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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


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1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE
being lectures delivered before the University of London

R.H. Charles
1913

CLICK HERE FOR PDF FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK
 

"Salmeron (1614) took the same view, and agreed with Hentenius that the Apocalypse was written before the fall of Jerusalem. He refused, however, to write a Commentary"  (p. 34)

"It is possible that this return to the methods of Irenseus and Victorious may have been suggested by the use that Bibliander and Bullinger made of these early Fathers. How ever this may be, a breach was made with the World-Historical and Spiritualising and Re capitulation Methods, and at the same time the beginning or rather the revival of a partially scientific exposition of the Apocalypse. A forerunner of this school was Hentenius (1547), who in a preface to an edition of Arethas tried to show that chaps, vi. xi. dealt with the overthrow of the Synagogue, and xii.-xix. with the destruction of heathenism under the figure Babylon. Salmeron (1614) took the same view, and agreed with Hentenius that the Apocalypse was written before the fall of Jerusalem. He refused, however, to write a Commentary on the Apocalypse, and compared such an undertaking with an attempt to square the circle. But two names of great merit stand forth from the rest in this school, namely Ribeira (ob. 1591) and Alcasar (1614)." (Studies in the Apocalypse being lectures delivered before the University of London, 1913, p. 34)

 
STUDIES 
IN THE APOCALYPSE 

BEING LECTURES DELIVERED BEFORE THE 
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON 



BY 



R. H. CHARLES, D.LITT., D.D. 

CANON OF WESTMINSTER 

FELLOW OF MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD 

FELLOW OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY 



TORONTO 



EDINBURGH : T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET 

1913 



<NOX COLLFG* 
TORONTO 



TO 

THE EIGHT KEVEREND BISHOP KYLE 

C.V.O., D.D. 

HON. FELLOW OF KING S COLLEGE, AND 
HON. FELLOW OF QUEENS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 

DEAN OF WESTMINSTER 




PREFACE 



THE University of London instituted last year 
two short courses of " Lectures in Advanced 
Theology," to be given by a foreign and a home 
scholar respectively. 

The present writer was chosen to be the first 
of the home scholars. 

The lectures, which were four in all, and were 
delivered in May this year, have been slightly 
expanded, and, with a view to the better 
arrangement of the material, been divided into 
five chapters. Their original form as lectures 
has, notwithstanding some disadvantages, been 
retained. 

The first two chapters make no claim to 
originality. They are simply a very short 
history of the interpretation of the Apocalypse 
from the earliest times. 

An attempt is made by the omission of 
details to show so far as possible the real 
advances in interpretation that were made in 



vi PREFACE 

the growing centuries. Since, however, greater 
contributions have in this respect been made 
within the last forty years than in all past 
exegesis, larger space has of necessity been 
devoted to this period. 

Also, for the convenience of the reader, an 
Appendix has been added, in which the critical 
analyses of the chief scholars of the Apocalypse 
are given. 

To furnish such details in lectures would have 
been impossible. 

The real contribution of the present work, so 
far as it is a contribution, is to be found in the 
last three chapters. In these the author has 
set forth some of the conclusions which he has 
arrived at in the course of a prolonged study of 
the Apocalypse and the literature to which it 
belongs. That these conclusions are in the 
main valid he is fully convinced, though in 
detail they may require occasionally drastic 
revision. Apart from these he holds that much 
of the Apocalypse must remain a sealed book. 



E. H. CHARLES. 



4 LITTLE CLOISTERS, 

WESTMINSTER ABBEY 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PA&E 

I. HISTORY OP THE INTERPRETATION OF THE APOC 
ALYPSE ...... 1 

II. HISTORY OP THE INTERPRETATION OF THE APOC 
ALYPSE Concluded . . . .50 

III. THE HEBRAIC STYLE OP THE APOCALYPSE . 79 

IV. REVELATION vn.-ix. . . . .103 

V. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS ALREADY ARRIVED AT 

IN CHAPTER vn. . . . .142 

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. . . .185 

INDEX I. NAMES OF COMMENTATORS ON THE 

APOCALYPSE . . . . .191 

INDEX II. SUBJECTS 194 



vii 



STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE. 



CHAPTER I. 

HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE 
APOCALYPSE. 

BEFORE we enter on a detailed study of the 
various methods of interpretation that have 
been applied to the Apocalypse since the 
earliest times to the present, I must preface 
our investigations with a few introductory 
remarks. 

First of all, while recognising the close 
affinities with Jewish Apocalyptic in general, 
I must point out one important characteristic 
that differentiates Christian Apocalyptic litera 
ture of the first century of the Christian era 
from Jewish Apocalyptic. 

In the second place, I shall put forward some 
general and for the most part obvious con 
siderations, which will serve in some measure 
to provide a preliminary canon of criticism, 
by the use of which we shall be able to 



2 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

recognise amongst the many conflicting arid 
contradictory methods, those methods which 
were more or less justifiable from the outset. 

Now as regards the first point, while we 
must unreservedly acknowledge that the New 
Testament Apocalypse 1 cannot be understood 
apart from Jewish Apocalyptic, we must also 
recognise the fact that while Jewish Apocalyptic 
was pseudepigraphic from 350 or 300 B.C. 
down to mediaeval times, Christian Apocalyptic 
in the first century threw off the cloak of 
pseudonymity and the Christian seer came 
forward in his own person. For the full ex 
planation of this change, I must refer the 
students of this literature to the second edition 
of my Eschatology (pp. 173-206). I may 
here, however, summarise in a few words the 
conclusions arrived at there. From the times 
of Ezra onwards the Law made steady progress 
towards a position of supremacy in Judaism, 
till at the close of the third century B.C., or 
early in the second, it came to be regarded, 
not as the highest expression of the religious 
consciousness of a particular age, but as the 
full and final utterance of the mind of God- 
adequate, infallible, and valid for all eternity. 

1 Sometimes the Apocalypse is called the New Testament 
Apocalypse in the following pages by way of contrast to 
Jewish Apocalyptic. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 3 

When the Law thus came to be regarded as 
all-sufficient for time and eternity, alike as an 
intellectual creed, a liturgical system, and a 
practical guide in ethics and religion, there 
was practically no room left for new light or 
interpretation or for any further disclosure of 
God s will in short, there was no room for 
the true prophet, but only for the moralist, 
the casuist, and the preacher. Henceforth in 
Judaism, when a man felt himself charged 
with a real message from God to his day and 
generation, he was compelled, if he wished 
his message to be received, to resort to pseu- 
donymity, and to issue the Divine commands 
with which he was entrusted under the name 
of some ancient worthy in Israel. 

But with the advent of Christianity all this 
was changed. The Law was dethroned from 
the position of supremacy which it had usurped, 
and reduced to its rightful status as a school 
master to bring men to Christ, while prophecy 
was restored to the first place, and prophet and 
seer were once more enabled to fling aside for 
the time the guise of pseudonymity and come 
forward in their own persons to make known 
the counsel of God. 

Hence there is no a priori ground for re 
garding Revelation as a pseudepigraph. It is 
the work of the Christian seer or prophet John. 



4 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Our next task is to furnish ourselves with 
a provisional canon of criticism by means of 
which we shall be able to recognise the right 
method or methods of interpretation as they 
arise in this historical inquiry. 

The New Testament Apocalypse cannot be 
understood apart from Jewish Apocalyptic 
literature. Like other books of this literature, 
and, indeed, like most of the prophetic litera- 
ture in earlier times, it appeared at a time 
when fear and despair were at their height. 
Whatever use such books made of past events, 
their main lesson was addressed to their own 
age. Now the date of the New Testament 
Apocalypse belongs unquestionably to the 
latter half, or rather to the close of the first 
century A.D. 

The writer, therefore, is addressing his con 
temporaries towards the close of the first 
century. We have now to inquire : Do the 
visions of the writer relate to contemporary 
events and to future events as arising out of 
these ? that is, are we to interpret the book 
according to the Contemporary - Historical 
Method ? Or are we to explain the book 
as referring wholly to the future, to definite 
events in the coming centuries and millen 
niums that is, are we to interpret the book 
wholly and strictly by the Eschatological 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 5 

Method ? Now I think we can have no hesi 
tation in accepting provisionally the former | 
method in reference to the chief part of the 
book. The analogy of the chief Jewish 
Apocalypse is in favour of such a decision. 
Moreover, the words of the writer himself 
support it; for in i. 1, xxii. 6, he states that 
the revelation relates to " the things which 

must shortly come to pass " (a &el ^eveorOai ev 

ra^et), and again in i. 3, xxii. 10, he declares 
that " the time is at hand " (o /ccupos eyyvs). 

The writer, too, is no ancient worthy, but a 
Christian prophet addressing his contemporaries. 
But it is well to observe that, even according 
to the Contemporary-Historical Method, there 
remains a certain prophetic or eschatological 
element in the book, which arises out of and 
yet is inexplicable from the events of the 
present. The writer was no mere mechanical 
apocalyptist. He claimed to be and wrote as 
a prophet, though he was hampered in some 
measure by a body of apocalyptic tradition, 
which possessed in his eyes an undoubted sanc 
tity, but which required to be interpreted afresh. 

We shall therefore provisionally accept the 
Contemporary-Historical Method, and in a minor 
degree the Eschatological, as the methods used 
naturally and unconsciously by the readers of the 
book when it was first published. Once more, 



6 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the book, like other apocalypses, is to be inter 
preted with reference to concrete events, and 
* not to be treated as an allegory, 1 or a spiritual 
or symbolical representation of the world s 
history. As in Daniel, Enoch, 2 Baruch 
and 4 Ezra, definite kingdoms and persons 
are referred to, or definite traditional ex 
pectations respecting eschatological events or 
persons, so also in the New Testament Apoca 
lypse. Thus the Millennium in chap. xx. 
/is a definite period introduced by the first 
resurrection. There were analogous expecta 
tions in contemporary and earlier Judaism. 
In fact, this temporary kingdom is just as 
concrete an- expectation as the Messianic 
kingdom of which it is a one-sided develop 
ment. In like manner a knowledge of Jewish 
Apocalyptic forbids us ,to spiritualise or 
weaken into a mere symbol the dreaded 
figure of the Antichrist. The Antichrist was 
identified at different periods with different 
historical personalities - - in Daniel with 
Antiochus Epiphanes, in the Ascension of 
Isaiah and the Sibyllines with Nero. That 
a like identification is to be found in the 
Apocalypse we shall see later. On these and 
like grounds, therefore, we shall look askance 
on any method which proposes to remove the 

1 Certain portions are of the allegorical type. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 7 

references to or expectations of definite events 
from the book and to reduce it to a merely alle 
gorical description of the strife of good and evil. 

But Jewish Apocalypses call for other 
methods in addition to the Contemporary- 
Historical and Eschatological with a view to 
their fuller interpretation. These are the 
Philological, the Literary- Critical, the Tradi 
tional-Historical and the Eeligious-Historical. 
In the sequel we shall find that the difficulties 
of the New Testament Apocalypse cannot be 
resolved, unless by the application of these 
supplementary methods. We are, however, 
anticipating, and it will be best to adjourn the 
consideration of these latter methods till we deal 
with the actual periods when they were first 
applied to the interpretation of the Apocalypse. 

Let us now address ourselves to the subject 
immediately before us, and describe under 
definite headings the methods of the successive 
schools of interpretation. 

1. First, then, we have the Eschatological 
Method and traces of the Contemporary- 
Historical, with the beginnings of a 
Spiritualising Method and the rise of 
the Recapitulation Theory. 

Unhappily no work survives giving us the 
view of the earliest readers of the Apocalypse. 



8 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Quite sixty years pass before we find any 
references to it, and over a hundred before any 
writer deals at length with its expectations. 
Thus, since the real historical horizon of the 
book was lost, and its historical allusions had 
become unintelligible for the most part, the 
use of the Contemporary-Historical, unless in 
isolated passages, had become practically 
impossible. On the other hand, the true 
interpretation of the eschatological sections, 
relating as they do not to the present but to 
the coming ages, was still preserved in tradition, 
as we shall presently see. 

The earliest expounders of the Apocalypse 
whose works have come down to us are Justin 
Martyr (ob. 163), Irenseus (ob. 202), Hippo- 
lytus, and Victorinus. In these writers we 
find, as we should a priori expect, fragment 
ary survivals of true methods of interpretation. 
Thus Justin, who comments on the Apocalypse 
in only a single passage (Dial, cum Trypli. 
81), adduces it in justification of Chiliasm, 
or the doctrine of the Millennium, the literal 
reign of Christ on earth for 1000 years. Justin 
declares that this is the view of all orthodox 
Christians (opOoyvafJuoves . . . Xpiariavol, 80). 

The same view is held by Tertullian (Adv. 
Marc. iii. 24), as it had been earlier by 
Cerinthus and Papias. The first writer who 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 9 

treats more fully of the Apocalypse is Irenseus 
(Adv. HCBT. iv. and v. ). A survey of the passages 
in his works dealing with the Apocalypse shows 
that the historical relations of the Apocalypse 
to its time had almost wholly passed from 
remembrance. His interpretation is a mixture 
of the literal and allegorical methods. Thus 
he allegorises the number 666, yet he protests 
against any attempt to allegorise Chiliastic 
prophecies (v. 35. 1). The allegorical elements 
show that the influence of the Alexandrian 
school was at work, which was later systemat- 
ised in the spiritualising method of Tyconius. 
Yet genuine elements of the Antichrist tradition 
are preserved, and Irenseus also is, as has been 
stated, a true Chiliast, and takes the 1000 
years of blessedness in a literal sense. As the 
world was created in six days, and as one day 
with the Lord was as 1000 years, the world 
would last 6000 years; and, as a day of rest 
followed on the six days of work, so there 
would follow 1000 years of rest on the 6000 
years of the earth s history. After this 
temporary kingdom the final judgment would 
follow and the new heaven and the new earth. 

Next comes Hippolytus, the pupil of Irenseus, 
who in several details follows in the footsteps 
of his master. Unfortunately his Commentary 
on the Apocalypse is lost, and accordingly we 



io STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

have to collect his views from such of his 
writings as have come down to us. These are 
especially rich in references to the Antichrist 
legend. In this connection he takes the two 
witnesses of chap. xi. to be Enoch and Elijah, 
and the Antichrist to be from the tribe of Dan. 

Traces also of the Contemporary-Historical 
Method still persist. Thus he interprets the 
first half of chap. xiii. of the Eoman Empire. 
But Hippolytus does not keep to these earlier 
and justifiable methods. He, too, has been 
infected with the Alexandrian spirit. Thus he 
allegorises the number 666 like Irenseus, and 
even such a definite historical reference as that 
in xvii. 10. Here in the words, "They are 
seven kings ; the five are fallen, the one is, the 
other is not yet come," the Roman Emperors 
are unquestionably referred to. But Hippolytus 
makes them symbolise seven world periods of 
1000 years each, and determines thereby the 
time of the Antichrist. Again the woman in 
chap. xii. is the Church, which is constantly 
bearing true sons of Grod an interpretation 
which drives most others from the field. 

We now come to the most scientific and 
original representative of this type of inter 
preters, i.e. Victorinus of Pettau in Pannonia. 
We class him along with Irenseus and Hip 
polytus, since like them he was a Chiliast, and 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION n 

still preserved elements of the true and ancient 
interpretation of the Apocalypse according to 
the Contemporary-Historical Method. Thus 
Nero redivivus is the first Beast, and the False 
Prophet is the second. But his most important 
contribution historically is his theory of Re 
capitulation. This is, that the Apocalypse 
does not represent a strict succession of events 
following chronologically upon one another, 
but under each successive series of seven seals, 
seven trumpets, seven bowls the same events 
are dealt with. 

2. Spiritualising Method emanating from 
Alexandria. 

From these founders of the true school 
of interpretation we must now turn to the 
Alexandrians, who, under the influence of 
Hellenism and the traditional allegorical school 
of interpretation which came to a head in Philo, 
rejected the literal sense of the Apocalypse, 
and attached to it a spiritual significance only. 
This theory dominates many schools of exegetes 
down to the present day. Thus Clement saw 
in the four and twenty elders a symbol of the 
equality of Jew and Gentile within the Church, 
and in the tails of the locusts the destructive 
influences of immoral teachers. Origen as well 
as his opponent Methodius rejects as Jewish the 



12 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

literal interpretation of chap. xx. and in the 
hands of his followers the entire historical 
contents of the Apocalypse were lost sight of, 
the meaning assigned to the text became 
wholly arbitrary, and each man found in it 
what each man wished to find. 

It is no real cause for regret that with the 
exception of CEcumenius, Andreas and Arethas, 
the Commentaries of the Greek Church on the 
Apocalypse have perished. Of these, Andreas 
believes with Origen in the threefold sense of 
the Scriptures, and finds the main worth of 
the book in its spiritual meaning. On the 
other hand, he shows his dependence on Irenaeus 
and Hippolytus, where their interpretation is 
historical and not allegorical. 

3. Spiritualising Method combined within 
Recapitulation Theory. 

But we must now return to the close of 
the fourth century, to Tyconius, the Donatist, 
who combines the Spiritualising Method of 
the Alexandrians with the Recapitulation 
Method of Victorinus. The works of Tyconius 
put an end to Chiliasm and a realistic eschat- 
ology in the Latin Church for many centuries. 
The Apocalypse, according to this writer, de 
picted the strife of the Donatistic Church 
with the false State Church and the world 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 13 

powers. The two witnesses were the two 
Testaments, the Beast a, symbol of the 
World power, and the Millennium the period 
between the first and second advents of Christ. 
The second advent was to take place 3| days, 
that is, 350 years, after the Crucifixion there 
fore about 380 A.D. 

The successors of Tyconius removed his 
references to contemporary events, and thus 
originated a purely abstract spiritualising 
method of interpretation. Amongst these the 
earliest and chiefest were Jerome and Augustin. 
The latter is more truly a disciple of Tyconius ; 
for Jerome stands at the point of transition 
between the Eealistic and Spiritualising 
Methods. Sometimes he adheres to the one, 
sometimes to the other. On the interpretation 
of chap, xx., however, he is a confessed spiritu- 
aliser : " Let us," he declares, " have done with 
this fable of 1000 years." Augustin popular 
ised this interpretation of Tyconius, and thus 
for the next 800 years the Millennium became 
simply an era in the Church s history. The 
ready adoption of this view is intelligible from 
the new attitude towards the State introduced 
by Constantine s establishing Christianity as 
the State Eeligion. 

Other members of this school were Prim- 
asius, Cassiodorus, Apringius, Bede, Ambrose, 



14 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Ansbertus, Beatus, Haymo, Walafried Strabo, 
Berengaudus and others. Most of these were 
untrue in a greater or less degree to the 
method of their master, as they introduced 
into their exegesis elements of realistic eschat- 
ology from Irenseus and Victorinus. 

The usual interpretation assigned to the 
1000 years reign of Christ, namely, that it 
signified the era of the Church History begin 
ning either with the birth or Crucifixion of 
Christ, aroused in the eleventh century, especi 
ally in France, the greatest alarm. The hour 
of Antichrist was at hand, and the end of the 
world. Multitudes of men gave or bequeathed 
their possessions to the Church, a religious 
revival sprang up, monasteries were reformed 
and Churches filled with ardent worshippers. 
This movement reached its height about the 
year 1000 and then died away, to be revived 
as the 1000th year from our Lord s Crucifixion 
drew near, only again to die away. 

When we come to the twelfth century the 
Church has wholly overcome its dread of 
Antichrist and a closely impending end of the 
world. Secure in its sovereignty over the 
world, it believed that it realised in itself every 
expectation that the apostolic community had 
looked for from the Keturn of Christ. Ignor 
ing the darker side of the apocalyptic forecasts, 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 15 

it surrendered itself more and more to the 
secularising tendencies of the time, and became 
self-complacent and corrupt. 

But this secularising tendency in high places 
gave birth to a strong reaction in the other 
direction in certain communities within the 
Church. Protests from without w r ere to be 
found on every side among the various heretical 
sects which, according to William of Newland, 
were at this time as numerous as the sand of 
the sea in France, Spain, Italy and Germany. 
But it is not these that now concern us, but 
those that arose from within the Church. The 
internal corruption of the Church and its 
growing secularisation called forth anew the 
apocalyptic temper, which found utterance in 
Norbert and still more in Hildegard, but reached 
its highest expression in Joachim, Abbot of 
Floris in Calabria. 

4. The next school of interpretation, therefore, 
represents a combination of the Eschato- 
logical Method involving Chiliasm with 
the Recapitulation Method and borrow 
ings from the School of Tyconius. 

Joachim 1 (1195) finds the Apocalypse to be 
a book consisting of eight parts a history of 

1 Since we owe to Joachim of Floris a very notable Com 
mentary on the Apocalypse, and since, moreover, it is one of 



1 6 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the world from its beginning to its close. He 
divides it into three world periods, the first, 
that of the Law or of the Father, namely, the 
Petrine period ; the second, that of the Gospel 
or of the Sons, namely, the Pauline period, 
which according to his reckoning was to come 
to a close about 1260; and the third, that of 
perfect liberty or of the Spirit, namely, the 
Johannine period. 

The duration of the first and second periods 

the most important works that have been written on the 
Apocalypse, not intrinsically but from the standpoint of 
history, I propose to give here some of the few facts which we 
know about him. 

He is said to have been born in 1145 in Calicum, a village in 
Calabria. At the age of 14 he went to the Sicilian court, 
and some years later made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 

On his return he became a monk in Calabria, and at the 
age of 33 or thereabouts, Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery 
of Corace. Joachim was a deep student of the Bible, and his 
knowledge was so profound, for his time, that it was attributed 
to miraculous illumination. Joachim himself maintained 
that he was not a prophet in the essential sense of the word, 
but that the spirit of understanding had been given him, and 
of insight into the prophetic contents of the O.T. and N.T., so 
that he gathered therefrom the course of the world s history and 
the changing fortunes of the Church. He recounts (Comm. in 
Apoc., p. 39), how one Easter night, while he meditated, the 
entire contents and meaning of the Apocalypse and the Con 
cord of the O.T. and N.T. became clear to him suddenly by a 
divine revelation. The three Popes, Lucius in. (1181), Urban in. 
(1185) and Clement in. (1187), encouraged Joachim to publish 
the disclosures made known to him by God, and to submit his 
writings to the judgment of the Holy See. Thereupon Joachim 
resigned the Abbacy of the Cistercian Monastery, and betook 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 17 

amounted to 6000 years, or six world ages, in 
harmony with the six days of Creation ; then 
followed the seventh, or the Sabbath rest, of 
1000 years, being part of the third period. 

But, again, the second period, or that of the 
Son, falls into six periods of work and strife 
on the part of the Kingdom of God in the 
world, and these six times of work are repre 
sented in the first six parts of the book. The 
seventh part contains the Sabbath rest, and 

himself in 1192 to a solitary mountain region in the neighbour 
hood of Cosenza, to the great indignation of the Cistercians, 
who used every effort, and even appealed to the Pope, to make 
him return ; but in vain. 

Joachim, with the approval of Celestirie in., established a 
new Monastery in 1196 in Moris, and became its Abbot. 
About this time he wrote his Commentary on the Apocalypse. 
In 1200, two years before he died, he states, in reference to his 
three chief works the Concordia, the Expositio in Apocalypsin, 
the Psalterium decem Chordarum, and smaller writings that the 
first had been submitted to the judgment of the Holy See, and 
that he wished all the rest to be similarly submitted, in case 
of his death. 

This statement is all the more remarkable, seeing that about 
this date it was a current saying that, when Eichard, King of 
England, and his bishops had come to consult him, he had 
made to them the astounding disclosure that the papal chair 
would presently be occupied by an antichrist, whom St. Paul 
had described as a man of sin and all ungodliness, and that 
he was already born. 

On Joachim s death the Cistercians did their best to have 
him officially condemned by the Pope, but Honorius in. 
published a decree to the effect that Joachim was recognised 
as a true Catholic by the Papacy. (See Dollinger, Der Weissa- 
gungsglaube und das Prophetenthum in dem Christentum, 319 sqq.) 



1 8 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the eighth the consummation of all things. 
Moreover, each of the first six parts has again 
its six times of work and its relative Sabbath 
rest. 

But the contents of the six parts of the 
Apocalypse he states more definitely as follows : 
the first treats of the priests, the second of the 
martyrs, the third of the doctors of the Church, 
the fourth of the monks and virgins, the fifth 
of the Church in general, and the sixth of 
the judgment of Babylon. The first Beast 
in chap. xiii. is Mohammedanism, the death 
wound of which was inflicted by the Crusades. 
The false prophet is identified with the 
heretical sects. In the sixth part, Babylon is 
taken to be Rome sunk in secularism and 
vice, and the Beast is the devil. At the 
close of the sixth period the Church would 
be renewed by a return to apostolic poverty 
and simplicity through a new order of monks, 
or through two. These would be devoted to 
the contemplative life. 

In most passages of the genuine writings, 
Joachim speaks only of one order of hermits 
clad in black. But in some he speaks also 
of two orders, one of which would represent 
martyrs to truth, and the other would devote 
itself to the refutation of heretics. 

It is a remarkable coincidence that this last 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 19 

prediction of Joachim s was speedily fulfilled in 
the rise of the Franciscans and Dominicans ; 
and this fulfilment naturally won influence 
and notoriety for Joachim s works. Joachim 
came soon to be regarded as a prophet, 
especially by the more fanatical section of the 
Franciscans. These, owing to the secularisation 
and corruption of the Papacy, became anti- 
ecclesiastical and anti-papal, and gave Joachim s 
prophecies an anti-papal character which their 
author never intended. For of Joachim s 
personal loyalty to the Church of Rome there 
was no question. The Papacy was to him as 
to Dante, only antichristian in its secularised 
form. In its true and ideal sense it belonged, 
according to Joachim, to the eternal order of 
the Church. But the Franciscan zealots soon 
came to make no distinction between the 
ideal of the Papacy and its realisation in 
history. 

I have above observed that one of Joachim s 
prophecies was speedily fulfilled in the rise of 
the Franciscans and Dominicans, and that thus 
his system received, as it were, a divine im 
primatur. But in another direction Joachim s 
whole system was shaken to its foundation 
by events which did not correspond to his 
predictions. The Emperor Frederick n., to 
whom so important a role was assigned in 



20 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

this system, died in 1250, and thereby the 
triumph of the Papacy over the Empire became 
complete. But Joachim had predicted to 
this emperor a reign of 70 or 72 years, 
and a corresponding Babylonish captivity of 
70 years to the Church. Ten years later 
another great disillusionment followed. In 
1260 the second world era that of the Son 
was to come to an end and that of the Spirit 
begin. But this year came and went, and the 
Church and the world went their accustomed 
ways. 

It is well worth observing that within 50 
years after Joachim s death pseudepigraphical 
Commentaries on Jeremiah and Isaiah bearing 
Joachim s name became current, fiercely attack 
ing the Papacy and glorifying the Franciscans 
and Dominicans as the saviours of the world, 
and in the Liber Introductorius of Gerard von 
Borgo San Donnino the writings of Joachim 
are declared to be the eternal Gospel mentioned 
in the Apocalypse. Peter John Olivi, another 
follower of Joachim, pronounced the Papacy 
to be the mystical Antichrist, and Ubertino 
di Casale identified the first Beast in chap, 
xiii. with Boniface VIIL, and the second with 
Benedict XL, and confirms the identification 
of the latter by showing that according to 
the value of the Greek letters /Sez^eS^ro? ( = 2 + 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 21 

5 + 50 + 5 + 4 + 10 + 20 + 300 + 70 + 200) = 
666, the number of the Antichrist. 

I must again turn aside, to show how 
opportune for the progress of things spiritual 
and things temporal, was the work of Joachim 
of Floris and his successors. From its attack 
on the Papacy on the religious side, it gave 
encouragement alike to the kings and states 
men, who resisted the temporal encroachments 
of Rome, and to the men of thought and 
religious life, who resisted its intellectual and 
spiritual encroachments. Up to the twelfth 
century the intellectual needs of men had 
found complete satisfaction within the Church. 
But from the thirteenth century onwards the 
more advanced thinkers began to break with 
the orthodox forms and views of Catholicism. 
The services which Catholicism had rendered 
to civilisation by the moral force it had 
inspired in the race, and by its organisation 
of the most heterogeneous elements into the 
forms from which every modern institution is 
constituted, are practically incommensurable. 
But the supremacy of Mediaeval Catholicism 
could clearly only be transitory ; and her 
attitude of immobility could only be maintained 
by the entire suppression of every forward 
movement of the intellect. 

Accordingly with the revival of learning, 



22 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Catholicism, which, heretofore, had led the 
van in every department of human thought 
and energy, now made a retrograde movement, 
and sought to arrest the expansion of the 
human mind, and curb every effort after liberty 
and thought. This change in the attitude of 
the Church first shows itself in the twelfth 
century, and found concrete expression in the 
official establishment of the Inquisition by 
Innocent in. between 1198 and 1207, who as 
a jurist assimilated the crime of high treason 
against God to high treason against the civil 
ruler. In the next year followed the massacre 
of the Albigenses, and the principle of coercion 
was formally enunciated at the Fourth Lateran 
Council (1215), whereby rulers were required 
" to swear a public oath to exterminate all 
those who were branded as heretics by the 
Church." The Papacy reached its zenith under 
Innocent in. (1198-1216). In his inaugural 
sermon he declared : "I am the Vicar of 
Jesus Christ, the successor of Peter, and 
I am placed between God and man, less 
than God, but greater than man : I judge all 
men, but I can be judged of none." 

Now there is a strange irony in the fact, 
that possibly at the very time Innocent was 
making these preposterous claims, antagonistic 
to all true progress in religion, in thought 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 23 

and in science, Joachim may have been record 
ing his prediction that a pope would be Anti 
christ. However this may be, he had at all 
events finished wholly or in part his Com 
mentary on St. John, from which every class 
of men statesmen, thinkers, monks, students, 
artisans, and men of the world generally drew for 
generations strength and courage to press onward 
towards the better time, and to resist, in their 
diverse ways, the claims of the Papacy, which 
stood bet ween them and the promised City of God. 

In fact, in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries the Apocalypse was used as the chief 
weapon of offence against the Church of Rome. 
The Wycliffites in England, the Hussites in 
Bohemia, the Waldenses, the Kathari and 
others were all at one in applying the pro 
phecies of the Antichrist in the Apocalypse to 
the Papacy. Each reckoned according to his 
own fancy, and their interpretations were the 
offspring of unbridled imagination. But while 
the extreme Franciscans and other religious 
confraternities identified Rome with the Anti 
christ, the papal scholars retorted by condemning 
their assailants as the collective Antichrist, both 
sides using equally indefensible methods of 
interpretation. 

This unbounded licence in the interpretation 
of the Apocalypse, which is the natural and 



24 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

inevitable result of the dominant method of 
interpretation, i.e. the allegorical and mystical, 
was not confined to theologians and theological 
questions. Strangely enough, the Apocalypse 
won through this misuse public and even 
political significance in the Middle Ages, and 
became an actual force in moulding the history 
of the times. Thus, when Innocent in. 
summoned the Church in the West to under 
take a new Crusade, he declared officially that 
the Saracens were, according to the Apocalypse, 
the true Antichrist, and Mohammed the false 
Prophet ; and that the end of their power was 
at hand, since its duration was limited to 666 
years, which should elapse from the appearance 
of Antichrist in Mohammed. 

