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e r r b o t h c l a i m i n g t o be the r i g h t f u l heir* o f l i r a e l ' i t r a d i t i o n * , a n d the p o l e m i c resulted f r o m the t c n u o n * between c o m p e t i n g J c w i t h group*. 1 he d e n u n c i a t i o n * b r | o h n arc understandable i n that first c e n t u r y l e t t i n g where the churches were i m a l l a n d vulnerable to persecution*.. In later h i t t i rical set l i n g s - t h a t i t , w h e n c h u r c b e t became p o w e r f u l and d i s t i n c t l y n o n T e w i i h - v o c h d e n u n c i a t i o n * are n o longer excus able. They are n o w c i t r a i m i r a l a n d a n t i - S e m i l M .

SARCASM IN R E V E L A T I O N 2 - 3 : C H U R C H E S , C H R I S T I A N S , T R U E JEWS, AND SATANIC SYNAGOGUES

| l in a u l u t o r y develop m e n t that C h r i s t i a n a n l i - S c m i i i t i n n t u l l v

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a n i m p o r t a n t ( i n N e w T c v t a m r n i s i i t d i r * . a n d R r v r l i i t o n it t r r t a i n l v one p l i t r w h e r e i h e issue* need t o be aired- l l *ecrn to m r , however, l h a l s t u d i o l i k r the t w o m e n t i o n e d above are t o n concerned w i t h m a k i n g J o h n * Revelation palatable. T h e elfort to r i o n e r a r c or rebahilitate the text h a * distracted u* f r o m the b g K a l t v p r i o r t a i k o t describing the text. I n o t h e r w o r d * , the p r i m a r y question should n o t be. 'Are the d e n u n c i a t i o n * a n t i - S e m i t i c ? ' M e should t u n b y asking. " W h a t k i n d o f d e n u n c i a t i o n * are f o u n d i n the text?" O u r answer* to i h b q u e s t i o n m i g h t n o t be t o reassuring, b u t they t h o u l d b r i n g u t closer to u n d e r s t a n d i n g the text a n d the r u n c e n t u r y c o m m u r i u m that listened to i t . W h e n wc take t h i t approach, we t i n d the categories iliri(.alu>n a n d polemic l o o ague.' W c t a n he ramr prcvivc. H a r n Maier has t h o w n lhat the l e i l o f Revclaiiiiii at a w h o l e permeated bv
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T h e j u i h o i o f i h c Apocahpse can he t e i f i b l y offensive. V o i l e chit endears h i * text t o t o m e readers, scholars, l e n d to be p u i u H b* ( h e i b r a m e . li H I ; o l h :-.<- >i MM, I ' 11. 1. - are n o t M U M W I I i n ilie a c a d c i m u n l e t * llic t l a n d r t i t u . k i d r t i i . n i t . K r , a n d l u l l h i M i o g t a p h v . In (he . - * e u l Revelation, however, ihc d l t t o n i f u t l 1 n o i |u>l J mailer u f J * * d e m u l c . T h e r e .irr m o r e serious m u c i l l slake. T h e rhetors* u l " Revelation ha* hern w t r l d r d m a b e w i l d e r i n g array o f vetting* m f r the u r n w r K * . and a d m u r b i n e . l v h i g h penrentagr o f ihc*c ha*e been l e t h a l . C h m t i a n hostility t o w a r d }c*%, C h r i s t i a n i m p e n a l n m , a n d C h r i w i a n sectarian violence are a few o l the example* that s p r i n g to m i n d . Adcla Yatbru C o l l i n * w re t i l e d w i t h these top by t r e a t i n g the aggressive chara t i e i o f Revelation u n d e r the rubric o f ' t i u h u r i o r u *
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the m r t u j n o f Res' 23). Majtrr defended R r t c l a i i o n n o t againtt the i h . i r g r o f an S e m i t i t m , b u t rather against ihc n u u t i o n t h a i John'* a m i - R o m a n v i s i o n * trafficked in the same ideologT o f d o m i n a t i o n that the text c l a i m e d t o oppose. Mater'* r e b u t t a l a t that the dramatic irony i n |ohn't text W J I a d e i u b i l i i i n g strategy that u l t i m a t e ! ) u n d e r c u t all n o t i o n s o f power based o n conquest.* I h n d M . i e r ' t a r g u m e n t a b o u t i r o n y i n Revelation c o n v i n c i n g . I n regard to the messages to the seven c h u r c b e t , however. I t h i n k we can be even more precise. These iiicstagrt arc c c r i a i n l v i r o n n b u t the c l e m e n t ot u r v a t m p a i t i t u l a r l v t i i o r i g ut these chapters. T h e distiivvlioit i t i m p o i t a n t lot t w o reasons. O n e it that the recognition o f -. -. >m In the l e t ! tend* l o under n o n e c l l o i i t to c i o n c r a t c R r > c l j ( i u i i t m l u t .ml h o i T h e author b l e n d e d s a n a t m a n d satire i n t o a volatile f o r m <if t i l i f i . a l i o n thai I w i l l not defend- S e c o n d , the d i s t i n c t i o n leads t o ihc
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b e offensive, t h e n o t e d , b u t it a l t o had p o t i t i t e f u n c t i o n s i n the e m e r g i n g C h m tian m o v e m e n t . D e n u n c i a t i o n * o l other )ct* l a o l i t a t r d b o u n d a o f o r n t a t k i n a* the i h u n . h r t i i c d to d i v i m g i i i t h i l i c t i o c l t c t f r o m the vi nagi |.. I he c o m i c m m turn o l R o m e a n d o f i m p e n d c u l l s hclpctl d e f i n e the t o n g r e g a t i u n * us groups that d i d n o i a> knowledge the d i v i m t v ) i h c emperor or rhc r m | * r r u r ' u n i v c r t a l b u m t k m l t t i i f i . V i l i f i c a t i o n o f m a l C h m t i a n leader*, o n the o t h e r h a n d , helped establish i h r b o u n d a n e * he twee ( h n t t i a n c r n n l r s and the r t o n - t . h m n a n gentile* o f m a i n i t r r a m c u l t u r e . The joy o f v i l i f i c a t i o n was r n o i i l y for that early p e r i o d in the history o f the m o v e m e n t , according to Y i r b r o C o l l i n t . N o w that C h r i s t i a n self-identity and power are w e l l established, the practice o l v i l i f i c a t i o n should be p u t away tor m o r e mature strategics. Pedrr ! . ii addressed the tame tec o l usucs under the r u b r i c ot "polemic."'* a n d h i t a r g u m e n t t a m e t o a similar c o n c l u t j o n : the p o l e m i c o f Revelation had the I. Adeb Y i n W C o h W " V U i A c u m and M f D i f i n i i . m in rh* Book o f R**l , ' MT/t?v VM-ZO. 1 i c J n Hurgiii. ' m the BcuL R c c l j i u n . ' in Ann-Srmir.it f * J/ <,* /mm IM Falmui jaj / jjrV> {d. C u i [ A. F.vant rd I) nil.) . Hafjw. VI F n n m L IV**.). I1 211.
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c l a i m that members o f his churches were true lew-* o r the t r u e Israel I n order to make this a r g u m e n t . I hrst need to define m y terms. 1 then review examples o f t a r t a i m f r o m Rev 2 - 3 , f o c u s i n g esfsccully o n the references to synagogue* o f Satan. I c o n c l u d e w u h o b t e r v a b o n t o n the relationship o f synagogues and churches i n Revelation.

> *l n*MK~hiarhaid>l*dli<ti<liir n f iuf/*iing*a t r j u n n n i 11 ih b*l n f .* o v l p r i r - c - l " *V'ilitt.iin* 11 l u alkHa* tV* ih> pn>inl in Rrseltmn. boc AtnniiMin* hir jnd#U*whw <ii ihc piper, trc M t r i i t a - w c h x e i Online lhl(|>:i''*t>in ^,.< himl.
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insults * O f perhaps m m dismissal o f m y paper was an attempt t o attract a t t e n t i o n t o y o u r o w n cleverness. Maybe y o u w a n t e d t o e n t e r t a i n . M a y b e m y paper threatened y o u r o w n reading o f Revelation. W i t h o u t more c o n t e x t , i* d i f f i c u l t i o be sure o l y o u r motive*.** A second, brooder f o r m a l for irony is described at t i r u c i u i a l . Structural i r o n y require* a narrative setting a n d c o m m u n i c a t e s an experience o t t h e w o r l d at para I I I I I K J I . A h e m n u g l i i vet o u t t o accomplish task only t o l e c o t i t o u n d c d by t h e actual course o f event*. O r a r u r r a t o i might sei o u t to tell a s u m u v i n g a w o r l d s lew thai t h e a u d i c n t c k n o w s t o be c o n t r a r y t o f a c t . " In either cave, t h e nt.u l n r . i i ' < .< o f experience overcome i h r i n t e n t i o n s o r assumptions o f the actor. The w o r l d it s h o w n t o be c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o h u m a n aspiration*. T h e m o o d ot s t r u c t u r a l i m n v m i g h t h e h u m o r o u s o r tragic, d e p e n d i n g o n t h e way t h e a u t h o r shape* ihc narrative. In c i t h e r cade, the ttrategy i t n o t at defensive a.* i n verbal irony. Structural i r o n y allows t h e o n e c o m p o s i n g i h c narrative t o flatter t h e audience for t h e i r ability t o discern t h e t r u e state o f t h i n g s , w h i l e simultaneously p r o m u l g a t i n g view o f h u m a n experience thai h i g h l i g h t * i h e irKontistencies a n d f r u s t r a t i o n s o l life. These t " ' , . .fori r o n y have a i least o n e feature i n c o m m o n , thet exploit

I be d e n u n c i a t i o n * i n Rev- 2 - 3 arc best described b y as irony, t a n n r . a n d tarcaira. These icrrns overlap, b u r each desenhet a particular k i n d o l language practice thai can be isolated conceptually lor (he p u r p o s e o l analyus. T h e choice o l these terms n u k e s J i i a . l v t i t m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d , however. Mans discipline* deal W i l l i ihese topics a n d I have t o decide boss they w i l l lie d e h n e d i n this studv. Are tlicvc liter J I V t e r m s ' Social strategies? P t v c l i o l o g i u l m a n e u s r r v i 1 i u g m t l K figures.' S p c r . h JLlvi I p M j v t c c t o deal w i t h t h e irony, .itirc. .usd M r u v n o f k t . r l . i n level . general I i . m s i d r r <hcm l o K r language p r s v t u r s i h a i v a n he manifested in persi'n.il p\ l - g t . ! i r c i i m n -. an.'

