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NEW TESTAMENT FOUNDATIONS NT 102 THE CHURCH & THE FUTURE. JUDE Introduction 1. Are among the most neglected of NT books. 2. Bear the closest literary relationship with II Peter. Two primary issues A. Who wrote Jude?

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NEW TESTAMENT FOUNDATIONS NT 102 THE CHURCH & THE FUTURE

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New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

NEW TESTAMENT FOUNDATIONS

NT 102

THE CHURCH &

THE FUTURE


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • JUDE

  • Introduction

  • 1. Are among the most neglected of NT books.

  • 2. Bear the closest literary relationship with II Peter.

  • Two primary issues

  • A. Who wrote Jude?

  • B. What about Jude’s “citation” of Jewish pseudepigraphical material?


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Authorship (authenticity), Date, and Canonicity

  • A. Authorship

  • 1. Self-designation (in v.1, the author designates himself as “brother of James”)

  • a. Suggestion from designation


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. James-es in the NT

  • i. James the brother of Jesus (Gal 1:19; 2:9)

  • ii. James the son of Alphaeus (Mk 3:18; Mt 10:3)

  • iii.James son of Zebedee (brother of John; Mk 1:19; Mt 4:21)

  • c. Probability of Intention

  • 2. Self-differentiation


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • B. Date

  • C. Canonicity

  • 1. Early Acceptance

  • 2. Questioned Material

  • Jude’s use of pseudepigraphical literature (vv. 9, 14)

  • a. Michael & Satan disputing over Moses’ body (v.9)

  • (recounted in The Assumption of Moses)

  • b. The prophecy of Enoch

  • c. Other allusions & images


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Handling “Problem”

  • a. How does one cope with an inspired author citing non-inspired material, especially when the events might not have happened?

  • b. Recognize that the use is actually not problematic.

  • Commonly known material is being used to make or illustrate a point NOT to argue for its historicity or canonicity.

  • Canonicity may never have entered the writer’s mind.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Purpose & Content

  • A. Purpose

  • To warn against “certain men” who have infiltrated the community (vv. 8, 10, 12, 16, 19)

  • B. Content

  • 1. Introduction (vv.1-2)

  • 2. Warnings against godless impostors (vv.3-16)

  • a. Actions of “impostors”


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. Characteristics of impostors

  • i. Are libertines (antinomians; cf. Rom 6:1; “let us sin that grace may abound!”)

  • ii. Are boastful, abusive, reject authority, and divisive (vv.8b-10, 15f, 19)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • c. Condemnation of impostors

  • i. OT archetypes of wickedness

  • ii. Imagery: blemishes, rainless clouds, autumn trees without fruit and uprooted, wild waves foaming up their shame, wandering stars (vv.12-13)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Summons to persevere in these last times (vv.17-23)

  • a. Remember the last days

  • b. “to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints”

  • c. Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the flames, hate anything to do with the corruption of this present age.

  •  4. Doxology: justly famous (vv.24f)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • REVELATION

  • Introduction

  • A. Distinctiveness of the book

  • B. Strangeness of the book

  • “Apocalypses” means “to reveal” or to uncover knowledge previously hidden.

  • Task: to uncover theological truth behind apocalyptic literature


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • C. Responses to the book

  • 1. Avoidance

  • 2. Utter fixation

  • D. Key issue in studying the book

  • What is Revelation’s genre & how should one read Revelation?


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Author, Date & Destination

  • A. Author

  • 1. Internal evidence

  • a. Writer identifies as John (1:1)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. Authority over the 7 churches

  • c. Aramaic speaking Jew

  • 2. Tradition

  • 3. Probability


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • B. Date

  • 1. General acceptance

  • 2. Possibility

  • 3. Probability

  • Revelation was probably penned during the reign of Domitian because of…

  • a. Situations of the churches fit that period more effectively

  • b. Myth of a Nero-redivivus makes better sense (13:7; 17:10)

  •  C. Destination


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Methods of Interpretation

  • A.Preterist View (“a contemporary-historical” approach)

  • 1. Content

  • a. Everything is past & has been fulfilled

  • b. Revelation is a prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD (or Fall of Rome 470 AD)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2. Advantages

  • a. Sees Revelation relevant to the 1st c. audience

  • b. Emphasizes use of the OT in the NT

  • c. Acknowledges that Rev 11 nowhere says Jerusalem has fallen yet


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Problems

  • a. Must one symbol be exclusively a referent to a particular historical reality in John’s day?

