Sunday, December 22, 2013

Confusing Symbolism in the book of Revelation? Richard E. Oster, Jr. and the Quote of the Day

Today's gem quote comes from the pen of Richard E. Oster Jr. and his fascinating book, Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible, on the supposed lack of intelligibility on the symbolic meaning of Revelation:

Much of the later confusion about the ostensibly difficult and opaque symbolism of Revelation has come about because a large population of post-apostolic Christianity has been characterized by an abysmal ignorance of the text, theology, and idiom of the Old Testament. Therefore, modern readers often find it difficult to understand the basic idioms that Revelation uses and that animate its words and theology. After all, the book is entitled 'revelation,' and later readers who do not experience the text of John as revelatory probably owe that to their own unfamiliarity with Scripture, rather than to John's supposed choice of esoteric and mysterious words and images (18; italics mine).

Convicting and convincing words, indeed.