Focus Review

Totius en die boek Openbaring

H.A. Louw
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 33, No 3 | a636 | DOI: | © 1970 H.A. Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 August 1999 | Published:

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H.A. Louw, Rustenburg, South Africa

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Totius and the Book of Revelation

In his sermons on the book Revelation, published in 1921, the Afrikaans theologian and poet, Prof. J.D. du Toit, better known under the pseudonym Totius, took the “futurist” view as the principal way to explain this Bible book. Elements of other views like the “historicist view” were also followed, especially in the sermon on the seven churches in Asia Minor, which regarded each church as concerned with later periods in the history of Western Europe. According to Du Toit the scene of the sealing of the servants of God (7:1-8) and of the great multitude mentioned later in the chapter (7:9-17) is set at the end of time. It should, however, be better to interpret chapter 7:1-8 as the church in John's time and the vast crowd of people from every nation as an image of the redeemed in the bliss of heaven. The multitude who comes (present tense) out of the great tribulation are those who died for their faith when Revelation was written. But the article describing the multitude in the original Greek text also seems to indicate the great trouble accompanying the end of things.

For Du Toit the prostitute in chapter 17 symbolizes a city, namely Babylon. The harlot, however, had slain a great number of saints who believed in Jesus (17:6). Thus the harlot cannot be identified with Babylon. The city must be Rome, the contemporary representative of the cruel empires which, through the ages have enslaved people by brute force. Rome also killed saints who served Christ.

Du Toit’s greatest shortcoming in his explanation of the Book of Revelation was that he did not see that the book Revelation is rooted in a given historical situation.


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