Stephen Pattemore examines passages within Revelation 4:122:21 that depict the people of God as actors in the apocalyptic drama and infers what impact these passages would have had on the self-understanding and behaviour of the original audience of the work. He uses Relevance Theory, a development in the linguistic field of pragmatics, to help understand the text against the background of allusion to other texts. Three important images are traced. The picture of the souls under the altar (6:911) is found to govern much of the direction of the text with its call to faithful witness and willingness for martyrdom. Even the militant image of a messianic army (7:18, 14:15) urges the audience in precisely the same direction. Both images combine in the final image of the bride, the culmination of challenge and hope traced briefly in the New Jerusalem visions.
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