12 Comments


  1. Joel, thanks for your comment here on my post. You are of course correct, the term “Christian” as I use it is being used in a very general sense–trying to write for a general audience. Maybe a better term, to keep things in the wider diverse family of “Judaisms,” including the Nazarenes, would be “Jesus” material–i.e., what is often called “Christology,” in which the salvific figure of Jesus is central in a text.

    What amazes me about this particular text are the loose and easy overlay of this “Jesus” material on the core text. It reminds me a bit of the Greek version of Josephus on Jesus in Antiquities 18. One can quite easily “remove” the elements that are obvious overlays. I don’t think you could do this with any of Paul’s letters, or the Gospels, or really any of the other N.T. documents other than the letter of James. I think what might be gained by this is some insight into a non-Jesus or pre-Jesus apocalyptic sectarian version of such a view of things when Jerusalem not Rome was the focus…in other words, pre-70 CE I think.

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    1. If you remove the Jesus bits and other NT references (I think there is a literary use of other NT books by Revelation) you end up with a LXX Isaiah 9.5-6

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      1. Well I would say it is very much a mix of a variety of Hebrew Bible/LXX texts, including Zech 10-14; Isaiah 65-66; Ezekiel 40-48; Daniel 7-12; lots of 1 Enoch, et al.

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        1. texts familiar to early Jewish believers in Jesus. Revelation also includes /an/New Testament references as well.

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  2. Know More Than I Should

    Why pick the Second Century instead of the Third Century as the dividing line?

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    1. I think the dividing lines begin to emerge during that time in certain geographical locales. The actual, final, dividing line doesn’t come until even past the 3rd century.

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      1. Know More Than I Should

        Thank you for the clarification.

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        1. if you get a chance, read John Chrysostom. He still speaks about a theological collaboration between Jews and Christians in the 5th century.

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          1. Know More Than I Should

            The golden tongued father of antisemitism. Yet, if the church had listened to him, God’s blessing might be considered something more than mere accumulation of material wealth in this life.


          2. agreed, somewhat. My point in recommending him is that he points to collaboration.

  3. not convinced

    Tabor conjectures that the Lamb refers to a generic image of the suffering “Son of Man,” returning triumphantly in the clouds of heaven, taken from Dan 7:13-14, where it is understood to be the corporate people of the ‘saints of the Most High,’ as well as the corporate nature of the “Suffering Servant” in the four “Servant Songs” of Isaiah.

    That’s going to be a long, hard swim upstream to establish that, even with mask and fins. The Lamb is worshiped in chap 5 of Rev. Where in Isaiah’s Servant Songs is the Servant ever worshiped? And where in Daniel is the son of man implied to suffer?

    And I guess Rev 2:9 and 3:9 will have to be cherry-picked out as well… unless it’s one of those anti-Jewish Jewish apocalypses that were so common…

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    1. I think we need to look at identity formation, to be honest, but over all, I think you are near to right. That’s why i do not think we can or should look at this as a core v. added-to text. We cannot separate it so easily as we’d like.

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