The 144,000 PARTHENOI of Revelation 14

The story of the 144,000 who stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion in Rev 14:1-4 is one of those “flashpoints” in the interpretation of John’s vision. Craig R. Koester’s new commentary in the Anchor Bible, vol. 38A, has something of a new approach. To begin with, here is Koester’s translation. The emphasis is mine, and it indicates the places at which I wish to further explain Koester’s approach:Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion. With him were 144,000 who had his na … [Read more...]

New Kid in Town: Newest Anchor Bible Commentary on Revelation

This seems to be the year for commentaries on Revelation. And although there are a couple more on the way, Craig R. Koester’s work is such a good example of the genre that I’m crawling out from under my rock to write a bit about it.First off, it’s the newest addition to the Anchor Bible, joining an earlier volume on Revelation by Josephine Massyngberde Ford, so it’s labeled as volume 38a. It was published September, 30, 2014, and weighs in at 881 pages plus 43 pages of lists and a preface. Ti … [Read more...]

Things You Wouldn’t Think Might Go Together…

  About last Friday or so I was sitting under my rock reading from Ehrman’s and Holmes’ Text of the New Testament: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, which happens to be about textual criticism. I am not making this up – it was chapter 17, Wasserman’s essay on criteria.  So anyway, word filtered in that the Maxwell Institute had a new book collecting all the NT apocrypha and giving high quality pictures of the same, etc., etc.  And I thought to myself:  This is good news!  Textual criticism … [Read more...]

Quick and Powerful

And so another Labor Day comes, bringing the end to summer.  May the next summer bring more jobs to those who need them, and some recovery to the household income of those who do have jobs! Now, back to the BoM. I have been wandering around in the BoM looking, from the perspective of a reader of the NT, at how the BoM uses the biblical text. Those who’ve been around for a bit know that sometimes there’s no change and sometimes there's some significant change, usually in a fashion that makes … [Read more...]

Black and White

As I have casually wandered around the BoM this summer looking at how it uses the NT, I have noted instances in which it “clarifies” NT ideas, instances in which it “de-complicates” NT ideas, and instances in which it completely changes the meaning. In this post, I’d like to point out an instance in which an NT idea is “updated” so that it speaks more openly to modern issues.Perhaps the most radically egalitarian statement in the NT is Paul’s affirmation to the Galatians that they have no nee … [Read more...]

Giant Horror Bug Replaced!!!

When last we looked in on how the BoM used something of Paul’s from First Corinthians, we noted that the reference to sin was missing. In this little post I will point out that sin has been replaced by divine justice as the monstrous enemy that threatens humans. … [Read more...]

Giant Horror Bug Gone Missing!!!

This is one of those instances of intertextuality where what’s interesting is what’s missing. At the end of 1 Cor 15 Paul uses a victory motif to express the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Almost, almost, all of the same words are used again in the BoM, by Abinadi, Aaron and finally Mormon. But there is a bit of a difference. … [Read more...]

Gall of Bitterness

This expression, which seems pretty strange to moderns, is used a surprising number of times in the BoM. In this post, however, I want to compare how it is used in Alma the Younger’s angelophany (Alma 36) and the story of Simon’s interaction with Peter and John in Acts 8. The interesting thing about it is that although the exact same phrase is used in both stories, I think it expresses quite different emotional states.  … [Read more...]


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