At a later date, Gregory ix., when at strife 
with the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick n., 
condemned him as the Beast mentioned in 
chap. xiii. risen from the sea full of names 
of blasphemy. The same Emperor, however, 
retorted in apocalyptic language : " The Pope 
himself is the great dragon who has seduced 
all the world, the Antichrist whose forerunner 
he has declared me to be " (G-ieseler, Ecd. Hist. 
iii. 102, Eng. trans.). I have dwelt, perhaps, 
at disproportionate length on Joachim s and 
the related schools of interpretation because of 
their paramount influence in questions of Church 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 25 

and Social Reform. The common people looked 
to the coming seventh age predicted by Joachim 
for deliverance from the tyrannies and cor 
ruptions of Church and State, and the strongest- 
weapons for assailing such evils were forged by 
the students of the Apocalypse. The ferment 
spread with every decade in depth and extent, 
till at last from the spiritual and intellectual 
travail of the ages the Reformation came to the 
birth. When the reformed Churches had once 
consolidated themselves, the interest in the 
prophecies of the Apocalypse declined, though 
its study was still vigorously pursued, partly 
with polemical and partly with dogmatic aims. 
Let us now summarise briefly the different 
character and effects of the two chief schools of 
interpretation. In the hands of Tyconius and 
his followers the Spiritualising Method together 
with the Recapitulation Theory was applied 
with such thoroughness as to remove from the 
Apocalypse nearly every reference to contem 
porary events that is, events contemporary 
with the individual expositor or the original 
author, and so to destroy its significance for 
its own immediate age or any other. The 
interpretation thus became abstract and un 
related to the actual events of history, and the 
Church, ceasing to feel itself hampered by its 
prophecies, became self-satisfied, and its secu- 



26 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

larisation went on apace. Thus the work of 
this school, which could identify the 1000 
years reign of the saints with the 1000 years 
of the Church s history, contributed without 
doubt to its carnal security and its spiritual 
stagnation. 

A very different result followed on the 
efforts of Joachim and other workers of similar 
type. The eschatological school of Joachim, 
which was based on a revival of the methods 
of Irenaeus and Victorinus with borrowings of 
details from the school of Tyconius, found the 
events of their own day mystically shadowed 
forth as well as the impending end of the 
world. The growing demoralisation of the 
Church tended in itself to justify in some 
measure the later writings of this school, which 
boldly identified Rome with the Scarlet Woman 
and the Pope with the Antichrist. Convinced 
that these predictions were at last fulfilled in 
Rome, hosts of students of the Apocalypse were 
emboldened to spiritual rebellion against her. 
The elements of such rebellion were present 
everywhere, and so the ferment, social and 
ecclesiastical, grew in volume till, as we have 
already remarked, from the threatening chaos 
the Reformation emerged, securing liberty of 
conscience for religious men and liberty of 
thought for men of science. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 27 

In the sixteenth century, when this move 
ment had fully asserted itself, we shall find that 
the Reformers followed in the main two different 
methods of interpretation : The first is the 
Church- or World-Historical, initiated by Petrus 
Aureolus and adopted by Luther, the second 
the Recapitulation Method of Joachim s school 
with an intensified anti-papal bias but without 
Chiliasm. 

5. Church- Historical Method. 

The first method, the Church- or World- 
Historical, originated in the fourteenth century. 
This method was present in germ in the his 
torically applied Recapitulation Theory. It 
was in effect an application to the whole 
Apocalypse of the principle that Joachim and 
others had applied to each division of it. Its 
two founders were Petrus Aureolus (1317) and 
Nicolaus of Lyra (1329). These found in the 
Apocalypse a history of the Church s fortunes 
prefigured in the actual order of its occurrence, 
and not the same events continually rehandled 
as in the Recapitulation Theory. This method 
was adopted by Luther, who combined with it 
a strong anti-papal polemic. This latter element, 
it is worth observing, he drew from an English 
man named Purvey, a disciple of Wyclirfe, 
whose Commentary on the Apocalypse, Luther 



28 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

published in the year 1528. In 1534, Luther 
gave a short and brilliant but entirely fanciful 
interpretation of the entire Apocalypse in his 
preface to his translation. The first three 
chapters he interprets with sound tact in their 
natural sense, but from chap. iv. onwards 
his method is just as arbitrary as that of his 
predecessors. Luther s views long dominated 
the interpretation of the Apocalypse within the 
Lutheran Church, and are reproduced by such 
writers as Bugenhagen, Funke, Osiander, and 
Calovius, the two first of whom take the angel 
with the eternal Gospel as prefiguring Luther. 
In this school the Apocalypse was regarded as a 
prophetic Compendium of Church History. 

Of writers independent of Luther who never 
theless used the Church-Historical Method 
and gave it an anti-papal character, might be 
mentioned Lambertus, who shows Chiliastic 
elements, Hoffmann, Marloratus, Bullinger and 
Bibliander (1549). This last-named scholar is 
thoroughly eclectic, but highly interesting. 
He finds in the seven seals the history of this 
world from Adam to its close, in the trumpets 
a recapitulation, in the woman in chap. xii. 
the Church which bears Christ, the first perse 
cution of her children being by the Jews and 
the second by Nero. The Beast he interprets 
as the Roman Empire, its wound as Nero s 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 29 

death, which is healed by the accession of 
Vespasian. Here we have elements of the 
original Contemporary - Historical Method. 
From this point onwards his interpretation 
degenerates into the usual anti-papal distortion 
of the text. 

With the followers of the Church-Historical 
Method we might mention the English scholar 
Brightman. This scholar interprets after this 
method i.-x., but finds in xi.-xiv. a recapitula 
tion of the same period as i.-x. from a different 
point of view. 

Also the French bishop and theologian 
Bossuet (1690). The work of the latter is 
strongly propapal and anti-reformation. He 
finds in Gog and Magog the prediction of the 
invasion of Europe by the Turks and the heresy 
of Luther. 

The followers of Bossuet, Aubert de Verse 
and de Sacy, might here be mentioned, though 
their works were not published till the be 
ginning of the eighteenth century. The former 
has some interesting interpretations. He as 
cribes the Apocalypse to Nero s time, and limits 
its prophecies to the Roman Church. Chap, 
xi. he refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, in 
xii. he finds the beginnings of Christianity, and 
in xiii. sources of the great crises of the Roman 
Empire. The second Beast he takes to be the 



30 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

heathen priesthood. The sixth head is Nero. 
The outlook extends to Attila. Aubert s 
method is eclectic. It embraces elements of 
the Contemporary-Historical, World-Historical 
and Eschatological Methods. 

f . We now come to the second chief school of in 
terpretation amongst the Reformers, the 
Recapitulation Method in an embittered 
anti-papal form but non-Chiliastic. 

All reformers did not apply the World - 
Historical Method to the interpretation of the 
Apocalypse. Many learned scholars fell back 
on the Recapitulation Theory which had been 
used with such success by Joachim and his 
school. The anti-papal tone which had marked 
the successors of Joachim became in these 
writers the dominant characteristic. They did 
not, however, adopt the Chiliastic views of this 
school. From this they were debarred by the 
Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions, which 
branded Chiliasm as a Judaistic heresy. 
Amongst these scholars might be mentioned 
Conradi (1560), Saskerides, Collado (1581) and 
Parseus (1618) on the Continent, and Foxe 
(1586) and Napier (1593) in Great Britain. 
Of these Collado held that the seven seals, the 
seven trumpets, and the seven bowls referred to 
nearly the same events. Into the characteristic 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 31 

suppositions of this school we cannot naturally 
enter here. Arbitrariness reigns supreme. 
Under the World-Historical Method the exegete 
was bound by certain laws of sequence. Even 
from these last fetters of law and order is the 
Kecapitulationist exempt. The hopelessness of 
arriving at any settled and reasonable results 
from these methods became manifest in certain 
quarters at an early date. Thus Calvin ab 
stained from writing a Commentary on the 
Apocalypse, and Scaliger, one of the greatest 
Classics of the sixteenth century, who also 
declined the task, used frequently to say 
Calvinus so/pit quod in Apocalypsin non 
scripsit. 

Through the application of this method the 
Apocalypse became the theatre for the exercise 
of a perverse ingenuity, on which one arbitrary 
interpretation had hardly established itself, 
when it was dislodged by another, no less 
arbitrary. Moreover, amongst Protestant con 
tinental scholars who were dominated by this 
theory, the possibilities of a right interpretation 
of chap. xx. was denied them, since in the 
Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions, Chiliastic 
views were condemned as heretical. Since no 
such veto existed in England, we shall find 
that amidst all the grotesque, unscientific and 
fanatical anti-papal exegesis of our countrymen, 



32 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

this fragment of the right interpretation was in 
the main preserved. 

7. Rise of the Philological School. 

Contemporaneously with the schools of inter 
pretation just dealt with, there was a third 
destined to become in time a very important 
school, which devoted itself all but exclusively 
to the philological study of the Apocalypse. 
To this school belonged Camerarius (1556), 
Beza (1556), Castellio (1583), Drusius (1612) 
and others in the seventeenth century. A 
feeling of despair as to ever arriving at the 
real meaning of the Apocalypse had no little 
share in giving birth to this school. Camerarius 
writes : " Since an actual faculty of vaticination 
is requisite in order to discover the meaning of 
predictions still unfulfilled, the Greek verse 
interpreted by Cicero as Bene qui conjiciet, 
vatem hunc perliibete optimum ( call the good 
guesser the best seer ), is especially applicable 
here." 

8. Revival of Contemporary and 
Eschatological Methods. 

But while success appeared hopeless, and no 
interpretation could justify itself as more than 
a mere conjecture to the critical j udgment, the 
way towards a scientific exegesis was being 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 33 

prepared by a break with the World -Historical 
and Spiritualising Methods and a return to 
those of Irenseus, Hippolytus and Victorious 
on the part of some Jesuit scholars Hentenius, 
Bibeira, Salmeron, Pereyra, Alcasar, Juan 
Mariana, and others. 

The polemical interpretations of the Re- 
formers directed against Rome naturally drew 
forth rejoinders from its leading scholars, and 
by far the most effective and scientific emanated 
from the Jesuits just mentioned. These writers 
returned to a literal interpretation of the text, 
and attempted in some degree to understand 
the contents of the book from the standpoint 
of the author : they sought to prove that the 
time of the Antichrist was still in the distant 
future, and interpreted the prophecy of the 
Babylonian whore of heathen Rome with a 
view to the greater glorification of Rome 
Christian. 

It is possible that this return to the methods 
of Irenseus and Victorious may have been 
suggested by the use that Bibliander and 
Bullinger made of these early Fathers. How 
ever this may be, a breach was made with the 
World-Historical and Spiritualising and Re 
capitulation Methods, and at the same time 
the beginning or rather the revival of a partially 
scientific exposition of the Apocalypse. 



34 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

A forerunner of this school was Hentenius 
(1547), who in a preface to an edition of 
Arethas tried to show that chaps, vi. xi. dealt 
with the overthrow of the Synagogue, and 
xii.-xix. with the destruction of heathenism 
under the figure Babylon. Salmeron (1614) 
took the same view, and agreed with Hentenius 
that the Apocalypse was written before the 
fall of Jerusalem. He refused, however, to 
write a Commentary on the Apocalypse, and 
compared such an undertaking with an attempt 
to square the circle. But two names of great 
merit stand forth from the rest in this school, 
namely Ribeira (ob. 1591) and Alcasar (1614). 
The former argues rightly that the author 
prophesies only of his own time and the last 
times! The tirst tive seals began withT the 
preaching of Christ, and end with Trajan s 
persecution. In the sixth seal (vi. 12) the 
author passes on to the signs of the last time, 
which are still to come, even for Ribeira. 
Babylon he identified with Rome not merely 
Rome pagan, but also Rome in the last days, 
when it would break with the Roman See (see 
Ribeira (ed. 1593), p. 282 sqq.). Alcasar, like 
his predecessor Hentenius, regards chaps, vi.-xi. 
as dealing with the conflict of the Church 
with Judaism, xii. - xix. as forecasting the 
conflict with heathenism, and xx.-xxii. as 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 35 

describing Home s triumph and dominion. 
The woman in chap. xii. is the Jewish 
Christian community which bears the Gentile 
Church. This Church is forthwith persecuted 
by the Roman Empire. The first Beast is 
the Roman Empire, the second is $ aka&veia 
jBiov ( = " the pride of life ") = 666. The head, 
that had seemed dead and had revived, was 
Domitian, who recalled the Nero of the past. 
Con stan tine was the angel who bound Satan. 
Thereupon the Millennium began, xix. 1 1 sqq. 
represent the complete conversion of the Roman 
Empire and the present glory and authority 
of papal Rome. Alcasar dedicates his work 
to Pope Paul, and exults that he has been 
the first to bring this light out of the dark 
ness of the Apocalypse. Unfortunately for 
Alcasar, whatever fragments of the true inter 
pretation he may have recovered from the 
earlier chapters, it is just from chap. xii. 
where he adopts the World-Historical Method 
that his exegesis becomes subjective, and the 
contribution, that he esteemed of most im 
portance, is really of no value whatever. 

Before we leave this section we might 
mention Mariana (1619), who interprets the 
death wound of the Beast of Nero s suicide, 
as originally did Victorinus ; and the healing 
of this wound, of the belief in Nero s return 



36 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

from the East. The seven trumpets refer to 
different heretics, and the fifth to Luther. 

As the recovery of the Chiliastic interpreta 
tion of the Apocalypse by Joachim and his 
followers was the chief scientific contribution 
of the thirteenth century to the exegesis of the 
Apocalypse, so the recovery and application 
of the Contemporary-Historical Theory by the 
Jesuits was the chief scientific contribution 
of the end of the sixteenth and the beginning 
of the seventeenth century. 

9. From these schools we pass on to extra 
vagant developments of the Recapitula 
tion and Chiliastic Methods: and to 
the rise of the Literary -Critical in the 
seventeenth century. 

From Ribeira s and Alcasar s Commentaries 
their religious opponents in Germany could 
have learnt a more excellent way of exegesis. 
Nay more, from their fellow-religionist Bibli- 
ander, who was earlier than either, they might 
have gleaned the elements of a better method, 
but the dread of the Papacy blinded as yet 
the eyes of nearly all Protestant scholars. No 
method that obliged them to abandon an anti- 
papal interpretation of the Apocalypse could 
gain a hearing save from a solitary scholar or 
two. It is true that the scholars of the sixteenth 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 37 

century were justified in maintaining that the 
Apocalypse dealt with Rome, but in insisting 
that it was Rome papal they were wrong, but 
after all not so extravagantly wrong as Alcasar, 
who made the extraordinary discovery that the 
secret aim of the Apocalypse was to denounce 
heathen and glorify papal Rome. 

Matters being so, the choice of methods, 
especially for continental Protestants, was very 
limited. They could not revert to a Chiliastic 
interpretation ; for such views were heretical 
according to the Articles of their Churches : 
nor could they accept the Contemporary- 
Historical Method ; for this would necessitate 
their abandonment of an anti-papal inter 
pretation : nor, finally, could they use the 
World - Historical interpretation, since this 
method had become discredited through its un 
bounded arbitrariness and utter barrenness of 
assured results. Thus their choice was limited 
to the Recapitulation Theory, unless they broke 
with their Church symbols, or discovered a new 
method of interpretation. We shall find, as we 
proceed, that Protestant scholars on the Conti 
nent as a mutter of fact did both. They revived 
the Chiliastic doctrine with a vigour never dis 
played in earlier times, and they initiated the 
beginnings of the Literary Critical Method. 

But before we deal with these we must 



38 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

mention Crocius, Hofmann, and Coccejus, 
notable scholars of this century, who still 
clung to the Recapitulation Theory. In the 
hands of Coccejus (1668), the Recapitulation 
Theory was carried to the most extravagant 
lengths. History runs parallel courses not 
only in the seven seals, the seven trumpets 
and the seven bowls, but even in the account 
of the seven Churches. The Millennium be 
longed to the past. A similar, though more 
reasonable form of the Recapitulation Theory, 
was advanced by Marckius towards the close 
of this century. 

But turning from this thoroughly antiquated 
method, we are met with the most vigorous, 
though not the most judicious, school of in 
terpretation of this century, that is, the 
Chiliastic. This method, which could flourish 
openly in England, but which was branded 
as Judaistic on the Continent, as we have 
already pointed out, by the Confessions of the 
Lutheran and Reformed Churches, had always 
been popular among the continental heretics, 
especially after its revival by Joachim. Its chief 
English representative was Mede (1627 and 
1632), whose views on the synchronism existing 
between the first nine chapters and the rest 
of the book the former dealing with the 
destinies of the Empire, the latter with those 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 39 

of the Church were adopted widely in Eng 
land and were reproduced also in Germany. 
The theory is difficult to characterise, but 
it may from one standpoint be regarded as 
a species of the Recapitulation Method. 
Mede s chief English disciples were Sir Isaac 
Newton and Whiston. The latter, like many 
of his predecessors, ventured to predict the 
year on which the Millennium would begin. 
First he fixed on 1715 and next on 1734 as the 
year in question ; but as he had the misfortune 
to survive both these dates, a fresh study of 
his data and no doubt a larger prudence made 
him relegate this date to 1866 beyond the 
reach of his own or the next two genera 
tions. Amongst Mede s German disciples were 
Peganius a nom de guerre and Vitringa 
(1705). The latter adopted in part the Re 
capitulation System of Coccejus. with the 
Chiliastic interpretation of Mede, and found 
the entire history of the Church foretold in the 
first six seals, but in the interpretation of the 
trumpets, the bowls, the Beast and the 1000 
years he appears to be dependent on Mede. 
Through this influential work, Chiliasm became 
popular in the pietistic circles of Germany, ( 
despite the ban of the Augsburg Confession. 

Other adherents of this school were Abbadie, 
Lange (1730) and Bengel (1740, etc.). 



40 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Lange interprets the whole Apocalypse from 
chap. iv. onwards eschatologically. Bengel is 
wildl^__Chiliastic in fact he finds a double 
Millenniurnjredicted the first from 1836 to 
2836 when Satan would be bound, and the 
second from 2836 to 3836, i.e. the trueJVtillen- 
nium and^the final_ judgment. With Bengel s 
work, Chiliasm finally emerged from the ban of 
the Lutheran Church. 

From this triumphant and extravagant 
assertion of Chiliasm we must turn now to 
the most interesting movement in the seven 
teenth century which took its rise from Grotius 
(1644); i.e. 

10. The discovery of the Literary -Critical 
Method and the adoption of the Con 
temporary-Historical Method by Pro 
testant Scholars. 

The most notable contribution, next to those 
of the Jesuit scholars of the seventeenth cen 
tury, was made by the Dutdischolar^Grotius. 
G-rotius interpretation of the Apocalypse was 
of a very eclectic character. It diverges from 
that of earlier scholars of the Reformation in 
that it ignores wholly the current anti-papal 
interpretation. This is the first ground for 
distinction. This advance he may have owed 
in part to Bibliander, whose work contains so 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 41 

many fresh contributions to a better knowledge 
of the Apocalypse ; but it was certainly due in 
the main to his use of the Jesuit Alcasar. For, 
like Alcasar, he divides the book into three 
parts: chaps, vi.-xi. the Judgment on Judaism, 
xii.-xix. the judgment on heathenism, xx.-xxii. 
the condition of the Church since Constantine. 
With chap. xiv. Grotius, like Alcasar, passes 
from the Contemporary - Historical to the 
World -Historical Method. His independent 
attempts at a detailed interpretation of the 
Apocalypse cannot be called happy. According 
to Grotius, chap. xi. refers to the troubles occa 
sioned by Barcochba in the reign of Trajan. 
The first two-thirds of chap. xii. are a descrip 
tion of Simon Magus, who is an instrument of 
the Dragon, or Satan. The seven heads of 
the Beast are the seven Emperors, beginning 
with Claudius and ending with Titus. In xii. 
1 3 begins the persecution of Nero ; in xii. 
17 that of Domitian. The number 666 means 
Ulpius part of the name of Trajan. Yet 
when he comes to xvii. 11 this Beast is said 
to be Domitian, since lie was known as the 
bald Nero Calvus Nero. It is not by his 
detailed interpretation, of which I have given 
a few specimens, that Grotius established a 
claim to remembrance in connection with the 
Apocalypse, but by two new departures which 



42 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

he made. He was the first Protestant scholar 
to break definitely with the anti-papal inter 
pretation, and to lead the way towards the 
recovery of the Contemporary - Historical 
Method. In this respect, of course, he was 
not original ; for he was only adopting the 
sounder method revived by Bibliander and 
the Jesuits. But in the second departure he 
was original. Observing that certain portions 
of the Apocalypse presupposed different 
historical relations, and that tradition itself 
was divided as to the place and date of its 
composition, he conjectured that the Apoca 
lypse was composed of several visions written 
down at different times and in different places, 
some before and some after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. 

The earlier prophecies against Jerusalem 
were written while the Seer was an exile in 
Patmos under Claudius ; the later prophecies 
were written under Vespasian in Ephesus. 
Thus Grotius thought the conflicting elements 
in tradition and the text were satisfactorily 
explained. In this theory of Grotius we have 
the beginnings of a new method that of the 
Literary-Critical, which is so prominent in our 
own day and without which several outstanding 
difficulties of the Apocalypse cannot be solved. 

Grotius was followed in England by Ham- 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 43 

mond ; but the time had not yet come when 
Grotius real merits could be recognised. 

Bengel and his school triumphantly held 
the field. Their wildest interpretations were 
eagerly welcomed by the religious public. 
Nothing was too fatuous for the prevailing 
taste. 

Every expounder assumed the airs of a 
prophet, and the numbers and dates of the 
Apocalypse were the subject of the most 
fantastic theories. These groundless fancies 
found special acceptance in England, where 
Mede, Newton and Whiston had deepened the 
interest in Apocalyptic studies. Bengel s work 
was translated into English at the especial 
request of John Wesley, and thus became a 
dominant authority in this country amongst 
the most religious men of the time. 

11. But unreason cannot maintain itself 
indefinitely : at last the Contemporary- 
Historical Method asserted itself in a 
thoroughgoing but in a limited and 
perverse form. 

Such was the prevailing attitude towards 
the Apocalypse till the middle of the eigh 
teenth century. But the time was ripe for 
better things. The World - Historical and 
Church - Historical Methods had run their 



44 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

course, and so far from reaching any im 
pregnable or generally accepted results, had 
established their incompetence on this field by 
their hopeless arbitrariness and unprofitableness. 
The Apocalyptic chronologisings, moreover, 
which had been rife in England and had 
subsequently been popularised on a gigantic 
scale by Bengel in Germany, had served to 
alienate the more intelligent from this and 
other popular methods of interpretation. But 
the most important event connected with such 
subjects was the rise of historical criticism in 
this century. It is remarkable that a century 
that gave birth to the most boundless subjec 
tivism should have also called the historic 
sense into active existence. Hope at last 
dawns on the long journey we have taken 
down the centuries. From this time forward 
we can reckon, on the whole, on a steady 
advance towards the solution of the problem. 
Progress may have occasionally to be made 
by roundabout ways, wrong paths may for 
a time be pursued, side issues be mistaken 
for the problems-in- chief, and criticism thereby 
be obliged to retrace its steps after apparently 
spending its energies in vain. But, notwith 
standing, possession in part of the promised 
land has been won, and its entire conquest 
is only a question of time. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 45 

Under the influence of this rising critical 
spirit in rude collision with the dominant 
methods of interpretation the bold thesis 
was advanced, that the prophecies of the 
Apocalypse, so far from embracing the entire 
history of the world or even of the Jewish or 
Christian Churches, were directed firstly and ^ 
lastly against Jerusalem. 

Thus the Apocalypse was interpreted in this 
school by the Contemporary-Historical Method 
in a very limited sense. The chief advocates 
of this view were Abauzit, Harduin, Wetstein, 
Harenberg, Herder and Ziillig, writing from 
1732 to 1840. 

Great differences of interpretation exist 
among these critics, since the application of 
the Contemporary-Historical Method in such 
a limited sense forced its adherents to do 
violence repeatedly to the obvious sense of 
the text. Thus they discovered the seven 
hills to be in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, 
the seven Churches within Jerusalem, the 
seven heads of the Beast in the Herodian kings, 
and other like perversities. Notwithstanding, 
the Tightness of this method for the interpre 
tation of the Apocalypse was recognised and 
the way prepared, and none too soon, for the 
fitter and adequate application of this method 
by Corrodi, Herrenschneider, Eichhorn, Bleek, 



46 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Ewald and others. None too soon, I repeat ; 
for in Reimarus, towards the end of the 
eighteenth century, it is stated that "reason 
able theologians prefer to refrain from the 
seven sealed book and confess that of all its 
wonderful visions they cannot with certainty 
interpret a single one." A similar confession 
is made by Schleiermacher. 

12. But it was soon discovered that this 
circumscribed application of this 
method was untenable, and so scholars 
passed on to the full and legitimate 
apjoj/iwx^ - 

torical Method without or with Ghili- 
astic interpretation. 

According to this school of interpreters the 
Apocalypse was directed against Judaism, and 
against the Roman Empire and especially its 
capital. 

Corrodi, in his Geschichte des Chiliasmus 
(1780), did much to help forward this method 
of interpretation by explaining the Apocalypse 
from Jewish Rabbinical writings, interpreting 
the ten kings of the Parthians, and defending 
the reference of the Antichrist to Nero. Herren- 
schneider (1786), in an Inaugural Dissertation 
at Strassburg, expounded briefly this method 
which Eichhorn applied in a learned commentary. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 47 

The most distinguished representatives of this 
school, such as Semler, Corrodi, Bleek, Ewald, 
De Wette, Liicke, Volkmar, conclude that xi. 
1, 2 speaks of the preservationjof the Temple. 
Hence the Apocalypse, if we assume its unity, 7 
was written before 70 A. D. f 

Since these two verses are of great import 
ance in dating at all events a part of the book, 
I will here quote them. Rev. xi. 1, 2, "And there 
was given me a reed like unto a rod : and one 
said, Rise, and measure the temple of God and 
the altar, and them that worship therein. And 
the court which is without the temple leave 
without, and measure it not ; for it hath been 
given unto the nations : and the holy city shall 
they tread under foot forty and two months." 
The scholars above mentioned established as 
an assured result the fact that the Apocalypse *%*~ 
was directed essentially against Rome, and, as a \ 
result practically beyond the reach of cavil, ) 
the identification of the Antichrist with Nero 
redivivus. This identification is notably con 
firmed by the interpretation of the mystical 
number 666, arrived at independently by four 
scholars in the nineteenth century, Fritzsche, 
Benary, Hitzig, and Reuss. These discovered 
that the value of the letters in Csesar Nero, 
when written in Hebrew (fl" 1 } " pi?), amounts to 
666 ; and this discovery is corroborated by the 



48 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

fact that in the Uncial MS. C, the two 
Cursives 5 and 11, in Tyconius and the original 
Armenian Version, the mystic number was 
given not as 666, but as 616. The differ 
ence between 666 and 616 can at once be 
explained on the above theory ; for whereas 
the Greeks spelt Nero with a final v (Nepwv). the 
Latins, of course, did not. In the West and 
the countries influenced by it, the omission 
of this v (which as a numeral = 50), reduced the 
number 666 to 616. Finally, they universally 
and rightly interpreted chap. xx^MJiastically, 
and chap. xvi. generally of the Parthians. The 
best account of this school is given by De Wette 
(p. 7), " In so far as (the writer of the Apoca 
lypse) reproves and admonishes in the prophetic 
character, he manifestly takes this standpoint 
in the Letters to the Seven Communities in 
Asia Minor, the conditions _of_ which The knows 
so accurately and. jdapiciks. so faithfully. But, 
if we had some further knowledge of their 
history, a clear representation of them would 
lie before us. In so far as the writer of the 
Apocalypse has the whole Church and its 

future before Jlis eyes, it is"" clear from a 

multitude of passages that his chief impulse 
to prophetic activity arose from his still vivid 
impression of the Neronic persecution bound 
up with the popular belief that this persecutor 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 49 

of the Christians was still alive and would \ 
soon return as the fully realised Antichrist. \ 
As the chief enemy of the Christian Church, 
he recognised the idolatrous religious system 
of Rome supported by its world power and 
maintained by the devices of its priests. ... It 
is not with the destruction of Jerusalem, which 
he does not look for, that he connects the hope 
of the victory of Christ . . . but of Rome ; for 
Rome is for him the home of the Antichrist, 
the new Babylon which must be destroyed, if 
the Christian faith is to triumph." 

Here at last we have reached the right \ 
method with which to begin our study ofC 
the Apocalypse to Jpegin, I repeat ; for other! 
methods than the Contemporary-Historical and 
Eschatological are needed for its complete 
interpretation. 

Before, however, we deal with these, we 
must turn aside for a brief notice of some 
modern representatives of antiquated methods 
in the beginning of the next lecture. 



CHAPTER II. 

HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF 
THE APOCALYPSE Concluded. 

BEFORE I enter on the fuller treatment of the 
methods which made real contributions to the 
interpretation of the Apocalypse, I must deal 
shortly with certain antiquated methods which 
have still their followers in the learned world, 
though they are often combined by them with 
one or more of the sounder methods of the past. 

13. Of these ive should perhaps mention 
first the " Astronomical^ Method" 

This method was originally put forward by 
Dupuis in his Origine de tons les Cultes, first 
published in 1795. The edition which I have 
used is that of 1835, in ten volumes. The 
author devotes pp. 101-384 to an examina 
tion of the Apocalypse. While he doubts its 
authenticity, he does not apparently question 
its origin in the first century A.D. 

1 I have discovered since the above was written that in an 
anonymous work, entitled Horus oder Astrognostisches Endurtheil 
iiber die Offenbarung Johannis, 1783, this method was already 
adopted, 

5 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 51 

As regards its relation to astronomy or 
astrology, Dupuis connects the idea of the 
Seven Churches and the Seven Spheres, viii. 
156 sq. He explains the woman in chap. xii. 
who is pursued by a serpent as a reflection of 
the constellation of the Virgin and the Serpent. 
Similarly, he seeks to explain why the numbers 
seven and twelve and the Lamb play so great 
a role in the Apocalypse, viii. 133. 

This method has been recently revived in 
Germany by Jiiger and Hommel. In Refor 
mation, viii. 212-213, 1909, Hommel speaks 
of the brilliant discovery of Pastor Samuel 
Jager, who claims to have detected allusions 
to the six intermediate constellations of the 
Zodiac, beginning with the Goat, in Apoc. viii. 
13, ix. 3-10, 14, x., xi. 1, xii. 11 sqq., 3 sq. ( 
Hommel supplements Jager s discovery by 
finding references to the last three, i.e. the 
Crab, Twins and Ox, in xiii. 1-10, 14, xv. 1, 
and to the first three, i.e. the Ram, Fish and 
Aquarius, in viii. 7, 8, 10. 

This method was next advocated in the 
Expositor, 1911 (160-180, 210-230, 461-474, 
504-519), in four articles, entitled The Sym 
bolical Language of the Apocalypse, which 
are in part translated from the German of Dr. 
Johannes Lepsius, and in part written by Sir 
William Ramsay. 



52 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Dr. Lepsius holds that the Apocalypse is, in 
a certain sense, an astrological book ; for it 
makes free use of the symbolical language of 
ancient Oriental astrology. 

The Cherubim are " the four constellations 
which mark, according to the four quarters of 
the universe, the spring equinox, the summer 
solstice, the autumn equinox and the winter 
solstice" (p. 223) i.e. the Lion, Ox, Water 
carrier, Scorpion. Again " In the description 
of the twelve foundation stones of the celestial 
Jerusalem we meet with the colours of the 
standards of the twelve tribes (corresponding 
to the precious stones of the breastplate) ; for 
the twelve-gated celestial city, with its twelve- 
towered gates, is nothing else but the firmament, 
with the twelve gates of the firmament." Like 
many other scholars, he identifies the twenty- 
four elders with the twenty-four constellations 
of the northern and southern hemispheres, 
which, according to Diod. ii. 31, were called by 
the Babylonians " the judges over all things." 
Again, " as the twelve signs of the Zodiac are 
the guardian angels of the twelve tribes of 
Israel, so the seven planet angels are the 
guardian angels of the peoples and of the 
heathen-Christian communities" (p. 225); like 
wise, since, according to Josephus (Bell. Jud. 
v. 5. 5), the twelve shewbreads signify the 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 53 

twelve signs of the Zodiac, the Table of the 
Shewbread and the Candlesticks represent 
the community of God of Israel and of the 
Gentiles. There are a great number of similar 
explanations, but we cannot deal with them here. 