  • b. Complete overthrow of Satan has not happened yet and did not happen in 70 AD

  • c. Use of OT: Daniel predicts universal defeat of kingdoms of evil (Dan 7 cf. Rev 4, 5, 20 etc)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • B. Historicist View

  • 1. Content

  • Interprets Revelation as the forecast of history from the time of John up to the commentator’s own time, usually history of Western Europe (e.g. Middle Ages)

  • 2. Advantage

  • Sees God’s sovereign hand in history

  • 3. Problems

  • a. Symbols change in every generation: too narrow & too subjective

  • b. Why only the history of Western Europe?


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • C C. Futurist View (eschatological view)

  • 1. Content

  • a. Often dispensationalist - futurist perspective: The Church & Israel are separate, so prophecies to Israel have yet to be revealed.

  • b. Rapture of the Church (pre-, mid-, post-), 7 year tribulation

  • c. Christ’s millennial reign

  • d. End of millennium, final rebellion by Satan followed by Christ’s reign in the new cosmos.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2. Advantages

  • a. Recognizes 4:1: “I will show you what must come to pass after these things.”

  • b. Introduces rapture doctrine (cf. 3:10)

  • c. Chronological progression

  • d. Treats the book as “naturally” as possible


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Problems

  • a. Rev has no relevance/significance to 1st c. audience

  • b. reduces NT eschatology to the very end of history


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • D. Idealist View

  • Revelation as a (timeless) depiction of the forces between good & evil, between God & Satan.

  • 1. Content

  • a. Symbolic expression of basic principles of how God acts throughout history

  • b. Principles of grace & judgment

  • c. The ageless struggle between good & evil

  • d. Philosophy of history


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2. Advantages

  • Appreciates the book’s theological symbolism & universal applicability

  •  3. Problems

  • Denies any specific universal fulfillment or consummation in time


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • E. Eclectic approach, combining Preterist, Futurist, and Idealist outlooks

  • F. Feminist Interpretation


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Genre

  • A. 3 kinds of Rev genre (1:1, 3, 4-5): Apocalyptic, Prophecy, Letter

  • 1. Revelation as apocalyptic(1:1)

  • a. Origins of the genre

  • (1) Grew out of OT prophetic literature

  • (2) Born in persecution by world empires

  • (3) Gave rise to a coded response to Israel’s suffering

  • (4) Intended to encourage the faithful

  • (5) Examples of OT apocalyptic literature (e.g. Joel, Ezekiel)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. Characteristics of the genre

  • (1) Planned literary works

  • (2) Vision & heavenly journey

  • (3) Never intended to be literal

  • (4) Written usually pseudonymously

  • (5) Usually “sealed up” for a future time, but intended for the present


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • “Apocalyptic entails the revelatory communication of heavenly secrets by an otherworldly being to a seer who presents the visions in a narrative framework; the visions guide readers into a transcendent reality that takes precedence over the current situation and encourages readers to persevere in the midst of their trials. The visions reverse normal experience by making the heavenly mysteries the real world and depicting the present crisis as a temporary, illusory situation. This is achieved via God’s transforming the world for the faithful” (Osborne)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • (6) Characteristics of Apocalyptic literature:

  • i. Pessimism toward the present age

  • ii. The promise of salvation or restoration

  • iii. The view of the transcendent reality

  • iv. A sense of determinism

  • v. A view of 2 ages

  • c. Revelation as example & alteration of the genre


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2. Revelation as prophecy(1:3; 22:18-19)

  • a. Characteristics of OT Prophecy

  • (1) Largely concerned with God’s immediate dealings with his people

  • (2) Developed from the time when God’s Spirit was among his people Israel


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. Implications of Prophetic in Revelation

  • (1) Not to be relegated to the distant future

  • (a) God’s kingly intervention had already begun in Jesus

  • (b) Complete fulfillment has not yet come

  • (2) Not the time of the quenched Spirit—this is the new Israel—the Spirit of God has been outpoured upon his people (1:10-11; 19:10)

  • c. Difference between prophetic (God’s redemptive work in history) & apocalyptic elements (God’s acts outside of history) in Rev


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Rev. as apocalyptic differs from prophecy in situation & solution

  • (1) Cosmic in scale

  • (2) Suffering is intense & seen as embodiment of supreme evil

  • (3) God’s salvation & judgment: universal & cosmic

  • (4) Dualistic approach

  • (5) Hope, not temporal or spatial, but eschatological


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Revelation as letter(vv.4-5)

  • a. Addresses specific needs

  • b. It is written with purpose

  • B. Genre types in Revelation

  • 1. Apocalyptic

  • 2. Prophetic

  •  3. Letter

  • A prophetic apocalypse in epistolary format


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Interpreting Revelation

  • A. Following some guidelines (esp. the use of symbols)

  • 1. What is the significance of each symbol, whether Graeco-Roman or Jewish?

