Revelation Interpreted

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In the same manner, the earlier books of the Bible are prerequisite material for understanding its final book, Revelation. However, one must understand what the structure means before one can gain this proper context. The proper understanding should be based simply on scripture and reason, without requiring us to be highly inventive or imaginative.

Ask yourself: Would God really expect his servants to arrive at such a complicated understanding of Revelation? This is not some strange coincidence. Simply put:. In most cases, these methods will produce a single interpretation that emerges uniquely as the best. In some cases, there is room for disagreement, and a few of those cases may be very difficult. The goal should be the most reasonable and defensible understanding. This is how we interpret the Bible in general, and it applies to Revelation also. The answer is obtained by observing what figurative language accomplishes.

Interestingly, it accomplishes two objectives that seem contrary to each other:.

This is where an event that takes place at one time corresponds metaphorically to a similar event at a later time. The observance of parallels in the Bible is not due to cleverness on the part of the observer, but rather the intended design on the part of God. God may use parallels because it confirms His existence. No human enterprise could orchestrate such parallels across the vast landscape of history.

In a broader sense, the whole experience of the nation Israel in the Old Testament parallels the experience of the church in the New Testament.

The parallels between Old Testament events and the first coming of Christ should cause us to expect more parallels surrounding the glorious second coming of Christ. Indeed, in Revelation there are a number of clear and strong parallels, and they must be properly recognized as such. Therefore, one should let Revelation speak first. That is, try to interpret Revelation without forcing it to conform with any particular eschatological view.

If you start with presumptions, you will in effect be telling Revelation what it says when it should be the other way around. After letting Revelation inform your mind, there will be plenty of time to see which eschatological view fits best with what you have learned. That is, if someone discovers a new interpretation of scripture that Biblical scholars failed to consider in the centuries past, then this new interpretation should be viewed with some healthy skepticism.

However, if one accepts that Revelation is prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled , then the situation is a bit different. Regarding the fulfillment of end times prophecies, Christ gave his followers some signs to look for and he taught his followers to be watchful and alert e. Mark regarding those signs. If our expectations happen to be wrong, they might cause us to overlook a significant fulfillment.

Four Views of Revelation

It is okay and only natural to form some ideas and opinions regarding how prophecy will be fulfilled. While scripture must be accepted as it is, our opinions about what it means can and should be subject to revision as we gain knowledge — and some of that knowledge may change as history unfolds.

There may be mistakes in the interpretation of Revelation presented in this website.

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We have no objective way of knowing for sure if any given interpretation is correct! So far, they have all been wrong. Every time false predictions such as these are announced, they undermine the Christian witness in the world. There is no reward for being the first Christian to correctly announce matters associated with the end times.

If you wish to be commended by God regarding the end times, then seek to understand scripture, and prepare yourself to faithfully persevere to the end. This last point is discussed in Living During the Great Tribulation. Good interpretation comes from humble interpreters. They are aware of their own bias and finite knowledge, and they are open to correction.

I. The Nature of Scripture

It is helpful to consider an Old Testament prophecy that has already been fulfilled. When Zechariah wrote this prophecy and for a few centuries that followed, this was future prophecy. There were ancient readers — people, like us — who read it and wondered what the fulfillment would be. Today, we know how this prophecy was fulfilled.

From Matt and Matt , we learn that:. They probably understood it to be Messianic, but the exact details would have been difficult to foresee. During the time of the rise of Napoleon, this view was recognized as the most acceptable interpretation. Many Protestant reformers thought the pope and the Roman church were the Antichrist and the beast.

Luther also held the same view. At the same time, Bible interpreters of the Roman church considered the reformed church the Antichrist. They further said that the number refers to Martin Luther, because they discovered this number in his name! Based on their conjecture, they concluded that the numbers in the book refer to fixed dates when many prophecies would be fulfilled. They took the three and a half years and other numbers as referring to tribulations occurring in the history at their time.

The futurist view: This view considers the majority of the book as not having yet been fulfilled. The fulfillment will be in the future. From chapter four onward not even one word has been fulfilled. Chapters two and three are concerned with the church. The church age must be completed before there is the possibility of the fulfillment of the events in chapter four and onward.

What Are the Four Different Ways the Book of Revelation Is Interpreted? Part 1

This interpretation is the most satisfactory one and coincides the best with the prophecies given elsewhere in the Bible. We are not arguing about opinions. May God keep us away from this.

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  • What we want is His truth. May His Spirit guide us into all the truth that we may clearly understand the Word of God. As to the interpretation of the book of Revelation, those of these three schools were bound to have many debates. Our intention, mentioned previously, is to apprehend what God wants us to know. It is not to argue about the view of these schools.

    What is the right way to interpret Revelation? - Greg Boyd - ReKnew

    Therefore, I do not want to spend much time reasoning here. Although men welcome this, it will not edify them. However, I can say a few words here: the preterist view is, in general, the view of the idealists. None of the church fathers in the first few centuries held this view. However, we should see clearly what the Bible teaches us. In 1 Corinthians Paul divided men into three categories: Jews, Gentiles, and the church of God. In the Old Testament, there was no church. It is in the New Testament that the Lord established the church.

    Since the book of Revelation is not only the last book of the Bible but also the conclusion of the entire holy book, we can surely see how each of these three categories will consummate. This is most logical. The preterists thought Revelation talked about the past and how the church struggled.

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    These two schools concern themselves only with the church and ignore the Jews and the Gentiles. If what they said was right, we will not know the fate or destiny of the Jews and the Gentiles. In this book we see the journey experienced by the church in the world and the glory she will receive in the future; how the remnant of the Jews are protected by the Lord, how they will go through the great tribulation, and receive the promised blessing which God promised through the prophecies; and how some Gentiles disbelieve, sin, and receive punishment, and how some of them turn to the Lord and receive their joy.