Ramsay writes with regard to Dr. Lepsius 
theory that " the astronomical method, while it 
is a useful servant, must not be taken as a 
master and director" (p. 506); but in these 
articles his practice has not perhaps been as 
wise as his counsel ; for he seems to have 
unduly committed himself to it. 

Another work that has adopted this method 
was by a Russian, Nicolaus Morosow, published 
in 1907, and translated into German in 1912 
under the title, Die Offenbarung Johannis eine 
astronomish-historische Untersucliung . The 
Introduction is furnished by Dr. Drews of 
Karlsruhe, whose credulity in regard to the 
fanciful and absurd varies in direct ratio to his 
scepticism in things historical. 

Morosow claims to have established not only 
the year of the vision of the writer of the 
Apocalypse, but even the actual day and hour 
in th? year 395 A.D. \ The writer was John 
Chrysostom. It speaks ill for Russia that 
6000 copies of a book of this type should have 
been sold in one year, and still worse for the 
Russian Church that it felt itself obliged in 



54 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

self-defence to have this book placed on the 
Index by the State. 

Morosow deduces the above date from two 
alleged grounds. (1) The life of Chrysostom is 
not intelligible save on the presupposition that 
he wrote the Apocalypse. (2) The representa 
tion of the heaven given in the Apocalypse 
corresponds exactly to what it appeared from 
the island of Patmos in the evening of September 
30, 395 A.D., and the like appearance has never 
been witnessed from this island since the 
Christian era. To (1) no scholar who knows 
the Greek of the Apocalypse and that of 
Chrysostom could agree. 

As regards (2) the student who is acquainted 
with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic will 
regard the entire hypothesis as a grotesque 
jeu d esprit. That behind several of the figures 
and conceptions in the Apocalypse lay astro 
nomical ideas he will be the first to acknow 
ledge, but he will at the same time be convinced 
that to the Seer the astronomical origin of these 
conceptions was in most cases wholly unknown. 

14. Other antiquated methods, which are still 
in some measure current, are the World- 
Historical, the Church- Historical, and 
the Symbolical- Historical. 

A combination of the first two methods is 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 55 

to be found in the works of Hengstenberg 
(1849-51), Ebrard and Elliott with a strong 
anti-papal bias. The Apocalypse becomes a 
prophetic compendium of the history of the 
world and the Church. In the massive Com 
mentary of Elliott we find a naive confession 
as to his chief auxiliary in the interpretation of 
the Apocalypse, which is none other than 
Gibbon s History of the Decline and Fall of 
the Roman Empire. 

But this system of exegesis was abandoned 
by Auberlen (1874), to whom we owe the 
Symbolical-Historical, according to w 7 hich the 
Apocalypse prophesies, not of individual 
historical events, but of great turning points 
in the struggle between light and darkness, 
truth and falsehood, in the history of the 
Church. Auberlen has been followed in this 
country by Milligan and Archbishop Benson. 

Others, like Von Hoffmann and Van Lorentz, 
combined the Church-Historical and Symbolical- 
Historical. Here we might place our learned 
countryman Alford, who, together with these 
methods, had recourse to a weakened form of 
the Recapitulation Theory. His interpretation 
is chiliastic, like other members of this school, 
and also anti-papal. 

Next we have the Eschatological Method, 
adopted in its integrity by Kliefoth (1874), 



56 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Lange, Zahn, and Roman Catholic scholars as 
Stern, Kremenz and Waller. 

Lastly, we must mention in a class by itself 
the recent valuable and learned Commentary 
by Dr. Swete. This writer, who maintains the 
literary unity of the Apocalypse to the complete 
exclusion of the use of sources, follows at one 
time the Contemporary-Historical, at another 
the World-Historical and Church-Historical 
Methods, at another the Symbolical-Historical, 
and at another the Eschatological (p. ccxviii). 
While some of these methods are indispensable, 
others have made no contribution to the inter 
pretation of the Apocalypse. They may be 
used, indeed, for purposes of edification, and can 
rightly be so used, but we must remember that 
in seeking to interpret the Apocalypse we are 
seeking to discover what the Apocalypse meant 
to its writer and its earliest readers, who were 
in touch with him. 

15. Of the methods hitherto dealt with, the 
only methods that have made a per 
manent contribution are the Contem 
porary-Historical and Eschatological, 
and in a minor degree the Philological. 

From the Contemporary-Historical Method 
we have learnt that the Apocalypse is directed 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 57 

mainly against the heathen Empire of Kome 
supported by its heathen priesthood, that 
Nero redivivus is the wounded head, that it 
is Nero Csesar that is referred to in the 
mystical number 666, and, finally, that the 
Temple was still standing when xi. 1, 2 was 
written. 

It thus follows that the date of the 
Apocalypse, according to this school, was about 
67-68 or thereabouts. And if the absolute 
unity of the Apocalypse be assumed, there is 
no possibility, I think, of evading this con 
clusion. 1 

But if we accept 68 as the date of the 
entire work, there are many passages which 
are hopelessly inexplicable ; for these just as 
inevitably postulate a date subsequent to 70 
A.D. as xi. 1,2 in its original setting postulates 
a date anterior to it. If, then, the possibilities 
of exegesis were exhausted in the methods 
already dealt with, science would have to 
relegate portions of the Apocalypse to the limbo 

1 W. M. Kamsay in his admirable commentary on The Letters 
to the Seven Churches (1904), holds apparently to the absolute 
unity of the Apocalypse, and yet at the same time accepts the 
Domitianic date. But the Contemporary-Historical Method 
combined with the Eschatological is not adequate to the task 
of explaining the Apocalypse. Hort (in his posthumous work, 
The Apocalypse of St. John, i.-iii., published in 1908 but really 
written as early as 1879) accepts the absolute unity of the 
Apocalypse and yet maintains the early date. 



58 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

of unsolved and unsolvable problems. But 
there is no such impasse. In the New 
Testament Apocalypse there is not that rigid 
unity of authorship and consistency of detail 
that the past has presupposed. Within recent 
years it has been proved to demonstration by 
the methods of Literary Criticism that most 
of the Old Testament legalistic and prophetic 
books are composite, and the same fact has 
been established with regard to the Apocalyptic 
Literature, to which literature the New Testa 
ment Apocalypse itself belongs. Some of the 
Jewish Apocalypses, like the Ascension of 
Isaiah, betray the handiwork of successive 
editors, and are accordingly to be explained 
on the Redactional Hypothesis. Others, like 
the Ethiopic Book of Enoch (or 1 Enoch), 
exhibit a series of independent sources con 
nected more or less loosely together, and are 
to be explained on the Sources Hypothesis. 
Others again, like the Testaments of the XII 
Patriarchs and the Book of Jubilees, manifest 
an undoubted unity of authorship, though the 
author has from time to time drawn from other 
sources, and has not always assimilated these 
fragmentary elements to their new contexts. 
Such works are to be explained on the Frag 
mentary Hypothesis. Now scholars have in 
recent years applied with varying success these 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 59 

three hypothesis with a view to the solution of 
the N. T. Apocalypse. 

We have now come to the parting of the 
ways. All the preceding methods presupposed 
an absolutely rigid unity of__authorship. This 
suppositionwe must now abandon, if we are 
to gain further insight into the problems of 
the N. T. Apocalypse. 

16. Literary -Critical Method proceeding on 
the Redactional Hypothesis, the Sources 
Hypothesis, and the Fragmentary 
Hypothesis. 

1. The Redactional Hypothesis. The liter 
ary criticism of Grotius was resumed by Vogel 
(1811-16), and later by Bleek, but it was not 
till Weizsacker reopened the question in 1882 
that the problem was seriously undertaken by 
his pupil Volter. The views of this writer 
have passed through at least three stages (Die 
Entstehung d. Apok., 2 1885; Die Offenbarung 
Johannis Keine urspriinglich jiidische Apok. , 
1886, Das Problem d. Apok, 1893; Die 
Offenbarung Johannis, 1904), in the course of 
which he has abandoned a purely Redactional 
Hypothesis for a Sources Hypothesis plus a 
redaction. 

According to Volter s final views there are in 
the Apocalypse two sources, which were edited 



60 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

by a Christian in the reign of Trajan, and 
subsequently revised in Hadrian s time by 
another writer. To the last we owe i. 9-iii. 
22, in other words, the letters to the Seven 
Churches and a few other verses ; to the editor 
in Trajan s time passages in twelve of the 
chapters, amounting in some cases only to 
single verses or phrases, in others to sections 
of four verses, six, eight or more. Of the two 
sources, one the original Apocalypse was 
written by John, whose surname was Mark, in 
the year 60 A.D., and the other by the heretic 
Cerinthus in 70 A.D. It is unnecessary here 
to enter further into the details of Volter s 
hypothesis, as it has failed to gain the suffrages 
of critical scholars, in fact, as a whole it has 
been rejected on every hand. On the other 
hand, Volter has shown much insight in his 
individual criticisms. For instance, he was the 
first to point out the radical difference in out 
look and authorship between vii. 1-8 and vii. 
917, the original meaning of xiv. 14-20, and 
the true character of x.-xi. 13 as an interlude 
introduced between ix. 21 and xi. 14 ; for 
originally xi. 14 followed immediately on ix. 21. 
In 1891, Erbes (Die Offeribarung Johannis) 
maintained that the book was entirely of 
Christian origin the groundwork written 
originally in 62. With this a Caligula- Apoca- 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 61 

lypse was subsequently incorporated and the 
entire work revised about 80. 

The same method was applied from quite 
a different standpoint by Vischer (Die Offen- 
barung Johannis, eine judisclie Apocalypse in 
Christlichen Bearbeitung, 1886 ; 2nd edition, 
1895), whose work was introduced to the 
notice of the learned world by Harnack. As 
opposed to Volter and Erbes, who maintained 
the essentially Christian character of the 
sources, Vischer was of opinion that the book 
was essentially Judaistic and not Christian 
originally, and that it was subsequently edited by 
a Christian who added the letters to the Seven 
Churches, and certain words, phrases, verses or 
passages in chaps, v. 6, 8, 9-14, vi. 1, 16, vii. 
9-17, ix. 11, xi. 86, 15, xii. 11, xiii. 9-10, xiv. 
1-5, 10, 12, 13, xv. 3, xvi. 15, xvii. 6, 14, xix. 
7, 9, 10, 136, xx. 4, 5, 6, xxi. 56-8, 146, 
xxii. 6-21. Vischer was of opinion that 
chaps, xi.-xii., which constitute the heart of 
the Apocalypse, were decisive for this view. 
According to chap, xi., the Sanctuary of the 
Jewish Temple was to remain intact, and 
according to chap, xii., the Messiah was not 
to be born till the end was at hand, and was to 
be carried forthwith to heaven and preserved 
in safety there. This is, Vischer insists, the 
Synagogue and not the Christian Church that 



62 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

is speaking. When once the letters to the 
Seven Churches and the rest of the Christian 
additions are removed, there remain, according 
to Vischer, a purely Jewish writing, which 
formed a unity in itself, and was translated 
from a Hebrew original. The similarity in 
the style in the Christian additions to that of 
the original Jewish section, Vischer explains 
by the hypothesis that the author of the addi 
tions was also the translator of the original. 

This clever hypothesis found a wide accept 
ance at the time ; but, as Bousset urges, it 
cannot be regarded as satisfactory ; for Vischer, 
in the first place, has not succeeded in proving 
the Jewish character of xi.-xii., nor justified his 
fundamental thesis as to the unity of the book. 

Before passing on, however, we should 
observe that the same year that Vischer s 
first edition appeared, Weyland s brochure 
(Theol. Studien, 1886, 454 sqq. ; and Om- 
werkings-en Compilatie-Hypothesen toegepast 
op de Apocalypse van Johannes, 1888) was 
published, in which a somewhat similar hypo 
thesis was set forth. He, like Vischer, finds in 
the Apocalypse two Jewish sources. The first 
was written under Titus, and embraces some 
verses in chap, i., chaps, iv.-ix., xi. 14-18, 
some verses in xiv., xv., xvi., chaps, xvii.- 
xviii., parts of xix. -xxi. and chap. xxii. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 63 

The second was written under Nero, and 
embraces x.-xi. 13, xii., xx. and certain verses in 
xv., xvi., xix., xx., xxi. 

A Christian editor added the Seven Letters, 
the beginning and end of the book, and a 
succession of interpolations. The passages 
attributed to the Christian editor coincide for 
the most part with those assigned to him by 
Vischer. Weyland rightly, like Volter, re 
cognises the nature of x. xi. 13, but has not 
made any permanent contribution. A few 
Christian scholars have given their adhesion 
to Vischer s hypothesis, or adopted similar 
hypotheses, such as those of Iselin, Kovers 
and 0. Holtzmann ; but I venture to predict 
that Vischer s and kindred hypotheses will ulti 
mately fail to find acceptance among critics 
of the first order. From an inadequate know 
ledge of the text such views are still set before 
the public. Of these I shall briefly discuss the 
theories of Kohler, Weiss and Von Soden. 
Kohler, a learned Jewish scholar, in 1905 
wrote an article on the Apocalypse in the 
Jewish Encyclopedia (x. 390-396), in which 
he follows, in the main, in the footsteps of 
Vischer, and that so closely, that there is only 
a difference of treatment in detail. Kohler 
does not assume one Jewish original, but at 
least two. The first consists of parts of i. 1, 



64 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

8, 12-19, iv.-ix., and xi. 14-18, and was written 
in Hebrew before the fall of Jerusalem. 

The second, of x. 2-xi. 13, xii.-xiii., xiv. 6- 
xxii. 6, which was written in Hebrew during 
the siege and after the fall of Jerusalem. These 
two apocalypses were in the possession of the 
Essenes, who joined the Christian Church, and 
were adapted for Christian use by an early 
Christian. "Possibly," he writes, "the Seer 
of Patmos, when writing the letters to the 
seven churches, or one of his disciples when 
sending them out, had these apocalypses before 
him, and incorporated them into his work. 
This fact," he thinks, " would account for the 
striking similarities in expression between the 
first three chapters and the remainder." 

I have given Kohler s hypothesis longer 
consideration than it deserves, because it comes 
from a Jewish source. Kohler s hypothesis 
throws no fresh light on the problem, while it 
fails to apprehend the general unity of thought 
and style that characterise the book. Like 
Volter, there is a use here of the Redaction 
combined with the Sources Hypothesis. 

The next critic who calls for notice, i.e. 
Johannes Weiss, is one of the most brilliant 
of the New Testament scholars of the present 
day. His works, Die Qffenbarung des 
Johannis ; Die Schriften des neuen Testa- 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 65 

ments, ii. 597-684, published in 1904 and 
1908 respectively, cannot any more than 
Volter s last work or Weyland s treatise be 
strictly classed under the heading of the 
Redaction Hypothesis ; for, like Volter s and 
Weyland s, they assume sources. 

The first source was the original Joharmine 
Apocalypse, written in the second half of the 
year 60 A.D., consisting of parts of chap, i., 
chaps, ii.-vii., some verses in viii. 1-5, 13, chap, 
ix., xii. 7-12, xiii. 11-18, xiv. 1-5, 14-20, 
xx.-xxi. 4, xxii. 3-5, 8a, 11-13, 14a, 15, 16, 
20. The second source was Jewish and com 
posite, and issued in the year 70, and consists 
of x., xi. 1-13, xii. 1-6, 14-17, xiii. 1-7, xv.- 
xix., xxi. 5-27, xxii. 6, 7, 86, 9. These two 
sources were put together by an able Chris 
tian writer, who by a series of additions 
and changes brought it into its present form. 
Although Weiss theory is rejected on most 
hands as it stands, his work is full of fine 
suggestions, and many of these are of perma 
nent value. I might instance one. This is, 
that originally instead of the seven trumpets 
there were three woes ; for, as Weiss has 
pointed out, the first four trumpets are not 
only repetitions of what is found elsewhere in 
the book, but are also feebler and wholly con 
ventional repetitions. My own study of the 
5 



66 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

first four trumpets led me independently to 
this conclusion, and mainly on other grounds. 
Their diction is against their originality. 
Like earlier critics, he points out that xi. 14 
followed originally on ix. 21. This verse runs : 
" The second woe is past : behold the third 
woe cometh soon." But the second woe closed 
with ix. 21. He also draws attention to the 
obvious fact that in xxi. 1-8 and in xxi. 9- 
xxii. 5, the Heavenly Jerusalem is twice 
described and in different terms. 

The last eminent scholar, whose work calls 
for treatment here, as a representative of the 
Redaction Hypothesis, and who is a believer in 
a Jewish background of the Apocalypse, is 
Von Soden. While J. Weiss is often hesitating 
and tentative in his statements, Von Soden 
hardly ever entertains a doubt. His hypo 
thesis ( The Books of the New Testament, trans 
lated 1907, pp. 338-374) is as follows. Nearly 
three-fourths of the Apocalypse are derived 
from a Jewish apocalypse, beginning with vi. 
12-17 and ending with xxii. 5. From these 
chapters, of course, he is obliged to delete 
frequent Christian clauses and verses, either 
as deliberate insertions of the first editor or of 
the second (for he assumes a double redac 
tion), or as marginal glosses subsequently in 
corporated into the text. With regard to the 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 67 

Jewish Apocalypse, he holds that the simplest 
hypothesis is to accept it as already existing 
as a whole : though not quite homogeneous, 
it exhibits, in his opinion, a wonderful con 
sistency in the development of events, and he 
declares it to be " the most precious jewel in 
the glittering necklace of Jewish Apocalypses," 
and states that it was written between May 
and August of the year 70 A.D. Twenty 
years later this book fell into the hands of 
John, whose devoted adhesion to the faith of 
Christ involved him in banishment to Patmos. 
Seeing that the high hopes of the Jewish 
Apocalypse had not been fulfilled, he re-edited 
it from a Christian standpoint prefixing the 
Seven Letters and the Seven Seals, inter 
polating certain clauses and verses into the 
Jewish Apocalypse, and making certain addi 
tions in the closing chapter. The book was 
finally edited by another writer, who added the 
opening and closing verses i. 1-3 and xxii. 
18-20. 

This theory of Von Soden is, in my opinion, 
just as untenable as those of Vischer, Kohler 
and Weiss, and not half so suggestive as that 
of the last scholar. And yet there is some 
truth at the base of all these theories. Jewish 
elements have been incorporated into the text, 
but they constitute only a small proportion of 



68 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the text not three-fourths or four-fifths of it, 
as some of these writers would have us believe ; 
and they do not form the foundation of the 
book, which is essentially Christian, but only 
certain portions of the superstructure ; and in 
their new setting they are given, in almost 
every instance, a new connotation and meaning 
distinct from what they originally bore. 

None of the above theories have gained the 
assent of scholars, but some of them have made 
permanent contributions to our knowledge of 
our author. 

ii. Sources Hypothesis. - - This hypothesis, 
which has in part been already noticed, was 
advocated by Weyland, Spitta, Schmidt and 
Briggs. It assumes the existence of two, 
three or more independent sources, which were 
subsequently put together by a redactor. 

With Weyland we have already dealt (see 
p. 62). We must take account of Spitta 
and Briggs. Spitta s work (Offenbarung 
des Johannes), published in 1889, is the 
most thoroughgoing and detailed criticism 
that exists on the subject, but it is artificial 
and unconvincing in its main lines. First 
of all, Spitta assumes a primitive Christian 
Apocalypse, written soon after 60 A.D., con 
sisting of i. 4-6, 9-19, ii.-vi., viii. 1, vii. 9-17. 
Here, in divergence from Volter, Vischer and 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 69 

Weyland, he assigns the Seven Letters to the 
original Apocalypist, and chaps, iv.-vi. and 
ii.-iii. to the same author. So far his criticism 
is, we hold, wholly justifiable. But the rest 
is untenable in the main. He discovers two 
Jewish sources, one, a Trumpet Source, written 
in the reign of Caligula, and the other a Bowl 
Source, written in the time of Pompey. All 
three sources were put together by a Christian 
redactor in the time of Trajan. 

Dr. Briggs theory (The Messiah of the 
Apostles, 1895, pp. 284-437), to which we now 
turn, is the most complex that has yet been 
propounded. 

There were originally six independent apoca 
lypses and four different redactions. The first 
redaction dealt with the Seals, the Trumpets 
and the Bowls ; the second prefixed to this 
work the Letters to the Seven Churches ; the 
third added the two independent apocalypses 
on the Beast and the Dragon ; while the fourth 
and last re-edited the third with many additions 
throughout. 

I have a great admiration for Dr. Briggs 
breadth of scholarship and great versatility, but 
it is hard to take his theory seriously. It is 
open in an overwhelming degree to every 
objection that can be brought against the use 
of the Sources Hypothesis. Moreover, like all 



70 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the works classed under this heading, it breaks 
down hopelessly in the face of the general lin 
guistic unity of the book, which the Philological 
Method has already in part brought to light. 

In fact, what is now needed is a further 
development of his Philological Method, or, in 
other words, a more exact study of the style, the 
vocabulary and the grammar of the Apocalyp- 
tist. So far as the grammar goes, the book is 
absolutely unique in all Greek literature. It 
is true, indeed, that Bousset has given special 
attention to the study of the grammar, and 
his contribution in this respect is deserving of 
high praise. But it has failed to take account 
of many of the most characteristic features of 
the book. To some of these, which it has 
been my good fortune to discover, I will draw 
attention later. In the meantime, I will here 
give a few characteristic constructions that 
belong to the book as a whole, most of which 
have already been recognised. 

The numerals, as a rule, follow after their 
noun, unless preceded by the article. Thus Se/ea 
is always postpositive except in xvii. 12, where 
a source is used, eirrd is likewise postpositive : 
in a few cases, where it is prepositive, the 
passages are suspicious on other grounds, irevre 
and ef are postpositive, whereas reo-aapes is pre 
positive and Svo either. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 71 

Again, the phrase " inhabitants of the earth," 
which is of frequent occurrence, always has the 
form ol KdToiKovvTes TJ]V <yf)v except in two verses, 
which on other grounds come from another 
hand. Still more remarkable is our author s 
extraordinary use of the very frequent phrase 
" he that sitteth on the throne." When it is 
in the nominative or accusative, o /eafl^ez/o? 
or TOV Kadri^evov is always followed by eVl TOV 
Opovov. But if it is in the genitive, then 
the form is TOV KaBij/j^vov eVl TOV Opovov, and 
if in the dative, T> KaO^^evto eVt T&> Opovw. 
Again, the phrase " on their foreheads " is 
either eVt TOV peTcoTrov avTcov or eirl TWV fJLGTWTrcov 
avTcov. 

Finally, Hebraisms are to be found every 
where. Indeed, it would be possible to devote 
several chapters to the Hebraisms and the pecu 
liar late Greek, and non-Greek constructions that 
characterise, not one-fourth, or one-third of the 
Apocalypse as against the rest, but that char 
acterise the Apocalypse from its beginning to 
its close. In fact, it exhibits a marvellous 
unity of style as a whole, and this unity is 
manifested not in normal constructions, but 
in abnormal. I emphasise the words as a 
whole ; for not a few passages betray signs of 
another hand, or of sources whether Hebrew 
or Greek. It is on the ground of this general 



72 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

unity of style in diction and construction that 
we are obliged to reject all such violent 
hypotheses as those of Spitta, Yischer, J. Weiss, 
Von Soden and the like. The problem of the 
Apocalypse cannot be solved either by the 
Redaction Hypothesis, or by the Sources 
Hypothesis, or by a combination of the two. 
Notwithstanding, these two schools have brought 
many invaluable facts to light. They have 
shown incontrovertibly that within the Apoca 
lypse there are certain verses, passages and 
sections which are inconsistent with the tone 
and character of the whole. In order, therefore, 
to account for a general unity of plan and 
diction, and the no less assured existence of 
certain verses and sections at variance with 
their adjoining contexts and the tone of the 
entire work, we must have recourse to the 
third hypothesis the Fragment Hypothesis. 

iii. The Fragment Hypothesis. To Weiz- 
siicker we owe the first statement of this theory 
in his suggestion that, while the book is a 
unity, the author made free use of other 
materials. These in the first and second 
editions of his Apostolic Age (1886 and 1892) 
he specifies as vii. 1-8, xi. 1-13, xii.-xiii., xvii. 
This view has been further worked out by 
Sabatier (Les origines litteraires de I apoc. 
de St. Jean, 1888), Schoen, and Bousset, and 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 73 

adopted by Porter in America and by Scott 
and Moffatt in this country. 1 

The labours of these scholars show that, 
while the book is the production of one author, 
all its parts are not of the same date, nor are 
they one and all his first-hand creation in 
fact, they have made the assumption of an 
absolute unity in the details of the Apocalypse 
a practical impossibility. Incongruities are 
brought to light not only between certain 
sections and the main scheme of the book, but 
between these and their immediate contexts. 
These sections are vii. 1-8, xi. 1-13, xii., xiii., 
xvii., xviii., xx., xxi. 9-xxii. 5. 

We shall for a moment pause on vii. 1-8, 
the sealing of the 144,000 from the twelve 
tribes of Israel. This is probably a fragment 
of a Jewish-Christian Apocalypse, or a recast 
of a Jewish Apocalypse. First of all, it is 
strongly particularistic : it limits the elect of 
God to these Jewish Christians. Observe that 
Judah is placed first, as we find in the Chris 
tian interpolations in the Testaments of the XII 
Patriarchs. This is against all the O.T. lists, 
unless where geographical or like considera 
tions intervene. No Jew after 250 B.C., unless 
he had become a Christian, would have placed 

1 Bruston s work, Les oriyines de I apocalypse, 1888, comes 
under this hypothesis, according to Bousset. 



74 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Judah before Levi. Its independent origin 
has been inferred also by Spitta and subsequent 
scholars, from the fact that the four winds, 
which in vii. 1 are said to be held fast, lest 
they should break in elemental fury on land 
and sea, are not let loose nor referred to in 
the subsequent narrative. 

Thus these verses belong to some original 
Jewish-Christian writing, and each of the above 
statements had a natural meaning in its original 
context. But in their present context they 
have lost their original meaning. The sealing 
means to the original writer preservation from 
physical evils and death ; but it cannot bear 
this meaning in the Apocalypse. What it 
does mean we shall investigate further on. 

I have given this one instance of the critical 
method of dealing with the text. Time will 
not admit of any such further detailed ex 
amination. But certain of the above sections, 
which are really foreign to the context, cannot 
be explained from any Literary- Critical method. 
These are found in chaps, xi., xii., xiii., xvii. 
The symbols and myths which appear in 
these chapters are not the creation of the 
writer, but are borrowed from tradition, and 
that a tradition not always necessarily Jewish. 
In some instances the materials are too foreign 
to his subject to lend themselves to his purpose 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 75 

without the help of violent expedients. For 
the elucidation of these foreign elements a 
new method the Traditional-Historical is 
necessary, a method which we owe to the 
brilliant scholar Gunkel. 

17. Traditional- Historical Method. 

Gunkel in his work, Schopfung und Chaos 
(1895), opened up new lines of investigation. 
He shows that tradition largely fixes the forms 
of figures and symbols in Apocalyptic. Each 
new apocalypse is to some extent a reinterpreta- 
tion of traditional material, which the writer 
uses not wholly freely, but with reverence, 
from the conviction that it contained the key 
to the mysteries of the present and the future. 
On the other hand, since much of the material 
of an apocalypse is reinterpreted tradition, it 
is necessary to distinguish between its original 
meaning and the new turn given to it in the 
Apocalypse. Occasionally details in the trans 
mitted material are unintelligible even to our 
author, and in these cases he omits any 
reference to them in his interpretation. The 
presence of such details is strong evidence of 
the writer s use of foreign material. 

18. Religious- Historical Method. 
Together with the Traditional- Historical, 



76 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Gunkel combines the Religious-Historical. 
From the fact that a certain statement or 
doctrine in the Apocalypse is not Christian, 
we cannot forthwith conclude to its Jewish 
origin. Materials from other religions, whether 
Babylonian, Egyptian or Greek, are to be found 
in xii. and other chapters. These materials 
have, it is true, been more or less assimilated, 
but traces of their non-Christian and non-Jewish 
origin still survive. 1 

In dependence on the above methods the 
best modern commentary was published by 
Bousset in 1896, in which many fresh con 
tributions were made, and a second edition 
of this work in 1906. The same lines of 
interpretation are followed in the main by 
Pfleiderer in his second edition of his Urchris- 
tenthum, and by Holtzmann in the third edi 
tion of his Commentary, published five years 
ago with the assistance of W. Bauer. In our 
own country the above results have to a 
considerable extent been elaborated by Porter 
in Hastings Bible Dictionary and The Messages 
of the Apocalyptical Writers, and popularised by 
Scott in a small commentary. Professor Sand ay 



1 Valuable material will be found on these questions in 
Clemen s Religionsgeschichtliche Erklanmy des Neuen Testaments, 
1909 an English edition of which has recently been published 
by T. and T. Clark. 



HISTORY OF ITS INTERPRETATION 77 

has published a short study in the Journal of 
Theological Studies, and Moffatt an admirable 
commentary in the Expositor s Greek Testa 
ment. By means of the work of the past 
century, and particularly of the last fifteen years, 
the Apocalypse has ceased to be the hopeless 
riddle that the sanest and greatest scholars 
of earlier centuries held it to be, and " has 
quickly passed," as Holtzmann puts it, " into 
the position of one of the most valuable 
documents for the primitive age of the 
Christian Church." 

Notwithstanding, the land is not yet wholly 
possessed. Some independent problems still 
await fuller solution, and amongst them this : 
Are the visions in the Apocalypse the genuine 
results of spiritual experience, or are they 
artificial products ? Weizsacker unhesitatingly 
advocates the latter view. But the serious 
students of later times cannot follow in his 
footsteps. The writer s belief in his prophetic 
office and his obvious conviction of the inviolable 
sanctity of his message postulate the existence 
of actual spiritual experiences behind his 
visions, and the only difficulty lies in determin 
ing to what extent such experience does under 
lie the revelations of the Apocalypse. 

In bringing this section of our studies to 
a close, T may add that the author of this 



78 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

great book has, despite the burden of an all 
but overwhelming tradition and the use of 
a style which sets every canon of correct 
writing at defiance, but which nevertheless 
observes laws of its own, bequeathed to man 
kind a KTrj/j,a e? ael an imperishable pos 
session, the true worth of which lies in the 
splendid energy of its faith, in the unfaltering 
certainty that God s own cause is at issue now 
and here and must ultimately prevail, and 
that the cause of Jesus Christ is inseparably 
linked therewith, and the main aim of which, 
as is clear from every page, is to emphasise the 
overwhelming worth of things spiritual as 
contrasted with things material, and in the 
next place to glorify martyrdom, to encourage 
the faithful to face death with constancy, nay 
more, with rapturous joy. 

" Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord." 



CHAPTER III. 
THE HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE. 

The abnormal type of the Greek of the Apoca 
lypse has been recently said to be char 
acteristic of the vernacular Greek of this 
period, and the existence of Hebraisms 
strictly so called denied. These positions 
are untenable. The style of the Apoca 
lypse is absolutely unique in all Greek 
literature, while linguistically it is more 
Hebraic than the Septuagint. 

