n HTS : Theological Studies - Defining the situation in Revelation : John's intention and action-lines

Volume 61, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



This article argues that the purpose of Revelation is to strengthen the group identity of the church and not to encourage a persecuted church. This view is proposed by a symbolic-interactionistic analysis of Revelation. Symbolic interaction focuses on the construction of situations through symbols, the interaction between symbols and the grouping of symbols. Through the analysis and the corresponding action lines certain conclusions pertaining to the problems in the church and the author's intention (the writing being a reflection of his mind process) are possible. The overall problem seems to be the fading boundaries of identity between the church and society. John's intention is to bring about the necessary alterations. He thus exhorts the church through warnings, calls to repent and even threats. This is achiebed by defining the situation to the church through symbolic scenes.

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