in Dictionary of Later New Testament Developments. (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997); Robert H. Mounce, New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Book of Revelation, Revised Edition. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998).

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