THE Hebraic style of the Apocalypse has always 
been freely acknowledged till the present genera 
tion. But owing to the researches of Thumb, 
Deissmann and Moulton, who have succeeded 
in bringing to light such a mass of fresh know 
ledge on the vernacular Greek which prevailed 
before and after the Christian era, a new atti 
tude on this question has been assumed by all 
scholars in some degree and by some scholars 
in a most extravagant degree. Thus, to take 
one of the latter school, Professor Moulton 
(Gramm. of N.T. Greek 1 , p. 8 sq.) affirms that 



8o STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

" even the Greek of the Apocalypse itself does 
not seem to owe any of its blunders to Hebraism. 
The author s uncertain use of cases is obvious 
to the most casual reader. . . . We find him 
perpetually indifferent to concord. But the 
less educated papyri give us plentiful parallels 
from a field whose Semitism cannot be suspected. 
. . . Apart from places where he may be 
definitely translating a Semitic document, there 
is no reason to believe that his grammar would 
have been materially different had he been a 
native of Oxyrhynchus, assuming the extent of 
Greek education the same." 

This is without doubt an extreme statement 
of the case, and Professor Swete (Apocalypse 2 , 
ii. p. cxxiv, note) rightly rejoins : that " it is 
precarious to compare a literary 1 document 
with a collection of personal and business 
letters, accounts, and other ephemeral writings ; 
slips in word-formation or in syntax, which are 
to be expected in the latter, are phenomenal 
in the former, and if they find a place there, 
can only be attributed to life-long habits of 
thought}- Moreover, it remains to be con 
sidered how far the quasi-Semitic colloquialisms 
of the papyri are themselves due to the influence 
of the large Greek-speaking Jewish population 
of the Delta." 

1 The italics are due to the present writer. 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 8 1 

My own studies, which have extended over 
more than 2000 years of Greek literature, and 
have concerned themselves specially with 
Hellenistic Greek, so far as this Greek was 
used as a vehicle of Jewish thought, have led 
me to adopt a very different conclusion on this 
question, and this is, that the linguistic char 
acter of the Apocalypse is absolutely unique. 

Its language differs from that of the LXX 
and the other versions of the Old Testament, 
from the Greek of the Apocrypha and Pseudepi- 
grapha, and from that of the Papyri. Of course, 
it has points in common with all these phases 
of later Greek, but nevertheless it possesses a 
very distinct character of its own. No literary 
document of the Greek world exhibits such a 
vast multitude of solecisms. It would almost 
seem that the author of the Apocalypse deliber 
ately set at defiance the grammarian and the 
ordinary rules of syntax. That he has done so 
successfully is unquestionable. But it appears 
to me that such a description would do him 
injustice. He had no such intention. He is 
full of his subject, and like the great Hebrew 
prophets of old is a true artist. His object is 
to drive home his message with all the powers 
at his command, and this he does in some of 
the sublimest passages in all literature. 
Naturally with such an object in view he has 



82 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

DO thought of consistently breaking any rule 
of syntax. How, then, are we to explain the 
unbridled licence of his Greek constructions ? 
The reason clearly is that, while he writes in 
Greek, he thinks in Hebrew, and the thought 
has naturally affected the vehicle of expression. 
But this is not all. He never mastered Greek 
idiomatically even the Greek of his own 
period. To him very many of its particles 
were apparently unknown, and the multi 
tudinous shades of meaning which they ex 
pressed in the various combinations into which 
they entered, were never grasped at all, or only 
in a very inadequate degree. 

In fact, the language of his adoption was not 
for him a normalised and rigid medium of 
utterance nay rather, it was still in a fluent 
condition, and so he used it freely, remodelling 
its syntactical forms and launching forth into 
unusual or unheard of expressions with a view 
to the better setting forth of his ideas ; and that 
he achieved his end, even the most fastidious of 
Greek scholars must admit, so far as they suc 
ceed in understanding his work. For in its own 
literature the book stands absolutely without 
a rival, while in the literature of all time it has 
deservedly won for itself a place in the van. 

One obvious result of the inherent greatness 
and sublimity of the work, despite the sole- 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 83 

cistic character of its form, is that perhaps not 
book in any literature suffers so little by trans-* 
lation ; for of necessity the bulk of its irregu 
larities in syntax must vanish in the process of 
translation, while its essential greatness alike 
in thought and expression remains. But this, 
again, is attended by an unavoidable drawback 
for the non-Greek reader ; for in the process 
of translation the bulk of the idiosyncrasies of 
style, which differentiate this book from all 
other Jewish and Christian works, and especi 
ally from the Fourth Gospel, must inevitably 
disappear. 

I must now justify the general statements 
which have just been made, though, of course, 
only a very small part of the evidence can be 
put forward on the present occasion. 

Even this evidence will, I hope, be sufficient 
to produce a conviction that the style is Hebraic 
in character. If time and opportunity per 
mitted, it would be easy to prove that the style 
of the Apocalypse is more Hebraic than that of 
the LXX. 

Hebraisms in the Greek text of the Apocalypse, 
to some of which exceptional parallels can 
be found in vernacular Greek but not to 
others. 

1. First of all, it might be recognised as a 



84 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

rule that our author follows the Hebrew idiom 
according to which the word or phrase, which 
stands in apposition to a noun in an oblique 
case, is put in the nominative. Such sole 
cisms are found occasionally in the LXX, but 
what is a rare phenomenon in this Greek 
version of the Old Testament is actually a 
recognised idiom in the Greek text of the 
Apocalypse. Our author has, in fact, adopted 
a Hebrew idiom into his Greek, and natural 
ised it there, as in i. 5, ii. 13, 20, iii. 12, 
vii. 4, viii. 9, ix. 14, xiv. 12, 14. He does 
not, it is true, always abandon the legitimate 
Greek construction in such cases, but he 
does so sufficiently often to legitimate our 
recognition of it as a marked characteristic 
of his style. 

Of the above passages I must quote two or 
three. Thus in i. 5 we have airo Irjaov Xpiarov 

6 fjudpTVS 6 TrtcrTO? instead of airo I. X. TOV fjidpTVpos 

TOV TTIVTOV = " from Jesus Christ the faithful wit 
ness." In ii. 20 we have afyels rrjv yvvalrca Ied/3e\, 
r) \6yovo~a eavrrjv TrpotyrjTiv, instead of TTJV \eyovcrav 

eavTYjv Trpo^rjnv = " thou sufferest the woman 
Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess." 
Again, ill iii. 12, TO ovofia T% TroXew? ... 77 /cara- 
ftaivovaa etc TOV ovpavov= "the name of the city 
. . . which cometh down from heaven." Now 
that a Jew could naturally and unwittingly fall 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 85 

into this solecism, when using an inflected 
language other than his own, is illustrated by 
Professor Nestle (Textual Criticism of the Greek 
Testament, p. 330 n.), who quotes the folio wing 
gem from Salomon Bar in his translation of the 
Massoretic note at the end of the Books of 
Samuel (Leipzig, 1892, p. 158), "ad mortem 
Davidis rex Israelis." This is a perfect illus 
tration of what occurs frequently in our text. 
The same solecism occurs in the Greek trans 
lation of the Old Testament. Cf. Ezek. xxiii. 
12 (TOI)? vlovs TWV *Acravpiwv . . . Innrels lirira^o^evoi 
e </> fynraw A). 

2. Next, a noticeable Hebraism is the in 
declinable use of \eya)v or \eyovTes = the Hebrew 
"ib&A. Thus in v. 11 we have ^vrjv ayye\a)v 
. . . Xeyo^re? instead of \e<yovaav or Xeyovrwv. 

Again, in xiv. 6 sq. there is an extraordinary 
instance of this usage, where the phrase a\\ov 
dyye\ov is followed by three participles depend 
ing upon it, the first two of which (ire-ro^vov 
and exovra) are rightly in the accusative, but 
the third (\eycov) is in the nominative ; in other 
words, the indeclinable use of \eycov. Other 
instances occur in iv. 1, xi. 1, 15, xix. 6 
(Westcott and Hort, margin). This solecism, 
owing to the Hebrew background, occurs in the 
LXX; cf. Gen. xv. 1, xxii. 20, xxxviii. 13, xlv. 
16, xlviii. 20, etc.). 



86 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

3. Next, there is the nominativus pendens, 

iii. 12, 6 VIKWV, Troiriarw avrov ; in vi. 8, 6 
KaOrj/jievos tTrdvco avTov, ovofia aura) 6 OdvaTos a 

very frequent construction in Hebrew, and not 
unattested in the rest of the N.T. (cf. Blass, 
Gram. N.T. Greek, Eng. trans., 283). 

4. The oblique forms of the personal pronoun 
are added pleonastically, as in Hebrew, to 
relatives : iii. 8 (fiv ouSet? Svvarcu K\e2o-ai, avrtfv) 

xii. 6, 14, xiii. 8, or to participles ii. 7 (T&> 
vitcwvTi, So><Tft> auTw), iii. 12, vi. 4. 

That exceptionally such idioms are found in 
the vernacular Greek, and in a few cases in 
classical Greek, does not make against the fact 
that they are here due to Semitic influence ; 
since, as the rest of the evidence proves, our 
text is more Semitic in character than the bulk 
of the LXX. 

5. The absence of the use of the instrumental 
dative, the place of which is supplied by eV 
This usage is to be met with in vernacular 
Greek also. It belongs, nevertheless, to the 
Hebraic colouring of our text. 

6. Another Semiticism in our author s style 
is his use of the participle as a finite verb. 
This usage is fairly frequent in Hebrew, 
while in Aramaic it is practically the normal 
usage. 

It is quite true that in late vernacular 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 87 

Greek this usage is attested in a few instances 
(see Moulton, Gram. 1 223). Moulton also 
recognises its existence in Rom. v. 11, xii. 6; 
Heb. viii. 10, x. 16 ; and Blass in 2 Cor. v. 12, 
vii. 5. 

While we grant the occurrence of this 
vernacular idiom in these cases, it does not do 
away with the fact that, when the participle is 
used as a finite verb in a manifestly Hebraic 
Greek text such as that of the Apocalypse, it 
is to be regarded as a Hebraism. As such, 
therefore, we regard e^wv in x. 2 and xxi. 12, 
14, and also in xii. 2, which should be trans 
lated : " And she was with child, and cried in 
her travail and pain to be delivered ( = NTTI 
rrhb 1 nb3nDi n?in pjttrri rnn). The author being 
accustomed to the use of the participle as a 
finite verb in his native idiom, transfers this 
usage into the language of his adoption. 

The evidence so far appears sufficient to 
prove the Hebraic character of the text. It is 
true that to most of the individual idioms 
analogous uses may be found exceptionally in 
vernacular Greek, but that such an accumula 
tion of exceptions should be brought together 

1 These two participles are found together in Ps. vii. 15. If 
the retroversion is right, possibly n^HD is corrupt for n^fPE = 
" hoping." In that case we should have "cried out, being in 
travail and hoping to be delivered." 



88 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

within such narrow compass in a literary 
work must appear incredible to a sound judg 
ment. 

Other and still stronger grounds for the 
Hebraic or Semitic character of the text. 

1. All but universally our author uses not 
the LXX but the Hebrew text of the Old 
Testament. 

2. The order and structure of his language 
is thoroughly Hebraic. Thus, with the excep 
tion of a section or two, which on quite distinct 
grounds we conclude were borrowed from other 

o 

sources, the verb as a rule comes first, then the 
subject, and next the object. This Hebraic order 
of the sentence is wholly abandoned for the 
normal Greek order in chap. xi. 

3. The parallelism of the style is too obvious 
to be ignored. The author repeatedly breaks 
forth into verse in which the parallelism of 
Hebrew poetry is carefully observed. 

Large sections of the book were written in 
stanzas of three or four lines each. Their 
structure is so clear that by means of it we can 
at times detect glosses. Thus, to take an 
example, it is possible to recover the original 
form of the vision in iv. 28, which appears to 
have been composed of four stanzas of four lines 
each and to have read as follows : 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 89 



2 And behold there was a throne set in heaven, 
And on the throne was one seated, 

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper stone 

and a sardius, 

And (there was) a rainbow round about the throne 
like an emerald to look upon. 

ii. 

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and 

voices and thunders : 

6 And before the throne there was as it were a glassy 

sea like unto crystal, 
And round about the throne were four living 

creatures, 
Full of eyes before and behind. 

in. 

7 And the first creature was like a lion, 
And the second creature was like an ox, 

And the third creature had a face as of a man, 
And the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 

IV. 

8 And the four creatures had each six wings, 
And they rested not day and night singing : 
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, 
Which was, and which is, and which is to come. 

4. The co-ordination of the participle in one 
of the oblique cases and the finite verb, which 
is not found, so far as I am aware, in any 
form of true vernacular Greek, is in Hebrew 
essentially an idiom, and that a common one. 



90 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

In the New Testament outside the Apocalypse 
it is attested at all events in 2 John 2, 

a\r)6eiav rrjv fjuevovcrav ev rjfjblv KOL fieff rjfjiw 

Col. i. 26. l In these two passages the pecu 
liar syntax, so far as I am aware, cannot be 
explained from any eccentricity or blunder 
in the vernacular Greek ; for in these we have 
a dependent participle (in the accusative and 
dependent on the article) resolved into an 
indicative in the following sentence. Now, 
as Driver (Moods and Tenses*, 163) writes, 
"it is a common custom with Hebrew writers, 
after employing a participle, to change the con 
struction, and, if they wish to subjoin other 
verbs which logically should be participles . . . 
to pass to the use of the finite verb." 2 We 

1 John i. 32 is not to be taken as instance of this idiom ; 
see Abbott, Johannine Gram. p. 335. 

A form of this idiom is found in 1 Cor. vii. 13, ywrj, fjns e^et 
avftpa a7riaTov KOL OVTOS (rvvev8oK( i J where the last three words 
would in ordinary Greek be <ai (rvvevdoKovvra, i.e. " a woman 
who hath an husband unbelieving but content to dwell with 
her." Here St. Paul s Greek would represent idiomatic Hebrew 
(or nn Kim) nm PBKD s nb {>jn. In Heb. viii. 10, x. 16, the 
participle is not in the oblique case. Moreover, in these pas 
sages the Greek participle here either represents a participle in 
the Hebrew where a finite verb stands now in the Massoretic, or 
it is used as the finite verb, as occasionally in the vernacular 
Greek. 

2 In the present instance I am limiting our consideration to 
the co-ordination of the participle in an oblique case and the 
finite verb, in order to avoid the possibility of an explanation 
of this idiom from vernacular Greek. 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 91 

have here the natural explanation of these two 
passages so far as the syntax goes, and if this 
is so, as I am convinced it is, the rendering 
of the Authorised Version is right in both and 
the Revised Version wrong. So far for this 
usage outside the Apocalypse. But now, turn 
ing to the Apocalypse, what do we find there ? 
Is this idiom an isolated one ? By no means. 
It occurs seven times, and is relatively of far 
more frequent occurrence than in the LXX ; 
for the LXX appears only occasionally to repro 
duce this idiom literally. We might compare 
Isa. v. 8, 23, Ezek. xxii. 3, where the Hebrew 
is translated into idiomatic Greek, while in 
Gen. xxvii. 33, Isa. xiv. 17, the Hebrew idiom 
is reproduced in the Greek. 

In the Apocalypse, on the other hand, it 
emerges in the first chapter in vers. 5, 6 ; and 
four times in the chapters that follow, i.e. in 
ii. 2, 9, 20, vii. 14. 1 In every one of these 
passages the Revised Version rendering is 
wrong and that of the Authorised Version right, 

1 It is not improbable that in iii. 7 we have a Hebraism 
repeated twice : raSe Aeyei 6 ayios ... 6 dvoiywv KCU ovdels 
K\ti KCU K\ei(ov Km ovdels dvoiyci. Here the Greek can be 
retranslated literally into Hebrew, but whereas it is Hebrew 
idiom, nnD pao "iJDni "UD pJO nnsn, it cannot be said to be 
Greek. The sense of the Greek is, " Who openeth so that no 
one closeth, and closeth so that no one openeth " (6 d 
uxrre fj.rj8eva K\eieiv KOL K\ei(ov wore fj.rj8eva dvoi yeiv). 



rc3 



92 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

save in one where its text is untenable. The 
latter, perhaps through following the ancient 
versions the Syriac and Latin consciously 
or unconsciously reproduced correctly the 
Hebrew idiom underlying the Greek. Let me 
give examples. In i. 5, 6 the Greek runs : 
cnruvTi (A.V. a<y airier avri) ^a? /cal \vo-avri, 
e/c T&V afji,apTi&v rjfji&v ev rc5 at/iart avrov, /cal 
as $av iktiav (A.V. /SacriAefc). 

This the Authorised Version renders : " Unto 
him that loved us ... and hath made us 
kings " : and rightly, for it has treated the finite 
verb exactly as if it were a participle, according 
to the Hebrew idiom. Let us now turn to the 
Revised Version. Its reading is : " Unto him 
that loveth us ... and he made us to be a 
kingdom." Our first criticism of this render 
ing is that it is not English. The phrase, 
" Unto him that loveth us," stands without 
any grammatical connection with the rest of 
the sentence. In the next place, it is not a 
translation of the text, as we have already 
recognised. If anything is to be supplied 
before "made," it should be "that" and not 
"he." "Unto him that loveth us ... and 
that made," etc. Next, in ii. 2 the Greek row? 
\6yovras eavrovs airoaroKov^ KOL OVK elaiv is 
rightly rendered by the Authorised Version, 
" which say they are apostles and are not." 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 93 

Here again the Kevised Version wrongly 
renders, "which call themselves apostles and 
they are not." The same construction recurs 
in ii. 9, where the Authorised Version is again 
right and the Revised Version wrong. The 
next instance in ii. 20 is very obvious : TTJV 
yvvaifca Iea/3eX, f) \eyovc7a eavrrjv TTpcxfrfjTiv KOL 
SiSda/cei. Here, just as in the preceding cases, 
the verb SiSda-tcei,, " teaches," ought to be a 
participle in idiomatic Greek, but the writer 
has reproduced his own Hebrew idiom literally. 
The text of the Authorised Version is here 
very corrupt, and accordingly its rendering 
is not available. As regards the Revised 
Version, the text it followed is the best, but its 
rendering is just as incorrect as elsewhere. 
Instead, therefore, of translating " which calleth 
herself a prophetess and she teacheth," with 
the Revised Version, we should translate " which 
calleth herself a prophetess and teacheth," 

as if it were 77 \eyovaa . . . KOI SiSdcrKovcra. 

There is one more instance of this idiom, 
but the participle is not in an oblique case, i.e. 
in vii. 14 : ol ep^o/jievoi, e /c T?}? $XM/re&)<? rijs fAeydXr)? 
KOI eirXvvav ra? erroXa? CLVTWV. 

Here the finite verb eirKwav is co-ordinated 
with the participle ep^ofjuevoi, and should be 
translated as if it were a participle dependent 
on the article. Accordingly the text is to be 



94 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

rendered: "These are they who came out of 
the great tribulation and washed their robes." 
The Authorised Version is here on the whole 
right, but the Revised Version has again mis- 
rendered this idiom as follows : " These are 
they which came out of the great tribulation, 
and they washed their robes." 

From these criticisms it is not to be inferred 
that the Revised Version is elsewhere inferior 
to the Authorised Version in accuracy. This, of 
course, is not the case. The above misrender- 
ings are due to the Revisers treating the Apoca 
lypse as if it were firstly and lastly a Greek 
book written by a Greek. This particular 
Hebraism in the Apocalypse has not, so far as 
I am aware, ever been recognised heretofore. 

5. There are pure Hebraisms in the text 
to which no analogy can be found in the 
vernacular Greek. I will adduce only three. 
In xvii. 8 there is the use of the singular ovopa, 
" name," instead of the plural ovo^ara^ " names," 
where all the multitude of the lost is referred 
to, is a Hebrew idiom. Hence we must render, 
" they whose names have not been written in 
the book of life," not " they whose name," as 
in the Revised Version ; for this is not English, 
any more than it was Greek. Next, in xii. 5 
we have the extraordinary statement, " she was 
delivered of a son, a man child " (or "a male "). 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 95 

Now neither in Greek nor English can a son 
be anything but a man child. To add such a 
clause after the term " son " would be absurd. 
But this is not so in Hebrew. The plural D^n 
( = "sons") means occasionally "male and female 
children" (Gen. iii. 16 ; Exod. xxi. 5, xxii. 23). 
Hence in Josh. xvii. 2 we have the expression 
" the sons of Manasses, the males " (ntWD on 
tf-orn), and in Jer. xx. 15, "A son, a male 
(or man child IDT p) is born to thee." In 
this last passage we have exactly the same 
expression as in our text. 

The third pure Hebraism is the very re 
markable use our author makes of &$9, which he 
places before either the subject of the verb 
or its object with the meaning " the likeness 
of." No attempt, so far as I am aware, has 
been made to explain this use. But its origin 
seems to me to be quite clear. It is not 
Greek, but it is used by our author as the 
equivalent of the Hebrew 3. In the LXX it 
is used in this wholly non-Greek sense as a 
translation of the Hebrew prefix (cf. Num. ix. 
15 ; Dan. x. 18). Thus <w? o-refavoi, in ix. 7 
of our text means "the likeness of crowns," or 
"what was like crowns"; in xix. 1, &>? favrjv 
fjieyd\r)v, "the likeness of a mighty voice." 
The English versions, "as it were crowns " and 
"as it were a mighty voice," will do for 



96 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

purposes of translation, but they conceal the 
origin of the idiom. This usage is very fre 
quent in the Apocalypse. Possibly we have 
here also the explanation of the solecism 
ofjioiov viov avOpcoTTov, " like a son of man," 
which occurs twice in our text (i. 13, xiv. 14). 
Now o/ioto? is the equivalent of &><? in this 
sense, as we know from 1 Enoch xviii. 13 
(&>5 oprj fjLeyd\a) compared with xxi. 3 (O/JLOIOV? 
6 pea iv (jbeydXois). Hence it may here take the 
same construction as &>? ; for co? does not affect 
the case of the noun which it precedes. 

Passages in the Apocalypse that require to be 
translated into Hebrew in order to be 
understood. 

We have now come to the last class of evi 
dence which I propose to lay before you in 
favour of the Hebraic character of our text. 
If this evidence is valid, it is the strongest 
that can be advanced. In the course of my 
study of the text of the Apocalypse, I have 
come to the conclusion that not only does the 
author think in Hebrew, but that occasionally 
he also translates already existing Hebrew docu 
ments into Greek. We have already had good 
grounds for the former conclusion in the 
evidence just brought before you. I will now 
further substantiate this evidence by a study 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 97 

of the remarkable passage in x. 1, where it 
reads as follows : " And I saw another strong 
angel coming down out of heaven, arrayed 
with a cloud : and a rainbow was upon his 
head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet 
as pillars of fire." Now all this verse is per 
fectly clear save the last clause ol TroSe? avTov 
o>5 (TTV\OL Trvpos = " his feet WQTQ like pillars 
of fire." Who ever heard such an extra 
ordinary simile 1 Feet like pillars of fire ! 
There must be some error here, and yet no 
scholar has hitherto called attention to it. 
The mistake, if there is a mistake, must lie 
either in Tro Se? = " feet " or orvXo* = " pillars." 
Now, whereas I can discover no corruption 
underlying o-ruXot, it is not difficult to see how 
the term TroSe? came to be placed here. The 
expression in Cant. v. 15, "his legs were like 
pillars of marble," supplies in fact the idea 
that should stand here. The Hebrew word 
^i, which normally means "foot," has also 
the meaning of " leg " in 1 Sam. xvii. 6 ; * Deut. 
xxviii. 57 ; 2 Isa. vii. 20. It is so rendered by 
the LXX in Ezek. i. 7, xvi. 25. A derivative 
of this word is rendered by ra o-/ce\rj in Dan. 
x. 6, by Theodotion. 

Furthermore, in Palestinian Aramaic it is 

1 So, rightly, LXX, Pesh. and Vulg. 

2 So, rightly, LXX and Vulg. 

7 



98 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

used as meaning the " thigh " of an animal, 
being a translation of &T)?; cf. Exod. xxix. 
17 ; Lev. i. 13, viii. 21, ix. 14. In Arabic this 
word means either " foot or " leg/ From 
these facts we see that, while our author had 
in his mind the word ^n, he attached to it not 
its ordinary meaning " foot," but its less usual 
one" leg," and that he transferred this second 
ary meaning of the Hebrew word to its Greek 
equivalent. It might appear at first sight that 
he was wholly unjustified in supposing that 
the primary and secondary meanings of the 
Hebrew word, i.e. "foot" and "leg," belonged 
also to the Greek word ; and yet it is possible 
that this secondary meaning of TOW (when used 
as a rendering of the Hebrew) was not un 
exampled at the time. For in the LXX it 
appears as an equivalent of DTD, " thigh," as 
we have already observed in Ex. xxix. 17 ; 
Lev. i. 9, 13, viii. 21, ix. 14. 

From the above evidence we conclude that 
we should render the clause in the Apocalypse : 
" His legs were like pillars of fire." 

The next passage seems to postulate an 
actual Hebrew background. In ii. 22 it is 
said of the woman Jezebel : " Behold, I cast her 

1 In Dan. x. 6 the rendering should most probably follow 
that of Theodotion : " his arms and his legs were like in colour 
to burnished brass." 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 99 

into a bed, and them that commit adultery 
with her into great tribulation." Now, how 
are we to explain the punishment that is 
designed by these words : " Behold, I cast her 
into a bed " ? Kamsay and Moulton take the 
word K\ivrj here to denote a banqueting couch ; 
but that this is wrong, will be seen as we 
proceed. The K\ivrj is a bed of sickness or 
suffering, following as the due meed of her 
licentious teaching. 

This interpretation has been rightly put 
forward by several scholars ; but, so far as I 
know, they have not explained how it can 
be justified. Now, if we retranslate it into 
Hebrew, we recognise that we have here a 
Hebrew idiom. In Hebrew (33^ fa), " to 
fall upon a bed " means " to take to one s bed," 
i.e. to become ill (cf. Ex. xxi. 18); and "to 
cast upon a bed" means "to cast upon a bed 
of illness." This idiom is found in 1 Mace. i. 5, 
vi. 8 ( eTreo-e eVl rrjv KoiTtjv), and Jud. viii. 3 
( eVeo-e eirl rrjv ie\ivi)v), which books are translated 
from the Hebrew. Thus, if we wish to give the 
passage its true significance, we should read : 

"Behold, I cast her on a bed of illness (or * suffering ) 
And those who commit adultery with her into great 
tribulation." l 



SD oan 
rmn nnK D awon nao 



zoo STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

I will take only one passage more, i.e. xiii. 11. 
In this passage we shall go still further than 
we have gone before. Heretofore we have 
considered cases in which difficulties arose, 
owing to the fact that our author was con 
struing his Hebrew thought and diction into 
Greek. In this passage, and it does not stand 
alone, we have a piece of Greek which seems 
not to admit of explanation, except on the 
hypothesis that it is a translation from the 
Hebrew, and that the Hebrew was corrupt. 
Other passages in the chapter postulate the 
same hypothesis. The passage immediately 
before us is as follows : 

"And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, 
And he had two horns like unto a lamb ; 
And he spake as a dragon." 

Now we may at once premise that the gener 
ally accepted and indeed the right interpreta 
tion of this second beast is that it represented 
the heathen priesthood in Asia Minor, which 
had for its office the worship of the Koman 
Emperor. In the next place, it has been con 
jectured by several scholars that the text of 
this chapter presupposes a Hebrew original. 
My own studies have led me to the same 
conclusion. Let us turn, now, to the passage 
before us. The second line, i.e. " he had two 
horns like unto a lamb," may be suggested 



HEBRAIC STYLE OF THE APOCALYPSE 101 

at all events it is illustrated by Matt. vii. 
15 : " Beware of false prophets, which come to 
you in sheep s clothing, but inwardly are raven 
ing wolves." The words therefore indicate the 
mild appearance of the second beast : he had 
two horns like unto a lamb. But what is to be 
made of the clause that follows, " and he spake 
as a dragon " ? There are no means of explain 
ing it. A dragon does not speak. Is the 
passage hopeless then ? By no means, in my 
opinion, as I feel confident we can reconstruct 
the text by translation into Hebrew. Thus 

KOI eXaXet a>? Spd/ca)v = pro "Dim. Here, first of 
all, the translator should have read the last 
word of the unpointed Hebrew as pan? = " as 
the dragon," i.e. Satan, and not as pans, " as a 
dragon," which is meaningless. Next, "inn is 
corrupt for inxn, exactly as in 2 Chron. xxii. 10, 
where the Hebrew wrongly reads, " Atha- 
liah spake with all the seed royal," instead 
of "Athaliah slew all the seed royal," as in 
2 Kings xi. 1. 

A corruption that has crept into the Canon 
ical text of the Old Testament might well 
occur in the anonymous Hebrew document 
behind chap. xiii. Hence instead of xal eXaXet, 
" and he spake," we should read xal diru>\\ve 
or real TJV aTroXXiW = " and he was a destroyer," 
or " an apollyon." This phrase recalls the name 



I IRPADV 



102 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

given to Satan in ix. 11, " his name in Hebrew 
is Abaddon, and in the Greek he hath the name 
Apollyon." 

Satan was the Apollyon, but the second beast 
was an apollyon. 

Thus the text read originally : " And he was 
a destroyer (or "apollyon) like the dragon." 
That he justified this title is seen in ver. 15, 
where it is stated that he caused all that did 
not worship the image of the first beast to be 
put to death. 

To sum up, then, the entire verse is to be 
read as follows : 

" And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, 
And he had two horns like a lamb ; 
But he was a destroyer like the dragon." 



CHAPTER IV. 

REVELATION VII.-IX. 

IT may seem strange that I have chosen to 
deal with chaps, vii.-ix. in this and the last 
lecture rather than with the first three or the 
fourth and fifth chapters, or such notable 
chapters as xii. and xiii. In all of these, it 
is quite true, there is still room for further 
investigation : but though the first three 
chapters, the fourth chapter and its immediate 
sequel, as well as the twelfth and thirteenth, 
have each important problems connected with 
them, their meaning is not on the whole diffi 
cult ; nor have they been so grossly misunder 
stood as chaps, vii.-ix. by practically the 
whole body of interpreters for the past 1600 
years or more. 

Chap. vii. has been misunderstood from the 
earliest centuries of the Christian era, 
and yet contains the key to the right 
interpretation of some of the immediately 
following chapters. 

It is just because chap. vii. is one of the 



103 



104 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

most difficult chapters in the Apocalypse, and, 
if I am right, the chapter that has been most 
misunderstood, that I begin with it. And yet 
it is not only because it has been misunder 
stood that I do so, but because a right inter 
pretation of this chapter is of vital importance, 
if we are to understand the main significance 
and the right sequence of thought in the next 
four chapters. To a certain extent this chapter 
contains the key to the orderly development 
of thought in the immediate chapters that follow 
in the Apocalypse. Naturally I cannot, in the 
course of two lectures, pretend to discuss all the 
difficulties that emerge in these three chapters, 
but I hope to remove the chief difficulties that 
stand in the way of our apprehending the 
writer s object and the orderly development of 
his thought in these chapters. 

Contents of Chapter mi. 

With this explanation I will now proceed 
to my task. The closing words of chap, vi., 
" The great day of his wrath is come, and who 
can abide it ? " lead us to expect immediately the 
opening of the seventh Seal, and therewith the 
advent of the day of wrath. Instead of this, 
however, we have a peaceful interlude. The 
march of events is checked, the four angels of 
destruction are bidden to stay their hand until 



REVELATION VII. 105 

the faithful should be sealed. The 144,000 
Israelites are then sealed in vii. 4-8, and 
thereon follows, in the next nine verses, a 
vision of the martyrs in heaven. This vision 
is proleptic : that is, it is not what already 
exists in heaven that the Seer beholds, but 
what will exist presently, or at the end of the 
world. Nothing in the closing chapters of the 
Apocalypse surpasses in beauty and sublimity 
this blessed consummation of the martyrs, who 
come forth from the last great persecution 
which is about to fall upon the world. 

