By Mike Kuhn
Recently our community had the privilege of hearing a lecture by New Testament scholar David deSilva based on his book on John’s Apocalypse titled Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation’s Warning. The thrust of the lecture was a challenge to read John’s apocalyptic message in light of events transpiring in the lifetime of John and his readers. Revelation is a letter to specific churches in John’s day, according to Professor deSilva. What is more, it is not about emerging powers in our day or the distant future. It concerns primarily the prominent power in John’s day—the Roman Empire. Its message urges early Christ-followers not to be co-opted by the Empire’s seduction, to have no other loyalties than Christ and his Kingdom even though the price for faithfulness be martyrdom.
The author’s point of view inspired some lively conversation as two Middle Eastern scholars responded to him and he…
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