HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
DE VILLIERS, Pieter G.R.. The church and power in Revelation 11. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp. 58-68. ISSN 2072-8050.
The article discusses the notion of power in the episode of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:4-6 as a point of departure for a reflection on power in early Christian documents. It also aims to determine the meaning of power in terms of a close reading of a specific text so that discussions about its nature and about power in Biblical texts can be rooted in firm evidence. This evidence should then, at later stages be further developed with the aid of theoretical models and insights about power. In a first section power in Revelation 11:4-6 is described in terms of the identity and task of the witnesses and in terms of its divine origins, followed in a second part by reflection on the direct references to their power. Special attention is given to some seminal issues about power, namely, its relationship with truth and prophecy, its divine origins, the misuse of power, violence as a response to evil and, finally, its role in the Book of Revelation and Early Christianity.