the slander of the people who falsely claim to be Jews but are really members of the synagogue of Satan
I want to know who these folks are. My two working theories are:
- Christianity by this point has more or less separated out from Judaism; and a sizable local Jewish population is using political strings to persecute a small Christian minority
- Similar situation to what Paul describes; a group from within the Christian group is imposing all sorts of rules and regulations on new converts claiming they are the “real” faithful.
I simply lack the historical knowledge to know which is going on here. Or whether something else is that I have no handle on.
Clearly things have reached a point where persecution to the point of death is a real possibility. I find the phrase even if you have to die, keep faithful fascinating. The speaker doesn’t actually know that someone will have to die. Yet this is supposedly the resurrected Lord speaking. What might that mean?
The speaker speak with authority only about promises: those who prove victorious will come to no harm from the second death, but not about earthly events yet to come.