relations, i n p u b l i c statements, a n d i n w r i t t e n texts for a s-arsctv ! strategic purposesI h i - | | . . d - , i w i ' i i theories f r o m l i t r r a t v studie* elscvvhere. I here is a g o o d deal o f s i m i l a r i t y i n t h e v a r t o u i d i s c i p l i n a r y discussion* o f these topics. So they should c o m p l e m e n t each other, i i w e treai the theories at a general level a n d pay a t t e n t i o n t o (heir particular d i s c i p U r u r y c o n t a u , I n b r e a d terms, i r o n y i s n o r m a l l y treated at a statement i n w h i c h there is b o t h a surface m e a n i n g a n d another c o n t r a d i c t o r y m e a n i n g at m i n e o i h e t level, i t . , . : f t o . h i .. t w o - in . ; . l o r lie p h e n o m e n o n . O n e f o r m a ! * verbal i r o n y , a state c o f what * meant. I n VIM h catev, ment t h a t M M lev* than is meant or even . |

the gap between appearance a n d re .1. . . between w o t d t o r e v e n t t and the c o n i c x i o l I b o t e w i i r t l * or events.' At f i i t l glance t h i s divvonaiicc teems f r u i t f u l for the analyst* o f Rev 2 - . t . l o t John t r a l l i t t in u n f u l f i l l e d e x p e c t a t i o n * . lier h - i k u i g g r m o t h erwise. Simple serbal i r o t n does not lake u * far e n o u g h - John d i t r * not divsemblc. as t h o u g h he w o u l d hide h i s true i n t e n t i o n * b e h i n d facade o f subtlety. N o r d o e * s t r u c t u r a l i r o n y describe accurately t h e heart o f t h e issue E x a m p l e * o f structural i r o n y c a n b e found i n ihe text, b u t i i is n o t j o h n ' t preferred ttraiegy i n the messages o f Rev 2 - 3 . ' I n general, ( o h n makes a clear c o n n e c t i o n between the choice* made I < people a n d t h e resulting consequences. I h c issue i n Revelation is not t h e paradoxical character o l existence. T h e issue i t w h c i h c r h o t i i l c powers w i l l deceive h u m a n s i n t o n u k i n g eternally fatal choices. Satire al*o appears o f t e n t h i o u g b o o t R e v e U i - u i . Salite is n o r m a l l y contadeicd a sftrcial b u m o l irony. S a l u r i t i n m i t in-, n o r u opera let i n t h e spate Iteiwren ptetense a n d actual e i p e n e n t e . T h r e e o f its characteristic* make it particularly . i p p m p r i a l c f o r discussion o f Revelation. First, satire m a n i l c t t s a p a r m u l i r intolerance f o r personal
:

the . p r i l r t creates an inconsistency rhat re*|uires t h e audience t o consider whether some m e a n i n g o t h e r than the literal m e a n i n g m i g h t hctier explain t h e Maicment. For e x a m p l e , after t r a d i n g t h i * chapter y o u m i g h t say t o s o m e o n e . " F n e s c n w r o t e t h e h o t chapter o n sarcasm i n the w h o l e b o o k . " Your i n t o n a t i o n m i g h t suggest t o y o u r listener that s o u meant t o t o m m u n j i r s o m e t h i n g o t h e r than the literal m e a n i n g o l the sentence.*' O r y o u r hearer m i g h t calculate the actual n u m b e r o f sarcasm chapters in this b o o k and conclude thai what sounded like praise actually i m p l i e d disapprosal or c r i t i c i s m . These inconsiuencies i n y o u r statement a i i h c level o f i n i o n a i i o n a n d i o n i c s ! alerted y o u r c o n h d a n i lhat a second, contradictory m e a n i n g was actually i n t e n d e d . I n c o n s i s t e n c i e s * ! the level o f words 0 1 clauses can seise the u n i t purpose.' B u t w h y d i d v o u |>l >-- t h e o r i g i n a l t a t c m e n l i n a way that said s o m e t h i n g i i l h e r i h a n what v o u m e a n t ' It w o u l d have I x e n l i m p l c r and cleatrr il n u i h a d t i m p h ' i l o . l o . - t ' . " F r i e v n ' i chapter nicked," By f r a m i n g * u r c r i t i c i s m i r o n i c a l ! * , however, you g a v e yourself plausible d c n i a b i l i t y because s o u never actually- c n t i c t / c d m y w m k A i t h e tame rime y o u gave y o u r hearer i h c o p p o r t u n i t y t o acknowledge the c r i t i c i s m o f t o ignore i t . I h i i double dcfen*e mechanism w o u l d n o t be available t o c i t h e r o f y o u i f y o u t i m p h ' v i l i f i e d m y paper. O t h e r m o u s e s f o r i r o n y b e y o n d dcniabiLity arc also p o t t i b l e . E x p e r i m e n t a l t i u d i c t *ugget( t h a t ironic insults c u t deeper than p l a i n

\ Foi * J i K u a k n ai the an b i l k m i ken utcd b i p c i k i n t o %nil i h m u i u m . * n [like lf, iron.-S . * . T h . o w . ' r ^ i / / , v i n M I (!)): IKI h. \ . ' . , . . . . . ' . . / . - , ' \~t,rt {FtifpuiK* tnJ H.y.*iJ, n.s, .14; I t * J n l u i I W
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Fmnv M. P n m . i i and K u i L a n i ) V i r u i m Ahv-4*l Vurn' iB-nrttkullrax the Ini . ul Inmk Insukiaad trunk Ciwip I interns." iiuravne / W r t i o 31 (2C02): 214-11. ft Fur a startler I Itune tt*nm thm U M I U I I U M U ! i M n u I I U U I I C M * M a u n ( . . . . . .1 ' . ! . N , Kau. O n the I V * . / * i r, j * (., ^ # ^ e i w * r . , . J < i i w t l i 1 4 70. III. C h i n tsakliv.cd.. I h l*m,r* (>faJIh,h~u^rfb*r*rr Tt*m> iNew Yniki O i t \ d I'mwaail- Vltm. I W | , H4. I I . Ritf/r I - A I . I . 1 . 4 / ' t i u i c i r , >/U.wO-a I nn.jJ Tmm Inrt. anJ atUry*.! *J .. New Yeifc Ki.tnU.lcr. V'ltT). I ZSiaW Sathi Kumnn-Sakafmira. sass lautkilaec, and M i r y (Winvr.. " I I ahnaf Aitt.llui F*tccc f f I'iff I h r AUashwal IVcloiw TTbcoif <4 Ititc H K Imnr.* ravnstv/ t f i ' . * e w * f a i
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t h e m deal w i t h u n a t t a i n e d aspirations, The salient t h a r a c t e r n n c o f sarcasm, however, it that it i i a b i t t e r , caustic, personal, a n d p a i n f u l h u m ot verbal aggresiion. Here's h o w H a i m a n contrasted i r o n y a n d sarcasm. first, t i i u n i i i t n mat be i m n i i . but nnb/ people tan be u n a a i i Sevnnd. people miy be iininrentionaJh/ ironic, hut sirtasan rrquirrt inteniinn VX'hae itestcntul >> >. . ...- it that it is osen inray inrew/ittwnOi ami ty the uvtire*- 4fmrm f i f M aggmxrt, satd 11 n u t i h u t be tuatiraiied with .ithet af/itssi<c tpcrxh acts. an.nj[ iheiii the put-on. direct insults, curses. t u u p c r a t n , r u j g u t g , and cttiidescentum."" Fsif e x a m p l e , after f i n i s h i n g this chapter, sou m i g h i c m p k i y s a n r i i a l sarsasni h i r-Mi.il m g me > 1I1 the a d i t x c . "Sik t o a n h a o i l n g y and I r a t e Revelation i n the ex perts," Such a i t a t e m r n t w o u l d be sarcastic i t n c e it iscaustK and personal. T h e i r o n i c element srttrrres m y arrogance i n c l a i m i n g to be an a u t h o n r y o n Revelation. 1 he sat ire f u n c t i o n i at a t e c o n d a r y level, t h o u g h , p r o v i d i n g the i r o n y f o r what 11 essentially a tare as I K rejection o f m y w r i t i n g , m i competence, and indeed m y l o c a t i o n . T h e choice to use t a r c a i m c a l l * c e r t a i n features i n t o play t h a i are m u s i n g i n ver b a l a n d s t r u c t u r a l irony. Saicasm is s e l d o m a m b i g u o u s . 1 "he subtle ii**.ontiiiencies o f irony a i r usualb replaced by a f r o n t a l attack thai it i r a n s p a r c i i l to i h r audience. A i t isiry it unnecessary. *l~hc audience is n o t left 1 0 wonder a b o u t the values o f the t f i r o k c r or about w h i c h level o f m e a n i n g to lake *crsoutlv. ' Thus ihc \<- - d e n i a b i l i l t n o i m a l l t di*.ip|*r.ir*. a l l h o i i g h i h r hearer t a n still chouse to i g u o i c ihc t . m . o m . ' For instance. I m i g h t reply t o t o u r r - m a i l b y saving. " T h a n k s l o t i h c advice hutunatrlv. m y spam filter d i d n ' t prevent y o u r note f r o m reaching m c " * The characterisation o f y o u r e - m a i l a* spam signals that the entire message means s o m e t h i n g different f r o m w h a t the words sav; m y gratitude 11 actually iniincere a n d I consider y o u r o p i n i o n t o be o l n o m o r e value than u n s o l i c i t e d , c o m p u t e r generated advertising. I hate re n o u n c e d plausible d c n i a b i l i i y i n order to strike back w i t h sarcasm, b u i you m i g h t still choose 1 0 ignore m y teal message i n a way t h a i w o u l d not b e possible i l I t c n o u n c c d saicasm and simply d e m e a n e d your f a m i l y lineage. T o s u m Up. we need to he a w a i t .if three i r L t r d language practices as wc trod Revelation: i m n i . natirc, a m i n a n - n m . I define t h e m a* f o l l o w s . is i h e h n u d r u t e r m , i n d n a t i n g a t t a t e m c n t or narrative lhal e x p l o i t * the gap between a p p c a r a m r a n d reality. | | c o m r s i n t w o m a j o r f o r m a l * : verbal i r o n y l u t t r r a m c s that mean >mr-

d e n u n c i a t i o n . ' Second, satire does n o t require the suppression o f the values o f tbe i e d a u t h o r as the case w i t h m o s t o t h e r f o r m s o f irony. I h c a u t h o r embraces an i m p l i c i t or overt m o r a l standard a n d
uses

it i n h i s " v i l i f i c a t i o n o f the v i c t i m . ' M ' h i r d . c l e m e n t o h e n results f r o m

satire demands a fantastic or even grotesque d e m e n t is it display* tbc absurdity ot p e o p l e , s i t u a t i o n * , or o r g a n i z a t i o n s - " T h e satirist's i f i i
lantasiK
the

to p o r t i a i some aspect o l lite as an absurdity.'

