My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Revelation 2

Mmmm... sandwich...

Summary:
These are the words of the glorious Jesus I saw.
You've worked hard, Ephesus, and don't tolerate evil. But get back to your first love!
Smyrna, you're rich in your poverty and suffering! The persecution from the Jews will get worse.
Pergamum, you've kept your faith in tough surroundings. But repent from eating food sacrificed to idols and from sexual immorality.
Thyatira, you get better and better, but you've kept Jezebel around, and also need to repent of eating food sacrificed to idols and from sexual immorality. I will punish Jezebel, so you know I mean business. Don't leave what you already know!

Key verse:
7. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

My thoughts:
Jesus seems to be perfecting here the technique of the compliment sandwich. First, he says a nice thing, followed by something to improve on, and finishes with a promise to those who follow his words. There is a clear structure as follows:

Indication that the word is from the man described in chapter 1
Compliment
Things to improve on
Call to listen
Promise of something eternal

Jesus also seems concerned with specific heretics, the Nicolaitanes and one referred to as Jezebel. This continues to the other 3 churches addressed in the next chapter. You can read up on the Nicolaitanes. The common denominator of these heretics is they seem to be leading people to eat food sacrificed to idols (which Paul said was kinda okay...) and sexual immorality. Not much is known about them beyond Revelation.

2 Comments:

Blogger Deane said...

Pete:
they seem to be leading people to eat food sacrificed to idols (which Paul said was kinda okay...) and sexual immorality

Deane:
Most commentators interpret porneias ("sexual immorality") figuratively, as referring to idolatry -- again, possibly, the eating of meat offered to idols, or buying from / eating at the Roman meat-market (which was typically tacked onto the side of the local Roman temple). The argument to support this interpreation--apart from the thoroughgoing OT association of 'fornication'='idolatry'--is often that, if Jezebel was encouraging literal sexual immorality in the church, it is odd that John makes no further comment about such practices occuring in his churches whatsoever.

This would, of course, make the practices of 'Jezebel' no different from the practises of the Corinthian church ... And Paul did not so much condemn the practise as immoral, but only as likely to offend the consciences of weaker Chrstians (1 Cor 8) ...

And, in turn, this would make the author of Revelation one of those "weak" Christians.

* * * * *

Wouldn't it be ironic if the Second Coming was scheduled before you had a chance to get to the end of Revelation? Ah well ... here's hoping.

9:49 am

 
Blogger Pete W said...

Yes, by Paul's logic that would appear to be the case!

I'm sure there's lots of discussion as to what John is referring to here.

Anywhom, yes. That would be quite ironic. God wouldn't hear the end of it. Kinda like the current democratic primary in the States.

11:02 am

 

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