The Throne Room, The Lamb, and the Book
Chapter 4:1-5:14

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Chapter Four untitled

Revelation 4:1-11 Class Discussions 3/31/2000
Comments offered in class (SR): By way of sociological background, in vision reports, the talk is not of an x=y nature, rather it is looking at the material world and attempting a strategy of thing about God. This is a style of learning about God in a society that values religious experience as a way to do this. In a secular world this would be seen as the "subconscious", while in a religious world, it would be seen as a "message." Some very good "Throne Room" vision texts to compare would be in Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, Daniel, and Zechariah.

The reasons for dream/vision genre seem to be that the subject to be described is beyond the horizon of our language, and the writer is claiming a level of authority elsewhere. Specifically, claiming to have so "emptied" himself that the reader is receiving infomation from God passed on unfllitered by the writer.

In Enoch "The Book of Watchers" Chapter 2, which is a section written in the 3rd or 2nd Century B.C.E., the writer claims that he "saw in sleep what I now speak with my tongue of flesh." The emphasis is on religious experience an "books". This has been described as "Torah-piety meets Jewish mysticism."

Aune: sees being in a prohetic trance as an angelic invitation to the Spirit of God, and links this to Chapter 19, verse 10 --the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of God.

Beale: sees the opening of Chapter 4 as reflecting Ezekiel's repeated being in the presence of God's heavenly council.

(Comment: Most throne visions seem to relate to being transported into the Divine Council)

4:1 After these things I saw and look a door having been opened in the heaven, and the first voice, which I heard like a trumpet, talking with me, saying, " Come up here, and I will show to you which things should take place after these things."
Fiorenza: points out the shift in perspective here from that of the risen Christ in previous chapters to that of the "seer." (p. 75)

Roloff: - Verses 4:1 - 5:14 "must be seen as the theological center of the book" because it is a point of reference for all that follows. (p. 68)

4:2 Immediately I became in (the) s(S)pirit, and look, a throne was sitting in heaven and upon the throne being seated
4:3 that is, the one being seated (has) like appearance (to) a jasper stone and a carnelian, and a rainbow about the throne (has) like appearance (to) an emerald.
Fiorenza - Note that there is no attempt to describe God in terms of human form in this scene description. She sees rainbow cast by the emerald to be sign of God's covenant with creation. (p. 76)

Roloff makes note of the restraint which John exercises in describing God. Concealing the identity of God in the brilliance of the stones leads to a reference at 1 Timothy 6:16. This is in contrast to the imagery of the first chapter of Ezekiel.(p. 69)

4:4 And around the throne (are) twenty four thrones and upon the thrones, twenty four elders being seated, having been clothed in white garments and upon their heads golden crowns.
Fiorenza - Fiorenza almost dodges the issue of identity of the twenty four by taking a generalist view, trying not to specifically identify these elders, but sees them as part of the heavenly "royal court" which sings praises to God. (p. 76)

Roloff argues that these "elders" are angelic "members of the heavenly council with which the Old Testament is acquainted (1 Kgs. 22:19-22; Isaiah 6)." He explains the number "twenty four" as being representative of the number of hours in the day. Thus, the number of elders stand for the fullness of the time that they are to praise God. (p. 69-70)

(Comment/question: Do we find any references in the Bible to counting time in 24 hour days at this point? Specifically, was there any reference to counting the hours in darkness, as opposed to just "watches"?)

Yarbro Collins: sees the emphasis on the identity of the 24 elders as indecisive, but a reference to some type of council.

Mounce: sees these as 24 exalted angelic orders, representing the 24 priestly and 24 Levitical orders.

Caird: states that the role of the elders is to be a mirror reflecting the majesty of the one sitting on the throne.

4:5 And from the throne come out lightening and sounds and thunder, and seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which things (are) the seven s(S)pirits of God.
4:6 And before the throne as a clear as glass sea like crystal. And in the middle of the throne and round about the throne four living creatures being full of eyes in front of and behind.
4:7 And the living thing, the first one, (was) like a lion, and the second living thing (was) like a calf, and the third living thing having the face like a human being and the fourth living thing (was) like a flying eagle.
Roloff suggests that the four creatures are essentially the bearers of the throne as in Ezek. 1:5-21. They also could be representative of the four winds or ends of the earth. In this imagery, they also symbolize God's reign over the whole of creation. With no basis for support, Roloff claims the likelihood that they "were images of the most regal and the strongest animals together with human beings, which were to depict in concrete terms the all-encompassing power of God." (71-2)

Mounce: This is a way of pointing to places where God's providence is carried out.