These features o l satire lend t h c i i i t c l t r t to vrveial k i n d s o f *t raicgscs. .value m i g h t be e m p l o m l t o de*a.rot an o p p o n e n t . Satire'* r e l u m e o n a r m u a l o a m i a n l can also lead to a c o r m t i s e ( u n c i i o n I t can also hate great e n t r r t a m m r n t value. I n general, t h o u g h , a satirical strategy subject* wee, folk*, arrogance, or injustice to r i d i c u l e f o r the purpose o f exposing unacceptable practice o r even c h a n g i n g i t . " I n R e v e l a t i o n , however, we are not d e a l i n g w i t h satirical genre o t literature. Satire d o e * not p r o v i d e a u n i f y i n g aspect f o r the visions o f R e v e l a t i o n . N o t w o u l d anyone mistake the Seer ' Juvenal or H o r a c e . " I am l u g g e s t i n g here, a n d argue b c k i w . that satire a n d tar casra describe many o f the i m p o r t a n t features o f John's d e n u n c i a t i o n s . T h e o t h e r c r u c i a l aspect o f J o h n * v i l i f i c a t i o n is . . . - . . . . - . . w h i c h can be defined as "a sharp a n d o f t e n satirical or ironic uttciaiiLC designed to cut o l g i t e p a i n . ' or "a m o d e ot V I I I I U J I w i l d e p e n d i n g f o r its effect o n bitter, caustic, a n d o f t e n n u m . lan guage ibat is usaialh d i r e c t e d against an i n d i v i d u a l . " " ' A c a d e m i c i a n * argue whether
or
n o i tart
1

asm should be Ussiltrd

a*

a f o r m o f irony.

I side w i t h those w h o d e f i n r

sarcasm as a special f o r m o f ' . l o r w i t h o u t u r a r i m n i c d i m e n s i o n a d e n u n c i a t i o n is s i m p l y abusive I he element c o m m o n to irony, satire, and sarcasm i s that all o f

11. tmka, r.nnrai firm.. 214. 14. saaia* ipp-aoinha *p*ially t mala I O I K J mntr that* ait inimrwi*mpU*ia*t"aW) an i l * * ! ). A. CwddW. i d . , A /AwAwwarr tfl.terio lt*w<ie*. td.i Lunlum Andu I V u i w h . 1979). W . I V NuKhrup rvv*r. ,4ntA aU* Cnttmm. fwrnr /laa-rs* IPnmduii: I'rintelun UnotiBif I ' m * . l*vT|. 22.1-iv. TW auibaira n l t n , however, a m i ritai hr. E N j i m t w d ifwnly at ajtirk I " - SwuYf Afflra /vsi/sna/rvliMOci a rMngnuam Ivy nW jiidwftot of lb* barturiry <* hit pntpnaali annum io oimmunicari huvali**. |. ttft, 4ivt.224. 17. I i n - . ' . . for )')>. .- : lhal it known "pirody': Main. Afrt*i)f*t aUmi leaS-711; John Hiamaa. Taw Omft Xawan- 4 . . **J tfV / W * a * o/VjHfw/r (Saw Vorki Oiford Urine nary West. I-'MHI. 21 -22 IK. l i m i t Hwtvnccti. /tvw/r rJp Tie /'- . ' , . - , (New York: I W I o h j c . 1444). 12-1. I ' l . Riinun U I I M , urtdaninod * * ( ce" Innanna u n aMum|uti J urstty ot p r j . i t:i> i i t d t i r i i t s l k i ifM* bcyxid the cV-f of sarin- at | tu>< l o J a hen. In oilier winds, an cxenaHaiy test ' - * titue fPialii H K I U J C *.<> tanast* feature 11 tail aic miewdcd attack, oitertain, u i . . i m i irw N u l l Ruad. Javwv. p . * W n Sanrv I Londrtn: Password.. lUto). l - . W . 2D. > - . Onljrt. 21- '' t . , ' . " I *fiil> do . W i l l i (.>rs>l<*ir t l l V J M * fmm ihr l - i l l t i 1/iront. we need to m < at a limitwu. tatetw iht veff btudei uf tbe . i m i i l ^ jr.. ."< H i ining a / r n r r i 4 /lM*w#vitn.- /srvtrrejfon IManiini c* I hXTJtttrt; AaVaay: Sine L ' n m r u r ol New York Pr-w. tmt 17X

H i n u n . 1*or It C'#wi/\ 2<: cnwhitii m < > . 2.1. U,in )xa~..V *n,* tfImy. 16-17. 14. Barb*, / n s 27-2. ITSaniahilay K H i n a t i n x t i K j i n a d , IKIWVTWI,avn wah u u m l l l i a u n . "Sirvasm t r t t c i m . * >:: J). Fee example, c o m i i n tbe Mhinc. j k m i and tee i f you can deter mine Mbrtlio the m i l l . - h i t thtnluttlf .! .is-teMii-.u M M M I . O as 1 ssnasis gtslsis. m p i r u l m * J > oi iruntt u i o a n i o J b i n l n . Brc-e and I . I V I U I I D a model ai t u n . 1 Hi r o a i v c an i d d i i n n i l itsWinawhippafimat-r, 'rtt-itnatdiip afftvt', m a m w u lor ilw w i y > i n w h . h naturalohswwtni iniwapro \| i n i i l n and .unfJimania. \* | u . , t . - , l , i h r l i n r i l mnniitc* of arc anal found to liitbacntc obacttert' c-.^iiaiov i r y t e t m i i h i i n i t f ibe itiaaKWthip beimxn t o r i lei and h u r i r . I l w w i , unnpccird cc*rraiinata SSSS**XfJih* r e l a i n n t n aruhk-. au|ST*vl i h n - r..- -n . . ddautaiy a - u a n r . t ; may n..d ir.b, r^aisaulalwd' ISIssjswki and Tuotbull. XIis- B* K i n d . ' ).
XL

S e n .**t 11 RrviLtiN : - i

1 1

Srxvi I u t t i K

t h i n g o t h e r ( k i n w h a t is h t r r a l l v stated): and s t r u c t u r a l i r o n y (narratives in w h i c h the covin*; o f events Irustrate the i n t e n t i o n s o f characters). Satire can be viewed as J letv obtuse tarrn o f i r o n y that ridicules s u e or t o l l y . I t h o l d s i t i o p p o n e n t ! u p t o a m o r a l standard o l some sort a n d highlights t h e i r s h o r t c o m i n g s . Sarcasm is often satirical o r i r o n i c , b u t i t characterized especially by b i t t e r personal attack. \ V i i h these overlap p i n g p h e n o m e n a d e f i n e d , we can r e t u r n to Res 2-.1 a n d h i g h l i g h t c e i t a i n a i p e c u o f the let I . SaltrASTir C H R I C I

a c o n t e m p o r a r y c h u r c h p n i p h e t . I he ancient H i b a m was a foreign p n t p h r t credited w i t h causing the Israelites to w o r s h i p foreign gods and w i t h c o n v i n c i n g the Israellie m e n to have i l l i c i t i c x u a l relations w i t h M o a b i t e w o m e n i N u m 22:1 2 5 : 3 1 . I f a c o n t e m p o r a r y i n d i v i d u a l prophet is meant i n Rev 2 : 1 4 . the c o m p a r i s o n w i t h Balaam suggests that be was male a n d was p r o m o t i n g a m o r e lenicnc a t t i t u d e than [ o h n to w a r d polytheistic sacrificial practices. I f ihe phrase does n o i r e l t r t o a c o n t e m p o r a r y c h u r c h p r o p h e t , rhc plita*c mat simply be a w a t o l s a t i r i s i n g c e r t a i n m e m b e r s o f the c h i n c h t h r o u g h b i h l n a l a l l u t i o n . T h e salite suggests, lliey p a i t i c i p a l c d i n g c i i l i l c u t o t o m e ex ten I, at I r . i t t by John't d e l i n i l tori, a m i u i w r r c unfa it h t o l I n l -od In

Til"

