Thursday, July 31, 2014

Triumph Of Jesus (part 9)

With this, one should think of the Pauline words from the letter to the Colossians.  The “triumph” is in mind when reading: “And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He nevertheless made you alive with Him, having forgiven you all transgressions.  He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us.  He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.  Disarming rulers and authorities He has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15).  Combining that with words from the second letter to the church of Corinth: “But thanks be to God Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and Who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2:14-16).   

This study began with setting the background for the path by which one should approach the book of Revelation.  One must realize that, first and foremost, the book of Revelation employs apocalyptic language (behind-the-veil language) to present what is believed to be the Creator God’s perspective on the events of the day.  One is also required to understand that the language employed, obscure as it may be, would have been readily understandable by the audience to whom it is directed---especially those who have ears to hear (the repetitive refrain from chapters two and three of the book). 

To have any hope of understanding revelation, an individual must attempt to become appropriately situated within the Rome-shaped world of the late first century, and hear the message accordingly.  Failing this, the message will be missed, there will be no controls around interpretation, and one will become engaged in all manner of fanciful interpretation that would be completely incomprehensible to the author. 

The presence of the Caesar cult has been effectively highlighted.  Reference has been made to the effective employment of imperial propaganda that speaks in exalted language of both Rome and its divine Caesar, and mention has been made of the fact that early Christians, with Paul being an example, co-opted such propaganda (“from faith to faith” as but one minor example), putting said propaganda to use on behalf of the One they saw as the world’s true Lord and what they saw as the world’s truly glorious kingdom.  Thus, one should be unsurprised to find the apocalyptic author doing the same type of thing in the course of his presentation to the churches of Asia Minor. 

Furthermore, details concerning the Roman “triumph,” have been observed; and with those details, a historical-fictional account of a “triumph” has been constructed, viewed from the perspective of one in attendance, with this construction presuming a knowledge on the part of the attendee of the history and symbolism at play.  All of these things have been done in the course of a study that has been given the title of “Triumph Of Jesus,” commencing this study with a single verse from the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, which was “He has a name written on His clothing and on His thigh: ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’” (19:16). 

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