Trumpeting God's Mercy: A Socio-rhetorical Interpretation of the Seven Trumpets of Revelation

Awarding Institution

University of Auckland

Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Dr. Derek Tovey

Second Advisor

Prof. Elaine Wainwright


Socio-rhetorical interpretation, as developed by Vernon Robbins, uses five textures, namely, inner texture, intertexture, social and cultural texture, ideological texture and sacred texture. My work introduces intratexture. These textures are used to analyse Rev 8.2-9.21 and 11.15- 18, which is identified as the focus text. Chapter 1 addresses the prior literature on the trumpets, analyses the dominant image of trumpet and introduces the interpretive analytic. Chapter 2 investigates inner texture to ascertain how words function as a means of communication. Chapter 3 concentrates on intertexture and intratexture which focuses on cultural intertexture. Constructs within this aspect of intertexture include allusions and echoes. A symbol marker establishes the intertextual relationship between the successor and precursor text. To facilitate whether the precursor text, initially identified by the symbol marker, is an allusion or echo, Richard Hays criteria are used. The allusions and echoes point to the enemies of God and his people in the Old Testament and the Second Temple literature. Echoes become very important in the exegetical enterprise. In chapter 4 I analyse the social and cultural texture, which is concerned with exploring the consequences of the communal and cultural location of the language of Revelation and the kind of world this language evokes. The construct of social marker engages and unravels the texts social and cultural features. The social markers point to spiritual and economic issues against the mythic backdrop of the cosmic conflict tradition. Chapter 5 investigates the ideological texture, which is concerned with systems of power and views of reality shared by individuals and groups. The ideological marker has distinctly ideological elements and reinforces and recasts the findings of the social markers. Chapter 6 examines the sacred texture, drawing together all the findings of the previous textures and developing insights on God, the cosmic conflict and the value of the markers. The core argument is that the cosmic conflict tradition, scripted out in the narrative world as a sharp social schism between the Roman empire and the authorial audience, allows this audience to make no accommodation to the dictates of Greco- Roman society.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Theology) Thesis. Faculty of Arts, The University of Auckland.

Staff and students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this thesis from Avondale College Library (228.067 D51)

The final, revised, and updated version is published as: de Waal, K. (2010). Trumpeting God's mercy: A socio-rhetorical interpretation of the seven trumpets of Revelation.