Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Prophecy of Jesus' Coming: Revelation 1:7-8

Translation of Revelation 1:7-8

7 Look! He is coming with the clouds,

and every eye will see him,

and whoever pierced him,

and all the tribes of the earth

will anguish[1] over him.

–It is certain.[2]

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,”[3] says the Lord God, “He who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.”

[1]kovyontai has been traditionally rendered “mourn;” after much prayer, study, and consideration, I have opted to translate this term as “anguish,” as the ‘mourning’ here does not seem to refer to the grief over losing a loved one, but rather it refers to a deeply painful sorrow over personal guilt.

[2]naiv, ajmhvn is a synonymia, “whose function is to strengthen the certainty of what has just been prophesied.” Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 79.

[3]There is no theological significance to the fact that the word for “Alpha” is spelled out in the Greek text, while “Omega” is given as a single letter; that is, the phrase to; “Alfa kaiv to;; W (to Alpha kai to O) appears uneven in the Greek text, but this is simply because Greek grammarians did not coin the word #Wmega until the 7th century A.D. (Aune, Revelation 1-5, 57)

“The Alpha and the Omega” could reasonably be translated as “the A and the Z” so that the one reading in English could immediately see that the Lord God is using the first and last letter of the alphabet. The traditional anglicized forms of the Greek letter names– “Alpha and Omega”– is retained because the phrase “the A and the Z” is not commonly used in English and rendering reading “the A and the Z” may have an unintended comic effect.

Commentary on Revelation 1:7-8

Having referred to his writing as “the words of prophecy” in verse 3, John now prophesies to his readers.

The prophecy. =Idou; (idou), translated, “Look!” is characteristic in the book of Revelation as indicative of special divine intervention and should be understood in this case as introducing an oracle or prophecy. =Idou; has two related meanings: (1) “It functions as a marker of strong emphasis indicating the validation of the statement it introduces;” (2) “It functions as a marker to draw attention to that which it introduces.”[1]

The prophecy in Revelation 1:7 draws upon Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10: texts Jesus used to prophesy of His second coming, as recorded in Matthew 24:30. Whereas Zechariah 12 seems to be firmly centered upon Jerusalem, Revelation 1:7 speaks of “all the tribes of the earth.” Viewed through faith in Christ, texts with specific revelation to the Old Testament nation of Israel are now seen as universal.

Assurance the message will come to pass. The One from whom John had received the prophecy recorded in verse 7 announces Himself in verse 8. This declaration from the Lord God highlights His sovereignty over the course of history and thus serves as an assurance that the prophecy will come to pass.

In Revelation 1:8, the Lord God first refers to Himself as to; “Alfa kaiv to;; W (to Alpha kai to O) “the Alpha and the Omega.” This divine title emphasizes the sovereignty of God in a way similar to the titles “the beginning and the end” (Rev 21:6; 22:13) and “the first and the last” (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).[2]

The Lord God next refers to Himself as oJ w[n kai; +o #hn kai; +o ejrcovmenoV (ho on kai ho en kai ho erchomenos) “He who is and was and is coming.” This phrase is repeated from verse 4. In the former verse, this phrase clearly referred to God the Father as the phrase occurred in the first section of a Trinitarian formula. In this verse, the reader may ask if the phrase is once again in reference to the Father, or if it is now specifically applied to the Son. But the Trinitarian distinction made a few verses earlier does not seem to be in view with this verse; rather, God in the fullness of His divine essence is being magnified. That this verse takes in a reference to the Son in His deity along with the Father is seen in that: (1) “He who… is coming” in this context most naturally includes the idea of the One who is said to be “coming” in the previous verse– that is, the One who was also said to be “pierced”– namely, Jesus; (2) oJ w[n (ho on) “He who is” is basically the third person form of =Egwv =ei;mi (Ego eimi) “I am,” and John consistently records Jesus referring to Himself as “I am;” (3) In Revelation 22:13, Jesus is clearly the speaker, and He refers to Himself using a title for the Lord God also found in this verse: to; “Alfa kaiv to;; W (to Alpha kai to O) “the Alpha and the Omega.”

The final title by which the Lord God refers to Himself in this verse is +o pantokravtwr (ho pantokrator) “the Almighty.” This divine title occurs eight other times in the book of Revelation (4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22).[3] In Revelation 1:8, “the Almighty” summarizes the two previous phrases by which the Lord God identifies Himself– phrases that were rather poetic– into a single term. The Lord God can and will bring His prophecy to pass because He is “the Almighty.”

[1]Aune, Revelation 1-5, 53.

[2]Ibid., 57.

[3]There is only one other verse in the New Testament in which the term “the Almighty” is used– 2 Corinthians 6:18– and this is an Old Testament quotation. (Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 81)

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Blogger Vivah3232 said...

What Would Jesus Say? – Jesus’ Prophecy About the Dangers of Cell Phone Energies

A podcast just got released in a series called 'The Secret Autobiography of Jesus' which apparantly answers this question.

11:38 PM  

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