And then…Revelation

Revelation 1: 1-3

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Here we are at the beginning of a wonderful new year. To celebrate that new beginning, I thought we’d skip to the end. The end of the Bible that is–Revelation.

My Bible reading goal this past year was to read The New Testament. The closer I got to my goal—the more I began to panic. Who wants to read Revelation, right? I’ve read the book a few times before. And that’s exactly what I did. I read it. I didn’t study it. I didn’t particularly understand most of it, but I read it.

This time was different! I wanted to gain a better understanding of it so that it made some sense to me. To that end, I researched what “experts” had to say about it. In that quest I learned something important.

Even the so-called “experts” can’t agree on what the book of Revelation means! There are many different approaches to interpreting Revelation.

Here’s a very simplified description of the four major views.

Spiritual or Idealist: Most prophecies portray the ongoing cosmic conflict of spiritual realities; many have been fulfilled throughout history.

Preterist: Most prophecies in the book were fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire.

Histroricist: The prophecies have been fulfilled throughout history and are still being fulfilled today.

Futurist: Most prophecies beyond Revelation 3 are yet to be fulfilled.

Although scholars and teachers may label themselves with one of these distinct methods, in reality they often use various combinations of the four.

Which way is the right way? I have no idea, but I do know that because it is part of the Holy Bible, we can trust that Revelation has value for all Christians.

So since no one seems to really know what it says or means, I decided to simply approach Revelation the way I do other books of the Bible. I would read through the verses, check out what my study Bible notes have to say, research what others say about it, then make up my own mind.

So for the next however long it takes, I’m sharing my study on Revelation here. Please understand, I’m not an expert in any way. I’m a Christian who seeks to better understand the book of Revelation.

PS. I’d love to get your input as we move along in this study. Also, I plan to post more often during this Bible study than I usually do.

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