Saturday, June 18, 2016

Is the Lamb of Revelation Vulnerable or Militaristic (Dr. Loren Johns)

Dr. Loren Johns once wrote a piece entitled "The Lamb in the Rhetorical Program of the Apocalypse of John." In this work, building on previous research, he argued that Christ is portrayed as a Lamb in Revelation to depict his vulnerability or unconventional way of conquering his enemies. Johns reads the Apocalypse through Mennonite lenses which supplies a unique interpretation of the Bible's last book, but his reading of the Johannine text is highly implausible to me. Granted, God is said to hate those who love violence (Psalm 11:5) and the Son of God exhorted his followers to avoid living by the sword lest they perish by it (Matthew 26:52). But Revelation descriptively narrates God and the Lamb waging war (call it violently if you wish) against the enemies of YHWH (17:16-17; 19:11-21; 20:1-10). However, I still find Dr. Johns' use of classical rhetoric to be instructive.



David Waltz said...

Hi Edgar,

Thanks for the link. As an off-and-on student of the Book of Revelation for over four decades now, I am not surprised at all that Dr. John finds a more 'vulnerable' Jesus in the Book of Revelation. The BoR's preponderance of symbolism becomes a fertile field for interpretive adaptation; such that each unique ecclesiastical and/or theological system is able to produce commentary on the BoR that fits quite well into their respective view/s.

While on the topic of the BoR, are you aware of any study that has compared the 4/5 commentaries on the BoR produced by the WTBS (The Finished Mystery, 1917; Light 2 vols., 1930; Babylon the Great Has Fallen! , 1963; Then Is Finished the Mystery of God, 1969; Revelation-Its Grand Climax At Hand!, 1988)?

I personally would find a side-by-side analysis of the continuity and discontinuity of all the contributions to be quite interesting.

Grace and peace,


Edgar Foster said...

Hi David,

I'm reading The Finished Mystery now, and I've studied the other Revelation books produced by Jehovah's Witnesses. Sorry that I can't point you to a side-by-side analysis of those works at this time. That would be a good project for someone, if it hasn't been done yet.

Best regards,