Re: Rev.1:1

From: Jim West (
Date: Fri Jan 23 1998 - 00:12:53 EST

At 11:10 PM 1/22/98 -0500, you wrote:
> Revelation 1:1 begins with "the revelation of Jesus Christ."
>Expositors of this book have held different interpretations of this
>phrase. At issue here is the simple Greek phrase APOKALUYSIS IHSOU
>CRISTOU. The precise meaning turns on the genitive "of Jesus Christ,"
>which, if taken as the objective genitive, denotes the manifestation, or
>disclosure, of Jesus Christ, but if taken as the subjective or possessive
>genitive, denotes Jesus Christ merely as the medium of the revelation.
>Although certain respected scholars are of the latter school, their
>arguments are far from conclusive, but in general incomplete.

I must confess that I too take the genitive to be objective. I.e., the book
is about Jesus. It is true that both readings are possible- but the
objective reading makes more sense to me:

i.e., the book was written in a period of great stress for the early Church.
The question on many minds must have been, why has Jesus abandoned us to the
cruel emperor. Why doesn't God do something for us. The book answers these

(if I may be so bold, perhaps I might suggest that you take a look at the
course I teach on this book. Go to Follow the online
course link. There you will find Revelation listed.)

> The article, of course, takes the former view. It seems to me that
>the remainder of verse 1 makes it fairly clear that the latter view is
>intended. Is it grammatically possible to take the phrase either way? I
>would appreciate your insights.

Yes, it is possible to take the phrase either way- which is why there
continues to be so much discussion of the issue!!!!

>Beginning Greeker,
> Ted



Jim West, ThD
Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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