PMW 2019-035 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the final installment in a three-part study of seven “letters” to the seven churches in Revelation. I have been arguing that they are not really letters at all. Rather they are judgment oracles. This fits perfectly with the preterist understanding of Rev as a covenant lawsuit against Israel. In the previous article I offered the first two arguments for the oracular nature of these seven messages. In this article I will complete my argument by presenting my final three points.
Third, the oracles are a part of the crucial, introductory vision of the Son of Man and even flesh out this visionary unit that extends from 1:9 all the way through to 3:22. The oracles are not separate, free-standing material. Unfortunately, this is obscured by the modern chapter divisions imposed upon the text. But we can see the unified nature of this larger section from several lines of evidence: Continue reading
PMW 2019-034 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In the preceding article in this three-part series, I introduced the concept that the seven messages that appear early in Rev are not really letters. Rather they should be understood as prophetic oracles built on the covenant lawsuit model of the Old Testament. These seven oracles are important for several reasons. I will highlight two of those in this article, and the remaining ones in my next article.
First, a major reason John writes Rev is to encourage faithfulness through the storm of persecution befalling John’s original Christian recipients. Throughout Rev he urges perseverance through the coming trials (1:3, 9; 12:11; 13:10; 14:4–5; 16:16; 17:14; 21:7). For instance, John opens with: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 1:9). So at the very beginning of his book John declares that he and his recipients are “in the tribulation” and that they must also engage in “perseverance.” The several other verses I list above also testify to the urgent call to hold on through the storm. Continue reading