(Comment) (SR) - This same pattern is seen in Daniel 10-12 and in Enoch 85-89, as a way to tell about the history of the world. They may possibily be seen as a pattern for the four world empires.

4:8 And the four living things, one by one, they having each six wings, about and within they are full of eyes, and they have no rest day and night, saying, " holy, holy, holy Lord, the Almighty God, the One who was and the One who is, and the Coming One."
Roloff - "The hymn corresponds almost literally to that which the seraphim sing in Isa. 6:3 (LXX): "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Sabaoth." Instead of the obtuse reference to God as "Lord Sabaoth" (Lord of the heavenly hosts), the reference "the Lord God the Almighty" appears, which was more familiar to Hellenistic people (see at 1:8)" (72).

4:9 And when the living things will give glory and honor and thanksgiving to the One being seated on the throne, the living One into the always,
4:10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before the One being seated upon the throne and they will worship the living One into the always and they will throw their crowns before the throne, saying,
4:11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power because you created all things and on account of your will, they exist and were created.
Fiorenza - She claims that the "worthy" and Lord and God" phrasing relates to the manner in which Domitian was also acclaimed as emperor.

Roloff sees this same phrasing as "polemical references to those earthly rulers who dispute God's unique right to be worshiped." He does point out that God would not need such things to be acclaimed and attributed because God already had honor and power. This is the point where the emperor analogy falls apart. (72-3)

Aune: sees this as an historical reference, since at the time of Domitian, the emperors were making a claim to divinity while living.

(Comment) It appears that what we have here at the end of this section are at least two pieces of contemporary liturgy.

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Chapter Five


Revelation 5:1-14 Class Discussions 3/31 - 4/10/2000
Revelation 5:1-14 - Opening comments:

Mounce: The worship focus shifts from God to the Lamb, the sole one worthy to open the scroll of destiny. Nowhere else in the literature of worship do we find such unrestrained praise and adoration as we see in vv. 1-14.

Roloff: The meaning of what occurred in the cross and resurrection are the content of this vision. Essentially, a past event is operating in the present and future. Apocalyptic usually has a hidden theme with respect to the future, but in the Lamb/Christ we view the future through events beginning in the past.

5:1 And I saw upon the right (hand is understood) of the One sitting upon the throne a book/scroll having been written from within/inside and from behind (on both sides) having been sealed to seals seven.
Mounce: The scroll has unparalleled significance, and contains a full account of the destiny of the world according to God's sovereign will, and being written on the back simply indicates how extensive and comprehensive God's decrees are, although Roloff feels it indicates the contents are not meant to be hidden.

The concept of a heavenly book "containing the future course of history" is found elsewhere, and he quotes Ps 139:16, as well as in Jewish Apocalyptic, 1 Enoch 81:1-2; cf. also 47:3; 106:19; 107:1-- cites not shared by Nestle-Aland.

Mounce notes the Romans sealed legal documents in front of seven witnesses, but feels the seven seals are more governed by the symbolic use of the number seven and signifies "absolute inviolability." Roloff also likens the scroll to a legal document, which, when seals are broken, is set into effect.

A short comment about the scroll being upon ("epi") not on ("en") the hand of God, which has caused speculation about whether it was in actuality a book, but Mounce dismisses the notion, claiming it is simply an idiom, seen again in 20:1 with the angel holding upon his hand a chain.

5:2 And I saw a messenger strong preaching/announcing in a voice great,
"Who (is) worthy to open/gain access to the book/scroll and to loose the seals of it?"
Mounce: Angel = Gabriel? Loud voice is needed because the call goes out to the far reaches of creation and because these are proclamations of God. The messenger appears again in 10:1 and 18:21. Important call because it summons a mediator who is worthy (footnote: Morris comments, "His concern is with worthiness, not naked power.") of bringing foreordained history to its consummation.

Roloff: sees worthiness as ability and qualification with a component of praise.

5:3 And no one was able in the heaven nor upon the earth nor down under the earth to open the book/scroll nor to see (view?) it.
Mounce: This tripartite division of the universe (heaven, earth, under the earth) appears in Phil 2:10 - a scene of universal adoration of Christ. The expression likely goes to the admonition of the second commandment not to make an idol in the form of anything that is "in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." (Ex. 20:4)

Mounce comments that the usage here speaks to the universality of the proclamation rather than a sequential reference to angels, living people, and departed spirits, "as if when each declines the challenge, hope gradually disappears." He borrows this comment from H. B. Swete (p. 76).