In this chapter, then, we have two visions, 
and in them two main themes : one, the safe 
guarding of the true Israel ; the other, the 
final blessedness of those who are to be martyred 
in the coming persecution. 

Many critics assign vii. 1-8 and vii. 9-17 
to different authors. 

The real crux of this chapter is the signifi 
cance and object of this sealing ; but we must 
first deal with the chapter as a whole, since, 
owing to the diverse character of the two 
visions, its integrity has been denied by many 
critics. Owing to the apparently Jewish, or 
Jewish-Christian, character of the vision of the 
sealing of the 144,000 Israelites in vii. 1-8, and 
the universalistic character of the second vision, 



io6 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

vii. 9-17, which embraces the faithful from all 
mankind : that is, owing to the apparent par 
ticularism of the first section, and the un 
limited universalism of the second, most critics 
have decided against the unity of the chapter. 
Thus Spitta assigns vii. 1-8 to a Jewish Apoca 
lypse, and makes vii. 9-17 the immediate sequel 
of i.-vi. On the other hand, Volter in his final 
work on the subject, Vischer, Pfleiderer (1st 
ed.), Schmidt, regard vii. 9-17 as an inter 
polation in what was originally a Jewish- 
Christian or a Jewish work. Others again 
seek to reconstruct the original of this chapter 
by making certain excisions. Thus Erbes 
removes vii. 4-8, 13-17 as additions from a 
Jewish source ; while Weyland removes certain 
phrases in vii. 9, 10, 14, 17 ; and Rauch deletes 
vii. 13, 14 wholly, as well as certain phrases 
in vii. 9, 10 as additions of a Christian writer. 

But the relative unity of the chapter is to be 
maintained, and the two sections of the 
chapter are to be taken as referring to 
the same body of Christians, only under 
different conditions. 

But a more excellent way of dealing with 
the text is taken by Weizsacker, Sabatier, 
Schoen, Holtzmann, Bousset, Wellhausen, 
Porter, MofFatt, who maintain the relative 



REVELATION VII. 107 

unity of this chapter, and regard vii. 1-8 
either as the work of our author, or as incor 
porated by him in the text, and adapted 
thereto. Sabatier, Holtzmann, Hirscht, and 
Bousset interpret the chapter as referring to 
two different classes : vii. 1-8 as referring to 
Jewish, and vii. 917 to Gentile Christians; 
while Reuss, Bovon, Schoen, Beyschlag, Porter, 
Wellhausen, and Moffatt interpret the two 
passages as describing the same body under 
different conditions. My own studies have led 
me independently and on different grounds 
to somewhat the same conclusion. Thus, 
though I shall be compelled to differ with 
all interpreters for the last 1600 years as to 
the significance of the sealing, I am glad to 
find myself in agreement with such a large 
body of scholars of the first rank, in holding 
that the 144,000 that were sealed in vii. 4-8, 
and the blessed company who stand clothed in 
white raiment before the throne of God, are 
one and the same, only under different con 
ditions. 

vii. 9-17 is from the hand of our 
Apocalyptist. 

We must now proceed to discuss these 
questions in detail, and first of all the relation 
of vii. 9-17 to the rest of the Apocalypse. Now 



1 08 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

an examination of the facts proves that this 
section is from the hand of our Apocalyptist. 
For (a) it proclaims the absolute universalism 
of Christianity, as does the entire Apocalypse 
so far as it comes from his hand ; (b) in the 
next place, its diction is clearly his. In these 
nine verses the forms of diction are character 
istic of our Apocalyptist : and in most of the 
verses there is not only one such form, but 
many. Let us take one verse as an example. 
Thus in vii. 9 we have the verse opening with 
the characteristic clause, /-tera ravra elSov /cal ISov ; 
next, the phrase 6^X09 TroXv?, found in xix. 1, 6 
in the same connection. Next, eOvovs /cal $v\wv 
Kal \a&v Kal ry\coao-Mv } " nation and tribes and 
peoples and languages," which is found six 
times elsewhere. Next, evMiriov TOV Qpovov, 
" before the throne," a frequent phrase in our 
Apocalypse ; and the fuller form evwiriov TOV 
Opovov real evwTTiov TOV apvlov recurs almost exactly 
in xxii. 1,3; and TrepL^e^K^^evov^ erroTuW XeiM:a9 
in vii. 9 (cf. vii. 13) is found in iii. 5, 18, 
iv. 4. 

It is clear that every phrase of this verse 
comes from the hand of our Apocalyptist. 
Now I have been applying the same rigorous 
examination to every verse, and every clause, 
and every phrase in the Apocalypse, and the 
result of this examination furnishes irrefragable 



REVELATION VII. 109 

proof that the main bulk of the book is from 
the hand of one and the same author. This 
does, however, not exclude the possibility 
that here and there he has used sources, 
Hebrew and Greek : that he has translated 
the former, and in a few cases has taken over 
the latter as they stand : or that he has adapted 
to fresh contexts earlier visions of his own, 
which in their original contexts had a some 
what different meaning. 

The Apocalypse consists of a whole body of 
visions experienced at different times and 
committed apparently on each occasion to 
writing. 

Now, whilst I am touching on this question 
of the relative unity of the book as a whole, it 
would not be unfitting to emphasise the some 
what obvious fact that the Apocalypse cannot 
be regarded as the outcome of a single vision 
committed subsequently to writing. But 
having done so we must go further : not only 
were there many visions, but considerable 
intervals of time must have elapsed between 
them. A few were witnessed as early as 
67 A.D., but the main body of the visions in 
all probability belong to the period 92 and 
95 A.D. Another point of importance in this 
connection is, that the Seer was apparently 



no STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

accustomed to commit his vision to writing 
immediately after its occurrence. Indeed, in 
these visions he frequently receives the 
command, " write down what thou hast seen," 
as in i. 11, 19, xiv. 13, xix. 9, xxi. 5. The 
Letters to the Seven Churches are dictated 
to him in the vision. On another occasion 
in x. 4, when the seven thunders utter their 
voices, the Seer at once prepared to write 
down w r hat they said ; but a voice from heaven 
forbade him, saying : " Seal up the utterances 
of the seven thunders, and do not write 
them" (x. 4). This last statement points to 
an interesting conclusion : in some of the 
visions the Seer was not in a trance, but in 
a conscious condition. This fact opens up 
important problems of vision, but we cannot 
deal with them here. 

To return. From an examination of the diction 
of vii. 9-17 we are obliged to conclude that this 
section is from the hand of our Apocalyptist. 

vii. 1-8 is derived, so far as the form goes, 
from our Apocalyptist. 

Let us now turn to vii. 1-8 and discover, if 
we may, its origin. Now we find on examina 
tion that, so far as the diction is concerned, 
this section also comes from the hand of our 
Apocalyptist. Here we discern the importance 



REVELATION VII. in 

of the linguistic evidence. These few verses 
exhibit clearly the style of our author, as 
most of the phraseology is his, and that also 
where it is most characteristic. Such evidence 
is conclusive against critics who would assign 
the section as it stands to quite a different 
author. But, though the form of the section 
is due to our author, we cannot say as much 
for the subject-matter. The subject-matter 
which deals with the four destructive winds 
and the sealing of the 144,000, is borrowed 
from Jewish sources. 

mi. 1-3 from a Jewish source. 

First, as to the four winds. The letting loose 
by the four angels of these destructive winds 
was, as the text implies, to take place after the 
sealing of the faithful was accomplished, or at 
all events shortly before the end. And yet 
these four angels are not again referred to 
directly in the Apocalypse. Hence we con 
clude, as many critics have already done, that 
our author has here used, as frequently, an 
older tradition. That such a tradition existed 
in various forms can be conclusively proved. 
I will quote two parallel situations to that in 
our text. In our text we are told that a 
pause in the judgments is commanded in order 
that during the pause the faithful may be 



H2 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

sealed. Similarly in 1 Enoch a like pause 
takes place before the Deluge, for the pre 
servation of Noah and his family. Thus in 
Ixvi. 1, 2 it is written: "And after that he 
showed me the angels of punishment, who 
are prepared to come and let loose all the 
powers of the waters that are beneath in the 
earth, in order to bring judgment and de 
struction on all who [abide and] dwell on the 
earth. And the Lord of spirits gave com 
mandment to the angels who were going forth, 
that they should not cause the waters to rise, 
but should hold them in check ; for these angels 
are over the powers of the waters." Now from 
the opening verses of Ixvii. we see that the 
object of this pause is to give time for the 
building of the ark in other words, the pause 
in judgment was ordered with a view to a pre 
servation of the faithful in the ancient world, 
just as here it is ordered with a view to the 
sealing of the faithful at the end of the world. 
Another remarkable parallel is to be found in 
2 Bar. vi. 4 sqq. : " And I beheld, and, lo ! 
four angels standing at the four corners of the 
city, each of them holding a torch of fire in 
his hands. And another angel descended 
from heaven, and said unto them : Hold your 
torches, and do not light them till I tell you." 
Here we have four angels ready to destroy 



REVELATION VII. 113 

Jerusalem, and a fifth angel bidding them to 
pause, and not to destroy it till the sacred 
vessels were removed. 

As regards the four destroying winds them 
selves, we can find traces of this conception 
from early in the second century B.C. to the 
second century A.D. Thus all the elements 
in vii. 1-3 can be explained from already 
existing tradition. Now, taking these facts 
into consideration together with the fact that 
the four winds in our text are not again 
referred to directly, we may reasonably con 
clude that our author has made use of an 
existing tradition to serve his purpose. Now, 
if we ask what this purpose was, the answer 
clearly is : the episode described in vii. 1-3 
is introduced because a new order of plagues 
is about to ensue, and a pause must be made 
to secure the faithful against these plagues. 
In the verses that follow we learn that the 
faithful are secured by sealing them with the 
signet of God. 

vii. 4-8 derived originally from a Jewish 
source. 

We now pass to vii. 4-8. This section, 

which deals with the sealing of the 144,000, 

was not originally from the hand of our author, 

but was drawn by him from a Jewish or Jewish- 

8 



H4 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Christian source. If you ask on what ground 
this statement is based, the answer is : Since 
the tribes are definitely mentioned one by 
one, and the number sealed in each tribe is defi 
nitely fixed, the twelve tribes can only have 
meant the literal Israel in the original tradition. 
The Jewish origin of the tradition is further 
attested by the fact that the tribe of Dan is 
omitted. Dan was specially connected with 
the Antichrist in pre-Christian- Jewish tradition. 
But there is another point of interest in this 
list. Judah is put first, and not Levi. This 
is due to our author, or to a Christian recast 
of the passage. After the return from the 
captivity, Levi gradually acquired the first 
place. This we see clearly in the Testaments 
of the XII Patriarchs. Levi always takes pre 
cedence of Judah in this work, except in the 
Christian interpolations, where the order is not 
Levi, Judah, but Judah, Levi, because of our 
Lord s descent from Judah. 

We conclude, therefore, that vii. 1-3 and 
vii. 4-8 go back to Jewish sources, but have 
been recast by our author and given a new 
significance. 

Four irregularities in the list of the Twelve 
Tribes and their explanation. 

But before we attempt to determine the new 



REVELATION VII. 115 

significance attached to this section by our 
author, I must draw your attention to some 
irregularities in the list of the tribes. As you 
will see, if you consult the list, the tribes are 
mentioned in the following order : Judah, 
Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, 
Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Ben 
jamin. In this list there are four irregularities. 
(a) Judah is placed first, (b) Dan is omitted. 

(c) Manasseh is given, though Manasseh is 
included already in Joseph, which follows. 

(d) The rest of the tribes are enumerated in an 
irregular order. 

Judah is clearly mentioned first because from 
him is sprung the Messiah. This is a mark of 
Christian influence, (d) Before we discuss the 
difficulties in (b) and (c) we must examine that 
under (d), since if this can be solved the rest 
will be easier. 

Now the present order of the tribes cannot 
be explained by any such irrelevancy as that of 
Grotius : " No order is observed, because all are 
equal in Christ." The text is unintelligible as it 
stands, and it is unintelligible because it is dis 
located. This dislocation Dr. Buchanan Gray 
(Encyc. Bib. iv. 52 sq.) has recognised as due to 
an accidental transposition of vers. 7, 8, which 
originally stood before the last clause in vii. 5. 
By restoring these verses before the last clause 



n6 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

of ver. 5, sanity is restored to the text, and the 
order of the Tribes becomes intelligible and 
illuminating. Thus the six sons of Leah, the 
first wife, come first Judah, Reuben, Simeon, 
Levi, Issachar, Zebulun ; next, the two sons of 
Rachel, the second wife, come second Joseph 
and Benjamin ; next, the two sons of Leah s 
handmaid Glad and Asher ; and, finally, we 
should have the two sons of Rachel s hand 
maid Naphtali and Dan, but for certain 
reasons into which we shall now inquire we 
have Naphtali and Manasseh instead. 

We have now to discover why Dan was 
omitted from this list and Manasseh inserted 
in his stead. Manasseh is obviously de trop 
here, since Manasseh is included in the tribe of 
Joseph ; and Joseph is undoubtedly original, 
since the list obviously aims at giving the sons 
of Rachel, as it has given the sons of Leah, and 
not two of Rachel s sons and one grandson, as 
it does in its present form. Manifestly grand 
sons have no locus standi in this list. Here 
Manasseh has been substituted for Dan the 
missing son of Rachel s handmaid. This sub 
stitution has made the list illogical. We have 
therefore to inquire, (6) Why was Dan omitted, 
and by whom ? 

Many explanations have been offered by 
modern scholars, but the true explanation as 



REVELATION VII. 117 

well as the most ancient is that propounded by 
Irenseus. According to Irenseus, Dan was 
omitted because the Antichrist was to spring 
from Dan. The same statement appears in 
Hippolytus, and later in Andreas. That this 
tradition is pre-Christian and Jewish, I have 
shown in the notes to the Test, of Dan v. 6, 7, 
in my edition of the Testaments of the XII Pat 
riarchs. Further, in a work on The Antichrist 
Legend, 171 sq., Bousset has proved at length 
that this interpretation of our text was that 
which was generally accepted in the Early 
Christian Church ; for in addition to Irenseus 
and Hippolytus, it was supported by Eucharius, 
Augustine, Jacob of Edessa, Theodoret, Arethas, 
Bede. This interpretation is accepted by 
Holtzmarm, Johannes Weiss, Selwyn, Moffatt 
and others. 

(c) Now that we have seen why and by 
whom Dan was omitted, it becomes easier to 
explain the inclusion of Manasseh among the 
twelve sons of Jacob. The gap in the twelve, 
caused by the omission of Dan, had to be filled 
up somehow, although it could not be logically. 
The original Jewish author of the section there 
fore fell back on the grandsons of Jacob, and 
the only grandsons of Jacob that gave a name 
to a tribe were Ephraim and Manasseh. He 
adopted Manasseh in preference to Ephraim 



n8 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

possibly on the ground that Ephraim was 
frequently used in the prophets to designate 
the ten tribes of northern Israel from the time 
of Isaiah onwards. It is so used in Sirach. 
The irregularities of this list are thus, I think, 
satisfactorily explained the placing of Judah 
first, the omission of Dan, the inclusion of 
Manasseh, and, finally, the unintelligible order 
of the rest, as owing to an accidental trans 
position of the text. 

Having now recognised the extraordinary 
irregularities in the list of the Twelve Tribes, as 
well as the fact that vii. 1-3 and viii. 4-8 go 
back to Jewish sources, we have now to deter 
mine the new significance which these two 
sections have acquired by being recast and 
incorporated in a Christian work. 

What is the meaning of the Sealing ? 

What, then, is the new significance that our 
author gives to the sealing of the 144,000? 
This is really one of the most important 
questions in the Apocalypse, if we are to 
understand it aright. 

Danger of being misled by Old 
Testament parallels. 

Nearly every commentator has given one and 
the same interpretation to this passage. The 



REVELATION VII. 119 

general accord of scholars in this interpreta 
tion is due to the influence of Old Testament 
parallels. Now the Old Testament is a good 
guide in the interpretation of the New Testa 
ment, but its guidance can be accepted safely 
only with limitations. Let me give one of the 
many instances that might be cited, wherein 
the same phrase occurs in the Old Testament 
and in the New Testament, and yet has assumed 
quite a new meaning in the latter. The Book 
of Life in the Old Testament, which is referred to 
in Exod. xxxii. 32, where Moses prays on behalf 
of sinful Israel : " If thou wilt not forgive them 
their sin, blot me, I pray thee, out of the book 
which thou hast written." This book is again 
referred to in Ps. Ixix. 28. It was the register 
of the citizens of the theocratic community. 
To have one s name written in the Book of Life 
in the Old Testament, implied the privilege of 
participating in the temporal blessings of the 
Theocracy, as in Isa. iv. 3, Ezek. xiii. 9 ; while 
to be blotted out of this Book, Exod. xxxii. 32, 
Ps. Ixix. 28, meant exclusion from these bless 
ings. Now in the Old Testament, that is, 
in the Prophets, the Law, and the Wisdom 
literature, this expression was absolutely limited 
to this world ; but in Dan. xii. 1 it is trans 
formed through the influence of the new con 
ception of the Kingdom, and distinctly refers 



120 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

to citizenship in a spiritual Kingdom, to an 
immortality of blessedness. 

This single example will show how carefully 
we are to guard against assuming that the same 
words or phrases, in the Old Testament and 
New Testament, must necessarily have the same 
meaning. On the contrary, we may assume 
that all Old Testament conceptions which were 
capable of spiritual development have changed 
their meaning more or less, either in the course 
of the two centuries preceding the Christian 
era, or especially by their adoption into the 
sphere of Christian thought. 

Now let us return to the question immedi 
ately before us. 

According to all interpreters, except Diister- 
dieck, up to the present day, the object of 
the sealing was to secure against physi 
cal evil, as in the Old Testament and 
Judaism. 

What is the meaning of the sealing of the 
faithful in its present context ? The practically 
universal reply of commentators is that (a) it 
means preservation from physical evil. Now I 
quite concede that in this tradition in its 
Jewish form this was the meaning, and in this 
connection appeal is rightly made to Exod. xii. 
7, 13, 22, where all those who had sprinkled 



REVELATION VII. 121 

the posts and lintels of their houses were to be 
saved from the destroying angel. The same 
meaning attaches to Ezek. ix. 3-11, where the 
six destroying angels are to destroy old man, 
young man, and maiden, little children and 
women in fact, every one who had not the 
mark of God on his forehead. This Judaistic 
conception of preservation from physical evil is 
present also in the little Jewish Apocalypse in the 
Gospels Mark xiii. 17-20, and the parallels 
in Matthew and Luke. That it was a current 
Jewish expectation we see in part from this 
interpolated Jewish Apocalypse. But if any 
one were disposed to cavil at this evidence, we 
can refer him to irrefragable proof in the 
Psalms of Solomon xv. 8-10, which were 
written about the middle of the first century 
B.C. From this Psalm we learn that " the sign 
of the Lord is to be upon the righteous for their 

Salvation " (TO arn^elov rov Oeov eVt St/catou<? 6t? 

acarrjpLav), and the nature of this salvation 
is defined by the words that follow : for 
" famine and the sword and pestilence were to 
be far from the righteous " (X^to? teal po^ala 
Kal Odvaros fjiaicpav OLTTO Sifcaiwv}. 

Now I ask your close attention here, and 
pray you to observe the contrast between the 
expectation in our text and in this Psalm. In 
the Psalm the sign is placed on the brows of 



122 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the righteous to secure them from the eschato- 
logical woes that follow, namely, " famine, 
sword, and pestilence "; whereas in our text the 
sign is not placed on the brows of the faithful 
till after these very woes had taken place ; for 
in vi. 8, after the opening of the fourth Seal, it 
is said : " There was given unto them authority 
to kill with the sword, and with famine, and 
with pestilence." The likeness of our context 
to, and yet its essential divergence from, this 
Psalm, appears further in xv. 6, 7, where the 
righteous are promised immunity from all the 
evils that are to be sent against the wicked 
in the last days. Furthermore, according to 
this Psalmist " the mark of destruction was 
to be set on the foreheads of the sinners" 
(TO yap o-ijfjLeiov rfjs aTrwi\eia<s eirl rov fjt,6Ta)7rov 
avTwv), and that accordingly " famine and the 
sword and pestilence would pursue and over 
take the sinners," who would "perish in 
the day of the judgment of the Lord for 



ever." 



If preservation from physical evil had been 
intended by our author, the sealing must have 
taken place before the first Seal, and not in 
the midst of the cosmic catastrophes of the 
sixth. Vitringa feels this so strongly, that he 
maintains that vii. 1-8 should be read before 
vi. 12-17; whilst Hengstenberg would place 



REVELATION VII. 123 

this section before chap. vi. Holtzmann in the 
last edition says that the difficulty involved in 
the position of the sealing after the sixth Seal 
has never been explained. 

Diisterdieck s view that it is secured against 
spiritual apostasy. 

(b) At last the consciousness of the wrongness 
of the accepted interpretation came home to 
Diisterdieck and led him to propound the view 
that it is not from physical evil, but from 
spiritual apostasy, under the last and greatest 
trials that should befall the world, that the 
sealing is designed to secure the faithful. 
Now I confess that for a time I accepted this 
view. It belongs decidedly to a higher plane 
than the generally accepted interpretation : the 
securing against spiritual apostasy is unquestion 
ably a nobler object for the sealing than pre 
servation from physical evil. But, after I had 
written a considerable section of my Com 
mentary, it came home to me in turn that 
Diisterdieck s interpretation would not meet 
the difficulty, and that the immediate object of 
the sealing was to be discovered in ix. 4, where 
the implication of the text is, that it is from 
demonic agencies that the sealed are to be 
secured, and not from physical evil in any form. 
This verse runs : 






124 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

" And it was said unto them that they should 
not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any 
green thing, neither any tree ; but only such 
men as have not the seal of God on their fore 
heads." 

This verse (ix. 4) suggests the right interpre 
tation of the passage, which is as follows : 

The true secret of the sealing was to secure 
against demonic agencies. 

(c) In our text, therefore, the sealing of the 
faithful was designed to secure them from 
demonic agencies in the coming reign of the 
Antichrist. As this reign, so full of super 
human horrors, was about to begin, the sealing 
was carried out just then, and not earlier and 
not later. This sealing did not secure against 
social or cosmic evils, such as had already 
occurred and would again occur ; nor did it 
secure against martyrdom, as we learn in xviii. 
24: "And in her was found the blood of 
prophets, and of saints, and of all that have 
been slain upon the earth," but only against 
diabolic or demonic powers, as we see in ix. 4. 
The sealing provides the spiritual help that the 
faithful needed against the coming manifesta 
tion of Satanic wickedness linked with seemingly 
supreme power. With this help the weakest 
servant of God needed not to dread the mightiest 



REVELATION VII. 125 

of his spiritual foes. The seal of God engraved 
on his brow marked him as God s property, 
and as such assured him of God s protection. 
But it did not in itself secure him against 
spiritual apostasy. Against this Christ warns 
the elect in Matt. xxiv. 24, and requires of them 
unfailing endurance (Mark xiii. 13, "he that 
endureth to the end, the same shall be saved "). 
If the elect bear with patience the natural trials 
incident to their faithful discipleship of Christ, 
then He on His part will preserve them from 
the superhuman trials that are about to come 
on the whole world, as He promises to the Seer 
in iii. 10 : " Because thou hast kept the word of 
my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour 
of trial, that hour which is to come upon the 
whole world, to try them that dwell upon the 
earth." 

The reasonableness of this view appears 
clearly from another standpoint. In the Old 
Testament, with its belief in a heathen school, 
the righteous could enjoy the divine protection 
only on this earth, if they were to enjoy it at 
all ; and hence a long and happy life, fenced 
from physical ill, was the natural prerogative of 
the faithful. But in later times, and above all 
in the New Testament where the doctrine of a 
future life was fully and finally established, the 
centre of interest passed from things material 



126 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

to things spiritual. Protection not from 
physical ill and death, but from the demonic 
or Satanic enemies of the spirit became the 
supreme aim of the faithful. 

The meaning attached to the sealing was early 
transferred to Christian baptism. 

The above interpretation has been lost to 
Christendom for 1600 years or thereabouts; 
but in the first three centuries we can find 
traces of its existence, and recognise the reason 
why the true interpretation of the sealing of 
the 144,000 was lost to the knowledge of the 
Church. The ideas, originally associated with 
the sealing in our text, passed over at a very 
early date to Christian baptism. How early 
this was we shall not attempt to determine 
here. In any case the ideas of the sealing 
in our text and baptism were associated in 
the second century A.D., and the way for 
this association was made easy by the fact 
that the term " seal," crtypayfc, was used of 
baptism. To baptism, of course, there is no 
allusion in our text: but baptism, according 
to early Christian beliefs, combined the two 
ideas here present : (1) it marked the baptized 
as God s (or Christ s) property ; (2) it secured 
the baptized against demonic powers. Let me 
quote some passages from writings of the 



REVELATION VII. 127 

second, third, and fourth centuries bearing 
on these points. In the Acts of Thomas 
xxvi. we read : " Give unto us the seal : 
for we have heard you say that God . . . 
recognises His own sheep by His own seal." 
Here baptism is the seal : it is also the 
outward mark distinguishing the believer from 
the unbeliever. Again, in the same work 
(p. 68, ed. Bonnet) baptism is clearly desig 
nated as a seal. " Give me the seal in Christ, 
and let me receive the laver of immortality." 
Other passages designating baptism as a 
seal are to be found in 2 Clement, The Acts 
of Paul, and the Martyrdom of Paul. 
But from these passages which designate 
baptism as a seal of God, we shall now proceed 
to those which combine with the ideas of the 
sealing in baptism those of recognition and 
defence. In Clement of Alex. , Selections from 
the Prophets, xii., we find : " When these things 
are fulfilled, then the seal follows, in order 
that what is holy may be preserved to God " ; 
and in Summaries from Theodotus, " Sealed 
by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
he is not open to the attacks of any power " ; 
in Cyril, Catechetical Lectures, i. 3 (fourth 
century), "There He bestows the wondrous 
seal of salvation, which demons tremble at 
and angels recognise, so that the former are 



128 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

driven to flight and the latter cherish it as 
their own." At the beginning of this century 
we find that in Lactantius the entire meaning 
attached to sealing in our text is conveyed 
to baptism. Thus in the Divine Institutions, 
iv. 26, he speaks of " Christ being slain for 
the salvation of all who have written on 
their foreheads the sign of the blood that is, 
the sign of the Cross"; and again (iv. 27), 
" the presence of Christians bearing this sign, 
when attending on their masters at the 
heathen sacrifice, puts to flight the gods of 
their masters, i.e. " the demons " : and " since 
the demons can neither approach those on 
whom they have seen the heavenly mark, 
nor injure those whom the immortal sign as an 
impregnable wall protects, they harass them 
by men, and persecute them by the hands of 
others." Here the sign of the cross discharges 
the very same function as the seal affixed to 
the foreheads of the faithful in our text. 

I have now shown that in the writings of 
the second, third, and fourth centuries are 
found survivals of the original and true in 
terpretation of the sealing of the faithful in 
our text, though in these writings the sig 
nificance of the sealing has already been 
transferred to baptism, a transference that 
was made easy by the fact that from very 



REVELATION VIT. 129 

early Christian times baptism itself was 
described as " a sealing." 

Demonic dangers expected by Judaism in 
the last days. 

I think I have now proved, first, that the 
context itself requires the interpretation I 
have advanced, and secondly, that traces of 
this interpretation appear in the early centuries 
in connection with baptism. But the lines 
of evidence are not yet exhausted. I will 
now, in the third place, show that such demonic 
dangers were expected by Judaism in the last 
days. Thus in the Testament of Dan vi. 13, 
an inroad of demonic beings and a special 
strengthening of Israel against them by 
Michael is predicted ; and in the first century 
A.D. we read in 2 Bar. xxvii. 9, that 
the final tribulation is to be marked by 
a multitude of portents and incursions of 
demons. 

I have now given sufficient evidence in 
regard to what in my opinion is the only 
tenable interpretation of the sealing of the 
144,000. Let me now resume the main points 
I have dealt with, and give this interpretation 
in its original meaning, and its true bearing for 
after times, 



130 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

The original and permanent significance 
of the sealing. 

The sealing is to secure the servants of God 
against the attacks of demonic powers coming 
into manifestation ; for the powers of Satan 
are about to make their last struggle for the 
mastery of the world. In the past their attacks 
on man had been restricted to attacks on man s 
spiritual being, and had therefore been hidden, 
invisible, and mysterious ; but now at the end 
of time they are to come forth from their 
mysterious background, and make open battle 
with God and His hosts for the possession 
of the earth and of mankind. The hidden 
mystery of wickedness, the secret source of 
all the haunting horrors and crimes and 
failures and sins of the past, was about to 
reveal itself the Antichrist was to become 
incarnate and appear armed with all but 
almighty power. With such foes the faithful 
felt themselves wholly unfit to do battle. 
With the rage and hostility of man, with an 
invisible Satan and his invisible hosts, they 
could cope, but with their ghostly enemy 
and his myrmidons about to manifest them 
selves openly on earth they dared not engage. 
And so, just on the eve of this epiphany of 
Satan, God seals His servants on their fore- 



REVELATION VII. 131 

heads to show that they are His own possession, 
and that no embodied or disembodied spirit 
of the wicked one can do them hurt. 
So much for the contemporary and original 
meaning of this passage. Now as to its deepest 
and permanent significance, the sealing means 
the outward manifestation of character. The 
hidden goodness of God s servants is at last 
blazoned outwardly, and the divine name that 
was written in secret day by day and year by 
year by God s Spirit on their hearts, is now 
engraved openly on their brows by the very 
signet-ring of the Living God. In the reign of 
Antichrist in the last times, whether in this 
world or in some far distant one, goodness and 
evil, righteousness and sin, must come into their 
fullest manifestation and antagonism. Char 
acter must ultimately enter on the stage of 
finality. In this sense, too, we must interpret 
the words of St. Paul in Eom. viii. 19: "For 
the earnest longing of the creation waiteth 
for the manifestation of the sous of God." 

Having now dealt with the meaning of the 
sealing of the 144,000, we have next to ask 
who these 144,000 are, and likewise who are 
the great multitude out of every nation and 
tribe and people and tongue standing before 
God and the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, 
and with palms in their hands. The answer 



132 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

to this question is, in short, as follows. Chap, 
vii. refers not to all Christians, but only to the 
generation of believers contemporary with the 
author, first as militant on earth, vii. 1-8, and 
next as triumphant in heaven, vii. 9-17. 

vii. 1-8 refers only to the generation con 
temporary with the Apocalyptist. 

Now, first of all, it is clear that vii. 1-8 deals 
only with the generation of the faithful con 
temporary with the author ; for in the thought 
of the Seer it is only this generation that has 
to endure the last and greatest tribulation. 
To preserve it against the superhuman evils 
about to burst upon the world, the progress of 
the plagues is stayed, and the faithful are 
secured against such as are of a demonic 
character, being sealed as God s own possession. 

vii. 9-17 refers to the Apocalyptist s 
own generation. 

