Erchomai-nia in the seven churches of Asia : Revelation’s response to eschatological imminency
CITATION: Wilson, M. 2017. Erchomai-nia in the seven churches of Asia : Revelation’s response to eschatological imminency. Pharos Journal of Theology, 98:1-14.
The original publication is available at http://www.pharosjot.com
Commentators on Revelation routinely note that the content of the seven seals in chapter 6 corresponds closely with Jesus’ apocalyptic Olivet Discourse found in each of the Synoptic Gospels. This article first reviews the literary similarities between Jesus’ teaching in the Discourse and John’s first judgment cycle of seven seals. It then looks at historical parallels between these and the account of Josephus in The Jewish War. Postulating an early date for Revelation, the article then explores the possibility that erchomai-nia has broken out in the churches in Asia. Evidence for political and economic disturbance in the province of Asia in the late 60s CE is presented. Jesus’ prophetic teaching about the fall of Jerusalem, seemingly fulfilled in the war in Judea and the encirclement of Jerusalem by Roman troops, has provoked a mind-set of eschatological imminency in some Asian believers. John’s Apocalypse, particularly in the seven seals, seeks to address this alarm ist perspective and to present a different timetable related to Jesus’ second coming.