Monday, May 27, 2013

The Ways the Apostle John Uses the Old Testament in Revelation

Here is a rather long and technical quote that I found incredibly insightful.  If you get lost in the technical jargon, skip to the last paragraph!  The quote reinforces the brilliance and the inner logic of the biblical writers working under the inspiration of the Spirit.  It also points to the need for thoughtful reflection on Scripture with a
 biblical theological framework.

"Attention also should be directed to what might be called John's stylistic use of OT language.  It has long been recognized that Revelation contains a multitude of grammatical solecisms.  Charles claimed that Revelation contained more grammatical irregularities than any other Greek document of the ancient world.  He accounted for this with his famous dictum, “While he writes in Greek, he thinks in Hebrew, and the thought has naturally affected the vehicle of expression (Charles 1920: 1:cxliii).
But was this intentional on the author’s part or an unconscious by-product of his Semitic mind?  It seems that his grammatical “howlers” are deliberate attempts to express Semiticisms and septuagintalisms in his Greek, the closest analogy being that of the LXX translations, especially Aquila (Sweet 1979: 16; see also S. Thompson 1985: 108 and passim).  The fact that most of the time the author does keep the rules further points to the solecisms being intentional.
Why did John write this way? Sometimes his purpose was deliberately to create a “biblical” effect in the hearer and thus to demonstrate the solidarity of his work with that of the divinely inspired OT Scriptures (Sweet 1979:16). A polemical purpose may also have been included. John may have been expressing the idea that OT truth via the church as the new Israel was uncompromisingly penetrating the Gentile world and would continue to do so until the Parousia."
GK Beale and DA Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, p. 1087.

No comments:

Post a Comment