Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Once More

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

9 καὶ ἐβλήθη ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὁ καλούμενος Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς, ὁ πλανῶν τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐβλήθησαν.

As I noted in my previous post, we see cycles happening in the book of Revelation. Here we see the great dragon  ἐβλήθη. This is an aorist to show that at some indefinite time he saw the dragon thrown down. It's not necessarily puncticular as some older theologians may say, but it did happen sometime. It's certainly not a continuous action.

My reason for bringing this up is to emphasize that Revelation probably should not be read as one continuous story. That is how I'm learning to read it in seminary, but I don't think that is right. One way I've heard it described is cameras at a football game. Think about when there is a close play on the sideline where you're not sure if the receiver got both feet in with control of the ball. You first see the play at full speed with one angle. Then you might see a reverse angle. Then you might see a view from across the sideline at 90 degrees from the play. Then you might see another view from straight above. Then there is the view down the sideline. 

I think that's a good metaphor for how the story unfolds in the book of Revelation. Try reading it in that light and see what you find.

No comments: