At one point in Romans 3:1-8, the apostle Paul quotes Psalm 51:4. Both Paul’s quotation of Psalm 51:4 in Romans 3:4 and the Greek Septuagint version of Psalm 51:4 contain the same Greek word nikaō, which means “to prevail, to overcome, to conquer, to be victorious.” Where the Septuagint version of Psalm 51:4 uses the Greek word nikaō, the Hebrew Masoretic version of Psalm 51:4 uses the Hebrew word zakah, which means “to be pure, to be clean, to be clear.” A comparison of these two versions of Psalm 51:4 at least suggests the possibility that the idea of “prevailing, overcoming, conquering, being victorious” (Greek nikaō) which is spoken of in Romans 3:4 was understood by the Jewish translators of the Septuagint to be, in its essence, equivalent to the idea of “being made pure, being made clean, being made clear” (Hebrew zakah). Such an hypothesis tends to be confirmed when we consider the use of that same Greek word nikaō in passages such as Revelation 21:6-7, which speaks of “the water of life” as being awarded to those who have “prevailed” or “overcome”—especially when that passage is read in conjunction with Revelation 22:1, which emphasizes the “clarity” of this same “water of life.”
Such an equivalence between the idea of “overcoming” or “prevailing,” and “being made pure” or “being made clear,” would also tend to reinforce the hypothesis that I offered in a previous post that the purified “spirit of Jesus”—that is to say, purified by having passed through the experience of the Crucifixion and the inevitably succeeding Resurrection—may have been regarded by the authors of the New Testament as something that would ultimately come to replace the “unclean spirit” or “impure spirit.” (Consider Romans 6:3-5. Is it merely coincidental that Jesus’s death and rebirth would be compared by Paul to being symbolically cleansed by the baptismal waters?) This would indicate that the figure of “Jesus”—which I believe should be regarded, at least in part, as an archetype representing all of the schizophrenic “prophets” at once—was understood to “prevail” (think: “be made pure, be made clean, be made clear”) at the symbolic moment of his “death” on the Cross. And I think that it was Jesus’s speech or language that was, more than anything, understood by the authors of the New Testament to have been made “pure” or “clean” or “clear” at that symbolic moment—that is, from the perspective of those listening to him—when he finally gave the “great shout” or “loud cry” that he had been holding back prior to that. (Cf. Matthew 10:27.)
I think the belief of the authors of the New Testament was that non-schizophrenics would acquire the ability to speak in “schizophrenese” to some extent, even at the same time as their doing that would provide the schizophrenic “prophets” with a greater feeling of safety, giving them the freedom to speak less schizophrenically themselves. I think the hope or expectation of the authors was that the two groups would “meet each other half-way,” so to speak—and doing this is what would accomplish the “fulfilling” (or “completing,” or “finishing,” or “perfecting,” or “bringing to an end”: Greek teleō or teleioō) of “prophecy.”
I believe this idea of a “meeting” or “coming together” of those two groups or perspectives might be found being indicated in Revelation 21:6, when “Jesus” says,
I am the Alpha [alpha] and the Omega [Ω], the Beginning [or Origin: arché] and the End [or Goal, or Destination, or Completion: telos].
According to the interpretation that I’m offering, the utterance or “sending off” of some “inner message” or “inner meaning” by schizophrenic “prophets,” in the form of cryptic and heavily symbolic “prophecy,” would correspond to the “beginning” (arché). [Evidence for such a notion can be found in the Greek Septuagint version of Psalm 78:2, which associates the idea of the “beginning” (or “origin,” or “the first,” or “early times”: arché) with “riddles” (or “puzzles,” or “enigmas,” or “dark sayings,” or “obscure sayings”; more literally, “things cast before”: probléma, derived from pro-ballō, which literally means “to cast before”; cf. Matthew 7:6).] Meanwhile, the comprehension or “receiving” by non-schizophrenics of that “inner message” or “inner meaning”—corresponding to the true meanings that the schizophrenic “prophets” intended to convey by their cryptic communications (even if not entirely consciously)—would correspond to the “end” (or “completion,” or “goal”: telos) of that “prophecy.” In other words, the “goal” of “prophecy” would finally have been achieved, and the “end of the age” would finally have been reached, when ordinary people in general could say to the schizophrenic “prophets”: Message received.
I believe this is what the authors of the New Testament regarded as “victory”: the overcoming of the communicatory barriers that had been introduced into the world at symbolic “Babel” (i.e., “Babylon”). The reason why this would be “victory,” not only for the schizophrenic “prophets,” but also for non-schizophrenics as well, is that those schizophrenic “prophets” must in some way have been speaking for most if not all of the rest of us when they were trying to deliver their interior “message” (or “speech,” or “meaning”: Greek logos) to us—because otherwise, “esoteric religion” (think: “schizophrenic religion”) would never have had the great appeal that it has proven to have had for the vast majority of human beings throughout recorded history.
