Basic theme: The Vision of Heavenly Throne Room (Rev 4 and 5)
The changes to the Teacher’s Edition of the Adult Sabbath School Study Guide (known popularly as the Sabbath School Quarterly) for January to March 2019 were more significant than last week, but still fairly minimal. I will review the changes that were interesting or substantive.
In section II of the Overview my statement that worship is “about what God has done” was supplemented by “and our appropriate, heartfelt response to it.” I suppose that is accurate in principle, but so much of our worship today tends to be human-centered and needs the corrective of the God-centered biblical focus and that might be lost on account of the addition.
In the opening paragraph of the Commentary section my statement that Jesus Christ is worshipped because He was slain was supplemented by “and is our Redeemer.” This addition suggests careful attention to the text of Revelation 5, where the slaying of the Lamb is the basis for praise in verses 6 and 12, but verse 9 adds the idea of redemption as a basis for worship. I was thinking mostly of Revelation 5:6 when I wrote what I did, but the editorial addition is also correct and I support it.
In Main Themes V the editors replaced my adjective “created” with “intelligent.” I think this was a great change, as my wording might unintentionally left the impression that Jesus was a created being. In using that term I was only thinking of His humanity (flesh) which was “created” (egeneto– John 1:14). But I think the changed wording is better.
In Main Themes VI the editors eliminated my comment that the Lamb joins His Father on the throne in Revelation 5. They are right that this is not exegetically stated in chapter 5, but is anticipated in Rev 3:21 and completed in Rev 22:5, so I think it is reasonable to assume that the events of Revelation 5 support an “enthronement” of Christ on the day of Pentecost, as He is now in the “midst” of the throne (Rev 5:6). But there is room for doubt, so I am OK with the change.
In Main Themes VII I wrote that Satan first appears in Revelation in the fifth trumpet. That is true in the literal sense, but the editors note that Satan is named in Rev 2:9 and 2:24. That is also true, so I support the editorial change here.
So in sum total, I think the editorial changes in this week’s lesson made things better rather than worse. It’s amazing the details that can slip through in the writing process both ways. I imagine the changes will be more troubling (to me) when we get to the heart of the book (chapters 8-14). You will, of course, be fully posted on all that right here. Stay tuned.
Again, for those who don’t have access to the standard printed edition of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide or the Teacher’s Edition for this quarter, you can access them online week by week at https://www.absg.adventist.org/. My original pre-edited Teacher’s Edition manuscript for this week is provided in the previous blog. You can also download audio of me teaching the lesson ahead of time each week at http://pineknoll.org/sabbath-school-lessons.