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Title: The influence of ancient near eastern vassal treaties on the seven prophetic messages in Revelation with special reference to the message to Smyrna
Author: Graves, David E.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is a form-historical analysis of the influence of the ancient Near Eastern vassal treaties (ANEVT) on the seven prophetic messages of Revelation (SMR).  It also surveys the scholarship surrounding the genre, structure and function of the SMR as it relates to the ANEVT structure. The standard description of the genre of the seven proclamations of Revelation 2-3, set by David Aune, is “royal or imperial edict,” (Graeco-Roman influence) largely based on the idea that the texts do not “rigidly replicate the generic features of any known ancient literary form.”  This thesis challenges Aune’s statement by demonstrating a known form replicated in the messages, although not rigidly, namely that of the ANEVT via the Torah and OT prophetic lawsuit material (Hebrew-Semitic influence).  The vassal treaty formulary consists of preamble, historical prologue, stipulations, witness and blessing and cursing.  The influence of ANEVT has a long history starting with the Hittite and Assyrian treaties and is identifiable in the OT pentateuchal material (Deuteronomy), and the OT prophetic oracles (Gerichtsrede, OT rîb-pattern).  John is influenced by this heritage in the SMR. The thesis argues that John is not duplicating either OT prophetic oracles or the message of Deuteronomy, rather he combines the covenant lawsuit message of the prophets with the covenant formulary structure (ANEVT) found in Deuteronomy to construct his own unique genre of hybrid lawsuit oracle.  The ANEVT structure within the SMR is appropriate for prophetic oracles that call the churches to repentance and covenant faithfulness.  John delivers the prophetic oracles using the metaphor of the ANEVT entrenched in the covenant lawsuit framework (form) to present the content of the prophetic message to the seven churches in Revelation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available