[b-greek] Jewish Idiom in N.T.: Response to Queries

From: Ed Siefert (sieferted@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 16:26:02 EDT

To Ted Mann, Mike Sangrey, Dan Jenkins, Ken Flowers, and others:
   I appreciate your interest in my manuscript on Revelation and the Olivet discourse, and would enjoy forwarding it. However, I am searching for a publisher–a lengthy process that will probably come to naught–and have been advised that distributing the book might be unwise. I would be
happy to contribute excerpts on a case sensitive basis when the topics appear in B-Greek.
   The gist of the book is that John wrote Revelation to bolster the Christian movement in Israel, and wanted to use a style that would be most likely to get his message across. This is why he portrayed the coming evil kingdom as “Babylon the great,” the most prominent opponent in Israel’s history, and why he borrowed idiom and symbols from resistance literature that emerged from that time. It’s been noted that although he wrote in Greek, he thought in Hebrew. Perhaps he intended that Revelation be translated before presentation in Israel; so those Jewish Christians
would view their fight the way the whole nation did 600 years earlier.
   The symbolism John used–numbers, objects, colors–throughout his book were a renewal of Daniel (Mat 24:15), for John believed he was living the days of Revelation as foretold by Jesus shortly before His death. Thus Revelation is the Olivet discourse, as described by the only witness
to Christ’s speech who personally wrote about it. And the absence of it in his Gospel, I believe, proves this.
   With all the underlying meanings present in the languages of 2000 years ago, it takes an understanding of the many symbols used by those authors to tell their stories to find out what was so clearly comprehended by their linguistic/social contemporaries. Thus Revelation, although clear
to Jews, was confusing to those who didn’t understand its Hebraic basis: just like today!
   Whether we can derive precise meaning from words chosen by the Biblical authors is, of course, questionable. However, I believe they were very careful about the words they chose to bridge the distance from one language to another; to assure that their own idiomatic elements remained in
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