Roloff: we don't know the various candidates, whether angels, human beings or demons, that may have "come forward" and been rejected as unworthy.

I find it interesting that the phrase "no one was found" is taken to mean the possibility of hopefuls who came forward and were unworthy for the task, instead of the omniscience of God presupposing there was no other one (of any category) who is worthy.

(Comment in classroom discussions) The proto-apocalyptic sections of Zechariah would indicate a moral/theological census of the earth.

Hanson: views the apocalyptic as an outgrowth of prophetic past, a narrowed focus of the broader prophetic view.

5:4 And I was crying much because (was) not even one worthy proving himself to open the book/scroll nor to see (view?) it.
Mounce: John was not weeping out of disappointment for himself, but at the prospect of the moral incapability of the universe to effect its own destiny, and consequentially an indefinite postponement of God's final and decisive action.

Beale: sees this in relation to 5:13 and the universal acclamation of all creation as opposed to Mounce's all universe.

5:5 And one out of the older (ones) he says to me, "(do) Not weep, behold prevailed the lion the one out of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, to open the book/scroll and the seven seals of it."
Mounce: The two titles: Lion of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:9-10 Jacob's son Judah is called a "lion's cub" from whom the scepter would not depart "until he comes to whom it belongs") and root of David (Is. 11:1 "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse"; cf. also v. 10) are from Jewish messianism. Two references reflect first century messianic interpretations: T. Judah 24:5 "Then shall the scepter of my kingdom shine forth; and from your root shall arise a stem" and the Rom 15:12 quotation of Is 11:1.

Mounce also notes a similar feeling of sadness in Luke 19:41, where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it). He also makes reference to "prevailed" i.e., Christ has conquered once and for all. He points out the aorist stands unqualified and emphatic.

Yarbro Collins sees this as a grafting on of the Canaanite myth of Baal and El to the fall of the angels.

Johnson: figurative titles here are "familiar to the O.T.", such as in Genesis 49:9, Isaiah 11 and Jeremiah 10:3 and are only linked here and in the Qumran manuscripts.

(Class comments) Note that suddenly the "one who overcomes" is transferred to the "lion of the tribe of Judah, the 'root of David'". Also, rather than Mounce's comment, one might consider the aorist here within the concept of ingressive or inceptive characteristics. Approximate language such as used in this verse show God "doing a new thing", and is always embedded in tradition. Thus, the "root of David" says something new within the tradition of David's line.

As relates to the elder who came forward, neither Mounce nor Roloff see any particular significance, only that he will reappear in 7:13 as an interpreter. Both authors agree that the rest of the company present already knows about the worthiness of the Lamb/Christ, achieved through selfless total self-sacrifice, and that he will be able to carry out the final dissolution of all forces in opposition to God's kingdom and be the one "who consummates history" (Roloff, p. 78), and therefore no mention of them weeping.

5:6 And I saw in midst of the throne and the four living things and in midst of the older (ones) a lamb standing in place as having been slaughtered having horns seven and eyes seven which are the [seven] spirits of God having been sent out into all the earth.
Mounce: focuses on the appearance of the Lamb and the message that conveys - i.e., the central theme of NT revelation - victory through sacrifice. The Lion is the Lamb, God's ultimate power (Lion) manifest on the Cross (Lamb). Mounce then points to a footnote from R. J. Baukman who writes, "The juxtaposition of the contrasting images of the Lion and the Lamb expresses John's Jewish Christian reinterpretation of current Jewish eschatological hopes" (Climax of Prophecy, 214). In what seems to be a noteworthy comment, Mounce in a footnote relates that ""arnion"" (sheep/lamb) is consistently used by John (28 times in Rev.) instead of ""amnos"" (normally used to designate the "passover" lamb) and points us to Roloff's excursus on "The Lamb" (pp. 78-79). "Christ" is used only 7 times (Roloff, p. 78) Roloff concludes: "Likely a derivation from a christological motif disseminated in NT: Jesus as paschal lamb of the new covenant." (p. 79) See also 1 Cor. 5:7, the liturgical formulae: "...our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed" (cf. Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19), et cetera.

