Saturday, November 24, 2012

Does Revelation 20:9 Necessarily Rule Out the Heavenly Hope?

In his 3-volume commentary on Revelation, David Aune delineates the hermeneutical possibilities for the Greek expression τὴν παρεμβολὴν τὼν ἁγίων in Revelation 20:9a. They are

1) The heavenly city.
2) The encampment of the people of God which is identical with "the beloved city."
3) The encampment of the people of God stationed outside the city in expectation of the impending attack.
4) The martyrs with Christ in Jerusalem (Revelation 14:1-5).
5) An army of angels (perhaps the force mentioned in Revelation 19:14) that is "bivouacked" in Jerusalem's vicinity. In fact, Eichhorn renders the phrase with the Latin wording "castra angelorum" (cf. 2 Kings 6:17; 1QM 7:6 and 19:1).

Number 1) is taken from the commentary on Revelation by R. H. Charles. He argues that the heavenly city descends to the earth, but as I've noted previously, his interpretation is not necessarily the correct one. The heavenly city could be under attack insofar as its representatives are being assailed. Jesus taught that if you harm his brothers, you hurt him. Remember the words, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me"?

Number 5) might also be a viable possibility.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Etymological Significance of the Preposition DIA

Romans 11:36 has DIA + the genitive which can be translated either as "through" or "by." Either translation is able to communicate the notion of intermediate agency, I would say. Colossians 1:16 is also DIA + genitive and Hebrews 2:10 is DIA + the genitive case (DI' hOU). What will determine how one renders the construction should be context or translator preference. But, as I see it, nothing is wrong with communicating agency with "through" or "by." BDAG shows that DIA may be used as a "marker of instrumentality or circumstance whereby someth. is accomplished or effected, by, via, through" (page 224); DIA can also be a "marker of pers. agency, through, by" (BDAG, 225).

In John 1:3, 10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16, DIA is used of "Christ as intermediary in the creation of the world" (BDAG, 225).

I examined a number of grammars that I own and one helpful resource I found was A.T. Robertson's A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research. On p. 580, Robertson quotes Delbruck who has "nothing to say" about the origin of DIA. Nevertheless, Robertson proceeds to offer a number of illuminating comments on this Greek preposition, wherein he notes that "there is no doubt about DIA being kin to DUO, DIS. (cf. Sanskrit DVIS, Greek DIS, b = v or U); German ZWEI; English two (fem. and neut.), twain (masc.), twi-ce, twi-light, be-tween, two-fold, etc."