  • 2. See visions as integrated wholes

  • 3. The influence of OT is thorough-going


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 4. Consider variability & sources

  • a. Some are constant stock-in-trade images (Babylon = Rome; horse = power, authority)

  • b. Some are polyvalent, and will vary from scene to scene

  • c. Some are composite

  • d. Some are Roman cultural symbols

  • e. Many are OT references (e.g. “Harlot”; “Babylon”; “Armageddon”)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Armageddon & Mount Megiddo


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Armageddon, in Hebrew, means “mount of Megiddo” (har-megiddon).

  • Armageddon is a typological symbol of God’s victory over the forces of evil and the end-time destruction of all enemies of God


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • f. Some are traditionally symbolic numbers & colors

  • g. Some are simply unclear


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • h. Numerology

  • Numbers 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 70 predominate.

  • “4”: cosmic completeness (e.g. earth’s 4 corners & 4 winds, see 7:1; 20:8)

  • Numbers can be mystifying, e.g. “666” (for survey of views, see Mounce)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Name of Christ appears 7 times, “Jesus” 14 times, “Lamb” is used of Christ 28 times (7 x 4).

  • 7 x 4: universal scope of the Lamb’s complete victory.

  • “7” denotes completeness in God’s judgment on the entire world.

  • “12”: number of God’s people squared to indicated completeness & multiplied by 1 000 to connote vastness (i.e. 144 000).


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 5. Start with images that John explains

  • a.One like a Son of Man (1:17f; Dan 7 = Israel), here = Jesus (as in the gospels)

  • b. Golden lamp stands (1:20) = 7 churches, and the 7 stars = their messengers

  • c. Great dragon (12:9) = Satan

  • d. 7 heads are 7 hills (17:9) = Rome (cf. 17:18; the great harlot)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 6. Key to interpreting symbols:

  • a. Note author’s intended use

  • b. Use of symbols in the past

  • c. Theological & pastoral message


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • B. Considering Historical Setting

  • 1. Majority hold that written during the time of Domitian.

  • 2. Reality of present & future suffering

  • a. References to suffering within the text

  • (1) 1:9; 2:3, 8-9, 13; 3:10

  • (2) “to the one who overcomes” (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • (3)martyrs (6:9-11), the great tribulation (7:14)

  • (4) linked with the testimony of Jesus (12:11, 17)

  • (5) the work of the beast in chs. 13-20 (13:7, 9-10; 14:12-13; 16:5-6; 18:20, 24; 19:2; 20:4)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • b. Examples of those who have/are suffering

  • (1) John’s position in exile (1:9)

  • (2) Death of one of their numbers in Pergamum (2:13)

  • c. Admonition in the midst of suffering


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Relationship of Rome & the church in the context of suffering

  • 4. John’s two aims in the face of increased suffering:

  • a. To encourage: God is in control

  • b. To exhort: do not compromise

  • “Babylon” refers to Rome


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • The “beast” (Rev. 13 & 14) represents the political power of Rome and “harlot” represents Rome’s prosperity gained through economic exploitation.

  • John warns against prostituting oneself with other gods for economic gains.

  • An alternative perspective to Rome’s religious ideology: God is the King

  • c. To warn: the fate of Rome & those who join her


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Structure & Structural Principles

  • A. Poetic

  • B. Drama

  • C. Sevens

  • D. Chiastic

  • E. Liturgy

  • F. Recapitulation or Progressive Parallelism

  • G. Futuristic chronological sequence view


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Content (one approach, note chiasm A – B – C/D/E/F/G – H – I)

  • A. Introduction (ch.1)

  • 1. Prologue (vv.1-8)

  • Prophetic message meant to be read aloud and heard, probably at the liturgies in the churches addressed.

  • Opening divine triad (1:4-5): God, Jesus, 7 spirits


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2. Context (vv. 9-20)

  • a. Vision of the risen Christ

  • b. Call of John

  • B. The church in the corruption of the old world


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 7 churches (Rev 2-3)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • (1) Nothing bad is said of Smyrna & Philadelphia

  • Nothing good is said of Sardis & Laodicea

  • (2) 3 types of problems confront 7 churches: false teaching (Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira); persecution (Smyrna, Philadelphia); complacency (Sardis, Laodicea).