Roloff: focuses on the "In the midst of the throne" statement - theological statement: "Lamb can be nowhere else than in the place of God's dominion, because it shares in God's majesty and dominion. But if it thus belongs to God, then it forms together with him the center of the heavenly assembly." (Dr. Jeremy Begbie's illustration at Forum on Wednesday (3/29/2000) of the limitation of conception of spatial oneness (no two things can occupy exactly the same space at one time) vs. the conception of tones/musical notes which occupy all the hearing exactly at the same time and in the same place is a good illustration for this concept as I understand John's imagery.)

Mounce: speaks to "standing in the center of the angelic beings who surround the throne." He points back to 4:6, and says "Some take the expression to represent a Hebrew idiom and accordingly place the Lamb between the living creatures and the elders (no footnote evidence). Further - "The use of the Greek perfects ("having taken his stand" and "having been slain") emphasize the lasting benefits of his sacrificial death and resurrection." (p. 134).

Mounce: Throne room and 7 horns/7 eyes - the throne room is symbolic representation of decrees of God concerning final states of human history - 7 horns symbolize irresistible might - 7 eyes are completeness of vision leading to perfect knowledge. In v. 4:5 lamps were spirits before the throne, but eyes of Lamb are spirits with a mission to carry out in the earth. Seven is symbolic of completeness.

Bousett: considered the "father" of social world commentators(circa 1906), sees the stars as being the "eyes of God," but never goes any further into that conection.

Krodel: sees the lamb as a connection to 1 Enoch 99, and to the Testament of Joseph in the 12 Patriarchs.

Beale suggests that behind the use of the term "arnion" is "talia" in Aramaic, which also means servant. Bousett sees that specifically as impossible.

Kraft sees a tie-in to Isaiah 53, and refers to a possible Aramaic background document for the Gospel of John. (This has been hypothesized, but no physical evidence has been found of such.)

Boring sees this as an indication of not a three-party transaction (God->Jesus-> humanity), but rather a direct God->humanity relationship, thus "fading" the difference of Christ into God.

(Class comments) For a unique perspective, Bruce Malina (as social world commentator), suggests that this is a form of "astral prophecy", where "arnion" is related to the zodiac sign "Aries", and was brought into Judaism during the 2nd temple period with the title "telek." Much discussion ensued about the connection or lack of it with regard to passover lamb. While the "arnion" seems more closely associated with a "sacrificial" lamb, and "election", is not election itself a "leading out of bondage", and thus does it not have connotations of passover?

5:7 And it went (the lamb) and it received out of the right (hand) (understood to be the book/scroll?) of the One sitting upon the throne.
Mounce: Note: verb tenses dramatize Lamb's action: "He came" (aorist), but "he has taken" (perfect). Mounce does not see the movement of the Lamb as an argument for placing him between the living creatures and the elders in the preceding verse, and instead his immediate location allowed him direct access, and cautions against seeing this as "the coronation of the risen Christ (Heb. 2:8-9), but rather as a symbol of an event yet to take place at the end of time."

Roloff: Agrees this is not to be taken as a coronation, but as a conveyance of lordship. "For from the very beginning for him, Jesus as the preexistent one belongs on the side of God." (p. 80).

5:8 And when he/it took the book/scroll, the four living things and the twenty-four older (ones) fell before the lamb (they) having each one a harp and bowls golden being full of incense(s) which are the prayers of the saints/holy ones.
Mounce: Sees this scene as one of the "greatest scenes of universal adoration anywhere recorded." Mounce then assumes that the Lamb has taken his place upon the throne of God(no footnote of evidence). He points out the living creatures have no priestly function, so it is best to attribute harps and bowls only to the elders, since the harp (or lyre) was a traditional instrument for singing of the Psalms. (Ps. 33:2). The golden bowls are to bring before God the prayers (symbolized by incense(s)) of the saints (despised on earth). Incense was a normal feature of Hebrew ritual (Dt. 33:10). Then Mounce makes an interesting statement: "Because of the prominent role played by incense in pagan worship, it is unlikely that the image is taken from that source."

In Tob 12:15 and 3 Baruch 11, Jewish emphasis on the transcendence of God made use of angel intermediaries appropriate. However in Rev 24 elders perform this function.

Note also on "arnion" that it is first (historically in the NT) used here in Revelation, 1 Peter never uses it, while Paul uses it regularly. A viable question to consider is whether or not it has any intermediary overtones. In the final words, do we possibly see a connection of the "saints" to the "angels" of the churches?

