This is a study of the symbolic meaning of arnion (lamb) in the Apocalypse of John as the central feature of the Christology of Revelation. Loren L. Johns argues that arnion did not refer to an aggressive, militant ram in extant Greek literature prior to the Apocalypse, nor did it normally denote the expiatory sacrificial lamb. Rather, it symbolized vulnerability in the extant literature.The author examines the symbolic antecedents of arnion in the Hebrew Bible, while ranging throughout the literary evidence from the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman era, even touching on the evidence from Homer and Aesop's Fables traditions. He analyzes closely the evidence that has been offered in support of a militant lamb-redeemer figure in the apocalyptic traditions of Early Judaism and concludes that none of the writings that predate the Apocalypse and that are cited in support of this tradition is free from Christian editorializing. Furthermore, the Christology of the Apocalypse is not militant. The blood on the lamb in Rev. 19 is not from the defeated enemies of God; it is from the slaughter of the lamb.Loren L. Johns concludes that the Lamb Christology of the Apocalypse has an ethical force - that the author develops his Lamb Christology specifically to encourage his audience to the kind of faithful witness that he was convinced would result in their death as innocent lambs in much the same way that Jesus' witness did.
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