  • (3) reflect the geography & commercial life of the respective city

  • Artemis’s tree shrine contrasts the tree of life


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Temple of Artemis


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Pergamum’s throne of Satan (2:13): a reference to imperial cult

  • Or possibly a reference to Gen 3 & Satan (the serpent) since Pergamum was healing cult of Asclepius (snake symbol)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Cult of Asclepius & its snake symbol


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Laodicea’s famed hot spring baths at nearby Hierapolis and cold drinking water of Colossae.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Water system in Laodicea


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • C. Panel 1 Throne in heaven, the authority of the lamb, book with seven seals (ch. 4—8:1)

  • 1. The glory and the splendor of the heavenly throne-room (ch. 4): around which all creation —elders (God’s people) & 4 creatures (all animal life)— worships

  • 2. The slain lamb who alone is worthy receives (ch. 5) & opens his inheritance scroll (ch. 6)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. Six seals mean judgment for the nations of the world

  • - 1st – 4th (6:1-8): the four horsemen: Rome’s promise of peace ends in death

  • - 5th seal (6:9-11): martyrs cried., “How long?” under the heavenly altar

  • - 6th seal: describes cosmic disturbances as part of God’s punishment


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Interlude: the midst of this, God’s people (true Israel) will be saved:

  • a. the sealing of the complete number of true Israel = 144000 (with the Spirit) (12 x 12 x 1000)

  • b. = the numberless multitude (x 1000), i.e. old & new Israel, yet reaching out to the whole world (multitude from every nation)

  • 4. 7th seal


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • D. Panel 2 Seven trumpets of judgment (8:2—11:19)

  • 1. Six trumpets of judgment upon the nations of the world

  • - 1st – 4th: echoes of Exodus plagues

  • - 5th – 6th: Roman fear of the Barbarians & Parthians


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Interlude:

  • a. the angel with the little scroll warns that when 7th trumpet is sounded, God’s plan promised by the prophets will be fulfilled.

  • b. 2 witnesses: who were they?

  • 2. Seventh trumpet: the consummation: God’s temple in the heavens opened; ark of covenant: earthquakes, hail etc.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • E. Panel 3 Deeper conflict between the church & the dragon & his minions (ch. 12—14:20)

  • 1. History on a cosmic scale: Satan vs. God’s people (ch.12)

  • 2. Two beasts, one from the sea, one from the land (the composite beast & the horned lamb, ch.13)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • The 1st beast (13:1-10) with 10 horns & 7 heads, symbolizes the power of Rome & its corrupting influence embodied in its emperors.

  • The 2nd beast (one from the earth; 13:11-18) is an evil parody of the Lamb

  • 666?

  • 3. Vindication of those “virgins” (144,000 again) who did not defile themselves with the great harlot Rome.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • F. Panel 4 Seven bowls of plagues of wrath (ch. 15—16:21)

  • 1. God’s crescendo of judgment on Rome & her client kings

  • 2. “Ultimate” image of doom: battle of Armageddon


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • G. Panel 5 Final judgments (ch. 17—21:8): The Tale of Two Cities

  • 1. On the Harlot city: seducing the nations, drunk on the blood of the saints.

  • 2. On the beast and the armies of the earth: the true white rider

  • 3. “the Millennium”—after Rome’s destruction, still not over…

  • 4. The New Jerusalem, the garden/city temple …


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • H. The church in the glory of the new world (21:9—22:5)

  • 1. The splendor of the New Jerusalem

  • 2. The river of life in the new Eden for the nations

  • I. Epilogue (22:6-21)


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Main Themes

  • A. “What was”

  • B. “What is”

  • C. “What will be”

  • 1. The great cosmic drama continues to be played out between the Kingdom of God (as seen in his church) & the State.

  • 2. The State will inflict intense persecution and martyrdom upon the church.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 3. God will judge the State for her wickedness and she will be destroyed—earthly conflict being a temporal expression of the eternal one.

  • a. God’s judgments on Rome:

  • (1) Natural calamities

  • (2) Warfare (barbarians and eastern powers)

  • (3) Opportunities for repentance

  • b. Ultimate complete judgment: Christ’s eschatological victory over Satan.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • D. Merging of the temporal experience of John and the eschatological

  • 1. There is a sense in which Rome and its demonic arrogance merges into an archetypal reality where:

  • a. Babylon = the great world city, the centre of business & trading interests

  • b. The beast = the power of the state

  • c. The Antichrist = particularly demonic human leaders

  • d. Satan = as himself, the one who manipulates all of this to suit himself


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • 2.Nevertheless, God metes out temporal judgments which themselves are all adumbrations of the final eschatological judgment to come.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Rev. 22:17

  • The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”

  • And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”

  • And let everyone who is thirsty come.

  • Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift come.


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Implications for Today

  • i.Revelation conveys the sovereignty of God

  • “What we see is not what it really is!”

  • ii.High Christology

  • iii.Eschatology  Ethics

  • iv.Reality & severity of evil & the demonic forces


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • Beasley-Murray: “it is ironical that the century which has witnessed the death of the Devil and the Antichrist in theology has experienced the most appalling manifestations of demonic craft (or witchcraft), the most terrible desolation of war, and the most widespread oppression of the Christian faith in all history.”


New testament foundations nt 102 the church the future

  • v.The danger of idolatry & its association with economic prosperity

  • vi.Revelation as a source of comfort in times of suffering


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