5:9 And they sing a song new/fresh/different saying,
"Worthy you are to take the book/scroll and to open the seals of it, because slaughtered and purchased (by means of/for/with)? God in the blood of you out of every tribe and tongue (language) and people and nations every.
Mounce: note that in 4:11 we see 24 elders praise God for work in creation, while here in chapter 5 we see a praise to the Lamb for work of redemption; while both focus on "You are worthy."
Concept of new song is found in Ps 98:1 (cf. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; etc.) because every new act of mercy calls forth a new song of gratitude and praise. See also Isa 42:5-17. In the midst of this passage extolling the One who "created the heavens and stretched them out" there is "Sing to the Lord a new song...." A new song is needed for the new covenant. Not simply at new point in time, but a new concept distinctive in quality.

Roloff: Characterizes it as "a new song that expresses the fundamental change of the situation effected by Jesus and his work of salvation." (p. 80).

Mounce: Lamb is worthy for three reasons: He was slain (historical fact); purchased people for God (interpretation of fact); and made them to be a kingdom and priests (result of the fact). Ascriptions of worth to the One upon the throne in 4:11 and to the Lamb in 5:9 = exalted Christology of the Apocalypse. Further, the worthiness stems not from the Lamb's being, but from his act of redemption, the means by which he purchased people for God. See Mk 10:45 says the Son of man had come to be a ransom for many. In 1 Cor 6:20, Paul says the believers were "bought at a price." In this verse, blood = the price. This universal reference "from every tribe, etc." contrasts with the Judaic exclusivism that prided itself as being the "chosen" out of the nations. This phrase shows the church as genuinely ecumenical, recognizing no national, political, cultural, or racial boundaries.

Roloff: Blood reference does not refer to crucifixion, but to Jesus giving up his life for salvation, a christological statement of NT "shaped by associations with OT sacrificial cult (e.g., Rom 3:25; 1 Cor. 11:25). (p. 81).

(Comments/questions in class) How does this qualify as an "ode", while 4:8 and 4:11 do no tmake use of that term? The Iliad, by way of reference is the oldest "ode"known. An Ode is that which is sung to reveal primordial mysteries. (Look at 1 Cor 13 - "Ode to Love" - love "lives" in the ode.) It is concerned with spirit, primal origins, almost prophetic declarations in the form of a song. Maybe all prayers are "translated into odes" cf Romans 8 - spirit groaning -- this appears to be a hymnic piece influenced by Rev. 1:5-8, but not all clearly connected. It is possible that what we see are prophetic declarations in 4:8,11 which are followed by hymnic affirmation. This pattern may bear being watched for in future passages. Note also that in the new ode, the "you" is the "arnion."

5:10 And you made them (by means of) God of us a kingdom and priests and they will rule upon the earth.
Mounce: Christ's death fulfills the promise to the Israelites at Sinai ("You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," Ex. 19:6). Believers are corporately a kingdom, and individually priests to God. The concept occurs three times in Revelation (1:6; 5:10; 20:6) and may have originated from a primitive hymn. "The promise is that the church is to share in the eschatological reign of Christ and all that it will involve (2:26-27; 20:4; 22:5)."

5:11 And I saw and I heard a voice of messengers many in a circle/all around the throne and the living beings and the older (ones), and was the sum/number of them myriads (tens of thousands) and myriads and thousands of thousands
5:12 saying (by means of) a voice great,
"Worthy is the lamb the one having been slaughtered to take/receive the power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise/blessing."
; Mounce: The adoration moves out "in ever widening circles" in a great doxology. The number is not arithmetic, but an apocalyptic symbol for a number too large to calculate. The hymn is not addressed to the Lamb directly, but is in third person and antiphonal to the elders' hymn of redemption. Other NT references of qualities of Christ: power and wisdom, 1 Cor 1:24; wealth, 2 Cor 8:9; Eph 3:8; strength, Luke 11:22; honor, Phil 2:11; glory, John 1:14; praise, Rom 15:29. (In a footnote W. Barclay says the last term is "the inevitable climax of it all, ...the one gift that we who have nothing can give to him who possesses all.")

Roloff: Seven characteristics here refer to the slaughtered lamb, "four are properties of God that are transferred to the Messiah for the execution of his office, while the last three, as in 4:9, describe what happens in the offering of the praise." (p. 81).

(Class discussion/comments) The lamb now is so God-like that it takes us to a new angle - "suprahistorical." 1 Peter is rife with uses of "apokalupto" - the prophets spoke of Christ, the Blood of the Lamb and sacrifice that is not punctillior, So, the question, especially in these days after the "englightenment," is how to back off and view this in another manner. This is difficult as the result of the enlightenment is the tendency to analyze, breaking down pieces, but that may not be effective here. In many ways, apocalyptic writing is a situation wherein you "get the book and the movie," but moreover, you are in it as well.