It is no less clear that the great host in 
vii. 9-17 does not embrace the whole Church, 
but only those who had come out of the great 
tribulation. Not only on account of the 
definite article and the distinctive epithet 
/j,eyd\r)s, "great," but also on account of the 
whole vision and its relation to the rest of the 
book, it is wholly inadmissible to treat the 



REVELATION VII. 133 

great tribulation quite generally as any and 
every tribulation that is incident to the life 
of faithful discipleship. The scribe of the 
Codex Alexandrinus was apparently conscious 
of this difficulty, and accordingly omitted the 
two articles and read " from great tribulation " ; 
but all the other MSS are against this reading. 
It is the last and greatest tribulation that, 
according to our author, is to befall his own 
generation ; and vii. 9-17 deals only with the 
great multitude which had gone, were going, 
or were to go through it faithfully. 

The two classes, therefore, described in this 
chapter belong to the generation contemporary 
with the Apocalyptist. Of whom are they 
respectively composed, the 144,000 and the 
great multitude ? 

Those sealed in vii. 4-8 are the spiritual 
Israel of the Apocalyptist s own time. 

Now as regards the 144,000, we shall find 
that in their present context they are not 
Christians belonging to Israel after the flesh, 
but to the spiritual Israel. In the original 
tradition we found that these 144,000 were 
Jews or Jewish-Christians. It is true that 
several able scholars, such as Diisterdieck, 
Holtzmann, Bousset and others, have main 
tained that in their present context they are 



134 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Jewish-Christians, and that they are in no 
case to be identified with the countless host 
in vii. 9-17; for in the one case we have a 
definite number, in the other an indefinite one ; 
in the one a definite body of Jewish-Christians, 
in the other a multitude of all nations and 
peoples ; in the one, the last great woe is 
surmounted and left behind, in the other it is 
still impending. Now the last objection is of 
no weight. The vision in vii. 9-17 is proleptic, 
anticipatory. It prophesies the outcome of 
the present life. The two visions presup 
pose different conditions the one a phase 
of the Church militant, the other a phase of 
the Church triumphant. From this standpoint 
no objection can be maintained against the 
identity of the two groups under different 
conditions of time and place. 

And other objections, when considered in 
the light of the thought which underlies the 
sealing of the faithful, lose forthwith any force 
they seemed to have. For since we have seen 
from iii. 10 that the great tribulation was 
about to come upon the whole world, and from 
vii. 4-8 that the essential danger connected 
with this tribulation was its demonic character, 
and that the sole object of the sealing was to 
preserve the faithful against demonic powers, 
it follows inevitably that the sealing must be 



REVELATION VII. 135 

co-extensive with the peril, and must, therefore, 
embrace the entire Christian community 
alike Jewish and Gentile. For the necessary 
grace of preservation from demonic influences 
cannot be accorded to the faithful descended 
from Israel according to the flesh, and with 
held from the faithful descended from Israel 
according to the spirit, in a work of so uni- 
versalistic import as the Apocalypse. In 
other words, the 144,000 belong not to the 
literal, but to the spiritual Israel, and are com 
posed of all nations and peoples and languages. 
From this standpoint the number 144,000 
presents no difficulty. It is merely a sym 
bolical and not a definite number. The real 
explanation of its appearance here is, that it 
is part of a tradition, taken over by our author, 
and a part to which he attaches no definite 
significance in its new context. The part of 
the tradition with which he is concerned is the 
sealing. This element is of overwhelming 
significance. It is the measure adopted by 
God to secure His servants against the mani 
festation and, for the time, victorious self- 
assertion of the Satanic world. The other 
elements of the tradition, although taken 
into the text, are of the slightest concern, 
or of none at all to our author. This is 
frequently his practice. We have already 



136 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

seen it in vii. 1-3, where the main idea is the 
pause, which is commanded in the succession 
of the plagues, in order to effect this sealing. 
As regards the four winds, another element 
in the tradition, our author does not refer to 
them again directly. 

From what precedes, therefore, we conclude 
that the 144,000 belong to the spiritual Israel 
in other words, to the Christian Church 
throughout the world, composed of Jew and 
Gentile ; and, in the next place, that they 
represent only the present generation of 
believers. 

The great multitude in vii. 9-17 are identical 
with the 144,000. 

We have now to deal more fully with vii. 
9-17. This section is not the work of a re 
dactor, nor is it borrowed from an earlier and 
alien source ; for every word, verse, and nearly 
every phrase is related in point of diction and 
meaning to the rest of the Apocalypse. Into 
a detailed proof of this statement I cannot 
enter here, but I think you may safely take it 
that this section is the work of our author. 

Next, "the great multitude" in this section 
is identical with the 144,000 in vii. 4-8. We 
have already shown that " the great multitude " 
embraces not the Christians and the faithful 



REVELATION VII. 137 

of all time, but only the Christian con 
temporaries of the Seer the faithful of the 
present generation. Since the 144,000 refer 
to the same body, it is clear that " the great 
multitude" and the 144,000 are identical 
qualitatively and quantitatively. 

vii. 917 was originally a description of all 
the blessed after the final judgment. 

But this does not appear to have been the 
meaning of this vision in its original form. 
On good grounds we conclude that the vision 
was our author s own, but that originally it 
had another application. The great multitude 
represented the entire body of the blessed in 
heaven, after the final judgment. But it does 
not do so in its present context, but represents 
the martyrs of the last days serving God in 
heaven before the final judgment. I shall now 
attempt to prove this statement, vii. 9-17 
seems to have been a parallel in its original form 
to xxi. 1-8, and like it to have represented the 
entire body of the blessed after the final judg 
ment. For, in the first place, the same phrase 
ology is used of the blessed. Thus, whereas it 
is said that He that sitteth on the throne shall 
dwell over them, vii. 15, so in xxi. 3 it is 
written that the tabernacle of God shall be 
with men, and He shall dwell with them 



138 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 



in both cases) ; in vii. 17 it is said 
that God will " wipe away every tear from 
their eyes " : the same statement reappears in 
xxi. 5; while in vii. 16 it is said that "they 
shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; 
neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any 
heat " ; in xxi. 4, we read " neither shall there be 
mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more." 

Secondly, there is no phrase in this section 
which in itself definitely limits the description 
to the martyrs. The phrases that demand such 
a limitation are, as we shall see, of an indirect 
though cogent character, and are due to our 
author s adaptation of an independent vision to 
a new context. Thirdly, the clause " which no 
man could number" can hardly have been 
written originally of a section of the righteous 
(i.e. the martyrs), but fittingly describes the 
countless hosts of all the blessed. Fourthly, if 
we disregard the phrases " the great tribulation " 
and "in the temple," the whole impression of 
the vision is that it deals with a final condition 
of the blessed in heaven, in which they render 
perfect and ceaseless service to God, and all the 
sorrow and pain of the earthly life are in the 
past, vii. 17. 

Lastly, after the final judgment all the 
faithful were to be clothed in white. 

On these grounds this section appears origin- 



REVELATION VII. 139 

ally to have been a description of all the 
blessed after the final judgment ; and so most 
scholars take this to be its meaning in its 
present context. 

But in its present context mi. 9-1 7 refers to 
the martyrs of the great tribulation. 

But, as we have already seen, this cannot be 
its meaning. The great multitude embraces 
not all the faithful, but only the faithful that 
issued victoriously from " the great tribulation." 
Next, if we take ol ep^o^evoi as an imperfect 
participle = " those who are coming " (not " those 
who have come"), 1 the great tribulation is still 
in progress, the end of the world is not yet 
come, the final judgment is yet to be held, and 
all who belong to the great multitude are 
martyrs ; for all are already clothed in white 
(vi. 9). Thirdly, if we may use xxi. 22 ("I 
saw no temple therein") as an exponent of our 
author s views, we may infer that there will be 
no temple in the new heaven and new earth after 
the final judgment. Fourthly, in xxi. 4 the 
words " there shall be no more death " postulate 
a time after the final judgment. It is note 
worthy that no such expression occurs in the 

1 If the text here is translated from the Hebrew, then it 
would = D s JOH. This Hebrew phrase could = " those that have 
come," " those that are coming," or " those about to come." 



140 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

present section. Fifthly, our interpretation 
receives support from the general theme of the 
book the glorification of martyrdom, and 
especially from the place of this section in 
the book ; for the time which it deals with 
forms the very eve of the last and greatest 
tribulation. 

Hence we conclude that the vision in its 
present form refers to the martyrs of the great 
tribulation, though it exhibits survivals of ideas 
and statements which appear to show that 
originally it bore a very different meaning. 

Now, before I leave this passage, I must refer 
to a very important question which arises in 
this chapter, and which, if rightly understood, 
has a great weight in reference to the problems 
already discussed. 

The white garments are the spiritual bodies 
which the martyrs receive before the final 
judgment. 

This question is What is the meaning of 
" the white garments " in which the blessed are 
clothed ? 

On a full discussion of the meaning of these 
garments, I cannot enter here. These garments 
have already been referred to in iii. 5 and vi. 
11. In the former, they are promised to the 
living Christians as a gift hereafter to be 



REVELATION VII. 141 

received ; in the latter, they are described as 
already given. Now, in the last passage the 
recipients of the white garments are the 
martyrs under the altar. The martyrs, more 
over, receive these garments before the final 
judgment. All I can say now is, that these 
garments are the spiritual bodies which the 
faithful are to receive. According to our 
Apocalypse, only the martyrs receive their 
spiritual bodies before the judgment, just as it 
is only they who share in the first resurrection 
in order to enjoy the 1000 years reign with 
Christ. That the white garments have this 
meaning I hope to prove elsewhere. 



CHAPTER V. 

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS ALREADY 
ARRIVED AT IN CHAPTER VII. 

BEFORE I enter on the interpretation of chaps, 
viii.-ix. it will be helpful to resume a few of 
the conclusions at which we have already 
arrived. Chap, vi., which we have not dis 
cussed, but the general meaning of which is 
obvious, deals with the opening of the first six 
seals. After the opening of each seal some woe 
or calamity followed, of a social or cosmic char 
acter ; and whatever view we take as to the 
date of the events of the sixth Seal, there can 
be no question as to the fact that the first five 
seals refer to the past and immediate present. 
Passing now from chap. vi. to chap, vii., we found 
that a pause in the judgment is enjoined, and 
we learnt from the context itself as well as 
from the analogous passages in Apocalyptic 
literature, that this pause was commanded, in 
order that during it the faithful might be 
sealed, to secure them against woes or judg 
ments of a new type that were impending. 



SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS 143 

Now the fact that this sealing had not taken 
place at an earlier period at once struck us as 
surprising. This fact made it clear that the 
object of the sealing was not to secure the 
faithful against physical evils, else it would 
have taken place not at the close of the sixth 
Seal, but before the first. The coming woes 
are, therefore, to be of a character quite distinct 
from those already past, since special measures 
have to be taken to secure the faithful against 
them. They were, as ix. 4 clearly shows, to 
be of a demonic character. The reign of Anti 
christ, with all its superhuman horrors, was 
about to begin, and so the sealing was carried 
out just then, and not earlier, and not later. 
This sealing did not secure against physical or 
social or cosmic evils, such as had already 
occurred, and would again occur ; least of all 
did it secure against martyrdom : but it 
secured the faithful against the coming outward 
manifestation of demonic power, the epiphany 
of Satan and his kingdom. With this help 
the weakest servant of God need not dread 
the mightiest of his spiritual foes. The seal 
of God, engraven on his brow, marked him off 
as God s own property, and as such assured 
him of God s protection. The powers of Satan 
were about to make their last struggle for the 
mastery of the world. In the past their efforts 



144 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

had been hidden, invisible, mysterious, but 
now, at the end of time, they are to issue forth 
from their mysterious background and make 
open battle with God and His hosts for the 
possession of earth and heaven. 1 The hidden 
mystery of wickedness was about to reveal 
itself, the Antichrist was in some sense to 
become incarnate, and appear armed with all 
but almighty power. Against such spiritual 
foes coming into manifestation, the faithful 
needed special help, and this was accorded to 
them, and that just on the eve of the epiphany 
of the Antichrist and Satan. Behind this vivid 
symbolism we found truths of deep and per 
manent significance. The sealing means the 
outward manifestation of character. The hidden 
goodness of Grod s servants is at last blazoned 

1 To the prophet of old as to the Apocalyptist the end 
the culmination of evil and the final triumph of righteous 
ness wa s always in the immediate future. For ourselves, it 
is of small concern whether this end comes during the existence 
of our planet or many millenniums after its extinction. But it 
is an essential article of every true man s creed, that some day 
in the far off aeons evil will be absolutely annihilated through 
out the universe, and truth and love and purity will ultimately 
prevail for evermore. " Of that day and hour knoweth no man, 
riot even the angels of heaven, nor yet the Son, but the Father 
only " (Matt. xiiv. 36). Moreover, in this cosmic strife all true 
men who, in the present and in the countless ages of the past, 
have already fought the good fight, will, with all the faithful 
of the coming ages, maintain with ever growing power this 
truceless warfare, till at last evil is swept over the bank of 
annihilation, and the universe is won for Christ and God. 



CHAPTER VIII. 145 

outwardly, and the divine name, which has 
been written secretly by God s Spirit on their 
hearts, is now engraven openly on their brows 
by the very signet-ring of the Living God. 
In the last times, goodness and evil, righteous 
ness and sin, come into the fullest manifestation 
and antagonism. Character must ultimately 
enter on the stage of finality. 

We arrived at other important conclusions 
in our study of chap, vii., but with these we are 
not here immediately concerned. But if we 
would understand chaps, viii. and ix., we must 
not lose sight of the right meaning of the 
sealing in chap. vii. 

Chapter viii. and its meaning. 

Let us now study chap. viii. It begins with 
the opening of the seventh Seal, and the 
strange silence that ensued in heaven for the 
space of half an hour. 

Into the significance of this silence in con 
nection with the first five verses we are not 
yet in a position to penetrate. We must first 
pass on to section viii. 7-12, which deals with 
the first four trumpets. For the nature of the 
fresh plagues or woes we have already been 
prepared in vii. 4-8, where the faithful were 
sealed, in order to secure them from the 
coming demonic or Satanic attacks. After 



IO 



146 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

this sealing the expectation is natural and 
inevitable that the next plagues to befall the 
inhabiters of the earth should be demonic. 

Following on vii. 4-8, the four Trumpets, 
viii. 7-12, appear foreign to the text. 

But, as the text stands, so far is this from 
being the case that we find a fresh series of 
colourless cosmic visitations following on the first 
four Trumpets, viii. 7-12, whereas the demonic 
plagues do not begin till the fifth Trumpet. 
Thus the first four Trumpets not only arrest 
the natural development of the book, but they 
also introduce an alien element at this stage. 
Something must be wrong here, and we are 
thus a priori disposed to doubt the originality 
of the first four Trumpets. 

Critical grounds for the rejection of viii. 
7-12 as an interpolation. 

And when we come to examine these four 
Trumpets our doubts are transformed into 
convictions, and we discover that whereas the 
heptadic structure of the Seals and the Bowls is 
fundamental and original, the heptadic structure 
of the Trumpets is secondary and superinduced. 

Let us read the description of the first four 
Trumpets in viii. 7-12. 

7 " And the first sounded, and there followed 



VIII. 7-12 AN INTERPOLATION 147 

hail and fire mingled with blood, and they 
were cast upon the earth : and the third 
part of the earth was burnt up, and the 
third part of the trees was burnt up, and 
all green grass was burnt up. 
8 And the second angel sounded, and as 
it were a great mountain burning with 
fire was cast into the sea : and the third 
part of the sea became blood ; 9 And 
there died the third part of the creatures 
which were in the sea, even they that had 
life ; and the third part of the ships were 
destroyed. 

10 And the third angel sounded, and there 
fell from heaven a great star, burning as 
a torch, and it fell upon the third part of 
the rivers, and upon the fountains of the 
waters ; 1 1 And the name of the star 
is called Wormwood, and the third part 
of the waters became wormwood ; and 
many men died of the waters, because 
they were made bitter. 

12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the 
third part of the sun was smitten, and 
the third part of the moon, and the third 
part of the stars ; that the third part of 
them should be darkened, and the day 
should not shine for the third part of it 
and the night in like manner." 



148 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

The heptadic structure, as we have already 
said, is secondary in the case of the Trumpets. 

For (1) the first four Trumpets are conven 
tional and monotonous. One-third of the chief 
things mentioned is destroyed in each, except 
in viii. 11, where, instead of the third of man 
kind TO rpiTov T&V dv6pct)7ra)v, which was clearly 
the original text we have the strange phrase 
TroXXot TCOV dv6p(*)7rctiv, 1 where, according to our 
author s style, we should expect simply iroXKol 
dvdp(*>7roL, or rather avOpwiroi TTO\\OI, since in 
the Apocalypse 77-0X^9 is always postpositive. 
But the reason for this change is not obscure. 
Since the invasion of the earth by the " twice 
ten thousand times ten thousand" demonic 
horsemen results in the destruction of one-third 
of mankind, ix. 18 (sixth Trumpet second 
Woe), the same result cannot here be fittingly 
ascribed to the third Trumpet. Hence the 
original phrase "one-third of mankind" is 
here changed into "many men." (2) The 
first Trumpet conflicts with the sixth. For 
after the first Trumpet we read that " all 
green grass was burnt up " (-Tra? %6pTo<; %\wpb<; 
and yet after the sixth Trumpet 



1 I cannot find this strange phrase elsewhere. The nearest 
parallel is Luke i. 16, TroXXovs ra>v viwv lo-parjX. But here 
the genitive denotes a definite number : cf. Matt. iii. 7 ; Acts 
iv. 4, viii. 7, xiii. 43, xviii. 8, xix. 18, xxvi. 10. In the Fourth 
Gospel, TroXXot TCOV does not, as Abbott (Johannine Grammar, 



VIII. 7-12 AN INTERPOLATION 149 

is sounded it is presupposed to be uninjured ; 
for the demonic locusts in ix. 4 are bidden not 
to " hurt the grass of the earth." (3) The first 
four Trumpets are described as plain objective 
events, but the visionary nature of the fifth 
and sixth Trumpets is clearly marked. Cf. 
ix. 1, "The fifth angel sounded, and I saw"; 
ix. 13, "the sixth angel sounded, and I heard." 
The seventh Trumpet is also of a visionary 
character (cf. xi. 19, xii. 1). (4) When com 
pared with the Seals that precede and the 
Bowls that follow, the first four Trumpets are 
colourless and weak repetitions. Thus contrast 
the darkening of one-third of the stars, and 
the falling of two of them after the second, 
third, and fourth Trumpets, viii. 8, 10, 12, 
with the falling of all the stars to the earth, 
as unripe figs when shaken by the wind, after 
the sixth Seal, vi. 13 ; the darkening of one- 
third of the sun, viii. 12 (in the fourth Trum 
pet), with the intensification of his fires (so as 
"to scorch men with fire") after the fourth 
Bowl, xvi. 8 sq. ; the change of one-third of the 
sea into blood, and the embittering of one-third 
of the rivers after the second and third Trum- 

p. 89) points out, occur, but only a modified form of it with a 
verb or participle interposed. The nearest parallels to the 
phrase TroXXoi TO>I/ avOpuirav are to be found in the LXX 
(1 Esd. viii. 17 ; 2 Mace. iv. 35, 42, vi. 24 (froXXoi TWV 
3 Mace. ii. 26. 



ISO STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

pets, viii. 8-11, with the turning of the entire 
sea and rivers and springs into blood, and the 
destruction of every living thing in the sea, 
after the second and third bowls, xvi. 3-7. 
(5) The first four Trumpets exhibit a somewhat 
different diction and style. But the linguistic 
argument is not as decisive as elsewhere. 
There are two irregularities which belong to 
our author: the first &>? opo? ft7a="the 
likeness of a great mountain " belongs indeed 
to our author s style, but it is also a typical 
apocalyptic idiom, and is found elsewhere in 
1 Enoch and the LXX ; the second, however, 
is more characteristic of our author, i.e. the 
syntactical irregularity, 



On the other hand, we find in viii. 8, irvpl 
Kcubfjievov ; but elsewhere Trvpi or a like noun 
follows this verb. Of. xix. 20, xxi. 8. In viii. 7 
we have nepvypeva eV, but in xv. 2 the ev is omitted. 
In viii. 12 we find o-Korl&iv, but in ix. 2 (cf. 
xvi. 10) atcoTovv is the verb used by our author. 
Finally, in viii. 1, 3-5, 13, the order is purely 
Semitic, the verb in all cases beginning the 
sentence except in viii. 3, w r here the subject 
precedes the verb. And yet even here the 
subject in Hebrew would rightly precede the 
verb, since it is emphatic. In viii. 7-12, on 
the other hand, the subject precedes the verb 



VIII. 7-12 AN INTERPOLATION 151 

thrice in viii. 7, twice in viii. 8, once in viii. 9, 
and once in viii. 10, twice in viii. 11, twice in 
viii. 12 that is, in all eleven times. 

We have now found that viii. 7-12 is open 
to critical objections of every kind. The nature 
of the Sealing is wholly against it, which leads 
us to expect, not a conventional and colourless 
repetition of the physical plagues which occur 
elsewhere in the book, but plagues of a demonic 
character. And, further, from an examination 
of viii. 7-12 itself, we have found that the 
internal evidence is strongly against its authen 
ticity. And, finally, we have recognised that, 
instead of carrying forward the development of 
the thought and action, these verses distinctly 
interfere with it, and take us back again to 
where we were at the beginning of chap. vi. 

Accordingly, we cannot but regard them as 
inserted by a later editor of the book, who 
failed to apprehend the meaning of the Sealing, 
and the movement of the author s thought. 



Changes in the text introduced by the inter 
polator of viii. 7-12. 

Now that we have discovered the secondary 
character of viii. 7-12, we have next to study 
the changes made in the text by this interpolator 
in order to prepare the way for his interpolation. 



152 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

First of all, viii. 2 is an intrusion. This 
verse reads, " And I saw the seven angels, 
which stand before God ; and there were given 
unto them seven trumpets." You will observe, 
as J. Weiss has pointed out, that in this verse 
the mention of the seven angels, to whom the 
seven trumpets were given, comes as an inter 
ruption between the opening of the seventh 
Seal and the offering of the prayers of the 
saints, and yet the angels do not take any part 
in the action till viii. 6. This, it is true, would 
not in itself constitute a valid objection against 
the originality of viii. 2, and in its present 
position, but there are other and stronger 
objections not hitherto observed. 

Grounds for regarding viii. 2 as an intrusion 
in its present position and in its present form. 

For (1), viii. 2 in its present position is 
against the structure of the book, in analogous 
situations elsewhere. Thus it is to be noted 
that the introduction to the seventh trumpet 
(i.e. the third Woe), xi. 14, 15, is closed by 
thunderings and lightnings in xi. 19 ; and the 
introduction to the seventh Bowl, xvi. 17, by a 
series of like phenomena, xvi. 18 ; and that 
between the sounding of the seventh Trumpet 
and the thunderings, and the pouring forth of 
the seventh Bowl and the thunderings and 



VIII. 7-12 AN INTERPOLATION 153 

lightnings, there is no intrusive reference to any 
further fresh visitation. In like manner, we 
infer that between the opening of the seventh 
Seal and the outburst of thunderings and light 
nings which follow in viii. 5, there was originally 
no intrusive reference to any fresh visitation, 
such as those of the Trumpets or Woes, as in 
viii. 2. (2) Again, viii. 2 not only comes as an 
interruption and conflicts with the structure of 
the book in analogous passages elsewhere, but 
it has also by its intrusion here debarred the 
recognition of the true meaning of the Solemn 
Silence for half an hour in heaven, viii. 1. 
The praises and thanksgivings of all the 
mighty hierarchies of heaven are hushed, in 
order that the prayers of the suffering saints 
on earth may be heard before the throne of 
God. When this interpolated verse is removed, 
the connection between ver. 1 and ver. 3 
between the silence in heaven in ver. 1 and 
the presentation of the prayers of the faithful 
on the golden altar before God in vers. 3-5 
at once springs to light. The praises and 
thanksgivings of the heavenly hosts are hushed, 
in order that the prayers of the suffering saints 
on earth may be heard before the throne of 
God. 

The recovery of the meaning of the text is 
thus due to a critical examination of the text. 



154 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

It was not until I had discovered that viii. 7-12 
was an intrusion, and consequently viii. 2, that 
the true interpretation of the solemn silence in 
heaven burst upon me an interpretation that 
appears to have been lost for 1800 years. 1 

(3) Further, immediately after the seventh 
Trumpet and the seventh Bowl, we hear what is 
done, not on earth, but in heaven : in the former 
instance, a song of thanksgiving, xi. 17 ; in the 
latter, a voice from the temple and throne, saying, 
"It is done," xvi. 17. In like manner, immedi 
ately after the opening of the seventh Seal, what 
took place in heaven should be recorded i.e. 
the silence enjoined on all the heavenly hosts, 
an arrest of the praises and thanksgivings in 
heaven, viii. 1, in order that the prayers of all 
God s suffering servants on earth might be 
heard before the throne of God, viii. 3-5. In 
vii. 1-3 there was an arrest of the judgments 
on earth, until the faithful were sealed against 

1 This clause has proved an inscrutable enigma from the 
earliest times. The most recent expositors have not been more 
successful than the earlier. Swete says that this silence means 
"a temporary suspension of revelation." Bousset interprets it 
as expressing " an awful expectation of that which is to come." 
Holtzmann expands this idea, and writes that in contrast to 
the songs of praise that had continued from v. 9 to vii. 12 
there followed a silence in heaven for the space of half an hour, 
caused by the awful breathless expectation of the things that 
were to come. Johannes Weiss and Porter express the same 
idea in other words. 



VIII. 2 ITS ORIGINAL FORM 155 

the coming plagues : here there is a further 
and fresh pledge that the cause of the saints is 
one with that of God, and of the heavenly 
hosts. It is worth observing that an analogous 
idea is found in Judaism. Thus in Chagiga 
xii. 6, in the Talmud, we read that in the fifth 
heaven are companies of angels of service who 
sing praises by night, but are silent by day 
" because of the glories of Israel," i.e. that the 
praises of Israel may be heard in heaven. This 
passage supports our interpretation of the 
enigmatic " silence in heaven," but it is far 
less fine. The idea in our text is infinitely 
nobler. The needs of the weakest saints on 
earth concern God more than the psalmody of 
the highest orders of the heavenly hosts. 

Original form and position of viii. 2 in 
immediate connection with viii. 6, 12. 

viii. 2 is, then, an intrusion in its present 
position and in its present form. It probably 
stood immediately after viii. 5 and together 
with viii. 6 read as follows : " And I saw three 
angels, and to them were given three trumpets. 
And the three angels who had the three 
trumpets prepared to sound." Then, omitting 
viii. 712, we should at once proceed to viii. 13 
and read as follows : " And I saw, and heard 
an eagle flying in the midst of heaven, saying 



156 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to them 
that dwell on the earth because of the voices 
of the trumpet of the three angels which are 
about to sound." 

Criticism ofviii. 13. 

In viii. 13, I wish you to observe that there 
is only one word that calls for excision. This 
is XoiTrwz/ = " the rest." 

Now XotTTo? is not used elsewhere in the 
Apocalypse as an epithet. Together with the 
article it forms a noun in eight passages 
throughout the Apocalypse, in chaps, ii.-xx. 
Moreover, its position before the noun is against 
the usage of the writer with regard to epithets 
in viii. 3-5, 13, ix. Epithets always follow 
after the noun in these two chapters in 
sixteen cases. Thus \onrwv must be excised 
as an interpolation. It is to be observed here 
that the A.V. and the K.V. as well as some of 
the earlier English versions add without any 
authority the word "yet," and render "who 
are yet to sound." This addition is quite 
clearly owing to the fact that in the text as 
it stands four trumpets have already been 
mentioned. The added "yet" implies that 
trumpets have already sounded. But the 
Greek has no such implication : it is simply to 
be rendered " which are about to sound." None 



VIII. RECONSTRUCTED i 5 7 

have sounded as yet. So far, then, for the 
criticism of this chapter. Adopting the con 
clusions we have now arrived at, I will read 
chap. viii. as it appears to have stood 
originally. 

Chapter viii. in its original form. 

1 " And when he opened the seventh seal, 
there followed a silence in heaven about the 
space of half an hour. 3 And an angel came 
and stood at the altar, with a golden censer ; and 
there was given to him much incense, that he 
should add it unto the prayers of all the saints 
upon the golden altar that was before the 
throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, on 
behalf of the prayers of the saints, went up 
from the hand of the angel before God. 
5 And the angel took the censer and filled 
it with the fire of the altar, and cast it upon 
the earth. And there followed thunders and 
voices, and lightnings and an earthquake. 

2 And I saw three angels, and unto them 
were given three trumpets. 6 And the three 
angels who had the three trumpets prepared to 
sound. 13 And I saw, and I heard an eagle 
flying in the midst of heaven, saying with a 
loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to them that dwell on 
the earth because of the voices of the trumpet 
of the three angels, which are about to sound." 



158 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Who is the angel in viii. 3? Michael or the 
angel of peace f Michael probably in the 
original form of the chapter. 

This, then, is all that we can assign of chap, 
viii. to our author. But before we leave the 
above passage there are two questions that call 
for consideration : who is the angel ? and what 
is the altar ? We can dispatch the first subject 
quickly, if we eliminate the interpolations in 
this chapter. The angel was probably Michael, 
as will appear presently. But if we do not 
eliminate the interpolations, the identification 
of this angel is a matter of extreme difficulty ; 
and yet it should not be so, seeing that it is 
only one of the greatest angels who could be 
entrusted with this function. Let us take the 
text as it stands, with the interpolations, and 
investigate this question. First of all, ver. 2 
speaks of the seven angels who stand before 
the throne of God. Now, according to the 
universal tradition of Judaism and early 
Christianity, Michael was one of the foremost 
of the seven archangels. On the other hand, 
according to Jewish tradition generally, it was 
Michael that was the great intercessor on be 
half of man. Thus in 1 Enoch Ixxxix. 76, 
Michael prays on behalf of Israel ; and like 
functions are presupposed in 1 Enoch Ixviii. 



THE ANGEL VIII. 3 159 

3, 4. In this same work (xl. 9) he is called 
"the merciful and longsuffering." According 
to Rabbinic tradition, he offered sacrifices in 
heaven, even the souls of the righteous ; and 
like views prevailed in many early Christian 
circles. Thus tradition points to the identifica 
tion of this unnamed angel, who presents the 
prayers of all the saints, with Michael. 

But in the existing form of the text this angel, 
who cannot be Michael, may be the angel 
of peace. 

But in the present interpolated form of the 
text this cannot be right ; for, since Michael 
is one of the seven angels mentioned in viii. 2, 
he cannot at the same time be identical with 
the other angel in viii. 3, who is so expressly 
distinguished from the great Seven. It is 
possible, therefore, that another tradition was 
here followed by the interpolator, and even in 
the original text. The "other angel" or " the 
angel" may be the angel of peace referred to 
in the Test. Dan vi. 5, whose office is "to 
strengthen Israel, that it fall not into the 
extremity of evil." In my notes to the Test. 
Levi v. 6, 7, I have shown that these verses 
most probably give a further description of this 
angel who " intercedeth for the nation of Israel, 
that they may not be smitten utterly," and 



160 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

" for all the righteous." Again, in the Test. 
Dan vi. 2 it is either Michael, or, as I am now 
inclined to believe, this angel of peace, who is 
described as the " mediator between God and 
man," and who also " for the peace of Israel 
shall stand up against the kingdom of the 
enemy." Thus apparently similar functions 
are ascribed to Michael and the angel of peace ; 
for that they are not to be identified follows 
from 1 Enoch xl. 8, 9, where they are clearly 
distinguished. The nameless angel in Dan. x. 
5-6, 12-14, 19-21, though generally identified 
with Gabriel, may be this angel of peace. He 
is an ally of Michael in helping Israel. 