nfic rt

either case, scriptural alluvion b r x o m c t i h e means by w h i c h preiensc is exposed. T h e messages o f the rv*en C h r i s t t o the seven churches i n Rev 2 - 3 make e x t r u sive u i e o f satire a n d sarcasm, and also e m p l o y i r o n y at certain i m p o r t a n t p o i n t s . I hrec groups bear the b r u n t o f t h i s verbal aggression in t h i s section: congregations, c h u r c h leaders, and synagogues. 1 he sarcasm directed at congregations is n o r m a l l y expressed as c r i t i c i s m o f the angel o f the c h u r c h . I n the message i o Sardis. the church's angel is t o l d that it h a i the r e p u t a t i o n o f b e i n g alive b u t i t is actually dead I v_2-.it. T h e sarcasm is moderate I h i the t t a n d a r d t o l the A p o c a K p s e l . a n d the satirical aspect it i t l o n g . T h e t l i o c k i u g revelation l h a l ihc congregations actual status i t the o|>ptiti(c of i t t r e p u t a t i o n i* f o l l o w e d by imperatives a i m e d at r e l o r m i n g the l i t u a l t o n . " w a k e o p a n d s l r e n g i b r n i h e rett of t h e t h i n g s that are a b o u t I n d i e ! " T h e angel o f (he c h u r c h i n I j o d u e a . o n the o t h e r h a n d , c o m e * i n for a stronger d o t e of sarcasm, first comes a c o n d e m n a t i o n f o r lukewarmness U r l o ) , then comes the revelation o f the angel's mistaken o p i n i o n , " h o r you say. a m w e a l t h v and base e n r i c h e d myself a n d I have n o need.' a n d y o u d o not realize that you are w r e t c h e d a n d p i t i f u l and p o o r and b l i n d and naked" (3:17). The u l t i m a t e recipients o t the itirical sarcasm directed at the angels are actualry 1 he second p n p h r t n example it clearly an i m l i t t . l n . i l fp<m the congregation m I h v . K i r a She satirtrcd as a b t t e r - d a y Jezebel. T h e basis t o r the sanre it the B i b l i c a l re o t Jezebel, the Phoenician queen w h o p r o m o t e d C a n a a m r r w o r s h i p i n Israel d u r i n g the reign o t her husband k i n g A h a b v ' I h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h ihis imagery i n f o r m s o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the 1 van tan s i t u a t i o n is unclear. The satire w o u l d b e a p p r o p r i a t e i f used against a gentile w o m a n w h o was an i n f l u e n t i a l leader i n the congregation,"*' o n e w h o used her influence to m o v e the c o n g r e g a t i o n closer t o w a r d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n v a c i i l i c u l activity. I l dues n o l allow us l o t p c t u l a t e a b o u t what i n f l u ence i h e m i g h t have h a d i n the w t d e i c o m m u n i t y . T h e satirical c l e m e n l is vinuiger than the v i r c a i l u i o t i n t i m t a n c e , and there tea h i n t o f reserve i n t h e t a t i r e . at t h o u g h C h r i s t were p u l l i n g his punches. N o t e that Jk^avSrl's c t a t u s i s a p r o p h e t is n o t rejected like the s u t u i o f the to-called apostles o f R e * 2 : 2 . Moreover. Jezebel it n o t person ally d e m o n r r e d : rather, her tevefntig i t rejected a n d equated w i t h k n o w i n g the "deep t h i n g s o f Satan" ( 2 : 2 0 . 2 4 ) . " " T h e satire is a c c o m p a n i e d by threats againtt those w h o d o n o t repent a n d exhortations t o the i n n o c e n t . I ' h i i brings u t to the harshest sarcasm f r o m the risen C h r i s t , w h i c h requires more extensive c o m m e n t . I n the messages to Smyrna a n d Philadelphia he refers t o synagogues o f Satan, people w h o c a l l themselves lews b u l are l u n g (I:": j e w i k h c o m m u n i t i e s o l S r n i r n a a n d P h i l a d e l p h i a , a n d I agree w i t h t h e m . ' l.*M. M o x i vcTuiLars c o n c l u d e l h a l the " nagogue o f Satan" epithet was a i m e d a i the mainstream

tbe congregations, o f course. T h r o u g h ihe logic o f apocalyptic s y m b o l i s m , the verbal abute ends u p as d e n u n c i a t i o n o l . a n d appeal t o . the c u i u s . T h e w h o l e purpose ot lhee messages is, after a l l . rhar a l l the churches should k n o w that C h r i s t is i h e o n e w h o searches their hearts *rsd m i n d s , a n d i h c o n e w h o tcpavt t o all a c c o r d i n g I n t h e n .Iced. ( 2 : 2 3 , . ( e r t a i n c h u r c h leaders q u a l i f y for special sarcastic a t t e n t i o n i n ihe text. T h e bphcsians had encountered i n d i v i d u a l s w h o called themselves apostles These were abb' i n n e r a n t saints s i m i l a r t o those discussed i n Didache 11 ".36. I n Rev 2, t h e bphesian c o n g r e g a t i o n - t h r o u g h the angel o f the c h u r c h was c o m m e n d e d for testing these alleged apostles and f o r d i s c e r n i n g (hat they were liars 12:2). I n this case ihere is n o discernible satirical m o n t regarding the t e l l - p r o c U i r n c d apoitles. o n l y c i . i j . t t i . d e n u n c i a t i o n against t h e m i n a t h i i d person rclcrcnce. N o t so w i t h certain prophets i n i h e churches. O n e or rwo i n p a i t i c u l a i take the b i u n i o f c a n s t i n I ire that i t bated o n scripture. T h e r k i s i c n e r o l the first v i c t i m t actually q u e s t i o n a b l e : the name Balaam m i g h t lefet to a p a r l K i i l . i r p r o p h e t f r o m t V r g a m i i m , b u t this isot t c r i . n since the mcvxigr let h n n a l l y o h t r t t * to "tbo*e w h o h o l d to the t e a c h i n g o f Balaam* 12:14). w h i c h m i g h t not necessarily refer d i r e c t l y t o

;V

. ; . a I. iniha r u r r i i i t t . . . l 1 Ka Itii.M 2 Km * - J 7 . Ai lain w i m o l inn u i m i linn i t u Thyaairanci^igrttjiiain freer ate* nt tt^rvxnani w * h .

according m 2 1 2 4 2 7 . Ihc misattw ul "ihc Jeep hi t i p iff Saian* nt uitckn. bul a a prubibb u n a tatine <**' the cltiiTi, " k i r b e l . " Aune ninrd thai iht nhiaac c*i UiycasSii' !* ihe, sit* I indkaie* ilea* we are .. . I, oinw u l i>l J cutni) .ir ikiean in>m ihuw . . maV. hn\u\ Thm nngiml i w n u m may h o c been t h u they ln * t h e d i t f (tunes>%1,' or strsply "mc depths," t t h c h j u h n hat turned MM a - n u liivcrt-n I ' . - i d I . Aa.se, S-Wf/twa / - ( W I>tJLt M , 1 9 9 7 1 . 207-JJ. 2t~ Fm turiefv of tnhf aJa"i i>. >r -., d ihr <, r. jp-sjurt ol Sinn." M I A J 1 I 1 Yiibiu Callinm, ' m .!. . u l < '.iin ih* f... - i . H I J I t i n a u d i o " I l . n u n . * in " ' >.. > a." # 1'* r.'AtiiiMWi, /*-. V i n V i i i ' m luu 1t*f<r, <_cl fifth N'-timr and I nnvi S. f r r r i - h * . Chita-. Calif.: Vhulart Crew. **.). 2 0 1 - O I and -.. " M c t n i t . " 2110. I ' - . i Lluft'igrcei lhal the i-pfninl* I N mem Ken n f ihr local trwua. i i M i i n i i i N i l aagurt thu Win w i t rata; grnrrnr Knaon ah ihjm r u t u r ihn rrapondirif.fi. rcia-ittf, Mftatuita ( t l i JWri n / tiaatf'/W/Wiiii lYitcii-/ i W *
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O n e ether alternative to this i J c n i i r K J i i o n i n recent scholarship is t h a i the syna gogue of S i u n referred n o t to |ew b u t rather to c h u r t h m e m b e r * w h o had m u s e d back t o w a r d * c w i t h synagogue practice.-" hit, alternative p o s i t i o n was c h a m p i o n e d b y H c i n r i c h Kral't. H e asserted that i h r vvrugogue ol' S a u n had to i c i e r to c h u r c h m e m b e r * w h o had adopted a synagogal i d e n t i t y lor three reasons: because ' t i t a n i c * in Revel . 1 . . describes someone w h o entices others away f r o m f a i l h a n d confession: because one . . i o n . : i m a g i n e - ' i n d e n y i n g that the Jewish c o m m u n i t i e s wete ' i p c i p l c : aisd t i r u u t c J o h n was l o i H c l l i c d about Christians and not about Jews. N o n e ol tbrse .11 i n i r n u i* t n m i m i n g : i h r first t o o k ! I*c true of Jews or o f a n v o n c esse-, a n d the l i s t tsso cannot be supported b o m R o r l a i n - n Nevertheless, K r a f t i n s o k e d a hs'pothetical scenario in w h i c h C h r i s t i a n s m i g h t base abandoned the churches t o seek refuge in the legal i t a t u i o f the Jewish c o m m u n i t y . T o the lews these w o u l d have appeared as God-fearer*. I o | o h n they* w o u l d have been a syncrctistic g r o u p , ready t o c o m p r o m i s e w i t h polytheistic a n d i m p e r i a l cult i n s t i t u t i o n s , a n d capahle o : d i l u t i n g t h e c o m m i t m e n t o f the c h u r c h e s . " M o r e recendy. D a v i d f r a n k f u r t e r has made the case that the synagogue o f Satan ii>.iad have l e l c i i e d to pi.<si-Pauline gentile saints w h o t o l k i w e d Paul's i n s t r u c t i o n s u
-*:--

I t is m u c h r a n e r t o accept the rruionrs- o p i n i o n o n ibis m a n e r the synagogue o f S a u n references were d i r e c t e d at some m e m b e r s o l the lewish c o m m u n i t i e s i n Smyrna a n d Philadelphia. I h e message I D i h e S m y r n i o t e c h u r c h suggctts that the synagogue o f Satan w o u l d be responsible for t e n d o n s w i t h the authorities. 1'he d o u ble relerence t o Satan a n d i h e devil makes the c o n n e c t i o n . " a n d it is m o r e l i k c b that t o m e m e m b e r s o f the lew ish c o m m u n i t y (rather than f o r m e r c h u r c h members) w o u l d be i n a p o s i t i o n to carry o u t such aciiviiies against I -
Miiagoguc*

T h e p i o t t l e r n w i t h the Conclusion lhat J o h n was L a l l i n g

uUntc,

however, it thai it makes John's meu-igr c t t r c m c l i i l i v t a t t r l u l nowsxlaw. Nineteen ccnturset b t e r . w i t h a I m p hiiiors- o f C h r i s t u oppre*vH>n o f Jews t o take i n t o a c c o u n t , such statement canrsoi p a w w i t h o u t l o m m r n t V>me have p o i n t e d to m i t i g a t i n g circumstances. The synagogues may have been under great pressure after the Jewish MtJr w i t h Rome ( 6 6 - 7 0 C I L ) to define themselves as loyal, stable i n s t i t u t i o n s in the R o m a n w o r l d a n d may have been more aggressive toward the c h u r c b e t for ihr* r e a s o n . " O r perhaps the d e n u n c i a t i o n o f these particular i v n a g u g u e i was a p a r i o f | o h n * b r g c r bias against anyone w i t h h i g h social s t a n d i n g i n tbe cities o f A s i a . ' A consensus a b o appears t o b e forming t h a i i h e synagogue o l Satan references s h o u l d he .: i.:.-;. ni as a n i n t r a m u r a l Jewish i k u m u h between i h e svnagoguci a n d i h r . Ii . i .. I x i i h o f w h i c h w c r e c b i m i n g the tight t o he sailed ihc i r u c Israel, I h c studies by Varbro C o l l i n * and fcirgen m r n l t o n r d at i h r b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s paper e i p l . u n c d the "synagogue o f Satan* n t u p r r a t s i n as an a r g u m e n t between v o m p e t i n g g r o u p w h o b o t h c l a i m e d the exclusive right to call themselves "Jew-s " , a r h r o I * focused o n the social f u n c t i o n o f John's d e n u n c i a t i o n , describing it as an a t t e m p t t o c l a i m the t e t m " l e w * for the churches. J o h n , a c o i r d i n g t o YanSro C o l l i n s , considered tbe churches to be the (rue hraxrl.'' B o r g c n argued the case s o m e w h a t dilrercnilv. He agreed t h a i the ' q u e s t i o n be h i n d the phrase 'synagogue o f Saun* is: whete are the i r u c Jews ( o be f o u n d , i n (be /' -,.; or i n (he s y n a g o g u e . ' ' " H e placed t h i s t p c v i h i . |vilcniic a b o u t those w h o falsely c l a i m to b e J e w t (Rev 2 : 9 ; 3 ) i n a broader c o n t e x t o f Jewish i n t r a m u r a l a r g u m e n t * . A tutvev o f relevant test* fn>m Phiki and t m m the D e a d Sea S t r o l l s led

cautious f i e e d o i n i n eating meat

Ii. ..! Io other deities 1 C o r 1 0 - 2 3 - A " '


