On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Greek study of Revelation 21

Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
v1 ουρανον καινον και γην "a new heaven and a new earth" In Biblical terms this concerns the redemption of creation - the reestablishment of Eden; a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in Isaiah.65:17. But to what extent is this image literal or figurative? The idea of a new heaven is more difficult to comprehend. A literal restoration of the heavenly dwelling of God seems far-fetched. Perhaps it is best to understand "new heavens and new earth" in a figurative sense. Chaos reigns in both, but in Christ there is a new creation, the replacement of the old and limited with the new and eternal.
η θαλασσα ουκ εστιν ετι "There was no longer any sea". In the Old Testament, the sea is a place of surging evil, the abode of Leviathan; a place seething, erratic, destructive, unable to be tamed. But following the judgment, (Ch.17-20) this wilderness is no more; Satan's stronghold is broken and his power destroyed. 
Ιερουσαλημ καινην "[the Holy City], the new Jerusalem" - the new Jerusalem = the redeemed, new creation, the people of God, the heavenly assembly.
καταβαινουσαν (καταβαινω) part. "coming down" - the redeemed assemble in (descend to) God's new domain. Western imagination doesn't quite grasp descending imagery. 
ητοιμασμενην (ετοιμαζω) pas. part. "prepared"
κεκοσμημενην (κοσμεω) pas. part. "beautifully dressed".
τω "for [her husband]" - a dative of advantage, she is adorned for the advantage of her husband. 
λεγουσης (λεγω) "saying" του θεου (ος) gen. "God's" η σκηνη (η) "dwelling place" - place of tabernacle/shelter. The final words of Ezekiel's vision is "The name of the city shall be 'the Lord is there'". Israel's great hope is that the Lord will tabernacle with his
  λαοι (ος) pl. "people" (Lev.26:11, Isa.7:14) 
μετ ..... εσται "will be with" - underlining God's presence with his people.
αυτων θεος "and be their God" the language of the covenant.

v4 ουκ ... ετι "[there will be] no more" ο θανατος "death" ουτε ... ουτε .... ουτε "or ... or ... or .." - neither ... nor πενθος (ος) "mourning" associated with grief (cf Isa.25:8, 35:10, 51:11) κραυγη (η) "crying" - "weeping" seems to be the sense, the word normally means a noisy outcry, or shout - πονος (ος) "pain
οτι because a causal clause; i.e. "The old order of things" may have passed away, but this is not the reason why there is "no more death ....."
ο καθημενος (καθημαι) pres. part. "he who was seated [on the throne]" - 
ποιω (ποιεω) pres. "I am making [everything new]" - The present tense is interesting. There is a futuristic element in the words, but the "realized" nature of Christ's work makes the future a durative present. This is the first time God speaks in this prophecy.
οτι "for" – another causal clause, expressing the content of what John is to write, namely, that these specific words, "I am making everything new" are both trustworthy and true. γραψον, "write", is usually taken to mean "write the book", not just v5.
πιστοι adj. "trustworthy"/faithful and αληθινοι adj. "true"Cassirer.
γεγοναν (γινομαι) 3rd pers. pl. perf. "it is done" i.e. the prophecy is ended; "all the words are completed."
το αλφα και το ω∴ "the Alpha and the Omega" - God is the beginning and end of history and he rules all events in between. 
τω/ διψωντι dat. part. "to him who thirsts " serves as a substantive, dative of indirect object. This promise is for believers going through the trials of life.
εγω pro. "I [will give]" – an emphatic.
δωρεαν adv. "without cost" - emphatic by position (i.e. it is at the end of the sentence).
εκ + gen. "from [the spring]" - preposition expresses origin.
της ζωης (η) gen. "of the water of life" - "living water".
ο νικων (νικαω) part. "he who overcomes" - participle functions as a substantive. The believer conquers when they remain true to their faith through the trials.
κληρονομησει (κληρονομεω) fut. "will inherit" - the context implies a gift freely given at the end of a troubled journey, not an inheritance after a death. 
ταυτα "all this" that is promised
αυτω dat. pro. "their [God]" - a dative of possession, encapsulates the Abrahamic covenant of Gen.17:7.

v8 τοις ... δειλοις dat. adj. "the cowardly" - an interesting descriptive to head the list, given that none of us are wholly courageous. I am OK on the magic arts thingy but to varying degrees, I am completely lost on all the others. 
απιστοις adj. "unbelieving" Those who have given up their faith and no longer trust in Jesus.
εβδελυγμενοις (βδελυσσομαι) pas. perf. part. "vile" - participle is adjectival, the word means polluted by pagan worship. 
φαρμακοις (ος) "those who practice magic arts".
το μερος αυτων "their place" εν "will be in Expressing space τη καιομενη
(καιω) dat. pres. pas. part. "[the] fiery[ lake]" πυρι (πυρ πυρος) "of burning sulphur". 
ο θανατος ο δευτερος "the second death" - spiritual death as opposed to physical. 

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