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xiv + 341 pp.

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Hardback






The Prophetic Lawsuit in the Book of Revelation
Alan S. Bandy

The language, metaphors and storyline of the Book of Revelation evoke a cosmic law court setting. Juridical metaphors of a legal contest between the faithful witnesses and the ‘accuser of the brethren’ are intertwined throughout with images of holy war. Although such features have often been noted, this is the first full-length study drawing together the diverse evidence and reading the book through the lens of the controlling metaphor of the lawsuit.

The background of the law court setting in Revelation is the Old Testament prophetic genre of the lawsuit, sometimes conceived of as a lawsuit against God’s own people for their violations of the covenant, sometimes as a lawsuit against foreign nations for their oppression of Israel. Prophetic lawsuit language often culminated in oracles of salvation announcing the vindication of the righteous.

Reading Revelation with an awareness of the prophetic lawsuit motif will enable readers to interpret the juridical images as consistent features in the overall narrative. The purpose of Revelation’s narrative is to depict the sovereign judge of the universe rendering ultimate justice through the condemnation of the wicked and the vindication of the saints. This message of vindication is intended to encourage Christians in Asia Minor at the end of the first century not to capitulate or even accommodate to the socio-religious norms of their time.


Alan S. Bandy is Assistant Professor of NewTestament at Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Series: New Testament Monographs, 29
978-1-906055-97-4 hardback
Publication May 2010

Contents
INTRODUCTION
Scholarship and the Lawsuit Motif in the Book of Revelation
The Case for a Lawsuit Motif in the Book of Revelation
Methodology
Conclusion

CHAPTER 1: THE LAWSUIT MOTIF AS A PROPHETIC SUBGENRE
The Identification of the Lawsuit as a Prophetic Genre
The Prophetic Lawsuit and Dissenting Voices
The Language and Imagery of Lawsuit Motifs in the Biblical Canon
Conclusions regarding the Prophetic Lawsuit in the OT and its Relationship to the Book of Revelation

CHAPTER 2: THE SOCIO-HISTORICAL SITUATION AND THE LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
The Socio-Historical Situation: Internal Data
The Socio-Historical Situation: External Data
Conclusion

CHAPTER 3: STRUCTURAL AND LINGUISTIC FOUNDATIONS FOR THE
LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
The Structure of the Book of Revelation
The Surface Layer
The Intertextual Layer
The Intratextual Layer
Lawsuit Motif and the Structure of Revelation
Lexical Analysis and the Lawsuit Motif
Conclusion

CHAPTER 4: AN EXEGETICAL SURVEY OF THE LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE
FIRST VISION (REV 1:9–3:22)
The Inaugural Vision of Christ (Rev 1:9–1:20)
The Church as Christ‘s Witnesses through Patient Endurance
Investigation of the Churches (Rev 2:1–3:22)
Conclusion

CHAPTER 5: AN EXEGETICAL SURVEY OF THE LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE
SECOND VISION (4:1–16:21)
Proceedings in the Divine Courtroom (Revelation 4–5)
Sequence of Septets
The Interludes
Conclusion

CHAPTER 6: AN EXEGETICAL SURVEY OF THE LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE
THIRD AND FOURTH VISIONS (REV 17:3–22:21)
Vision Three: The Trial, Sentencing, and Judgment of Babylon (Rev 17:1–21:8)
Vision Four: The Vindication and Reward of the Saints (Rev 21:9–22:4)
Conclusion

CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE PROPHETIC
LAWSUIT MOTIF IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Summary
Contribution
Implications
Suggestions for Further Research
Conclusion
Appendix