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‘Linked Like a Chain’: Rev 22.6–9 in Light of an Ancient Transition Technique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2001

St Mary's College, University of St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9JU, Scotland


Rev 22.6–9 exhibits an elaborate structure. Fundamental to its structural complexity is the rhetorical technique of ‘chain-link’ construction, discussed by both Lucian of Samosata and Quintilian. Appearing in at least three other passages in the Johannine apocalypse, this transition device involves a back-and-forth (AbaB) arrangement of ideas that has not been adequately appreciated in modern scholarship. Rev 22.6–9 has occasionally been characterised as the product of a second-rate or ‘irregular’ mind. In fact, however, these verses evidence a structural feature commended by ancient rhetoricians concerned with presentational clarity and force.

Research Article
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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