More literary keys for interpreting Revelation (Pt. 2)

What would happen if we would allow Revelation’s literary genre as well as both the immediate and greater contexts of its texts to guide our understanding of John’s Revelation? What would we learn? Picking up from last week’s suggestions, here are some more principles for creating a literary sensitive framework for understanding this book. Continue reading “More literary keys for interpreting Revelation (Pt. 2)”

Interpreting Revelation: some keys for building a framework (1)

John’s Revelation has spawned a plethora of understandings.

From the sensational to the enigmatic, John’s Revelation has spawned a plethora of understandings. Yet many of these possess a commonality. Often the interpretation is the result of imposing upon the text a non-literary filter foreign to the text. Such filters might be one’s confident expectation that Revelation describes _______ or perhaps it consists of a grid that assumes a map metaphor outlining church history.

Filters will produce a message. But is the understood message what the author intended?

What if we were to allow the genre of Revelation to suggest how we interpret it? What if we took seriously its own words? Let me suggest where such an exploration would take us. Continue reading “Interpreting Revelation: some keys for building a framework (1)”

‘The word came to me’

A divine event happened to one man in the midst of many.

The Bible proclaims to be a revelation from God and a product of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It consistently demonstrates that it is exactly what it claims to be. We can, therefore, open its pages with complete confidence that we are hearing the Word of God. Continue reading “‘The word came to me’”

The only one worthy

John saw Jesus as a lamb that had been given as a sacrifice.

“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no-one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no-one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.” (Revelation 5:1-4 NIV)

John saw that the One on the throne had a scroll in his right hand. The right hand was the position of authority, which indicates that this had God’s authority. This scroll was written on both sides – as it seems to have been rolled, John would be able to see writing. The significance seems to be that it was so full of important information that it had to be written on both sides and was now full and complete. This scroll was sealed with seven seals. Continue reading “The only one worthy”