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The Theology, Christology And Pneumatology Of The Book Of Revelation

1931 words - 8 pages

The Theology, Christology, and Pneumatology of the Book of Revelation are highly reflective of the social, political and religious context in which the book was written. Within the text, we find expressed the views of an author, and Christian community in general, challenged by the power and ideology of Rome, as well as having to re-imagine and re-comprehend their God, and divinity in general, in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit among them.

Before beginning this investigation it is important that we define as much as possible what is meant by ‘how God, Christ and the Spirit are portrayed’. The exploration of these figures holds an established set of names within Christian thought, specifically Theology, Christology, and Pneumatology. In this circumstance, Theology, which in general convention may contain all of these distinction, is defined more precisely as the way John understands God, or what Trinitarian Christianity would identify as God the Father. If we then use the base definition of Theology as ‘talk about God’, and extend this to both Christology and Pneumatology, we assemble a clearer idea of what we intend to do in this essay. Through examining the way in which John describes these three entities, God, Christ and the Spirit, as well as what they say and do, we will elicit the way in which John understands the heavenly realm and the divine being, as well as where Christ and the Spirit fit within it.

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 John, and so the book, understands God. The Theology of Revelation, according to Bauckham, is highly contextual and related strongly to the world in which John and his readers lived. What this means to say is that the Roman Empire, and its ideology of self declared divinity, shaped the way in which John expresses God throughout Revelation. In light of this understanding, an exploration of the divine titles that are attributed to God in the book appear to demonstrate 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 is entitled with a number of divine names that reflect the eternal nature, heavenly rule and true authority of the divine being. Names such as ‘the beginning and the end’ (Rev 21:6), ‘the One who is and who was and who is to come’ (1:8), ‘the One who is seated upon the throne’ (4:9), and ‘Alpha and Omega’ (1:8) all attest to the nature of God as ever-being and everlasting, as well as being the holder of ultimate power and authority. This understanding in connection with the belief that heaven is the ‘sphere of ultimate reality’, leads the reader to view the power and authority of Rome through a more temporal lens, revealing its illusory attempt...

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