Jul 2, 2010

Prophetic Lawsuit Motif

Alan S. Bandy (Assistant Professor of New Testament at Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma) has just published his dissertation on The Prophetic Lawsuit in the Book of Revelation. I proofread his dissertation and we collaborated together on our research as our subject matter was complementary. Alan focused on the vision in the book and I focused on the prophetic lawsuit structure of the seven messages. The Seven Messages of Revelation and Vassal Treaties

The website describes Alan's book as:

The language, metaphors and storyline of the Book of Revelation evoke a cosmic law court setting. Juridical metaphors of a legal contest between the faithful witnesses and the ‘accuser of the brethren’ are intertwined throughout with images of holy war. Although such features have often been noted, this is the first full-length study drawing together the diverse evidence and reading the book through the lens of the controlling metaphor of the lawsuit.

The background of the law court setting in Revelation is the Old Testament prophetic genre of the lawsuit, sometimes conceived of as a lawsuit against God’s own people for their violations of the covenant, sometimes as a lawsuit against foreign nations for their oppression of Israel. Prophetic lawsuit language often culminated in oracles of salvation announcing the vindication of the righteous.

Reading Revelation with an awareness of the prophetic lawsuit motif will enable readers to interpret the juridical images as consistent features in the overall narrative. The purpose of Revelation’s narrative is to depict the sovereign judge of the universe rendering ultimate justice through the condemnation of the wicked and the vindication of the saints. This message of vindication is intended to encourage Christians in Asia Minor at the end of the first century not to capitulate or even accommodate to the socio-religious norms of their time.

I highly recommend this book for those interested in the development of the prophetic lawsuit motif in Revelation and an excellent complement to my book.

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