Mud on the Wall: Brainstorming the Apocalypse (LXII)

July 14, 2010

Well, here I am back-tracking again, to make sure I have thought through all the angles needed to have a good feel for things before drawing my overall conclusions in regard to “the heaven-dwellers” in Revelation.  In this case, I have decided that I need to do some additional inductive “noodling” in regard to several specific terms having to do with martyrs in the Apocalypse.  So, please bear with me as if I sleuth my way through this material.  I suspect that I have overlooked some key connections and I am not going to be able to bring my mind to the point of being at rest until I have worked this through.

The most obvious of these is the Greek term martus, which is translated as “witness” or “martyr,” depending on the context.  In Revelation, it is found five times: in 1:5; 2:13; 3:14; 11:3; and 17:6.

A second relevant term is the verb sphazo, which is rendered “to slaughter” or “put to death.”  In the Apocalypse, it is used in 5:6, 9, 12; 6:4, 9; 13:3, 8; and 18:24.

In addition, there are four terms that are possibly referring to martyrs in Revelation which deserve a long look:

1) hagios (“saint,” which is found 13 times–in 5:8; 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 15:3; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24; 19:8; and 20:9)

2) apostolos (obviously “apostle,” which is only used in 2:2; 18:20; and 21:14)

3) doulos (“servant,” which has 11 uses–in 1:1 [twice]; 2:20; 7:3; 10:7; 11:18; 15:3; 19:2, 5; and 22:3, 6)

4) prophetes (“prophet,” with 8 uses–in 10:7; 11:10, 18; 16:6; 18:20, 24; and 22:6, 9)

My analysis of this terminology, and its possible relationship to “the heaven-dwellers” in the Book of Revelation, will be the focus of my next post.

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