At an unconscious level, I believe many people already understood what that “inner message” was, which is partly why they were attracted to the communication. But there was also something in people that repelled them from that same message—which is why their understanding remained an unconscious one. And so by arriving at a comprehension of the true meanings intended to be conveyed by the schizophrenic “prophets” in their communications, what we would actually be doing is better comprehending ourselves, and overcoming our own inner divisions—which I believe can be traced back to the existence of the Lie in human society. The reason why the schizophrenic “prophets” could not speak clearly is ultimately the same reason why “normal people” or “the multitude” could not hear them clearly: In both cases, people’s self-deceptive tendencies and attachment to the Lie made it impossible for the communication to succeed.
[Note, by the way, that with regard to Jesus describing himself as “the Alpha and the Omega,” the Greek manuscripts of the Book of Revelation sometimes spell out the capital Greek letter/word alpha, Α, but those manuscripts never spell out the capital Greek letter/word ōmega, Ω. This may indicate that the author was repeatedly trying to emphasize the fact that the very shape of the capital letter ōmega appears to signify the joining together or coming together of two ends of a line to form a circle, with this perhaps understood to represent the idea of “wholeness” as well as “peace” and “rest” (all of which notions can be translated by the Hebrew word shalom and the Greek word eiréné, derived from eirō, meaning “to join together, to string together, to connect”). On the other hand, the shape of the capital Greek letter alpha, A, as one visually travels from its top to its bottom, seems to suggest the idea of steadily increasing “division,” or “separation,” or “splitting,” or “alienation,” or “estrangement” (even though Jesus, when thought of as corresponding to the top of the letter A, would still be the “point of origin” of all things—whether the “all things” [Greek panta; cf. Revelation 21:5] be relatively united or relatively divided at any particular point in time). Perhaps the understanding of the author was that with the “end of the age,” the earlier “division” or “separation” found in human life and affairs would have been overcome.]
An interpretation such as the one I am offering would help to explain why Joel 2:28-31 (quoted in Acts 2:17-20) could associate the “Day of the Lord” with a time in which all people would gain the ability to “prophesy” (think: “speak in schizophrenese”), while Zephaniah 3:9 could associate that same “Day of the Lord” with the coming into being of a “pure speech” or “pure language” or “clear speech” or “clear language”—as well, according to Zephaniah 3:13, as the coming into being of a time in which there would be no more “telling of lies” or “deceitful tongues” (or, “deceitful languages”).
Incidentally, compare Acts 2:17 with John 19:34 and John 16:25. The use in John 16:25 of the word “hour” (Greek hōra) thus strongly suggests that Jesus’s use of “figurative speech” (or “dark sayings,” or “allegorical speech”) was understood to come to an end with his Crucifixion, that is, with the “pouring out” (Greek ek-cheō; cf. Luke 22:20) of his “spirit” (Greek pneuma). Consider the use of the word “hour” (hōra) in John 16:21, John 2:4, John 12:27, and many other verses indicating that the word “hour” (hōra) was meant to refer to Jesus’s death on the Cross.
In addition, the repeated use of the word “hour” (hōra) in Revelation chapter 18 (describing the “fall of Babylon”), in verse 10, verse 17, and verse 19—as well as a comparison between the ways in which the Greek word thlipsis, meaning “tribulation, distress, anguish” (more literally, “pressing, squeezing”), are used in John 16:21 and Matthew 24:8-9—strongly suggest that the symbolic “Crucifixion” was identified in the minds of the authors of the New Testament with the symbolic “fall of Babel/Babylon” and the “end of the age.” Consider that the “Woman” (Greek gyné) of John 16:21 may very well have been meant to be understood as corresponding to the “Woman” (gyné) of Babel/Babylon spoken of in Revelation chapters 17 and 18; and the resurrected “Jesus” would correspond to the “child” spoken of in John 16:21.
I believe both of these symbolic events—the “Crucifixion” and the “fall of Babel/Babylon”—were understood (albeit somewhat unconsciously) to signify the end of religious esotericism considered as a kind of system. The “death” of the “collective Prophet” (i.e., the archetypal “Jesus”), would signify the “death”—but also the subsequent “rebirth” or “resurrection”—of schizophrenic “prophecy” (i.e., esoteric religion) in such a way that its “inner meanings” (or “mysteries”: mystérion) would be fully “revealed” (or “uncovered,” or “unveiled,” or “disclosed”: apokalyptō) at the time of the so-called “Apocalypse” (a word derived from the Greek word apokalyptō).