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at.d wlui t h o u g h t o f themselves a* i h e true Jew* |cf. R o m 2 : 2 H - 2 J . " I n order t o make his case. f r a n k f u r t e r rightb p o i n t o l mil t h e diversity a m o n g Jews o f the D i aspora i n western Asia M i n o r , b u t t h r n argued that J o h n * sectarian c n n c i s m had to be d i r e c t e d at inerden within the |e*u m o s e m e n t , a n d that John'* o w n h a b i t h p t a c t j c c t c o u l d be characterired at a form o f h y p e r p u r i t v w h i l e tr is true that [-hns iW o p p o n e n t * c o u l d have shared f a u l t view o n sacrificial meat, "synagogue" and

A'aia-. are not attetied as p o p u l a r self-designations in Pauline or post-Pauline churches. Moreover, i t is highly unlike I that J o h n was s c r u p u l o u t l y concerned w i i h p u r i t y o r Jewish halakhic practice. In fact. John seems c o m p l e t e l y u n c o n c e r n e d a b o u t Sab b a t h observance, l o u d r e g u b t r o n t (beyond (he t o p i , o f sacrificial n t e a i ) . a b l u t i o n s , or c i r c u m c i t i o n . ' -

Mfl-avi w/CVv,u .- *W t a W s - i / ***- Af^-^x (Sew .'..A: Osl-.id Uaversiiy tew. 2001). CM*. 4$-47aasd 4 9 I: alto swr eaV 7*1 thu mmm 24. Sr-rftan C. W I U . I I C\'..mJ. I ^ . H O . " A T * | 1 | M . I ..,;..... thai lha . r , , u . nf tmm might trier 1 r: t ' h n a n n ( i o i r i l r * " h o had lavitird l b * tyrMfw-wr* and were harat.inj.iU thurvho " t l h (he red l i n t lendi in v. harm mac t i w w r t s . W ahon - t t . m ) tin tr^umon I'm i h n pinadm, he-. tnl .mntcJiitciy hilsed to specatcm-nt i h . i bey could aUi he Ccntrfc church member* WhatfcaJtm-t-td tcntaiJ lha .y n i p * . n h u h lha p.nlain . 1 K t i l l .
: c t

phuar Kill * M i l l - ( ' b u i nSiy las mil"I i n n p n i in 'ihaaa svttn call ihama-n-n |a-*a." 1 do nc< i g m ban <aa I I . - in.; wit - raliMMial I m g i i t p h i r a b n a t a riw praaril anj i m n n J o i . ton I n i t am tttlJ n f irony, u i nr. and sarcasm M. ' ic t heoiuaitin ASiun and ifevil m Rev 2 . 4, * ^ . - . Itllandr-rsnkfurier ('famrtMSIca;* VHil foini * i h n tha laaiind-ianiury M i i i r r J u m U mlyiarp losplao.l nm Itrgi a i\ii in ihc lecoiistriicmnvitf first crntury rensui* in Smrrna hct*>etn crnaaih-* -J iriiiU.*lirrs Thru potrtt is " t i l taken

> ' Moniich Kiafi, a*** Hffmkin-ng ' " /'uwv IllardbuoS lum Scwcri TcsuaHoil Kwi -, Nt.hr Sachet k. 19741. b l . I I . DavUFrankivure.. * * . Nt-? Rnun-aisning theOilst*.'* rfTK^A I2QU1): 4Q}-2\ ' I n ' \ l .r .(.ii! ir ; u . .1 fie a ai mi I ir aia ifk H I ; lha yrtip>C* >4 Sjian >ra ginlJr t - " d ta-arrr*ah.i Hiirwdifar i h u r c U * i n d dairrW iW a,iinm;r<| bttala-ai i w ifwrrvwlv*-* f j i n t n W. Ma'taall AiMlwv rf'Vf / A S S W I fwJAf*\*)ip>f jSludut In O l . I Hi in-If and |uJaofn III. <lrrtii. Ontarai: Walltvd laursfl U t a i - i Prru. 2001 J . I.V-lu. I M - 1 4 ) . Hm i f an m i t u w d no itm yti*: allrprd habkhic CMwrna hut riaho n a airasr>i>W*ird. n t m n l o l a j . r - i n d m nl ihr
t

M. tl..Hc.h S.hu-lci F t . Kitr^a r r * a / r M l (Pntabrnaaicw Cntsusuniarn; Minnaup.*a*-r rWtras*. I y . I asmard Th..mp*..r. TaV r U 4 a/fJ>*ltntm. 4},*>'.. aar f~fr INaw Vrel: . . . ' Univeisatr Press. 19901.171 >>'. YaibmCnBaiM. ValaWannn." \\4. .119. !<*.^204.

SPt MM IH RfVILatlil*" - ( Kim i i i o i n c l u d c t h a i J o h n b u i l l a n * " i w d i t m n * . especially (hose d e a l i n g w i t h i h r d e n u n c i a t i o n ol" pagan w o r s h i p , n a t i o n a l p r i e s t h o o d , a n d p r o t e i y u i m . H o i g c n c o n c l u d e d that J o h n M l . l e w o r i u n g these t r a d i t i o n s t o support i h r idea thai the c h u r c h was i h r true Israel t o u n d e d o n the salvinc death ol" Irsus. ihe eschaiohigical m m units' i n w h i c h were f o u n d the Hue J e w s . " O n e p t o b l c m w i t h this a r g u m e n t is thai i t does n o t suhScienth a c c o u n t lor i h e d i m . . i n n f |. n i a u d i t I M C . It is n o I cleat what k i n d of i n t r a m u r a l a i g u n i e i i t is i n volved hctc it" the churches w e r r o.inipoed m o s l h ' o f genlilet. T h e c h u r c h c t t c r t . i i i i h i l r r v . o n l i i . t r l ' i h r r i r a g e , hur what p r r c r n i a g e o l the sain is t a m e I n n o Jewish parents* O r w h a i p c n e n i a g e o f the saints kept Torah to the extent th.ii the* w o u l d have h e r n perceived b y neighbors as J e w i s h * " A l t h o u g h n is impossible to u i i . i n n t v an answer, (ohn's i m p l i e d audience is mostly gentile. T h i s i t what we w o u l d expect f r o m the earlier history* o f churches i n western A l i a M i n o r , a n d texts like Ke* V ' c o n n r - n i - .
1

Hi

SlBVl I * . cauwn u f bfe- las: the one with an en heat sthal the uviiil M I S to the churches. The 1.1 w i l l be haimed by i h r tecund death. I h e focus m this message i t o n severe s u f f e r i n g : C h r i s t t u i e t t h a i he k n o w s

the angels oppression loAiiiil ?! and that m o r e is to c o m e . Here the second person u n g u b r address t o the angel breakt d o w n and the congregation it addressed d u e * t i t t h r o u g h the use o f plurals. Since t h i s is obscured i n standard fcnglith, I translate i n standard Texan: ' Beh.-ld. the D e v i l is a b o u t to c a n some o f y ' a l l i n t o p r i s o n that r ' a l l m i g h t he t e t i e d . and 'all w i l l have oppression lor ten d a i s ' 12.11 1. " w i t h i n t h i s general context ut o n g o i n g oppression. C h r i t l tats he also k n o w s " t h e blasphemy o f those w h o M V i b r t a i r Jewt and aie n o t . b u l ( a i c | a synagogue o f Satan" (2:""1. I n i i n l e t li> u r i d r r t t a n d ( h i t phrase, it is i m p o r t a n t l o n o t e the t . i n t i d e n l ironic lame atf the irtcv-cagr. T h e angel o f i h e l o n g t r g a t t i n is l a l l r d p o o * , y r l ilcsLireal r i c h ; some addretseei are a b o u t to sulTrr hut s h o u l d n o t be fearful: whoever is f a i t h f u l u n i o death w i l l rrcerse the c r o w n o f life. These ttarements i m p l y a s t r u c t u r a l i r o n y i n w h i c h present "reality" it decersme. Poverty*, a griiesome f u t u r e , a n d physical death are n o t what they seem to be. This i r o n i c context makes it unnecessary to suppose that John's use o f i h c phrase 'synagogue o f S a u n ' i m p l i e d that someone else deserved the tide of Jew. After a l l , n o o t h e r c o n g r e g a i i o n was i r u l y p o o r i n contrast to i h e - m o t e c o n g t c g a t i o n ; n u o t h e r saints were H u b afraid: n o o t h e r individuals w c i e truly f a i t h f u l u n t o d e a t h : a n d , 1 e s i r a p o b t e . n o o n e else was c l a i m i n g to be i h e t i u e Israel. T h u s , the sanaclic phrase " M nagogue o f Satan" d i d n o t . p i r s l m n w h o c o u l d c l a i m Io be Jewidi*. it alentcil the u p p i r i e n l * ' allegiance to C o d . I l s a l i t i r c d their pi-r-hahlc claims to phrases like "svnagogue o f the L o r d " ( c f N u m 1 6 : 3 ) , ' " b u t ihcre are no signs thai the o f f e n d i n g phrase encapsulates an a t t e m p t t o o u t l i n e the r e U i w n s h i p o f Israel and ihe churches. I n i h c message i o ihe c h u r c h i n Smyrna we are d e a l i n g w i t h sarcasm. n o t w i t h systematic theology. D e n u n c i a t i o n was the goal, not ihe b y p r o d u c t . T h e message to the c o n g r e g a i i o n i n Philadelphia (Res' 3 : 7 - 1 3 ) t*j*>nJurai a n d extends this i n i e r p i e u t i o n . And to the angel .<t the church in Philadelphu write: Thus says the holy one. rhe rrue one. the o n * - t u . hat the Let nl David, rhe une whn oprtss and no ot-se shall d o t * , vvfto t k'tcs aasd nu one pews I kasuw men deeds. Hehuld. I hate placed an opened duel before you "bach nu une it able to close. f-r yuu hate little power, and yuu ml any w i n d and hate noc drwtrd my name Hebokl. I give from the * a . ul Satanihittr saying i h r y air Jrwt and are nnt hm mey Irebehnld I ihall make them to that they w i l l - and w i l l pen it rat* ihesnsebet at t o u r iret and wwill know thai I love you. Siasce you kept the word o f my cssduiaevcc. 1 also w i l l keep yuu from the h u m :' icsling which at abuut lu c o n e tapon ibe * h . le world ta urdcr lu lest hose da-riling tipon die caith. I come u u h k l y l b I d <>a t.. what yuu haac (hat no tine takes aimi tmwn. The ttcmr I wdl m i k e Io be a caikumn an i h r temple o f
1

