Floyd O. Parker, «‘Our Lord and God’ in Rev 4,11: Evidence for the Late Date of Revelation?», Vol. 82 (2001) 207-231
This article challenges a commonly-held belief that the title ‘our Lord and God’ (Rev 4,11) served as a Christian counter-blast to the claim of the emperor Domitian to be dominus et deus noster. Despite the claims of several scholars that the title ‘our Lord and God’ does not appear in the OT, the data collected favors the view that the title in Rev 4,11 does indeed have its origin in the divine title ‘Lord and God’ found in the LXX and other Jewish sources. Consequently, the title is of no use in helping to determine the date of the book of Revelation.
The debate over the date of the book of Revelation remains a live issue in contemporary scholarship. The battle lines are drawn between those who hold firmly to the late date of composition in the time of the emperor Domitian and those who have begun to examine afresh the possibility for a date in the reign of Nero. While, for the most part, scholars have fielded the more significant arguments on both sides of this issue, some of the lesser arguments have been neglected. The purpose of this article is to assess the value of one of the lesser arguments for the late date of Revelation, one which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been responded to by any early-date scholar.
Several late-date advocates from the last half of the 20th century have proposed, with varying degrees of specificity, that the phrase ‘our Lord and God’ (o( ku/rioj kai_ o( qeo_j h(mw=n; Rev 4,11) derives from the language of the Roman imperial court. This imperial title was supposedly taken over by John in order to make the counter-claim that the Christian God was the one, true ‘Lord and God’. The views of these scholars can be divided into three broad categories: (1) those who regard this phrase as an exact rendering of the Latin title dominus et deus noster employed by Domitian1; (2) those who