Project Documents

Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Garth D. Thompson

Second Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Third Advisor

Kenneth A. Strand

Abstract

This paper represents an attempt to clarify the significance of the term ergon ("work") in the book of Revelation. The first part investigates the word group ergon ("work") as used throughout the Scriptures, and especially in the book of Revelation. Special attention is given to the word as used in the Gospel of John, since this study accepts John, the Son of Zebedee, as the author of both the Gospel and the Revelation. The second part presents five studies representing a practical application emerging from the investigation. Not only is there a lack of discussion of the word ergon in Revelation, but there is a need to have a balanced understanding of "works" in the discussion of justification by faith and sanctification. Commentators seem to lack a balanced emphasis between faith and works. When ergon is applied to man in the Septuagint (LXX), the emphasis of the word group is on ethical behavior, not ethical impulses or even "character" as such? the objective manifestation is paramount. When ergon has reference to God, it can describe the work of the Creator, God's acts in history in the realm of the miraculous, and the judgment.

In John, as well as the LXX, "works" inherently are neutral in moral value. The word takes on positive or negative connotations depending on the context in which it is used. All good works in the NT are ultimately considered God's work done through men. Good works in Revelation, such as love and faith, are the foundational works upon which the others are built. Patience, loyalty, service, and keeping the commandments are some of the works of the saints which develop from the foundation. The evil in Revelation can be found in degrees from apathy to heresies. "Works," which are exterior ethical behavior, are always and only possible within the covenant relationship with God. The covenant relationship provides the force and the will for the saints to accomplish works. This is a united effort in which both God and man have a part. Erqa are not only separate acts or deeds, they can also be a 1 total life-style, which is accomplished by the saints by imitating the character of the Lamb who has won the victory over Satan through His blood. Since the word ergon in John is used in the sense of miracles, in Revelation it is used in the sense of deeds. The devils, on the other hand, perform semeion ("miracles'') to proclaim the authority of Satan over God. The saints perform deeds to authenticate their discipleship of Christ.

Subject Area

Bible. Revelation--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Ergon (The Greek word)

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