To sum up, then. The office of the angel 
of peace was pre-eminently that of an intercessor 
and mediator in Apocalyptic. He could, 
therefore, in a Christian Apocalypse be 
naturally assigned the duty of presenting the 
prayers of the faithful before God. This great 
angel is nameless in 1 Enoch, the Testaments 
of the XII Patriarchs, and, if I am right in my 
interpretation, also in Daniel. In our Apoca 
lypse, too, he is nameless : he is simply 
designated aXXo? a^eXo? in the present form 
of the text, and was probably designated more 
simply el? ofyyeXo? in its original form. We 
observe that though this angel is borrowed 
from Judaism, he is not in any sense described 



TWO ALTARS IN HEAVEN? 161 

as mediating between God and His servants. 
He simply presents the prayers of the faithful, 
censing them as he presents them. 

Were there two altars in the heavenly temple f 
Difficulties inherent in such a conception. 

We now approach the next question, What 
is the altar at which the angel stands ? We 
here enter on a very controverted subject. An 
altar in heaven is mentioned seven times in 
the Apocalypse. All commentators, so far as I 
am aware, assume the existence of two altars 
in the heavenly temple, and most commen 
tators agree that the two altars the altar of 
burnt-offering and the altar of incense are 
referred to in our text. " And an angel came 
and stood at * the altar, with a golden censer ; 
and there was given unto him much incense, 
that he should add it unto the prayers of all 
the saints upon the golden altar which was 
before the throne. And the smoke of the in 
cense on behalf of the prayers of the saints went 
up from the hand of the angel before God. 
And the angel took the censer ; and he filled it 
with the fire of the altar, and cast it upon the 
earth : and there followed thunders and voices, 
and lightnings, and an earthquake" (viii. 3-5). 

1 The text should be so translated, and not "over the 
altar" ; cf. Amos ix. 1. 



ii 



1 62 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

But if we assume a complete heavenly temple, 
with a holy place, a holy of holies, two altars, 
etc., we are forced to conclude either (1) with 
Ziillig and Hengstenberg that the curtain of 
the holy of holies is closed in chap. iv. and 
viii. 3 sq. and not opened till xi. 19 ; or 
(2), with Hofmann, that the rest of the temple 
was removed in order to make possible the 
vision of God on His throne of Cherubin, and 
yet not that of the ark ; or (3) with Ebrard, that 
in the vision in chap. iv. the whole scene was 
disclosed without the temple, and that later in 
vi. 9, viii. 3 sqq., a heavenly temple appeared 
on a terrace below the height on which the 
throne stood ; or (4) with Bousset and Porter, 
that in chap, iv., vi. 7, viii. 3 sqq., the throne and 
the temple scenery are wholly irreconcilable. 1 

Now, unless I deceive myself, all these 
attempts at explanation proceed on a wrong 
hypothesis. We have here to do with the con 
ceptions of the heavenly temple in Apocalyptic, 
and it is wholly unjustifiable to conclude that 
every characteristic part of the earthly temple 
has its prototype in the heavenly temple, as 
conceived in Apocalyptic. What we have now 
to do is to try and discover the conception of 
the heavenly temple that prevailed in Apoca- 

1 Yet this combination of the throne and temple scenery is as 
old as Isaiah s vision in Isa. vi. 



EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY TEMPLES 163 

lyptic Judaism. We have here entered on an 
interesting question in the history of religious 
development, which, however, we can on the 
present occasion only sketch in briefest out 
line. 

The Vision of Isaiah vi. relates most probably 
to the earthly temple, but the Test. Levi 
to the heavenly. This conception arose 
between 300 and 150 B.C. 

Our investigation starts with the vision of 
Isaiah in Isa. vi., since this passage has 
undoubtedly had a formative influence on 
subsequent developments, and was in the mind 
of the writer of the Apocalypse. I will quote 
the parts of this passage that concern us at 
present, vi. 1-8 : " In the year that King 
Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a 
throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his 
vesture filled the temple. Above him stood 
the seraphim : each one had six wings ; with 
twain he covered his face, and with twain he 
covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 
And one cried unto another and said : 

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, 
The whole earth is full of his glory. 

And the foundations of the thresholds were 
moved at the voice of him that cried, and 



1 64 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

the house began, to fill with smoke. Then 
said I : 

Woe is me ! for I am undone ; 

For a man of unclean lips am I, 

And in the midst of a people of unclean lips I dwell : 

For the King, the Lord of hosts, have mine eyes seen. 

Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, 
having a live coal in his hand, which he had 
taken with the tongs from off the altar. 
And he touched my mouth with it, and said : 

Lo, this hath touched thy lips : 
So thine iniquity shall depart, 
And thy sin be forgiven. 

And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying : 

Whom shall I send, 

And who will go for us?" 

As Duhm, Cheyne, Marti, Whitehouse, and 
Gray and other scholars have pointed out, the 
temple and the altar referred to are those in 
Jerusalem, as in the vision of Amos ix. 1 and 
Ezek. viii. 3, x. 4. That the idea of a 
heavenly temple and a heavenly altar existed 
in pre-exilic times there is as yet no proof, 
though such proof may some day be forth 
coming. On the other hand, we must conclude 
from the Testament of Levi iii. 6, v. 1, xviii. 6, 
that in the second century B.C. the idea of a 
temple in heaven was current in certain circles, 



THE TEMPLE IN HEAVEN 165 

and from the Apocalypse that it was a perfectly 
familiar idea to the Christian Church in the 
first century of our era. Moreover, it is clear 
from the diction that the authors of the 
Testaments and of the Apocalypse had the 
vision of Isa. vi. before them. Thus in the 
Testament Levi v. 1, the words, "the angel 
opened to me the gate of heaven, and I saw 
the holy temple, and upon a throne of glory 
the Most High," clearly attest the influence 
of Isaiah: " sitting upon a throne high and 
lifted up, and the train of his vesture filled the 
temple." Again we might compare the Testa 
ment Levi xviii. 6 : 

"And the heavens shall be opened, 
And from the temple of glory shall come upon him sancti- 

fication 
With the Father s voice as from Abraham to Isaac," 

with the voice from the temple in Isaiah. 
Next, with the description in Isaiah we might 
compare the temple in the Apocalypse being 
filled with smoke in xv. 8, and the voice crying 
from the temple in xvi. 1. 

We have now- seen that, on the one hand, in 
the eighth century B.C. there was at first, so 
far as we know, no idea of a heavenly temple 
and a heavenly altar, while by the second 
century B.C. this idea is firmly established. 
But, furthermore, since it was unknown to 



1 66 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Ezekiel, the Priest s Code and the Chronicler, 1 
Dr. Buchanan Gray concludes that this 
particular development took place between 
500 and 100 B.C., and probably very consider 
ably nearer the latter than the earlier limit ; 
and in it we may see one of the early fruits 
of that learned and speculative exegesis of the 
Old Testament which is represented first in the 
Apocalyptic literature and later in the various 
Haggadic products of the Rabbinical Schools." 2 
This statement is undoubtedly good so far as 
it goes, but alike the cause of the development 
and the limits with which it actually arose can 
probably be determined more exactly. The 
determination of the probable limits of this 
development depends on the cause from which 
it sprung ; and that this cause was the transfer 
ence of the religious interest from earth to 
heaven, which set in with the rise of the belief 
in a blessed future life, is more than probable. 
Indeed, on the emergence of this doctrine, ideas 
in the Old Testament, which had a purely 

1 Gray appears to argue rightly that tdbnith in Ezek. xliii. 
10, Exod. xxv. 9, 40, 1 Chron. xxviii. 11-20, means not a model, 
but a building plan. This plan was, according to 1 Chron. 
xxviii. 19, received in writing by David from God, and passed 
on by David to Solomon, xxviii. 11, 12. These references 
taken in themselves do not postulate the belief in a heavenly 
temple, as has frequently been urged. 

2 Expositor, 1908, pp. 385-402 530-546, and in his Com 
mentary on Isa. vi. 1-4. 



THE TEMPLE IN HEAVEN 167 

earthly reference, were in many cases trans 
formed and given a heavenly significance. In 
other words, they were reinterpreted from a 
higher and spiritual standpoint. This process 
of reinterpretation was for the most part 
unconscious. 1 On these grounds we may 
reasonably conclude that this development 
took place between 300 and 150 B.C. 

If this principle is valid, we shall expect to 
find it already at work in the latest books of 
the Old Testament ; and so, in fact, we do. I 
have already given one instance in the last 
lecture where it is pointed out that the book 
of life meant in the Old Testament simply 
a register of the citizens of the theocratic 
community ; and to have one s name written in 
the book of life meant simply the right to 
share in the temporal blessings of the Theo 
cracy, while to be blotted out of this book 
meant exclusion therefrom. In the Old 
Testament this expression was originally con 
fined to temporal blessings only, but in Dan. 



1 Such a process of reinterpretation would naturally be 
fostered by the ideas underlying Exod. xxv. 9, 40, Num. viii. 4, 
according to which the earthly altar and tabernacle were 
made after the likeness of heavenly patterns. But these 
passages were not the cause of the reinterpretation just 
referred to : rather the reinterpretation of these passages was 
due to the larger spiritual movement which transferred the 
centre of interest from earth to heaven. 



1 68 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

xii. 1 it is transformed through the writer s 
higher theology, and is distinctly conceived as 
referring to the blessed life of immortality. 

Were there two altars or only one in the 
heavenly temple ? 

We have now dealt with the probable date 
of the emergence of the idea of a temple in 
heaven. That the idea of a heavenly altar 
arose about the same time may be reasonably 
concluded. But the problem is a complicated 
one. Were there two altars in this heavenly 
temple, or only one ? To answer this question 
we must carry our research back into the Old 
Testament and forward into Christian and 
Gnostic literature. 

First, as regards the Old Testament, we shall 
simply state here the conclusions arrived at by 
Old Testament critics, that there was no altar 
of incense in the Tabernacle, nor in the 
temples of Solomon 1 and Ezekiel. In other 
words, down to the fifth century there is no 
reference to this altar, and the mention of this 
altar is assigned to a late stratum in the 
Priestly Code. 2 Thus originally there was 
only one altar in the Jewish temple, and that 

1 Exod. xxx. 10 and 1 Kings vii. 48 are late interpolations. 

2 See Encyc. Bill. i. 126 sq. ; Hastings, DB ii. 467 sq., 
iv. 664 sq. 



ONLY ONE ALTAR IN HEAVEN 169 

the altar of burnt-offering. But at some 
indeterminate date between the fifth century 
B.C. and 200 B.C. 1 the altar of incense was set 
up within the temple proper (mo?, ^n) and 
near the entrance to the holy of holies. There 
were thus in Herod s temple two altars the 
altar of burnt-offering outside the porch of the 
temple, and the altar of incense inside the 
temple. 

Two altars in the heavenly temple are said by 
scholars to be referred to in the Apoca 
lypse. 

Now it has hitherto been the universal 
opinion of scholars that as there were two 
altars in the earthly temple from the third or 
fourth century B.C. onward, so the heavenly 
temple was conceived by the Jews to have like 
wise two altars. Accordingly these two altars 
are said to be referred to in the Apocalypse. 

But both Christian and Jewish evidence is 
against this view. 

But, unless I am mistaken, this view appears 
to be wrong at all events as regards Christian 
apocalyptic. First in Hernias, Mand. x. 3. 2, 
it is said : " The intercession of a sad man hath 
never power at any time to ascend to the altar 

1 See 1 Mace. i. 21, iv. 49 sq. 



1 70 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

of God." Here clearly only one altar is pre 
supposed ; and that this altar is the altar of 
incense is to be inferred from the fact that in 
our Apocalypse (viii. 3) the prayers of the saints 
are offered upon the golden altar before the 
throne. This golden altar is, of course, re 
cognised on all hands as the altar of incense. 
" The altar " is again mentioned in Sim. viii. 
2. 5 ; Irenseus also (iv. 18. 6) attests the same 
view. He writes : " Thus (God) wishes us 
also to offer gifts at the altar frequently 
without intermission. There is therefore the 1 
altar in heaven (for thither our prayers and 
oblations are directed), and the temple, as John 
in the Apocalypse (xi. 19) says: "And the 
Temple of God was opened, and the tabernacle " 
(xxi. 3); for "Behold the tabernacle of God 
in which he will dwell with men." Next we 
find the following statement in the Apocalypse 
of Paul, 44 (ed. Tischendorf) : " And I saw 
the four and twenty elders lying on their faces, 
and I saw the altar and the throne." This 



1 Here only the Latin is preserved. The definite article, 
however, is to be supplied before the three nouns altar ( = TO 
Qvo-iao-rfjpiov), temple (=6 vaos), tabernaculum (=17 CTKTJVT]). 
The Latin is : " Est ergo altare in cselis (illuc enim preces 
nostrse et oblationes diriguntur), et templum, quemadmodum 
Joannes in Apocalypsi ait : Et apertum est templum Dei ; et 
tabernaculum : Ecce enim, inquit, tabernaculum Dei in quo 
habitabit cum hominibus." 



ONLY ONE ALTAR IN HEAVEN 171 

altar is said to stand in the midst of the 
heavenly city (29). Thus Primitive Christi 
anity, so far as the above quotations go, 
believed only in one altar in heaven ; and that 
this altar was the altar of incense we learn 
from Irenseus, who writes that it is to this altar 
that our prayers and oblations are directed : 
moreover, we have additional confirmation in 
a Gnostic work of the second century, frag 
ments of which are preserved by Clement of 
Alexandria (iii. 437), where it is stated that 
the soul " lays down its body near the altar 
of incense, near the ministering angels of the 
prayers that are offered." 

Turning now to pre-Christian Judaism, we 
see that only one altar is implied in the Test. 
Levi iii. 6, where the archangels are described 
as " offering to the Lord ... a reasonable and 
bloodless sacrifice." In later Judaism the same 
view appears to prevail. According to Aboth 
R. Nathan (second century A.D.), A. 26 (12), 
the souls of the righteous rest under the 
heavenly altar. Here there is only one altar 
presupposed. Now, if we may take with this 
statement another of the second century (R. 
Eleazar s), found in Shabbath, 152 b , to the effect 
that the souls of the righteous are preserved 
under the throne of glory, we are justified in 
concluding that the altar referred to is close 



172 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

to the throne of God, and therefore within the 
heavenly temple. In any case, there is only 
one altar in question. In three other passages 
in the Talmud, statements are made to the 
effect that in the fourth heaven are to be 
found " Jerusalem and the temple and a built 
altar, and Michael the great prince standing 
and offering an offering thereon" (Chag. 2 b , 
Zebach. 62% Menachoth (10 a ). 

According to Christian literature of the 
second century A.D., and to Jewish literature 
of the same period and later, there was only 
one altar in heaven. Since this altar was in 
heaven, animal sacrifices could not be offered 
thereon, but only bloodless sacrifices and 
incense. Indeed, the nature of these sacrifices 
has, as we have seen, been defined in the Test. 
Levi iii. 6, "reasonable and bloodless" offer 
ings, while later Judaism represents Michael as 
offering the souls of the departed righteous on 
this very altar. 

There was originally only one altar in the 
earthly temple an altar of burnt- offering, 
and never more than one altar the 
altar of incense in the heavenly temple 
in Jewish- Christian Apocalyptic outside 
the Apocalypse. 

If the preceding account of the facts is trust- 



ONLY ONE ALTAR IN HEAVEN 173 

worthy, we have now come to the interesting 
conclusion that whereas there stood in the 
earthly temple only one altar, the altar of 
burnt-offering, down to the fifth century B.C., 
in the heavenly temple, on the other hand, 
there stood only one altar, namely, the altar 
of incense, according to Jewish and Christian 
Apocalyptic from the second century B.C. 
onwards, outside the Apocalypse. 

It is now our task to inquire if this view 
of the heavenly altar was held by the author 
of the Apocalypse. Now, first of all, the fact 
that Christian and Jew alike appear to have 
held the same views as to the one altar in the 
heavenly temple, proves of itself that this 
belief was current in the first century in 
Palestine before the breach of Christianity 
with Judaism. Further, though no altar is 
mentioned in the Test. Levi, which belongs to 
the second century B.C., the text implies the 
existence of only one altar. 

We may therefore reasonably conclude that 
in certain religious circles in Palestine this 
conception of the heavenly altar was current 
from the second century B.C. onwards. 

A corollary that follows naturally, though 
not inevitably, on this conclusion is that Jewish 
mystics would be inclined to interpret, as in 
fact they did, the great vision of Isa. vi. of the 



174 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

heavenly temple. 1 Amongst these mystics was 
our Apocalyptist, who undeniably had Isa. vi. 
before his mind in writing of the heavenly 
temple. Now, since in Isa. vi. there is only one 
altar, we infer that in our Apocalyptist s view 
there was only one altar likewise in the latter 
case the altar of incense. 

It is worth observing in this connection that, 
according to the apocalyptic school of the 
higher theology, the altar of burnt-offering was 
of small account as compared with the altar 
of incense. This we infer from 2 Bar. vi. 7-10, 
according to which the earth was bidden by an 
angel before the fall of Jerusalem to open and 
receive certain sacred things belonging to the 
temple, and to preserve them till the advent 
of the Messianic Kingdom. It is remarkable 
that amongst these sacred things the altar of 
incense is mentioned, but not the altar of burnt- 
offering. 

In another and wholly independent account 
in 2 Mace. ii. 4-8, in which Jeremiah is bidden 
by God to hide certain sacred things belonging 
to the temple, the altar of incense is again 

1 Dr. Gray, indeed (Expositor, 1908, p. 504), is of opinion 
that " Isaiah s vision, although it does not of itself refer to the 
heavenly temple and altar, was a main cause in producing the 
belief in them." According to the view I have set forth, the 
reinterpretation of Isaiah s vision would be only one example 
of a principle at work affecting the entire Old Testament. 



ONLY ONE ALTAR IN HEAVEN 175 



mentioned, but not the altar of burnt-offering. 
This comparative depreciation of the altar 
of burnt-offering was, no doubt, due to the 
prophetic teaching, and to such Psalms as li. 
15 sq. 

15 " O Lord, open thou my lips ; 

And my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 

16 For thou delightest not in sacrifice [that I should give 

it]; 
Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering. 

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : 

A broken and contrite heart, God, thou wilt not 
despise." 

The Apocalypse does not, any more than Jew 
ish and Christian Apocalyptic outside 
the Apocalypse, represent two altars as 
the heavenly temple. 

We have now seen that Apocalyptic literature 
in Judaism, both before and after the Christian 
era, and in Christianity on to the second and 
third centuries of this era, testifies to the exist 
ence of only one altar in heaven. We have 
observed other facts indirectly leading to the 
same conclusion. Armed with this knowledge, 
let us now approach the Apocalypse and see if 
the heavenly temple represented in it contains 
two altars, as all scholars have hitherto held. 

Let us deal first of all with chaps, viii. and ix. 
Here there are universally assumed to be two 



1 76 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

altars, one the altar of incense and the other 
the altar of burnt-offering, a conclusion that 
is based on the hypothesis that the heavenly 
temple is in every respect the heavenly original 
after which the earthly temple was modelled, 
and also on the fact that the altars are de 
scribed in different terms. We have already 
seen that the first reason is a groundless as 
sumption in respect both to later Judaism and 
Primitive Christianity, which presuppose only 
one altar in the heavenly temple. As regards 
the second reason, it is quite true that the 
heavenly altar is designated in viii. 36 as " the 
altar before the throne" (TO Ovaiaa-Tripiov TO 
evMTTiov rov Qpovov), and " the golden altar before 

Grod " (TOU OvaLacTTTjpLOV TOV xpvaov TOV evtoiriov 
TOV 6eov), in ix. 13. The altar so designated 
is universally admitted to be the altar of 
incense. This altar has already been presup 
posed, though not actually mentioned, in v. 8, 
where the 24 Elders are described as having 
harps and golden bowls full of incense. But 
because this altar is simply called "the altar" 
in viii. 3a and 5, it is declared that it must be 
the altar of burnt-offering. There is no force 
in this reason ; for in Christian and Jewish 
Apocalyptic literature the heavenly altar is 
always designated as "the altar"; and this 
altar was, as we have seen, the altar of incense. 



THIS ALTAR ALTAR OF INCENSE 177 

The heavenly altar is referred to in only three 
other passages, vi. 9, xiv. 18, xvi. 7. In xiv. 
18 the evidence points to the altar within the 
heavenly temple, i.e. the altar conceived as an 
altar of incense; for in xiv. 15, 17, the two 
preceding angels are said to come forth from 
the temple (mo?) "in heaven," and in xiv. 18 
it is stated that " another angel went forth 
from the altar," the implication being that this 
altar is within the temple. There remain only 
vi. 9 and xvi. 7. xvi. 7 (" I heard the altar 
saying, True and righteous are thy judgments) " 
refers naturally to the altar on which the 
prayers of the saints were censed and offered, 
and which is described in ix. 13 as ordering 
the infliction of judgment, just as in xvi. 7 
it is represented as vindicating the righteous 
ness of God s judgment. 

The altar in viii. is the altar of incense. 

Only one passage now remains which has 
been regarded as furnishing incontestable evi 
dence to the existence of an altar of burnt- 
offering in the heavenly temple, as well as an 
altar of incense. But there is not the slightest 
necessity for this supposition. According to 
Shabbath, 152 b , the souls of the righteous are 
said by K. Eleazar in the second cent. A.D. to 
be preserved underneath the throne of God ; 



1 78 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

and, according to another authority of the same 
period, to rest beneath the heavenly altar. 
Hence this altar is close to, or beneath, the 
throne of God, and must therefore be taken as 
the altar of incense, since it is within the 
heavenly temple, and is the only altar that is 
within the heavenly temple. 

This altar has apparently some characteristics 
belonging to the altar of burnt-offering. 

But this altar has the characteristics not 
only of the altar of incense : i.e. it is close to 
the throne of God, and within the heavenly 
temple, and the prayers of the faithful are 
offered thereon. It has also to some extent 
the characteristics of the earthly altar of burnt- 
offering ; for the souls of the martyrs were 
conceived as being offered thereon. With this 
question I cannot deal further in these lectures, 
but enough has been done to prove that in the 
Apocalypse only one altar is conceived as stand 
ing in the heavenly temple, combining in itself 
the characteristics of the altar of incense and to 
some extent those of the altar of burnt-offering. 

This idea of the offering of the souls of the 
martyrs on the heavenly altar is implied in our 
text, vi. 9 sqq., for the first time in literature. 
The genesis of this idea can hardly be earlier 
than the first cent. B.C. ; for before that period 



RECONSTRUCTION OF VIII. 7-12 179 

the souls of the faithful were conceived as 
going directly to Hades at death and not to 
heaven, as in vi. 1 1 of the Apocalypse ; but 
towards the close of the first cent. B.C. the 
belief that the soul ascends forthwith to heaven, 
is found in Philo, and later in 4 Maccabees, and 
probably in Wisdom. 

The small interpolated Apocalypse, viii. 7-12. 
An attempt at its reconstruction. 

I will conclude this chapter by giving a re 
construction of the short apocalypse, viii. 7, 12, 
which has been interpolated in our text. It was 
originally written in stanzas of five lines each. 

viii. 7 : 

" And the first angel sounded, 
And there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and 

they were cast upon the earth : 
And the third part of the earth was burnt up, 
And the third part of the trees was burnt up, 
And the third part of the green grass." 

viii. 8 : 

" And the second angel sounded, 
And the likeness of a great mountain burning with fire 

was cast into the sea : 
And the third of the sun became blood ; 
And there died the third part of the creatures * that were 

in the sea ; 
And the third part of the ships were destroyed. 

1 In the third line of this stanza I have omitted as a gloss 
"which had life." It is a stupid gloss; for how could the 
creatures " die," if they had not life to begin with ? 



i8o STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 
viii. t C : 

" And the third angel sounded, 
And there fell from heaven a great star, biirning as a 

torch ; 
And it fell upon the third part of the rivers and springs." 

viii. 11 : 

" And the third part of the waters became like wormwood ; 
And the third part of mankind died of the waters." 

Here I have omitted (as a gloss), " And the 
name of the star is called Wormwood," which is 
added after the third line of the stanza. It 
obviously interrupts the close connection be 
tween line 3, " And it fell upon the third part 
of the rivers and springs," and the fifth line, 
" And the third part of the waters became worm 
wood." The construction, moreover, does not 
occur again in the Apocalypse. And, finally, 
the excision of this line restores the stanza to 
its proper length. Further, as we have already 
concluded (p. 148), the original read not, " And 
many men died of the waters," but, " And the 
third of mankind died of the waters," which I 
have read accordingly. 

We have now seen in the case of the first 
three Trumpets that the text is verse and not 
prose, and that in all probability each Trumpet 
consisted of a stanza of five lines. 

This fact leads us to expect in the fourth 
Trumpet a stanza of five lines. Let us now 



RECONSTRUCTION OF VIII. 7-12 181 

proceed to deal with this Trumpet. In the 
oldest MSS, K A P and many cursives, it 
runs 

viii. 12 : 

" And the fourth angel sounded, 
And the third of the sun was smitten, 
And the third of the moon, and the third of the stars; 
So that the third of them was darkened, 
And the day did not shine for a third of it, and the 
night likewise." 

First of all, we remark how conventional this 
description is : how wholly wanting in imagina 
tion. A third again fails in every case. Again, 
how weak the cosmic catastrophes are, com 
pared with those already described in vi. 1 2, 
where the entire sun is darkened and not the 
third part of it, as here ; where the whole moon 
becomes as blood, and where all the stars fall 
from heaven ; whereas here only a third ( of them 
is darkened. But this is not all. The last line 
is wholly unintelligible. There is no conceivable 
connection between the destruction of one-third 
of the light of the sun, and the shortening of the 
duration of the day by a third. Here the text 
is hopeless. If any meaning is to be extracted 
from this imbroglio, by "night" we are to 
understand "the moon and stars" which 
shine in the night. But this does not help 
matters. 



1 82 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

Now in this verse we have followed the three 
oldest Uncials, N A P and Vg., i.e. KOL rj rj^epa 
firj <j)dvrj TO Tpirov avTr)<; Kal fj vv% o/Wft>9. But 
this text is not supported by the rest of the 
MSS and Versions. Thus Q and very many 

Cursives give Kal TO rpirov avrrj^ prj fydvy rj 
rffjiepa ical rj vv% 6>oto>9, " and that for the 

third of it should not shine the day, and the 
night likewise." Now we observe that there 
is here no difference in the actual words used, 
but there is a difference in the order. This 
may seem a small matter, but it is not so. 
Observe that the words " day and night " are 
here brought together, as also in the Coptic 
and Ethiopic Versions. This we shall find to 
have been the primitive order. This is the first 
step towards a solution of the difficulty. The 
next step is that a considerable body of cursives 
read TO rplrov avrwv instead of TO rpirov a^T?}?. 
Here we have made the second step in the re 
covery of the original text, as I shall presently 
show. But the remarkable feature about this 
text is that it cannot be translated, whereas the 
text in the Uncials can. Now it is hardly con 
ceivable that scribes would deliberately change 
a translatable, though unmeaning, text into 
an untranslatable and likewise unmeaning text. 
Hence I conclude that TO rplrov avrwv prj $avri 
is in reality an older form than either 



RECONSTRUCTION OF VIII. 7-12 183 

of the two former, though it is not attested 
by any Greek MSS, earlier than the tenth 
century. 

It is, however, found in the Coptic Version. 
Since this Version is assigned by most scholars 
to the third or fourth century, this text appears 
to be attested independently in the fourth 
century. 

Now let us return to the text again : Kal TO 

TpiTOV avrwv fjLT) <j)dvrj TI rjjjiepa Kal rj vv% o/u,o/&>9. As 

we examine this the true meaning of the text 
flashes upon us. The subject of <f>dvr) is TO TpLrov 
avrwv, " and the third of them shone not," and 

not 77 rj/Jiepa Kal 77 vv% 6/mola)s. 77 ij/mepa Kal tf vv% 

6//.0/W9 might be an early corruption for rffjuepas 
Kal WKTOS o/Wo>9 " by day and likewise by 
night," which is not very likely, though the 
Coptic Version attests this very reading, "and 
the third of them shone not by day, nor like 
wise by night." Here we must conclude either 
that the Coptic has preserved the original, or 
that it recovered the original by a happy con 
jecture. I incline to the latter view. The text 
is unintelligible in every Greek MS, and its 
unintelligibleness is probably best explained by 
a mistranslation of the Semitic original of the 
Version, or owing to a corruption in the original. 
If the original was Hebrew, the Hebrew may 
have been nWn DJ pi nvn DJW!>B> -v^n *6i. Here 



1 84 STUDIES IN THE APOCALYPSE 

ovn and rMn could be rendered either as ^e 
VVKTOS or 17 tfpepa . . . tf vvj;. In any case we 
should reconstruct the line as follows : 

" And the third of them shone not by day nor by night 
likewise." 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 



THE CRITICAL ANALYSES OF SOME OF THE 
CHIEF STUDENTS OF THE APOCALYPSE 
DOWN TO RECENT TIMES. 



Wherever the asterisk is attached to a verse it denotes a part of 
the verse ; while a, b, c, etc., denote the first, second, or third clauses 
of the verse. 



GROTIUS, Annotationes in Apocalypsin Joannis, 1644. 
According to Grotius the Apocalypse consisted of ten 
visions experienced at different times and in different 
places. The first three visions (i.-xi.) belong to the reign 
of Claudius, visions four and five (xii.-xiv.) before the 
fall of Jerusalem (?), visions six and seven (xv.-xviii.) to 
the reign of Vespasian, visions eight to ten (xix.-xxii.) to 
that of Domitian. 



VOLTER. Volter s first work appeared in 1882, but since 

he has seriously modified the views in that work in his 

185 



i86 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 



three subsequent studies, only his latest views are here 
given in Die Offenbarung Johannis, 1904. 



Apoo. of John 
Mark.i 60 A. D. 


Apoc. of Cerin- 
thus. 70 A.D. 


Editor in Trajan s 
Time. 114-115 A.D. 


Revises in 
Hadrian s Time. 


i. 4-6. 


X. 1-11. 


i. 7-8. 


i. 1-3, 9-iii. 


iv. 1-v. 10. 


xvii. 1-18. 


v. 6J, 9-10*. 


22. 


vi. 1-vii. 8. 


xi. 1-13. 


v. 11-14. 


xiv. 13. 


viii.-ix. 


xii. 1-16. 


vii. 9-17. 


xvi. 15. 


xi. 14-19. 


xv. 5-6, 8. 


xi. 8*, 11*, 15*, 18*. 


xix. 106. 


xiv. 1-3, 6-7. 


xvi. 


xii. 11, 18-xiii. 18. 


xxii. 7, 10- 


xviii. 1-xix. 4. 


xix. 11-xxi. 8. 


xiv. 4-5, 9-12. 


20. 


xiv. 14-20. 


xxi. 10-xxii. 


xv. 1-4, 7. 




xix. 5-1 Oa. 


6. 


xvi. 2& (13), 19&. 








xvii. 6*, 14, 16, 17. 








Phrases in xix. 20, 








xx. 10 








xxi. 14, 22-27. 








xxii. 1-2, 8-9. 





VISCHER, Die Offenbarung Johannis, 1886. According 
to Vischer the groundwork of the Apocalypse is a Jewish 
work. This was revised by a Christian to whom the 
following additions are due : 



i.-iii. 


xi. 15*. 


xvii. 14. 


v. 6*. 


xii. 11, 17 (a word). 


xviii. 20*. 


v. 8 (a word). 


xiii. 8*. 


xix. 7*. 


v. 9-14. 


xiii. 9-10. 


xix. 9-10. 


vi. 1*. 


xiv. 1-5. 


xix. 11*. 


vi. 16*. 


xiv. 10*. 


xix. 13Z>. 


vii. 9-17. 


xiv. 12-13. 


xx. 4-5*, 6. 


ix. 11*. 


xv. 3*. 


xxi. 56-8, 9*,14&, 


xi. 86, c. 


xvi. 15, 16*. 


