Who Are „The Dogs” in Rev 22:15? Reading of the Term οἱ κύνες in the Ancient Greek Cultural Context

Tomasz Marcin Siemieniec

Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II , Poland

Ks. Tomasz Siemieniec, prezbiter diecezji kieleckiej, doktor habilitowany nauk teologicznych, wykładowca Wyższego Seminarium Duchownego w Kielcach, adiunkt w Katedrze Teologii Protestanckiej Sekcji Ekumenizmu w Instytucie Nauk Teologicznych KUL. Pola badań naukowych: Apokalipsa św. Jana, Biblia w duszpasterstwie, Biblia a ekumenizm, teoria i praktyka lectio divina.


https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5835-8908


Abstract

The presented article deals with the metaphor of “the dog” in Rev 22:15 on the cultural background of Ancient Greece. The analysis of the state of research has shown that exegetes interpreting the term οἱ κύνες refer primarily to parallel texts found in the Bible itself (and in extra-biblical religious literature). However, such an interpretation does not exhaust the richness of meaning of the metaphor of “the dog”. The same text read by Christians who have had a previous experience of Hellenistic culture opens up new ways for an exploration of new meanings of “the dog” metaphor. According to the author of the article, Christians originating from Hellenistic culture could see the motif of “the dog” in connection with pederastic courtship, where it was the embodiment of an older partner in this relationship – the so-called erastes. This understanding of the metaphor of “the dog” is based on the reference to hunting, which was an important part of the life of ancient Greeks. In Greek literature and in vase painting, when presenting the homosexual courtship of the elder – erastes towards the younger – eromenos, one often referred to the idea of hunting. This is evident in iconography, where scenes of pederasty often employ motifs of a dog, and in literature, where erastes’ efforts are depicted in the likeness of hunting. The author of the Apocalypse, placing “dogs” among the categories of people excluded from participation in the New Jerusalem, showed that pederastic practices prevent access to the community of God's new people.

Keywords:

The Book of Revelation, Dogs, Hellemism, Pederasty, Homosexuality, Ancient Greece

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Published
2021-09-30


Siemieniec, T. M. (2021). Who Are „The Dogs” in Rev 22:15? Reading of the Term οἱ κύνες in the Ancient Greek Cultural Context. Verbum Vitae, 39(3), 895–912. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.12198

Tomasz Marcin Siemieniec 
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II

Ks. Tomasz Siemieniec, prezbiter diecezji kieleckiej, doktor habilitowany nauk teologicznych, wykładowca Wyższego Seminarium Duchownego w Kielcach, adiunkt w Katedrze Teologii Protestanckiej Sekcji Ekumenizmu w Instytucie Nauk Teologicznych KUL. Pola badań naukowych: Apokalipsa św. Jana, Biblia w duszpasterstwie, Biblia a ekumenizm, teoria i praktyka lectio divina.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5835-8908



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