0

My question is about Revelation 3:4-5. Are there three groups of Sardinian Christians being referenced here?

(4) But you have a few individuals in Sardis who have not stained their clothes, and they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy. (5) The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels. (NET)

  • Group A: Those “who have not stained their clothes” and “who are worthy”
  • Group B: Those who conquer and “will be dressed like them in white clothing”
    • (v3:5 literal Greek) “the overcoming thus will be in garments white...” (no “them”)
  • Group C: As the text goes on to say “...I will never erase his name from the book of life”, is there by implication a group-C who are not-worthy and failed-to-overcome and are therefore subject to erasure from the book of life?
0

Revelation's church of Sardis should be seen as part of a progression that develops the "Remnant" theme - a dichotomy of two groups, the unfaithful vs the faithful remnant.

  • Pergamum (Rev 2:12-17) two classes of people are described: those who have not renounced their faith (v 13, 14), and those who hold to the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. The faithful overcomers are offered three rewards: *hidden manna, *a white stone, *a new name known only by receiver.
  • Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29) two classes of people are further developed: Those who follow Jezebel and her idolatry, vs the remnant (v24, λοιποί loipoi) who do not follow Jezabel. The faithful overcomers are offered four rewards: *authority over nations, *the morning star, *to rule with iron sceptre, *to dash nations to pieces like pottery.
  • Sardis (Rev 3:1-6) two classes of people are further developed: Those (apparent majority) who appear alive but are dead, vs, the few (v4) who have not soiled their clothes. The faithful overcomers are offered five rewards: *will walk with me [Jesus], *will be dressed in white, *will not erase name from book of life, *will acknowledge before the Father, *will acknowledge before angels.

Thus, Sardis simply continues the theme of two groups in some of these churches - the unfaithful vs the faithful remnant. This group is mentioned again in Rev 12:17.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.