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Apokalupsis for today

αποκαλυψις ιησου χριστου ην εδωκεν αυτω ο θεος δειξαι τοις δουλοις αυτου α δει γενεσθαι εν ταχει και εσημανεν αποστειλας δια του αγγελου αυτου τω δουλω αυτου ιωαννη ος εμαρτυρησεν τον λογον του θεου και την μαρτυριαν ιησου χριστου οσα ειδεν μακαριος ο αναγινωσκων και οι ακουοντες τους λογους της προφητειας και τηρουντες τα εν αυτη γεγραμμενα ο γαρ καιρος εγγυς

If you’re unfamiliar with that text, that would be the first three verses of The Apocalypse, or as most know it today, Revelation.

For many people, the New Testament canon has only 26 texts. The Apocalypse tends to be left out for various reasons. I hope that changes. The sooner the better.

I’ve learned not to make any real promises about what I’ll be writing about on here, as I’ve got plenty unfinished blog-projects out there. So I’m not going to say what I’m going to be doing…in case I don’t do anything at all. But I think it would be fun and beneficial to work through this text, to discover just how relevant it is for the Church today.

Now, I don’t come at it from a dispensational, premillenial, rapture-ous, perspective. I’ve mentioned before, I’m far more a preterist than anything else. More and more, I am convinced this text offers more so a presentation of the powerful love of Jesus than it does about wrath and carnage.

But, I’d also like to go through the Greek text of the letters of Ignatius. Oh…what to do?

6 Comments

  1. show-off. :P

    Just kidding. I'm sure you'll figure it all out. You always seem to. :)

  2. Really hoping to get a hold of some of the texts left out by Protestants. I could get a Catholic Bible I guess, but not a fan of the translation.

  3. I can copy and paste with the best of them. Snatched that Greek passage from my MacSword program. Makes putting in Greek passages so much easier.

  4. Like which ones? I've always been in love with The Apostolic Fathers, post-Apostolic texts, of which some (many) were debated for inclusion in the canon. I still haven't gotten my hands on the Nag Hammadi collection, but the Bible I use most these days has the Apocrypha (It's an NRSV, which is a quality translation; not NET quality, but still very good). So I guess I'm closer to Roman Catholicism than most Protestants would want me to be.

  5. All of them, I want to read them and know why they were excluded.

  6. more like Apokalypsis ;) the ᾽υ᾽ is a lower case ᾽Υ'. Pronounced like a long 'e'…regardless of what Erasmus thought. 'ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΣΙΣ' is how it is written in all caps, and literally means 'revelation'. I read an interesting post about this very book…

    “Dear friends,

    St John's Apocalypse (i.e. the Book of Revelation) is canonised in the writings of the fathers at least as far back as the mid-second century. It bears significan canonical weight in this period, as well as in all following.

    The question of its canonisation into the listing of books assembled as the New Testament (which came about most strongly in the fourth century) was varied, as in some places it was viewed as 'essential reading' on a wide, general scale; in others it was not. But its canonical authority was not a question: it was already the basis of liturgical worship, and a key text in patristic writings of every sort.

    The Church does not read it as part of the general lectionary, nor prescribe it for general private reading, because it has long understood it as a book that requires a teacher, which is best read in obedient relation. Given its nature as apocalyptic vision, it is easily prone to mis-reading, to falling prey to the phantasms of perception of the passions. It is a text, the proper meaning of which requires some considerable ascesis and discernment, aided by the pastoral vision of a teacher who can help bring out its true meaning.

    This is yet another reason for the Orthodox encounter with the book being, as it is, framed largely through liturgical experience. No single book more distinctly shapes the divine services, and there are numerous days in the calendar (especially some in pre-Lent and Lent, as has recently been mentioned) that focus on it more directly. In these, the Apocalypse is seen, and heard in a liturgical framework that draws our hearts into it in its truth — something far different than simply sitting down to read it on our own, or even hearing it proclaimed in pericope, and letting our passionate minds make of it what they will. That is noble and challenging enough a task for us with the Beatitudes or commandments: how much more so with the apocalyptic visions of this text! So the Church, in her wisdom, preserves this text for proper, constructive encounter.

    INXC, Dcn Matthew”

    I'd be interested in reading up on perspectives on this topic.

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