provide

Moreoser. as i t a i e d above. K e s e b t i o n does n o t deal w i t h t t a n d a i d

issues Torah observance, such at sabbath, circumcisaon. washings, o r f o o d regulations {except f o r meat sacriheed to other d e i t i e t ) . N o r does Revelation p o r t r a y d v i l o i e d h u m a n i t y i n terms o f Jews and Creeks or j e w s a n d gentiles as i n Acts or the Pauline letlers. Revelation l u a l l i shows 1st tic c o n c e r n tor issaacs that w o u l d b e i n v o l v e d in an intramural Jcwnh polemic. A n o t h e r p r o b l e m w u h the iiiea thai Jnhn w * t ( a i m i n g that i h e t h o n h w i h r i r u c Israel is ih.u John never h i u h c r e d to w r i t e such a t h i n g . ' " Resetatii'n is a l o n g t r i t w u h a m p l e tpace for J o h n to describe i h e c h u r c h c t b y calling t h e m Jewt or i h e t r u e Israel. B u i he d i d n o t d o t o . 1 he lynagogue o f Satan references w i l l n o t s u p p o r t such a n elaborate hypothesis. A simpler s o l u t i o n is available, l i o n l y becomes evident o n c e we are a t t u n e d to the sarcastic tendency o f the t e n and begin n o t i c i n g its presence i n the messages i o Smyrna a n d i o P h i b d c l p h u . O n e nagogue o l S a u n reference comes f r o m i h e message i o i h e angel o f the c h u r c h i n Smyrna (Rev 2 : 8 - 1 1 ) . And in the iivgel o f ihe church in Smyrna write* Thus sars the first asd the b i t . who was dead and came to lire. I koto* your oppressiu* aavd your poverty but yuu are isdi*and the blupbcniy tbene who tar they aie Jews and arc nut bul arc irwigtiguc at .Satan. IX isot fear ihe ihings which vuu are ahum to iiilTrr Biraokl, ihe Ihrnl is abocii in t h m w t u n u r o f sou into prmm H I lhal yuu might be trsicJ. and you wtll have oppression h i t ren days. Br lairhlul until drain and I w i l l grre you rh*

W. H-irv-is/IVtLmk.

40 Thu it hated ft Shaft Cohrx't argument asVuui "to" ON -aniuldhivr been 11 M i n e d a J*" o h art a rina ccmuir uissae d l n o - e i i d l i n g Since eihni. | e * * * i r tii-diutrtjUinhedbr ththlng. vpeech. a nun. or lit cup a u n a . poipc i>aud have iKSaced uihrr ihuipta auih at S t X f J M aaBotaHWR wah . I>vii> > a Jaoisb pan nf -we. nomad ft' a |**w. irrae/i'ad aiwutly hh n i h r r Wai c re par (zoning Jraritk nftaab and palate; as shays] l> v ' - f i n i , *"" flrftaaaaniaari //^a/tarn f\>y*Uj'*i. Vmiun I'weruiniwv llterkdiy Unitfrtai, o f t a l l f u m w I * . 19991. ^-, 41. See also Rev 7il -17. d i w * d Utam. * . T h e wa. i i - . u d an |....^ by W i l - . n r|udala*ra,* 61.*).
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Saw sstt i t R t v r i A i i o N II C u d and be Call neicr

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dep-ail. A o J I i l l w i r i r ufnui h i n i the name oaf my

before the l * n i l i . l e l p h i a n congreganon.' It does nor refer t o a missionary o p p o r t u n i t y like the o p e n - d o o r imagery o f I C o r \h% 2 Cot 2 : 1 2 . C o l V J . o r Acts 1 4 : 2 7 . Such a reading w o u l d be foreign i o ResvLtion's p o r t r a y a l o l the relations between churches a n d their social setting-..~ I i w o u l d alto be alien i o this p a r t i c u L r message i n w h i c h i h e congregation was e x h o r t e d to h o l d o n t o what ihey h a d . I net* were n o t t . - l d t o e x t e n d ibemscKes i n m i c t i o n activity. I n l u 22. the o p e n i n g a n d i b u i t i n g o f i h r door baa t o d o w i i h a u t h n n i i over J e r u u l e n i and the house o f Jualah. and this i t the root m e a n i n g in Rev \ at w e l l . ' " I i.i paitscvtet a u t h o r i t y over access t o the new J e r u u l e n i , the right o l entry i h e c M h . i t o k i g K - . i l city o f G o d . * * T h e idea recurs in Rev 2 2 * 1 4 . where a blessing i t p n t n o i i n c c d u p o n those w h o hate washed their robes so that ibev may eai o f the tree o f lire a n d so t h a i they may enter i h e n e w Jerusalem p f the gates ( w h i c h are named after the twelve tribes o t U r a c i l " H e w i l l guarantee t h e i r admission t i n c e the congregation had l i t t l e power b u t had remained foyal ( 3 : 9 ) . Finally, o n e o t h e r phrase i n the Philadelphia message makes an i m p o r t a n t c o n n e c t i o n w u h l u u h . T h e one w h o has i h e key o f D a v i d says he w i l l i n the lunate force the synagogue o f S a u n . the ones w h o say the are Jews a n d are n o t . to c o m e a n d p t m i r a i c i h r i n t c k o , at the leet ! the saints. T h i * is an e i l i c n i d i unusual idea m R e v e l a t i o n , t i n c e ebew here In using dot* n to an t o n e hot G o d e v e n l o angelsts u n a x i e p u h l e . " ' T h e reason f o r i h e prostration m o t i f in 3*9 is l h a l Revelation here reuses a standard * l c fn>m Sccaind ami 1 h u d l u i a l i t o b u i l d o n the a H u i i o n to t h e kevv o f D a v i d < err.nn oracles late in the h o - i k o f Isaiah p m m i v e d t h a i the f u t u r e w o u l d b n n g about a great reversal. T h e gentiles w h o had destroyed and h u m i l i a t e d

Cud aatd ihe > J I M uaf die n l v uf* my t . u d , die neat J e t u u l r a i whu.h t n n i n dnwti Imiri heaven ( m m my Ciod, and my -tew tume. I r t the o u r who hat an ear hear w+ui the spirit m i 10 the churches. I t i t imrtossable to understand this message w i t h o u t recognizing i t i i r o n i c a p p i o p r u i u m o l Itaiania. oraclct. T h e message comprises j collage o l phrases i r l a i c d t o Isaiah t h i l i n t e i p i e l i h c caitigrcgoriairit c o n t e m p u r a r y experience a* i h e t i i s i p a n o i l Linger 4 . 1 . 1 % - ,1 . the . < igicgatiorit eventual v i n d i c a t i o n . T h a t l i t g e t n a i r a l i v r t a n he i h a r . i t t r r i / e d as t l r u t t u r a l i n m i . lhal is, a tlnry in w h i t It ihe i n f r n l t o n t o | cettain as t o r * are i h w a r l e d o r revertetl by i h r ax toal c o u r t * o f r s e n t t . T h i t o t i i l u t i n n it l u p p o r t e d b y an a r g u m e n t w i t h f o u r s r r p * F i r t t , note that the message begins w i t h a b t r r n u b that i t u n u i u a l . T h e rien C h r i t t d e K i i b e t h i m t e l l at the o n e w h o has the key o f D a v i d . A l l i h e o i h e i messages o p e n w i t h descriptions that come I r o m Rev I . b u t this m c i u g c utet imagery t r o m ettewhere to E l i a k i m . O n that day I wM c * i my servant H u k i m ton o l Hilkiah, and w i l l clothe him with your mbe and bind your sash on him I w i l l oitnmat t o u r u n h o r i n hi hand and he thall be lather to the inhabitants o l Jerusalem and > the house ul ludah. I will place *. hit tlumldei the key u f die htiute o f Daisd; he d u l l upeu and no one d u l l t h u i : he d u l l t h u i . aasd mi o n r shall oprss .** T h e i n v o c a t i o n o f I t a 22:22 i n Rev 3 : 7 - 8 t h u s portrays the risen C h r i t r as the one w i t h the key o f D a v i d , t h a i i t , ihe n e w official over C o d ' s people, over Jerusalem a n d l u d a h . " I be reuse o f L u 22 is l i m i t e d , t h o u g h , a n d n o t a t h o r o u g h allegory. c o m p l e t e allegory w o u l d be untenable because it w o u l d represent C h r i s t at the Isai Mm royal - a J t u b t c r v i e n t to the k i n g , a n d because l u 22 goes o n t o predict the d o w n f a l l o l this official as w e l l . So the allusion to Isa 22 is fox.used o n the imagery o l the o f h , i a l . Johns p o i n t u ihe a u t h o r i t y o f ihe ( ' d r i l l itvei "'Jerusalem;' he is the o n e w i t h nit b o m a to o p e n a n d t l i n e . Set r u l , the e n d i n g o f the m e t u g r to the Philadelphia!! . h i m h p u k t u p i h e i m p o r t a n t . p i e v l i o n about w l m w i l l .ibule in ihe h->li t i n 13*12-131. T h e p r o m i s e at ihc end o f the message affirms that the v i c t o r w i l l become a p e r m a n e n t fixture i n t h e temple a n d w i l l never ever leave again. T h e n a m e o f G o d . the name o f the n e w l e r u u l c m , and the risen one's n e w n a m e w i l l be w r i t t e n u p o n the s s c t o r / c o l u m n . T h e text makes clear that the earth h* Jerusalem is n o i i n view here. I t i i the new Icrusalem. the o n e t h a i comes d o w n f r o m G o d . T h i r d , i h c m e a n i n g o l the o p e n d o u r i n Rev ):*> is c r u c i a l . *vt n-t d o o r is o p e n 44- Isa 2 2 i 2 0 - J l (*.v|. 41. Ita 12 22 M i l i x x acsdiical - ' . . . - i | . * f i> J n i n i i - . i . "and I si J] git lu kaast thegky ol Davad.* In ihr Las. I T . I I and 2I retar m ihc remutjl and hrtimvanaj ol a ox-am. wkarh prihrpt iiunnnaxi an.nh.r cH_rit. >in ihr o i u r . lai ihr Philaaklpaaun . , i . :.. n . i . a n oracle i n Ita 22:1' 2 5 . The Itaiah passage d e n o u n c e d a royal o t h c u l w i t h a u t h o r i t y over Jerusalem a n d l u d a h . d e c l a r i n g thai his p o s i t i o n w o u l d be g i v e n

