Interpreting The Book Of Revelation

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Approaches to Interpreting the Book of Revelation Josie Nicolato Regent University Approaches to Interpreting the Book of Revelation The book of Revelation was written by the apostle John, in an apocalyptic literature style. It consists of a series of prophecies about the end times, when Jesus will return and triumph over all the evil residing in the world. Its purpose is to bring hope and encouragement to Christians so that they will continue watching for the return and victory of Jesus Christ, but it is also a warning of the Final Judgment that nonbelievers will endure. The depiction of the cosmic battle that takes place both in heaven and on earth, symbolic language, and introduction of surreal…show more content…
According to this view, the events in Revelation are not tied to any specific events historically or in future. It reduces John’s prophesies to a one simple ‘big picture’ idea about the continuing struggle between good and evil (Gundry, 2012). Though there is some truth to this summary, the idealistic approach is heading towards the mindset that Boxall warned his readers about. The idealistic view seems to emphasize the analogy aspect of Revelation, as if it was only written to hold devotional value. This approach would be good to use to gain a simple understanding of the overall theme of Revelation, but should not be the sole perspective used to interpret the book. Preterists and idealists have much in common in that they seem to reject the prophetic element the book of Revelation. However, in the preterist approach, Revelation was perceived to be describing the events surrounding the destruction of the Roman Empire (Gundry 2012). For example, Mark Hitchcock explains in his article “A Critique of The Preterist View”, that some scholars believe that the seven heads and seven kings, mentioned in 2 Revelations 17:9, are symbolic of a complete set of Roman rulers. The number seven, referenced in the scripture, is viewed as being an apocalyptic symbol for completeness. Though all four approaches agree, to some extent, that the book of Revelation contains symbolic
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