The Structure Of The Book Of Revelation And Its Implication For The Pre-Wrath Rapture Part One -- By: John A. McLean
MTJ 2:2 (Fall 1991) p. 138
The Structure Of The Book Of Revelation And Its Implication For The Pre-Wrath Rapture
The complexity of the structure of the Apocalypse of John has caused Robert Mounce to caution exegetes against embracing any one structural approach to the book.1 This is a prudent observation since the Apocalypse is so complex in literaryforms that more than one structural observation may be correct.
Part one of this article critiques some of the current proposals on the Revelation and then incorporates the strengths of these positions into an understanding of the structure of the book.2 A major issue in evaluating the structure of Revelation concerns the contrast between a sequential and a parallel view of the septet judgments.
In part two, the author will suggest an alternative proposal contending that the Apocalypse is shaped primarily by three basic principles: 1) the broad framework recorded in Revelation 1:19; 2) the continuation and sequential
MTJ 2:2 (Fall 1991) p. 139
understanding of the septet judgments; 3) the impact of the seventieth week of Daniel 9:27 on the judgments section of Revelation (chapters 4–19). Finally, a critical examination of the Pre-Wrath Rapture Theory by Marvin Rosenthal is offered in light of the structure of Revelation.
The following nine proposals are current theories of the structure of the book of Revelation.
Sixfold Division: J. Massyngberde Ford
J. M. Ford states: “The construction of this apocalypse is unique; in fact, it is the most exquisitely and artistically constructed of all the apocalypses. So masterfully is the text arranged that one cannot doubt the work of an editor.”3 Ford argues that there are three major authors involved in the development of Revelation. She suggests the original formation “was six series of six, that is, a symbol of incompleteness congruous with the 666, the number of the beast, expressing a lack of fulfillment felt by the Baptist and his followers before the coming of Christ (13:18).”4
Ford prefers the model of six rather than seven because it avoids the need to manufacture a seventh component for the second (Rev 6:12–17), third (Rev 8:1–11:14),...
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