leti.silem d u r i n g the B a b y l o n i a n and Persian periods w o u l d eventually c o m e and b o w d o w n i o i h e c i t y i n r e c o g n i i i o n o f its special t u t u s . * The descendants o f those w ho oppressed y o u shall come b e n d i n g l o w to y o u . a n d a l l w h o despised v o u shall b o w d o w n . i y o u r beet: i h e i d u l l call y o u the C i t y of tbe 1 . i d . i h e / . i o n o f the H o l y O n e o f UiaveL"*
1

T h e poetry in Isaiah laid o u t a t t i u t l u r a l i r o i i i i n abbreviated f o r m : the ruv t h a i impressed Jerusalem w o u l d Munrdav I x i w d o w n l*r-forc d i e city they hud

*6_ Rattm H. Muurtit. 7*r B+ai*fP*r*Unin (New I n u r a t n t a i u K ^ n B t m i a r y i C r a r ^ n i p i d c Fanlmaas*. 11771. 117; -rieaff. aTairaarns*. t . l ; asastrs. . f,. R. 11. ( h a r f , . . I .. ' aaaOT-wy a a aiV aVnvtastav <*f St f*im I * s n k i Iiwri*esaiiawl Oaical i'.^mtntrntty. a bdtnb*ar>i laVI ClarL 1*>2D). 1:97 47. Mm may alaai iiraswve a tcs-t*asal*ry aliWitari to laa 4 l : t - 2 . attiult n i m n feitatn Cynt* at ,.o aaaiimad new ilnDO ? "hat aavoaaaad" in lha aaT. Ty Xuaiir t. yea* *my i O . - n i t J * as lha tsrtil. Ginlilr ruler, the atX'aaeed m r , open doors and siatc-s, damn </bnmM i n d bars of - will (..any hefurcharn.
1

Ihn u ippiusanueiy o h i i RnliH auajptud ohen he dewratsnl the cii.n dour ai emry I r M r. Linplxm nf ' I an at m. n.r. nhip in aha rndriirar prrfJa ,**' l-tel |/^wtaaian. h i ) . Ha dad ft-a pmvadr an i r o i m r m . k a w w i , fie ihr torn trains. 44. R c i : i i i ; . NtWvntha.iesilvsVja. Vf. Q . Rr< 14:10; 12-9. SI. aaa*rii:l4:twalaw4S:l4;4->:2.s.

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I n the o r j c l c o f the risen C h r i s t , the i r o n y o f i h r Isatanic

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relererv.es is d u e to the lact that we have n o t developed an appropriate language f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g the c o m m u n i t y addressed i n K c v e U u o n . I h e most g l a r i n g example ot o u r misbegotten conceptual framework is the u b i q u i t o u s use o f the t e r m " C h m i i a n * b y m o d e r n scholars to describe J o h n , his ( e x t . a n d h i s congrcgarions. T h i s practice is inexcusable. Revelation is a lengthy text, w i t h a m p l e o p p o r t u n i t y for l o o n t o call h i m s e l f or his audience " C h r i s t i a n . " H e dad n o i 1 1 . n this I c o n c l u d e thai J o h n either dad not know i h e terns, or d i d n o t like the t e r m . N o i is t h e i r o t d e n c e for aiLc-puiicc o f i h c term by the churches before the c r o m i l c e n t u r y if.. ( r a n t e d , o u r i d e m c is spoils, b m i h r near It c o m p l e t e . i h s e m r o f the icT-m C h r i s t i a n in r a r l y * Chris-nun" l i t e r a t u r e is consistently o v e r k t o k e d i n N e w Testament studies. C h r i s t i a n occurs three times i n all of ihc New Testament, twice at a label used by hostile outsiders'* a n d once at an ambiguous e d i t o r i a l aside i n d i c a t i n g that the t e r m o r i g i n a t e d i n A n t i o c h . * * I f the Gospel o f I h o m a t a n d the G o t p c l o t Peter are f i t i t c e n t u r y d o c u m e n t s ( w h i c h I d . - o h t ] . (ben we h a t e l i m b e r evidence o l the irrelevance o f the t e r m C h r i s t i a n for this p e r i o d . I r o n i c a l l y , the terms t h a i we k n o w weie used m o t t liec|uentlv at sell designations i n the hrst c c n i u r v c h u r c h e s vain t. b r o i h e i , u s i e r - a r c almost never used i n N e w T c t t a j n e n t s l u d i r s . " O u i use i d
" n i i J a ' i

J d o u b l e r o e r x e . I h c risen <_'hiiit i n Revelation promises that t o m e Jews o f Philadel p h i a w o u l d someday come and b o w d o w n i o i h c (mostly ( ' e n t i l e I c o n g r e g j t i o n . 1 his i i l t f u c i u r a l i r o n y w i t h a sarcastic t w i s t . 'V II, , these several alluvions i o Isaiah i n (he m c u a g c t o Philadelphia arc viewed togcihcr. (he somewhat strained analogy e m b e d d e d i n (he Rev 3 : 7 - 1 becomes clear. Revelation reuses Isaiah t o asseri the n r . . o f (be o n n i l G e n t i l e congregation ( o enter ihc new Jerusalem. Chrssl the n n a l o'Tsvial w i t h j u r i s d i c t i o n over the b o h " city, -i-iii the m l e ot Isaiah* g r n i i l c t is pkivcd bv i h r Jewish c o m m u n i t y i n P h i U d e l p h i a , i h c synagogue o f Satan. T h i s ironic imagers does not come f m m an unstated assumption o n the p a r t o f John that i h e c h u n h e s are rhe real | r w s or i h e t r u e lrael. I n ( h i s instance, the synagogue o f Satan reference is simply a satirical. s j n a s t K n o u r i s h embedded u h in the ironic reuse o f scripture. As a socio-literarv strategy, 11 explained (he d i f f i c u l t situation o f the l*hiladelphian saints and tie red rhem hope for the f u t u r e .

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T w o issue* remain Io be c o t i i i d r r e d . T h e t i n t is w l i c l h e r ihcse i r r . - . i get w c t e - i n t i - J c w i t h . I u n d e m a n d "anti-Jewish" t o m e a n a blanket . o r t d e m n a t i o n o f Jewish people or p r a c t K C i . I n that case the answer is, " N o . Rev 2-} is nor a n l i - J c w i s h . * he messages are sarcastic a n d - - - I. b u l their c o n d e m n a t i o n s were b n a l i / e d a n d sryecitic. n o t global and systematic. T h e i r o n i c strategics were Jets o f verbal aggression a i m e d at p a r t i , u l i r sitiaanons a b o u t w h i c h we base precious l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n . I h i s does not exonerate rhe t e n . i n m y o p i n i o n . I d o .. t approve o f vicious name c a l l i n g , even i l i i it practiced by a n e m e r g i n g religious group i n a vulnerable a n d p o t e n t i a l l y lethal s i t u a t i o n . B u t I also recognize l h a l ancient literature, b i b l i c a l ot otherwise, is n u t subieci to m y values a m i o p i n i o n s . Moreover. I speak f r o m a p i o l e c i e d . privileged p o s i t i o n w i t h i n A m e r i c a n academic i i u i i t u i i o n t . M y knowledge o f religious d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a n d * H tal . i n n is second- and i h i r d - h a n d . at best, Front n i l ' vantage p t n n i , however, I d o nor approve o f such tavcasan as an clhical d e c i s i o n . T h e second issue is whether we should dcsxnhc the synagogue o f Sal.in d i s p u t e as an i n t r a m u r a l lewi-h argument o f the late first century, as nea rh- all recent c o m m e n t a t o r s a f f i r m . T h i s q u e s t i o n is m o r e d i f f i c u l t and depends a g o o d deal o n h o w we deline the terms we use. 1 m a i n t a i n that neither " C h r i s t i a n " n o r "Jewish" is p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l i n this task. Varbro C o l l i n s noted thai Ignatius o l A n t i o c h had a developed language tor d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between "Judaism"* a n d " C h r i s t i a n i t y * i n the eaily second century, a n d she warned against i m p o s i n g that separation u p o n John's R e v e l a t i o n . ' ' T h a t w a r n i n g should be herded and .!.-.. 1 I tuithei. A t lean p a n o f our t r o u b l e i n u n d r r s l a n d i n g i h e "synagogue o f Satan/Jews w h o are n o t Jews"

