Sabbath School commentary for discussion on Sabbath, March 2, 2019.
We must not lose sight of the Dragon in the story in our eagerness to pin the tail on the pig in historical terms. Profound ideological continuity at a cosmic level is evident when Revelation says that the beast representing the Dragon was full of “slanderous names” (13:1), that it had “a mouth speaking exceedingly big words and slander” (13:5), and that “it opened its mouth to slander (i.e. misrepresent) God, slandering God’s name and God’s dwelling” (13:6).
I started thinking about the 1,260 days in Revelation (11:3; 12:6) at the beginning of this quarter. It occurred to me that it should be designated as “flyover country,” historical territory seen from the air but, as Wikipedia puts it, territory we “never actually see in person at ground level.”
On the weekend, Spectrum received a submission from a PhD student in Brazil who had written a blog post on last week’s topic in Portuguese, and we are presenting the author’s translation here.
This quarter we are publishing a few articles on Revelation from our archives. This article was originally published in the May 1991 issue. We will be publishing a second article from Teel at the end of March.
Consensus is hard to find on most things in Revelation, but there is near-unanimity about the centrality of chapter 12.
Miles’ Law applies — it is true that “where you stand depends on where you sit.” If we sit inside the text of Revelation, up there, somewhere in the stands of the heavenly council, a stone’s throw from where the cosmic conflict began, we shall stand in relation to the message of the trumpets in a less vulnerable spot than the monochrome musings of the Old Historicism or the polychrome imaginations of the New.
When it comes to predictive prophecies in particular, our founders often disagreed vehemently with one another.
The defining image in Revelation is the Lamb that was killed with violence (5:6). I shall wonder till I die why many interpreters are so quick to make the victim of violence into a perpetrator of violence, but that is what they do. God’s way in the cosmic conflict is in Revelation identified with the Lamb “killed with violence” (5:6). Can we get from there to the Lamb “that kills with violence”? Many interpreters do, including leading interpreters in my own faith community.