An Agnostic Explosion: An Investigation of Athletics in the Seven Cities of Revelation
AbstractVictory is a key theme throughout the book of Revelation and has often been understood in light of military victories and Roman conquest. However, the language of victory in Revelation could just as easily draw from the realm of athletics. As we will see, during the time of John’s writing of Revelation there was an explosion of new athletic festivals and a rehabilitation of traditional Greek spectacle culture. Such significant cultural phenomena would likely have influenced John’s audience’s understanding of the calls to be victorious at the end of the seven messages in Rev 2–3 as calls to bear faithful witness to Jesus’ lordship.