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The Theology, Christology And Pneumatology Of The Book Of Revelation

1404 words - 6 pages

The Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse of John, is a complex and multi-dimensional text that encompasses a great deal of information and from which a large number of interpretations, and misinterpretations, can be drawn. This reality is one that continues into more purely theological investigations of Revelation, as questions of God, Christ, and the Spirit meet in a text written many centuries before the modern reader and before a traditional Christian ‘orthodoxy’ had been established. As such, within the Book of Revelation we encounter an author, as well as a Christian Community, re-interpreting and re-comprehending the nature of their God, and divinity in general, in light of the revelation of Christ and of the work of the Spirit among them. With all this in mind, and recognizing the potentially vast content of the discussion and limited framework of this essay, we will briefly survey the way in which God, Christ, and the Spirit are portrayed in the Book of Revelation. Within this, we will more deeply explore the Christology inherent in John’s work as well as the Christological and Angelomorphic Pneumatology the work puts forward.

Before beginning this exploration proper, however, it is important that we clarify as much as possible what is meant by ‘how God, Christ and the Spirit are portrayed’. Each of these aspects holds a traditional name, specifically theology, christology, and pneumatology. In this circumstance, however, theology, which in general usage may encapsulate christology and pneumatology, is more precise, referring specifically to the way in which John understands God, or what trinitarian Christianity would name God the Father. If we then take the base definition of theology as ‘talk about God’ , and extend this to the other two titles, we garner a clearer idea of what we aim to do in this essay. Through examining the way in which John describes these entities, as well as what they themselves say and do, we will elicit the way in which John understood the divine realm and the divine being, as well as where Christ and the Spirit fit within that.

Having clarified the matters of theology, christology, and pneumatology, let us now move on to explore the theology of the Book of Revelation, that is, the way in which the book and John understand God. The theology of Revelation, according to Bauckham, is highly contextual and related strongly to the world in which John’s readers lived. What this means to say is that the Roman Empire and the ideology of Pax Romana, as well as Rome’s, and its Emperor’s, self declared divinity, shaped the way in which John expresses God throughout Revelation. Drawing from this, an exploration of the divine titles that are attributed to God in the book begin to reflect a response to this usurping of the divine throne, as well as an encouragement to John’s readers, many of whom lived under persecution for not submitting to Rome’s ‘divinity’. Throughout the Book of Revelation, God...

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