I n n l h a l w a i p t our ana It t i t o f i h c first c e n l u r t bv w i b l l v t e d r t i n i n g ( h e churthc-s at o p p o t e t l t o , a n d superior l o . l u d a i s m . " T h u s , i h r p i a c t n r hat c l o u d e d the debate a b o u t anti-Jrwishnes-s .-ind synagogues i n Revelation because rhe s.tncepl o f " O i m t u n n y " i s n o w i n e x i n c a b l v entangled i n the rejection o f the c o n c e p t " J u d a i s m . " T b e m o m e n t we i n t r o d u c e (he foreign n o n o n o f C h n t t u n i i y i n t o Revelation siudies. we are t o r r e d b y o u r i n a p p r o p r i a t e categories t o i m p o r t i n t o o u r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n an asyrnm e t n c a l relationship w i t h Judaism, ' l b p u t i i another way, we are never g o i n g t o b e able t o understand ihe relationship between synagogues a n d churches i n Revelation i l we keep c a l l i n g i h c c h u r c h m e m b e r s " C h r i s t i a n . " ITic discussion is m i s d i r e c t e d f r o m he b e g i n n i n g h i i h e teitiis ihat f r a m e i t . ' J u d a i s m * at m o d e m t e r m i> o i i b d i g h i l y Ictt o f a p r o b l e m . I n m o d e r n New T r t i a m e n i studies it has breti i a * l at the t o i l againsi w h n l i o n e u t t d e i s u i i d s ( I n n a n u s , t b e disease f o r w h i i h C h r i s t i a n i t y is i h r -lire. R u l at Irasl i h r r r is a n c i r n i precedent f o r t h e c o n c e p r . W u h careful analysis o f !**tijitmvi, first-trntury usage o l loudw and we m i g h t be able to rehabilitate the vocabulary and use it i n a w a y thai

does n o i autnmatically c o n j u r e u p the ghosts o f theological a n t i - S e m i t i s m . "

W. Aits itiilH by I -.i.i.l A g r r n u I I ^Jdrrtu-ng Paul; I fvtal t : l h a* a lacal JtiUtatKe J I V M I whiih i**e might be aihamtd. "t Aclt 111!( it . m l < u u u i because ike author d i e t imi tay wfariliei ike term at cited by n t t d e n <* iiinialti or boch. and bit use unl liui ihr term J O T back to the tassc ol I'amJ > * ' . nrvrr * X l h r M i a n " hit ' t r a m Linrrtl. Crnac-i ihr AniMvhain ul rhr nrrn asplaini Ifnanui't -< of ihr tare < lr g . ,Wavw. I I I : . * ) . M. Tint Iron, tlitsust m j u i r t t t m i l it

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ihc level o f t r i m t n o l o g v . Revelation ckrar e n o u g h . T h e n * o v c m e m i n w h i c h | o h n was a p r o p h e t was c o m p o s e d o f churches. I h c churches made up some t o n o f n e t w o r k , f o r ihe text o l Revelation it a c o m m u n i c a n o n t o t h e m a l l . " J o h n * t e r m f o r ( h i t n e t w o r k o f c h u r c h e t was * k i n g d o m . ' " * l i r e k i n g d o m w a t made u p o l p r i r t u t o G o d . b u l they are m o r e o f t e n called t a i n u " o r servants of G o d . ' " A i the level o f cor>c~eptuala/arion. three images f r o m Revelation help us gain t o m e c l a t i r t o n i h e rexiiironthip hetween ivitagngucs a n d the k i n g d o m o l p r i c t t t envtcioncd b y J o h n . These i m u g c t tuggcsl that John perceived a liaiistcisdcnt realm w h i c h h e p o l l u t e d at a w o m a n , a c r o w d , a n d a city. Some o f I t r a r l a m i t o m e o l i h r churches p a r t i - i p i t c i l i n thi transcendent reality, w h i c h w a t i n some t e n t r their o r i g i n , their c o n t e m p o r a r y experience, a n d their d e s t i n y t i m u l t a n e o u t l y . T h e first image it t h e w o m a n o f Rev 12. W i t h o u t s o l v i n g a l l the p r o b l e m s i n volved w i t h t h u v i r i o n (and thev are m a n y ) , it i t sate t o say that the text suggests a c o n n e c t i o n between the churches a n d ancient Israel A heavenly w o m a n gives b i r t h to the mcssiah. a n d t o o t h e r o f f s p r i n g as w e l l . T h e o t h e r o f f s p r i n g aie ' t h o s e keeping the c o m m a n d s o f G o d a n d h a v i n g i h e t e s t i m o n y o l Jesus" ( 1 2 : 1 7 ) . so i h e w o m a n is i n some sense t h e source o l the saints a n d i h e i i mcssiah. !-.. is n o talk liete o l G h l i t t u n i t y , o f d u e Jews, m o l Israel, and i h r relationships between synagogues a n d shuts h e * are m i l d e f i n e d . T h e . I image it the c r o w d f r o m R r v 7. I h i t i b i u b l r v i s i o n , interjected be tween the t i x i h a n d tevcntb seals, ile-scrihrt t h e c o m p o t i l s t i n o f the k i n g d o m . T h e first part o f the vitson ' R e v 7 ; 2 - ) describes o n e part o f i h e k i n g d o m as the f a i t h f u l 144.00(1 o f Israel, twelve t h o u s a n d f r o m each o f the twelve i n b e t . T h i s is a r e w o r k i n g o l h r e l u e l s vision o f the sealing o f the f a i t h f u l lerutalemites rseforc t h e assault o n that c i t y [hack ftibylonian I A c c o r d i n g t o John's v i s i o n , just as G o d had saved t h e
s

a n d t h e L a m b w i l l d w e l l w u h h u m a n i t y . T h e i r v i n d i c a t i o n w i l l be .u know ledgrd b y their antagonists f r o m t h e local nagogue. I he later v i n o n o f the new lerusalcm in Rev 2I**'>- 22:S is m o r e elaborate t h a n ihe image i n Rev 3:7-13, a n d does n o t need t o be d e t e n b e d f u l l y here. IWo aspects t o u c h o n the character o f the churches i n t h e i r relationship I o Israel, however, a n d deserve c o m m e n t . O n e aspect is t h e p r c e x i s l c i i l character o l ' i h e new Jerusalem, w h i c h is o n l y " n e w " t o h u m a n i t y . T b e new Jcruaulern is a p r e e x i i i e n i l e a l u i w h i c h t h e t a i n u encounter ai t h e end i d u o i n i . i l b i t t o n ( R e v 2 1 : 2 - 4 ) . H a b i t a t i o n in the t i l l filial':, ihc l u l l , i i m i i c d u l r d presence o l G o d a n d t h e end o l human t u l l r r i n g . r h e w v o n d .upcci n f the new ) r r i i c i k r r n thai touches o n o u r topic is the d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e walls o f i h e c n v . R r s e t i ' i o n 2 1 : 1 2 - 1 4 r e m o d e l t ihe vrsion o f t h e eschatological Jerusalem f o u n d a i t h e e n d o f Eiektel's o r a c l r t ( t r e k 4 8 : 3 0 - 3 5 1 . E i e kiel had d e t e n b e d t h e f u t u r e Jerusalem at h a v i n g t w e h v gates, one f o r each o f t h e i n b e t . I n John's v i n o n . t h e gaiet are also n a m e d after ihe twelve i n b e t o l the t o r n o l Israel, b u t a new feature is added. I h c twelve courses o f f o u n d a t i o n stones f o r t h e w a l l o l the city arc n a m e d after the twelve apostles ot i h e l a m b . I t w o u l d be d i t a n l o u t t o u> to tqurexe these several ullages i n t o one schema, as it ihe h r u t r i i l v w o m a n , i h e |44 (klL>, t h e u n n u m b e r e d m u l t i t u d e , a n d i h c new
t

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a n d f u m l i o n u l , b i n hardly systcmalic. T h e r e is a c o h e r e n t r t o i l , however, thai iiitif i r t ihis b r i e l review I n n o n e o l these images w r r e rhe churches p o r a y r d at Israel, at the true | r w t , o r as C h n t t i a n s . I t w o u l d b e more accurate t o sav that [ohn text d r <c bet l i r a e l a n d t h e churches at p a n i c i p a t i n g i n a larger transcendent reality, ftoth tynagoguet and c h u r c h e t c l a i m e d t h e same s c n p t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s , b u t accord i n g t o | o h n , i h e larger reality d i d n o i i n c l u d e a l l lews n o r d i d it include a l l those w h o called themselves saints. C h r i s i u n , true hrw. and Israel arc inadequate terms f o r i t * d e s c r i p t i o n . T h a t reality was an cschaiokigical k i n g d o m , a heavenly w o m a n , a n u n n u m b c i e d m u l t i t u d e , a heavenh c i i v that c u t across boundaries o t c i h n i c i t v . language, a n d c u l t u r e . " These were g r a n d claims, ; . . - . . 1 1 . l o r a n r t w o r k o f -n- all l u l n e r a h l e g r o u p s like t b r t h u n h e v F n i m t h e outside, i h r h u n h e v h.irdlv k i n k e d like ihe est h a i o k i g j .I l u l f i l l m e n i o f God's d e a l i n g w u h t h e w o r l d ( n o r d - i churches (ttd.iv) These t o l l s o f grand claims, juxtaposed w u h m o r e m o d e s t earthly appearances, p r o v i d e d t h e m a t r i x w i t h i n w h i c h t h e ironies o f John's text flourished. T h e p a r a d o i i c a l experience made irony, satire, a n d sarcasm a p p e a l i n g strategics. I h e gaps between aspiration and achievement gave ihe p r o p b e i r o o m I D maneuver.

t a i t h l u l Ot his people i n that earlier catastrophe, t o G o d w o u l d always protect t h e remnant o l h u p e o p l e . T h e p i c t u r e i t f i l l e d o u t w i t h the second p a n o f the v i s i o n ( R e v 7:17). A m u l t i t u d e l o o Urge t o n u m b e r appeart a r o u n d i h c t h r o n e . These c o m e " f f t i i n every n a t i o n , a n d t r i b e and people and t o n g u e " ( 7 ; - J ) . T b e i m a g c r i suggests a t i t i o i i o l the s h u n bet as a t o u i e m | t o r a r v a n d est liatoli<gu.il i i s o v r i n r i t t , t o i n | t o t e d o f some pci>ple f r o m i h r twelve tribes o f Israel a n i l a k<l o f people f r o m a l l t h e o i b e r i n b e t o f ihe w o r l d . A g a i n , "Jew," "Israel," and " C h r i s t i a n " are n o t a p p r o p r i a t e terms for this m o v e m e n t . I he t h i r d image is the new lerusalcm. I he o b l i q u e use o f this image was already h i g h l i g h t e d f n t m ihe message t o t h e angel o f the c h u r c h i n Philadelphia. I n Rev 3 : 7 - 13. a largclv G e n t i l e congregation is guaranteed admission t o the c i t y where G o d

NWe the ritual sxttxsx brs" in 1:11x231 and 22 16 V. Re* 1.-1-6; 1-4-10. John did U W ' c h u n k * in u n i v n u l nmw tor the Larpri m c - c m i t i .
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