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Bibliology & Hermeneutics The study of the Bible and Scriptures, and its interpretation and translation.

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  #1  
Old 5th April 2011, 03:49 AM
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Purpose of the Revelation

Hey!
I'm not a new christian anymore - I've had living faith or the last five years now. However I think I would still appreciate some insight on the purpose of having Revelation in the Bible, as well as how it were reasonable to read it. I have read through it twice and to me, it seemed to be a prophecy about the end times. The problem is that it seems really hard to see what things it's supposed to mean or not mean - every single age so far has thought that it's all about their time in particular and we still haven't seen the world end, have we? And if t's not supposed to help us see when the end approaches then what function does it serve to know all about it?

Another interpretation I've heard is that it would have been a form of giving consolation to the early christians who were severely persecuted and that it were written in a secret code language of some sorts so that others wouldn't understand... But how can we then know that it is exactly that and not what it seems to say? Because that just sounds confusing... And then I also don't feel very persecuted, so I don't think it would matter to me if this theory were true. [I understand the Bible is written for others then me too but shouldn't it's content be somewhat relevant to every christian?]
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  #2  
Old 5th April 2011, 03:58 AM
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"Another interpretation I've heard is that it would have been a form of giving consolation to the early christians who were severely persecuted....."

That is my belief, Aino.....and that's all I will say.......
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Old 5th April 2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Myers View Post
"Another interpretation I've heard is that it would have been a form of giving consolation to the early christians who were severely persecuted....."

That is my belief, Aino.....and that's all I will say.......
OK well thanks for that.
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  #4  
Old 6th April 2011, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Aino View Post
...and that it were written in a secret code language of some sorts so that others wouldn't understand... But how can we then know that it is exactly that and not what it seems to say? Because that just sounds confusing... And then I also don't feel very persecuted, so I don't think it would matter to me if this theory were true. [I understand the Bible is written for others then me too but shouldn't it's content be somewhat relevant to every christian?]
Not really a secret code language, but they couldn't go right out and say "Nero is the tool of Satan on earth" in writing, lest they subject themselves to even more persecution. To identify their persecutors with the powers of evil which will ultimately be destroyed by Christ -- clearly this gives them hope, perhaps enough to keep them from recanting under pressure.

Of course the meaning of a lot of the symbolic language of the book is heavily debated so I don't mean to say that we understand it perfectly. However I believe the larger contours are fairly clear -- at least in terms of the book's purpose.

As to your final question, I don't understand why you'd think that everything in the Bible would always be relevant to you at every second. However if you look at Revelation in terms of "the church is under fire" then of course it is still the case. The church every day is tempted to capitulate to both internal corruption and external force, all over the world. Yet we must stand for something greater than all that and not let go. I'm not persecuted either -- I live in a country where my freedom of religion is a legal right -- but there are other ways of seeing how the truth of the book applies to me, my community, and the global church.
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Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
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The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
- From The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
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  #5  
Old 18th April 2011, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim Myers View Post
"Another interpretation I've heard is that it would have been a form of giving consolation to the early christians who were severely persecuted....."

That is my belief, Aino.....and that's all I will say.......
D'accord.
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  #6  
Old 25th April 2011, 07:11 PM
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The main competition to Christianity in ancient times was Greek theater and attending a drama was an act of worship. Ephesus had the largest theater in the Roman Empire, with seven windows for background art. People came from all over Asia Minor to see the plays and to visit the temple of Artimus. Ephesus was a port, and there was a marble road going straight to the theater with a colonnade.

The literary structure of Revelation matches the architectural structure of the Ephesus theater perfectly. To follow Revelation easily, note there are seven sections, each with an introduction and seven elements. Note also, that the seven sections then form a chiasmus an ancient literary structuring device based on inverted parallelism. (For instance the Illiad and the Odyssey is set out as a chiamus. Or for a biblical for instance, Luke and Acts have a chiastic structure). The center of the chiasmus focused on the main message, and everyone knew to look there for understanding. However, plays did not have to be actually performed. They were often read by people in a social setting like in the living room after dinner. The very popular plays of Seneca were not performed for a long time.

Thus, Revelation offered an alternative to pagan religion in a format Greeks understood. It's primary emphasis was to set out end time prophecy, but as a theater production its main purpose was to emphasize that all of life is spiritual warfare that is emphasized by the center of the chiasmus. Interacting with Revelation as a play, the spectator comes out thinking of his/her utter dependence on God to withstand the attack of the enemy in life.

This is actually a complex subject, understanding how the bible utilizes drama and requires extensive study to appreciate. A lot of the ancient theater of Ephesus still remains.

I recommend reading Revelation in the Montgomery New Testament. I think this is the best rendering of the language in English as drama, and when Revelation is set out in its dramatic and chiastic structure, its beauty is overwhelming. I had just noted in another thread, that I thought the Montgomery New Testament was in the public domain now. If so, I intend to set out the book of Revelation on my website in its true literary structure using the Montgomery version. (No, Helen Montgomery was not a relation the name similarity to mine is just a coincidence). I hope this happens sooner, rather than later, but I have too much going on now.
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Old 30th May 2011, 12:07 AM
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Revelation describes the things that were to shortly happen with the closing of the house of Abraham. Jesus had entered into God's rest and all things were placed under him. The Apostle Paul said there were no more Jews nor Gentiles only whosoever believed that Jesus was the Christ.
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Old 25th July 2011, 05:29 PM
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Revelation speaks of the end times (apocolyptic times)

read as any other book of the bible...
judgements, persecuations, plagues, 2 witnesses, the return of Jesus, the one world apostasy....that we might recognize what is coming and be prepared...
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Old 18th August 2011, 08:51 PM
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The book of Revelation is not merely a book describing the endtimes as many will have it to be, although it does, but it does not give great detail of many events and uses symbolism, yet as it says in 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

I do not believe there are hidden messages but I believe that the book of Revelation was written for the purpose to of being a Revelation of Christ in glory, omnipotence, omniscience, and holiness.
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Old 18th August 2011, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Aino View Post
Hey!
I'm not a new christian anymore - I've had living faith or the last five years now. However I think I would still appreciate some insight on the purpose of having Revelation in the Bible, as well as how it were reasonable to read it. I have read through it twice and to me, it seemed to be a prophecy about the end times. The problem is that it seems really hard to see what things it's supposed to mean or not mean - every single age so far has thought that it's all about their time in particular and we still haven't seen the world end, have we? And if t's not supposed to help us see when the end approaches then what function does it serve to know all about it?

Another interpretation I've heard is that it would have been a form of giving consolation to the early christians who were severely persecuted and that it were written in a secret code language of some sorts so that others wouldn't understand... But how can we then know that it is exactly that and not what it seems to say? Because that just sounds confusing... And then I also don't feel very persecuted, so I don't think it would matter to me if this theory were true. [I understand the Bible is written for others then me too but shouldn't it's content be somewhat relevant to every christian?]
I take the second view. I believe that Revelations was a code for those early Christians it was written to. For along time I thought it was future but everytime something big came up they were the baddies of Revelations. I began to study and that is when I became a Partial Preterist
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