Αποκαλυψις ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (Rev. 1:1): The Climax of John’s Prophecy? -- By: Marko Jauhiainen

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 54:1 (NA 2003)
Article: Αποκαλυψις ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (Rev. 1:1): The Climax of John’s Prophecy?
Author: Marko Jauhiainen


Αποκαλυψις ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (Rev. 1:1):
The Climax of John’s Prophecy?

Marko Jauhiainen

Summary

This article argues that interpreters of the book of Revelation have not paid sufficient attention to the way the introductory phrase Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ) is qualified in 1:1: the ἀποκάλυψις concerns ‘what must take place soon’, as ‘shown’ to John by an angel. A critique of the traditional position is followed by an evaluation of Richard Bauckham’s proposal that ἀποκάλυψις refers to the contents of the little scroll in ch. 10. The article ends with an alternative reading of the data: the clues provided by John in 1:1 regarding the ἀποκάλυψις suggest that it is primarily found in the climax of the book, i.e., the visions of the destruction of Babylon and her replacement by the New Jerusalem (17:1–19:10; 21:9–22:9).

I. Introduction

The book of Revelation begins with the interesting phrase Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. There are at least three different ways to understand the word ἀποκάλυψις in this context. A small group of scholars would take it as a genre description,1 while the majority sees it as referring to the document as a whole for other reasons. The third and smallest group consists of those who, on the basis of various textual indicators, would argue that ἀποκάλυψις does not refer to the book itself, but rather to something contained within the book. The purpose of this essay is to propose a new reading in this last category. I will begin with a brief critique of the first two alternatives, then proceed to examine Richard Bauckham’s proposal that ἀποκάλυψις

refers to the contents of the little scroll in ch. 10,2 and finally offer my own alternative.

II. Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ As The Document As A Whole?

The first view, that ἀποκάλυψις functions as a genre marker, need not detain us for l...

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