Is there an alternative beside symbol and mysticism? It seems that here we don't need "theos" per se. It may be a new area that has theological substance. We seem to have an apophatic theology that can't be expressed in terms - it is an opportunity to see beyond the language world. In this case, the language is in control, not the reader or writer.

5:13 And every creature the (one) in the heaven and upon the earth and down under the earth and upon the sea and the things in them all I heard saying:
"To the One sitting upon the throne and to the lamb (is) the praise/blessing and the honor and the glory and the dominion into the ages of the ages."
Mounce: All of the created order, every one, joined in the great and final hymn of praise (cf. Phil 2:9-11). He makes note that the fourfold doxology repeats three of the previous seven elements of the doxology, but has now exchanged "cratos" (dominion/might) for "dunamin" (power) in v. 12, and footnotes W. Michaelis who says the use of "cratos" in doxologies (1 Tim 6:16; 1 Pet 4:11; 5:11; Jude 25; Rev 1:6; 5:13) "denotes the superior power of God to which the final victory will belong" (TDNT, 3.908).

Roloff: Notes that the worship has moved past the boundaries of heaven so as to be taken up by all of creation, and even past the three regions of the earth, heaven and underworld, all the way to the sea (cf. Ex 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."), which in Judaic thinking was a place of threat ( Rev 13:1 "And I saw a beast rising out the sea..."; 21:1 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more."). He again makes the point that the imagery here is "grounded in Jesus' historical work of salvation" not his "mediation in creation" or "his preexistence." (p. 82)

5:14 And the four living beings were saying: "Truly/Amen/Let it be so." And the older (ones) fell and worshiped.
Mounce: The four living creatures are the first to bring praise in the throne-room vision in Ch. 4 & 5, and are the ones who close the vision. Noting that if the verb "said" is "an iterative imperfect," the living creatures are crying "Amen" after each of the seven attributes of v. 12 and after each of the four of v. 13. Footnote by Evelyn Underhill (Worship, 91-92), speculates that there are some of the opinion that scenes of worship in Revelation are reflective of liturgical practices of first-century churches in Asia Minor.

Mounce concludes that "Chapter 5 has revealed a central truth that governs the entire book of Revelation. by his sacrificial death the Lamb has taken control of the course of history and guaranteed its future. He alone was worthy...His triumphant sacrifice has transformed men and women from every part of the universe into priests in the service of God.... This vision of the grandeur of the triumphant Lamb prepares John to share with his readers the more solemn aspects of the judgments that lie in the future...the one who has won the crucial battle against sin supplies the confidence that in the troubled times to come there remains a hope that is steadfast and sure." (p. 138).

Roloff: The Amen closes the circle of worship which began from the creatures, to the elders, to the angels and then to all of creation, and then reaches around to its beginning, namely "the eternal worship of God in heaven." (p. 82).

Roloff concludes that the double scene in chaps. 4-5, "the beginning of Revelation's interpretation of history is offered, and it is developed in what follows...emphasis is on the ...past event -- the death of Jesus, establishes the present reality in the existence of the church and determines the yet-to-come future for the whole world....What still remains is only the external accomplishment of that which has already happened before God and that is already experienced in the church as reality. To the church is offered great hope, but also a heavy responsibility. In its obedience and in its overcoming, the church now represents Jesus Christ, the hidden Lord of that which happens in the world as it hastens toward its own destination. Everything that is further reported in Revelation is the accomplishment of the lordship of Jesus in light of its struggle toward the end."

Hansen: suggestes that we are looking for roots and points to the OT prophets. During the exile, there were two "renewal" groups - one visionary, not translating into history; and the other more pragmatic. He points us to Ezekiel and Zechariah for this contrast.

(Class discussion/Questions for pondering) A distinct feature of Christian apocalyptic is that the kerygma of the cross and ressurection is brought in, and all else is subordinated to that.

As we bring in Enoch and other extra-canonical texts to biblical studies, what impact do we see being made by them, and how do we attend to that in the pastoral setting. Stated another way, how do we present "step 4" questions (from the steps of the Historical Homelitical Work Method) into the life of the local congregation? And, further, with which conversation partners do you present the Book of Revelation?

Why do we suppose the writer set chapters 4 & 5 where they are? What is "prelude" about chapters 1-3? Everything seems to come back to the throne room.

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