22*, 23*, 27*. 




xvii. 6*. 


xxii. 3*, 6-21. 



1 See Offenbarung Johannis, pp. 51, 59, 61, 62, 70, 71, 98, 104-7, 
145-7. Interpolations in individual verses of the Apoc. of John, 
Volter detects in iv. 1, v. 9, 10, vi. 16, xi. 8, 11, 15, 18, xiv. ], 
xviii. 20 ; in the Apoc. of Cerinthus x. 6&, 7b, xi. 8, xvi. 2, 3, xvii, 1, 
xix. 20, xx. 4, 10, xxi. 9, xxii. 3. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 



187 



SCHOEN, VOrigine de V Apocalypse de Saint Jean, 1887. 
According to this writer the main elements of the Apoca 
lypse are Christian (see pp. 137-139). 



Christian Apocalypse 
written under Domitian. 


Christian Editor. 


Jewish Sources. 


i.-ix. 


X. 


xi. 1-13. 


xi. 14, 15. 


xii. 10-12, 18. 


xii. 


xiv. 1-8, 13-20. 


xiii. 8-10. 


xiii. 


xv.-xvi. 


xiv. 9-12. 


xviii. 


xix.-xx. 


xvi. 13-16. 




xxi. 1-8. 


xvii. 




xxii. 6-21. 


xviii. 20. 






xix. 






xx. 1-6, 7-15. 






xxi. 9-xxii. 5. 





WETLAND, Omwerkings-en Compilatie-Hypothesen toege- 
past op de Apocalypse van Johannes, 1888. Weyland 
discovers two Jewish sources in the Apocalypse N and 3. 
These two sources were edited by a Christian, who added the 
first three chapters and a series of interpolations (see p. 176). 1 



N 

(Written under Titus.) 


3 
(Written under Nero.) 


Christian Editor.i 


i. 10, 12-17, 19. 


x. 1-xi. 13. 


i.-iii. 


iv.-vi. 


xii. 1-10, 11-xiii. 


iv. 5c. 


vii. 1-8, 9-] 7. 


xiv. 6-7, 9-11. 


v. 6-14 (recast). 


viii.-ix. 


xv. 2-4. 


vi. 16c. 


xi. 14-18. 


xvi. 13, 14. 


vii. 14c. 


xiv. 2-3. 


xix. 11-21. 


ix. 18. 


xiv. 14-20. 


XX. 


x. 7. 


xv. 5. 


xxi. 1-8. 


xi. 86. 


xvi. 176-20. 




xii. 11, 17c. 


xvii.-xix. 6. 




xiv. 1, 4-5, 12-13. 


xxi. 9-27. 




xv. 1, 6-8. 


xxii. 1-11, 14-15. 




xvi. l-17a, 21. 






xvii. 14. 






xix. 7-10, 136. 






xxi. Qa, 146. 






xxii. 7a, 12-13, 16-21. 



1 Also words and phrases in vi. 1, vii. 9, 10, 17, ix. 15, x. 1, 11, 
xiii. 8, xv. 3, xvii. 6, xviii. 20, xx. 4, xxi. 27, xxii. 1, 3. 



188 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 



SPITTA, Die Offenbarung des Johannes, 1889. According 
to Spitta there was a primitive Christian Apocalypse, U, 
written soon after 60 A.D. This was revised by a Christian 
editor R in the time of Trajan, who incorporated two 
Jewish Apocalypses, J 1 belonging to the time of Caligula, 
and J 2 to that of Pompey. 



. u. 


Ji. 


J2. 


R. 


i. 4-6, 9-19. 


vii. 1-8. 


x. lb, 2a, 8a, 


i. 1-3. 


ii. 1-6, 8-10, 


viii. 2-ix. 14, 


96, 10-11. 


i. 5*. 


12-16, 18- 


156. 


xi. 1-13, 15, 


i. 7-8, 20. 


25. 


viii. 16-21, 


17, 18. 


ii. 7, 11, 17, 26-29. 


iii. 1-4, 7-11, 


15a. 


xiv. 14-20. 


iii. 5-6, 12-13, 21-22. 


14-20. 


x. la, 26, 3, 


xv. 2-6, 8. 


iv. 1*. 


iv.-vi. 


5-7. 


xvi. 1-12, 


v. 5*, 6*, 8*, 10*. 


vii. 9-17. 


xi. 15, 19. 


17a, 21. 


vi. 16*. 


viii. 1. 


xii.-xiii. 8. 


xvii. l-6a. 


vii; 9c. 


xix. 96, 10. 


xiii. 11-18. 


xviii. 1-23. 


ix. 12, 14*, 15*. 


xxii. 8, 10- 


xiv. l-2a, 


xix. 1-8. 


x. 4, 5*, 7. 


13, 16a,17, 


46-7, 9, 


xxi. 9-xxii. 


xi. 14. 


18a, 206- 


106, lla. 


3a, 15. 


xii. 6, 9*, 11, 13*, 17*. 


21. 


xvi. 13, 14, 




xiii. 3a, 46, 56, 7a, 8*, 9- 




176-20. 




10, 14*, 17c-18a6c. 




xix. 11-21. 




xiv. 26-4a, 46*, 6*, 8, lOa, 




xx. 1-3, 8- 




lla, llc-13, 17. 




15. 




xv. 1, 2*, 3*, 56, 7. 




xxi. 1, 5#, 




xvi. 1*, 2*, 10*, 15. 




6a. 




xvii. 3*, 6a, 7-18. 








xviii. 24. 








xix. 4, 6*, 7*, 86-9a, 10*, 








lld-12a, 136, 15, 21*. 








xx. 2*, 4-7, 12*. 








xxi. 2-4, 56, 66-8, 9*, 








14*, 22*, 23*, 276. 








xxii. 1*, 36-7, 14, 166, 








186-20a. 



ERBES, Die 0/enbarunr/ Johannis, 1891. Erbes theory 
is that of the Redaction Hypothesis. The groundwork 
consists of a Christian Apocalypse written in the year 
62 A.D. With this Apocalypse another of the time of 
Caligula was incorporated, and finally about the year 80 it 
was finally revised and enlarged. See p. 184. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 



189 



Caligula Apoc. 

40 A.D. 


Christian Apoc. 

62 A.D. 


Final Redaction. 

80 A.D. 


xii. 1-xiii. 18. 


i. 4-19. 


i. 1-3, 20. 


xiv. 96-12. 


ii. 1-6, 8-10, 12-16, 18-25. 


ii. 7, 11, 17, 26-29. 




iii. 1-4, 7-11, 14-22. 


iii. 5-6, 12-13. 




iv. 1-5, 10. 


vii. 4-8, 13-17. 




v. 1-10 (11-14). 


ix. 12. 




vi. 


xi. 14. 




vii. 1-3, 9-12. 


xiii. 3*, 12*, 14*. 




viii. 1-11, 19. 


xiv. 4*, 8, 9a. 




xiv. 1-7, 13-20. 


xv. 1, 2*, 5-xix. 4. 




xv. 2*-4 (v. 11-14). 


xix. 96-xx. 10, 14*. 




xix. 5-9a. 


xxi. 5-xxii. 2. 




xx. 11-15. 


(xxii. 18, 19 ?) 




xxi. 1-4. 






xxii. 3-25. 





J. WEISS, Die Offenbarung des Johannes, 1908. Accord 
ing to Weiss there was an original Johannine Apocalypse 
written probably before 70 A.D. This Apocalypse was 
re-edited in 95 A.D. by a writer who at the same time in 
corporated an anonymous Apocalypse written before 70 A.D. 



Apocalypse of John. 


Anonymous Apoc. Q. 


Editor, 95 A.D. 


i. 4-6, 9-15, 17. 


x. 1-9. 


i. 1-3, 7-8, 16(?), 19(?)-20. 


ii. 1-5, 8-10, 12-1 6. 


xi. 1-13. 


ii. 6(?), 7, 10e-ll, 17, 26-29. 


ii. 18-25. 


xii. 1-6, 13-17. 


iii. 5-6, 12-13, 21-22. 


iii. 1-4, 7-11, 14- 


xiii. l-2a, 3-6. 


iv. 56, 9-11. 


20. 


xv. 5, 8-xvi. 1. 


v. 6*, 8*. 


iv. 1-8 (with the 


xvii. 1-8, 96-13, 


vi. 9-11. 


exception of some 


15-18. 


vii. 9-17 (J). 


phrases). 


xviii. 1-19. 


viii. 2, 56-12. 


v. l-6a, 7-8, 11-14. 


xix. 11-21. 


x. 7*, 10-11. 


vi. 1-8, 12-17. 


xxi. 9-xxii. 2. 


xi. 8*, 15. 


vii. 1-8 (H). 




xii. 3*, 11. 


viii. 1, 3-5a, 13-ix. 




xiii. 26, 7-10, 11-18 (J). 


21. 




xiv. 8-12. 


xi. 14. 




xv. 1-4, 6, 7. 


xii. 7-12. 




xvii. 9a, 14. 


xiv. 1-7, 14-20. 




xviii. 20. 


xx. l-4a, 6-11. 




xix. 1-10. 


xxi. 1-4*. 




xx. 46-5, 126-15. 


xxii. 3-5 (8-9). 




xxi. 4*-8, 14. 






xxii. 6-7, 10-21. 



190 APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II. 

I have not given the analyses of Bousset, Wellhausen, 
and Moffatt, which in the opinion of the present writer 
adopt other methods for dealing with the Apocalypse. 
With these scholars I hope to deal in my Commentary 
next year. 



INDEX I. 



NAMES OF COMMENTATORS ON THE 
APOCALYPSE. 



ABAUZIT, 45. 

Abbadie, 39. 

Alcasar, 33, 34-37, 40, 41. 

Alexandrian school, 9. 

Alford, 55. 

Ambrose, 13. 

Andreas, 12, 117. 

Ansbertus, 14. 

Apringius, 13. 

Arethas, 12, 34, 117. 

Auberlen, 55. 

Aubert de Verse, 29, 30. 

Augustine, 13, 117. 

Bauer, W., 76. 

Beatus, 14. 

Bede, 13, 117. 

Benary, 47. 

Bengel, 39, 40, 43, 44. 

Benson, Archbishop, 55. 

Berengaudus, 14. 

Beyschlag, 107. 

Beza, 32. 

Bibliander, 28-29, 33, 36, 40, 42. 

Bleek, 45, 47, 59. 

Bossuet, 29. 

Bousset, 62, 70, 72, 76, 106, 107, 

117, 133, 154, 162. 
Bovon, 107. 
Briggs, 68-69. 
Brightinan, 20. 
Uruston, 72, 



Bugenhagen, 28. 
Bullinger, 28, 33. 

Calvin, abstains from commenting 

on Apocalypse, 31. 
Camerarius, 32. 
Cassiodorus, 13. 
Castellio, 32. 
Cerinthus, 8. 
Clemen, 76. 
Clement of Alexandria, 11, 127, 

171. 

Coccejus, 38, 39. 
Collado, 30. 
Conradi, 30. 
Corrodi, 45-47. 
Crocius, 38. 
Cyril, 127. 

de Sacy, 29. 
de Wette, 47-49. 
Drews, Dr., 53. 
Drusius, 32. 
Dupuis, 50-51. 
Diisterdieck, 123, 133. 

Ebrard, 54, 162. 
Eichhorn, 45, 46. 
Elliott, 54, 55. 
Erbes, 60, 61, 106. 
Eucharius, 117. 
Ewald, 46, 47. 



191 



192 



INDEX I. 



Foxe, 30. 

Franciscans, the, 19. 
Fritzsche, 47. 
Funke, 28. 

Gerard von Borgo San Donnino. 

20. 
Gray, Dr. Buchanan, 115, 164, 

166, 174. 

Grotius, 40-43, 59, 115. 
Gunkel, 75, 76. 

Hammond, 42-43. 

Harduin, 45. 

Harenberg, 45. 

Hayms, 14. 

Heugstenberg, 54, 122, 162. 

Hentenius, 33, 34. 

Herder, 45. 

Hermas, 169. 

Herrenschneider, 45, 46. 

Hildegaard, 15. 

Hippolytus, 8, 9, 10, 12, 33, 

117. 

Hirscht, 107. 
Hitzig, 47. 
Hoffmann, 28. 
Hofmann, 38, 162. 
Holtzmann, 0., 63, 76, 77, 106, 

107, 117, 123, 133, 154. 
Hommel, 51. 
Hort, 57. 
Hussites, the, 23. 

Irenseus, 8, 9, 12, 14, 26, 33, 117, 

170, 171. 
Iselin, 63. 

Jacob of Edessa, 117. 

Ja ger, 51. 

Jerome, 13. 

Jesuit scholars, revive literal inter 
pretation, 33, 42, and contem 
porary historical theory, 36. 

Joachim of Floris, 15-21, 23, 
25-27 ; history of, 15-17 n. ; in 
fluence on Social Reform, 25, 
30 ; result of work, 21. 

Juan Mariana. See Mariana. 

Justin Martyr, 8. 



Kathari, the, 23. 
Kliefoth, 55. 
Kohler, 62, 64, 67. 
Kremenz, 55. 

Lactantius, 128. 
Lambertus, 28. 
Lange, 39, 40, 55. 
Lepsius, 51-53. 
Liicke, 47. 
Luther, 27. 

Marckius, 38. 

Mariana, Juan, 33, 35, 36. 

Marloratus, 28. 

Mede,38 ; Chiliastic interpretation 

of, 39, 43. 
Methodius, 11. 
Milligan, 55. 
Moffatt, 72, 76, 106. 
Morosow, 53. 
Moulton, 79, 80, 87, 99. 

Napier, 30. 

Nestle, 85. 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 39, 43. 

Nicolaus of Lyra, 27. 

Norbert, 15. 

Oecumenius, 12. 
Origen, 11. 
Osiander, 28. 

Papias, 8. 

Parseus, 30. 

Peganius, 39. 

Pereyra, 33. 

Peter John Olivi, 20. 

Petrus Aureolus, 27. 

Pfieiderer, 76, 106. 

Porter, 72, 76, 106, 107, 154, 162. 

Primasius, 13. 

Purvey, 27 

Ramsay, 51-53, 57, 99. 
Ranch, 106. 
Reimarus, 46. 
Reuss, 47, 107. 
liibeira, 33, 34, 36. 
Rovers, 63, 



INDEX I. 



193 



Sabatier, 72, 106. 
Salmeron, 33, 34. 
Saskerides, 30. 
Scaliger, 31. 
Schleiermacher, 46. 
Schmidt, 68, 106. 
Schoen, 72, 106, 107. 
Scott, Anderson, 72, 76. 
Selwyn, 117. 
Semler, 47. 

Spitta, 68-69, 71, 73, 106. 
Stern, 55. 
Svvete, 56, 80, 154. 

Tertullian, 8. 

Theodoret, 117. 

Tyconius, spiritual method of in 
terpretation of, 9, 12-13 ; ends 
Chiliasm, 12. 

Ubertino di Casale, 20. 

Van Lorentz, 55. 

Victorinus of Pettau, 8, 10-11, 

14, 26, 33, 35; recapitulation 

theory of, 11. 



Vischer, 61, 62, 63, 67, 71. 

106. 

Vitringa, 39, 122. 
Yogel, 59. 
Volkmar, 47. 

Volter, 59-60, 61, 64, 65, 106. 
Von Hoffmann, 55. 
Von Soden, 66-67, 71. 

Walafried Strabo, 14. 

Waldenses, 23. 

Waller, 55. 

Weiss, Johannes, 63-64, 66, 67, 
71, 117, 152, 154. 

Weizsacker, 59, 72, 77, 106. 

Wellhausen, 106, 107. 

Wesley, John, 43. 

Wetstein, 45. 

| Weyland, 62-63, 65, 68, 106. 
| Whiston, 39, 43. 

William of Newland, 15. 

Wycliffites, the, 23. 

Zahn, 55. 
Zullig, 45, 162. 



INDEX II. 



SUBJECTS. 



ABADDON, 102. 

Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 90, 

148. 

Aboth d. R. Nathan, 171. 
Acts of Thomas, 127. 
Albigenses, massacre of, 22. 
Alexandrian school, 9, 10. See 
Interpretation, allegorical 
method of. 

Allegory in the Apocalypse, 6, 9. 
Altar in heaven, 161-179 ; one 
only in primitive Christi 
anity, 169, 171 ; in pre- 
Christian Judaism, 171, 
172. See Temple, 
of burnt-offering, in earthly 

temple, 169, 173. 
of incense, a later development, 
in earthly temple, 168-169 ; 
but of higher value, 174 ; 
as being the heavenly 
altar, 177-179. 
Angel, of peace, 159-161. 

with golden censer, = Michael 
or angel of peace, 158-161. 
Angels, of the four winds, 111. 
of waters and of fire, 112. 
seven, before the throne of God, 

= Archangels, 158. 
Antichrist, 6, 10, 14, 17 n., 117, 
130, 144; from Dan, 10, 
114-117 ; in future, 33, 
= Nero redivivus, 46, 47, 



= papacy. See Papacy, = 
Saracens, 24 ; tradition of, 
9, 117. See Mystery of 
wickedness. 

Antiochus Epiphanes, 6. 
Anti-papal bias, 30, 31, 36, 54-55. 

See Papacy. 

Apocalypse, the, author of, a 
Christian prophet address 
ing his contemporaries, 
various views as to 
identity : Ceriiithus, 60, 
John Mark, 60; John 
Chrysostom, 53, 54. 

character of, Christian, 60, 65, 
68; Jewish, 61-63, 65, 
66, 73. 

composition of, theories of, 
42, 58-75 fragment, 72- 
75 ; redactional, 59-68 ; 
sources, 68-71. 

date of, 53, 57, 59-61, 109. 

dates and numbers in, 9, 10, 
15-17, 20, 21, 24, 26, 35, 
39-40, 41, 43, 44. See 
Chronologisings. 

diction of, 108. 

elements in, Jewish, 65, 73, 74, 
111, 155, 158, 163, 167, 
174; and Christian, 65, 
73 ; non-Jewish, (ethnic), 
76. See Book of Life, 
Sealing. 



194 



INDEX II. 



195 



Apocalypse continued. 

grammar of, 70, 71, 83-87. 
not a single vision, but many, 

109. 

object of, against Jerusalem, 
29, 45, 149 (seven Churches 
within J., 45) ; Judaism, 
41, 46 ; Rome, pagan, 49, 
57 ; papal, 29, 30, 31, 36, 
54, 55 ; against Judaism 
and Roman Empire, 46, 
47. See Interpretation, 
style of, Hebraic, 79-102 ; 

unique, 81. 
unity of, absolute, 57 ; literary, 

56. 

Apocalypse of Paul, 170. 
Apocalyptic tradition, 5, 75, 111, 

117. 

use of us, 95, 96. 
Apollyon, 101, 102. 
Apostasy, danger of, 123, 125. 
Ascension of Isaiah, 58. 
Astronomical interpretation, 50- 

54. 

Attila, 30. 
Augsburg Confession, condemns 

Chiliasm, 30, 31, 39. 
Authorship. See Apocalypse. 

Babylon, = Rome, 18; heathen 
and in last days, 33-34; 
papal. See Papacy. 

Babylonish captivity predicted 
for Church, 20. 

Baptism as a seal, 126-129. 

Barcochba, 41. 

Baruch, 2 Book of, 112, 129, 
174. 

Beast- Apocalypse, 69. 

Beasts, the first, = Boniface vm., 
20 ; the Devil, 18 ; Fred 
erick ii., 24 ; Mohammed 
anism, 18 ; Nero redivivus, 
11 ; Roman Empire, 28, 
35 ; a symbol of world- 
power, 13. 

the second, Benedict xi., 18, 
20 ; the False Prophet, 11 ; 
heathen priesthood, 29, 



Beasts, the second continued. 

30 ; Mohammed, 24 ; pride 
of life, 35. See Dragon. 

Bed, of sickness or suffering, 99. 

Benedict xi., 20. 

Boniface viu., 20. 

Book of life, meaning of, 119, 
167-168. 

" Oesar Nero," 47. 

Caligula- Apocalypse, 60, 61, 69. 

Catholicism, and Joachim of 
Floris, 21 ; becomes re 
pressive, 22. 

Celestinein., 17 n. 

Cherubim, and the Four Constel 
lations, 52. 

Chiliasm, 8, 9, 10, 12, 28, 30, 
36, 48 ; branded as a Jew 
ish heresy, 30, 31, 37, 38. 
See Millennium. 

Chiliastic interpretation, 38 ; 
flourishes in England, 31, 
38 ; re-asserted by Bengel, 
40. See Interpretation. 

Christian community, entire Jew 
ish and Gentile referred to 
in chap, vii., 135. 

Chronologisings, Apocalyptic, 
especially rife in England, 
44. See Apocalypse, Dates. 

Chrysostom, Apocalypse assigned 
to, by Morosow, 53-54. 

Claudius, 41, 42. 

Clement m., 16 n. 

Clement of Alexandria, 127, 
171. 

Composite character of Apoca 
lypse, 42. See Apocalypse. 

Constantine, 35, 41. 

Criticism, historical, 44. 

Crusades, 18, 24. 

Cyril, Catechetical Lectures, 127. 

Dan, Antichrist to come from 

tribe of, 114. 
omitted from List of Twelve 

Tribes, 114, 116, 117. 
Daniel, 6, 119, 160, 167-168. 
Date. See Apocalypse. 



196 



INDEX II. 



Dates and Numbers. See Apoca 
lypse. 

Demonic dangers in last days, 
129. 

Dominicans. See Franciscans. 

Domitian, 35, 41, 57 n. 

Dragon, 69 ; an Apollyon, 102, = 
heathen priesthood of Asia 
Minor, 100. See Beast, 
second. 

Eleazar, Rabbi, 171, 177. 

End of world expected, 14 ; time 
of, 144 n. 

Enoch, 1 Book of, 58, 112, 158, 
159, 160. 

Essenes, 64. 

Eternal Gospel, = Joachim s writ 
ings, 20, = Luther s teach 
ing, 28. 

Evil, final annihilation of, 144 n. 

Feet = legs, 97, 98. 

Franciscans and Dominicans, and 

Joachim s prophecies, 19, 

20. 
Frederick n., 19, 20, 24. See 

Gregory. 

Gentile Christians, 107, 133- 

136. 
Gog and Magog, = Turks, and 

Luther, 29. 

Grammar. See Apocalypse. 
Gregory ix. and Frederick n., 

24. 

Hadrian, 60. 

Heavenly altar of incense, 177- 
179. See Altar. 

patterns, 166-167 notes. 

temple. See Temple. 
Hebraisms, 71, 79-102. 
Helvetic Confession, denounces 

Chiliasm, 30, 31. 
Hennas, 169-170. 
Honorius in., 17 n. 

Innocent in., 22, 24. 
Interpolations, 151-154, 156. 



Interpretation, methods of 

i. Allegorical or spiritualis 
ing, 11-12, 25, 33. 
(a) combined with Recap 
itulation theory, 12. 
(&) purely abstract, 13, 25 ; 
effect of, on Church, 26. 
See vi. (a). 

ii. Astronomical, 50-54. 
iii. Chiliastic, extravagant de 
velopments of, 36-40 ; 
flourishes in England, 
31, 38. See iv., vi. (b), 
viii. , also under Chiliasm. 
iv. Eschatological, 4, 5, 7-11, 
30, 32, 55-56 ; in a 
form involving Chiliasm 
and the Recapitulation 
method, 15-27 ; in parts 
preserved in tradition, 8 ; 
revived by Jesuit scho 
lars, 32-36. 

v. Literary-Critical, 7 ; rise 
of, in seventeenth cen 
tury, 36, 40-43 ; three 
hypotheses possible in, 
58-74. 
vi. Historical 

(a) Church, 27-30, 43, 55, 
56. 

(b) Contemporary, 4, 5, 7, 
8, 10, 11, 25, 30, 32-37, 
41 ; early lost, 8 ; re 
vived by Jesuit scholars, 
33-36; recovered by 
Bibliander and Grotius, 
40-42 ; at last asserted 
in limited and perverse 
form, 43-46 ; in full and 
legitimate form, 56, 57 ; 
with or without Chili 
astic interpretation, 46- 
49. 

(c) Religious, 7. 

(d) Symbolical, 54, 55, 56. 

(e) Traditional, 7. See 
Tradition. 

(/) World, 30, 33, 37, 41, 

43, 54-56. 
vii. Philological, 7, 32. 



INDEX II. 



197 



Interpretation continued. 
viii. Eecapitulation, 11, 12, 
27, 37, 38, 39 ; in anti- 
papal, non - Chiliastic 
form, 27, 30-32 ; Mede s 
theory, a species of, 39. 
See i. (a), iv., extrava- 

fant developments of, 
6-40. 

Isaiah, vision of, 163-165, 174. 
Israel, the spiritual, 133-136. 

Jewish Apocalyptic, differs from 
Christian, but necessary to 
the understanding of it, 1-4 . 

Jewish Christians, 73, 105, 133- 
134. 

Jubilees, Book of, 58. 

Judah, placed before Levi, 73, 
114 ; this due to Christian 
influence, 114, 115. 

Judaism, attacked in Apocalypse, 
46. 

Lateran Council, Fourth (1215), 

22. 

Law, in Judaism, finally ex 
truded prophecy, 3. 
gave rise to pseudonymous writ 
ings, 3. 
period of, 16. 

supremacy of, by 350 B.C., 2. 
in Christianity, reduced to 

proper status, 3. 
Levi, precedence of, over Judah in 

later Judaism, 114. 
Life, blessed, on earth, 125 ; 

spiritual, 125. 
Lucius in., 16n. 

Luther, 27, 28,= angel with the 
Eternal Gospel, 27 ; heresy 
of, = Gog and Magog, 29. 

Maccabees, 2 Book of, 174. 

Manasseh, why inserted with 
Joseph in list of Twelve 
Tribes, 117. 

Man child, 94-95. 

Martyrdom, 124, 139, 140 ; glori 
fied, 78. 



Martyrs, prayers of, 153. 

receive white garments before 
the judgment, other saints 
after it, 140-141. 
vision of, in heaven, 105, 137, 

139-140. 

Mediation, no, 160, 161. 
Messiah, not yet born, 61. 
Michael, 158-161. See Angel. 
Millennium, 6, 35. 

date of, fixed, 13, 14, 39. 
regarded as a Jewish fable, 13. 
as past, 38. 
as a period between first and 

second Advents, 13. 
already realized as an era in 
Church history, 13, 14. 
See Chiliasm. 

Mohammed, 18, 24. See Beasts. 
Multitude, the Great, coextensive 
with the 144,000, original 
meaning of =: all the blessed 
in heaven, here = martyrs 
of the Great Tribulation, 
131-137. 

Mystery of wickedness, 130, 144. 
See Antichrist. 

Nero, 6, 28, 30, 35, 46 ; name of, 

= number 666, 47-48. 
persecution of, 41, 48. 
redivivus, 57, = first beast, 11, 

47. 

Nestle, 85. 

Number, the (i.e. 666), interpre 
tations of, 9, 10, 20, 21, 
24, 35, 41, 47, 57. 
the, of 144,000, symbolical, 
135 ; coextensive with the 
Great Multitude, 135. 
Numbers. See Chronologisings, 
Dates. 

Papacy and Antichrist, 17 n., 19, 
20, 23, 24, 26. See Anti- 
papal bias. 

Parthians, 46, 48. 

Particularism, 73, 106. 

Political significance of the Apo 
calypse, 24. 



198 



INDEX II. 



Pompey, 69. 

Prayer of the Martyrs, 153 ; of 

saints presented by angel, 

158, 160, 161. 
Priesthood, heathen, 57, = second 

beast, 29, 30. 
Prophecy, extruded by the Law 

in later Judaism, 3 ; but 

recovers its position in 

Christianity, 3. 
Psalms of Solomon, 121, 122. 
Pseudonymity, cause of, 3. 

Reading of text (616 or 666), 48. 
Recapitulationists, extravagance 
of, 31, 36-40. See Inter 
pretation, viii. 

Reformation, the, and the Apo 
calypse, 25, 26. 
Roman Church, the, and the 

Apocalypse, 23-26. 
Roman Empire, 10, 46, 47. See 

Babylon, Beasts. 
Rome, pagan, 49, 57. 

papal = Antichrist. See Pap 
acy. 

= new Jerusalem, 34-35, 
37. See Interpreta 
tion, vi. (a), 
the new Babylon, 49. 

Sacrifices, no animal, in heaven, 

172. 
Seal = Baptism, in early Christian 

writings. 126, 127-129. 
the Seventh expected in vii. 1, 

104. 
Sealed, the, contemporaries of the 

Apocalyptist, 131-132. 
Sealing, the, meaning of, 74, 105, 
118-131, 134, 135, 143; 
for recognition and de 
fence, 127, 128 ; to secure 
against, 

(a) physical evil as in Old Testa 
ment, 120. 

(6) spiritual apostasy, 123. 
(c) demonic agencies, the true 
view, 123 ; implies out 
ward manifestation of 



Sealing continued. 

true character, 131, 144, 

145. 

Seals, the seven, 67. 
the first six, 142. 
Seven Churches, Letters to, 57 n. , 

60, 61-63, 67-69. 
placed in Jerusalem, 45. 
= the seven spheres, 51. 
Silence, of half an hour, 145, 153- 

155. 
Simon Magus, the False Prophet, 

41. 
Six hundred and sixty-six. See 

Number. 
Solecisms, 81-83. 
Son of Man, 96. 

Symbolism, 52. See Interpreta 
tion, vi. (d). 

Tabnith " = a building- plan, not 
a model, 166 n. 

Talmud, 172. 

Temple, the heavenly, in the 
Apocalypse, 138, 139, 154 ; 
appears before the judg 
ment, but not after, 139. 
in Apocalyptic Judaism, 162 ; 
two altars or one in, 168. 
See Altars. 

Jewish, to be preserved intact, 
47, 61. 

Testaments of the Twelve Patri 
archs, 58, 114, 117, 129, 
159-160, 164-165, 171, 
173. 

Titus, 41. 

Traditional material, use of, 75, 
111-114 ; often of non- 
Jewish and non-Christian 
origin, 76 ; reinterpreted, 
75. 

Trajan, 41. 

Tribes, the Twelve, 114 ; four ir 
regularities in list of, 114- 
118. 

Tribulation, the Great, 132-134, 
139 ; still in progress, 
139. 

Trumpet-Source, 69. 



INDEX II. 



199 



Trumpets, first four, 145, foreign 
to original text, 146 ; in 
terpreted of heretics, 36. 

Seven, but originally Three, 
65, 146-149, 155-157. 

Sixth, 148-149. 

Ulpius = Trajan, 41. 
Universalism, 106, 108. 
Urban in., 16 n. 

Vernacular Greek, 79, 80. 

Vespasian, 42. 

Visions in the Apocalypse, ac 
tual experiences, 77 ; at 
various times, 110 ; not 
seen in trance but in 
conscious condition and 
written down at once, 
110. 



White garments = spiritual bodies, 

140, 141. See Martyrs. 
Winds, angels of the, 111. 
Winds, the Four, destructive, 111. 

113. 
Witnesses, the Two, = Enoch and 

Elijah, 10. 
= Two Testaments, Old and 

New, 13. 

Woes, the, 66, 143. 
Woman, the, in xii., = Church, 

10, 28. 

= constellation of Virgo, 51. 
= Jewish Christian community, 

Woman, the Scarlet, =Rome, 26 ; 
heathen Borne, 33. 

World-periods, three, in the in 
terpretation of Joachim of 
Floris, 16. 



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