Wk2 Revelation Schools Of Interpretation


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Week 2 slides for AC Revelation Class S2010.

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Wk2 Revelation Schools Of Interpretation

  1. 1. Revelation Schools of Interpretation
  2. 2. Theories of interpretation <ul><li>Preterist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fulfillment of the prophecy occurred at the fall of Jerusalem (if Revelation was written in A.D. 67-68) and or the fall of the Roman empire. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Futurist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fulfillment comes at a period of final crisis just before the second coming. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Historicist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>think that 6:1-18:24 offers basically chronological outline of the course of church history from the first century (6:1) until the second coming (19:11). </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Theories of interpretation <ul><li>Idealist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The scenes of Revelation depict principles of spiritual warfare, not specific events. These principles are operative throughout the church age and may have repeated embodiments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modified Idealist : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The modified view would state that there is an ultimate end characterized by salvation and judgment. Thus no specific prophesied historical events are discerned in the book, except for the final coming of Christ to deliver and judge and to establish the final form of the kingdom in a consummated new creation. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Example of Interpretation from the schools relating to Rev 13:1-8 <ul><li>Question: When and how does the imagery of the Beast find its fulfillment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preterists - the Beast is Rome and the persecution of the Roman Empire. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Futurists- the Beast is the future Antichrist and man of lawlessness from 2 Thess 2:3-12 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historiscists- The Beast is the pope who persecuted the Reformers. (Catholics picture the Beast as Martin Luther) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Idealists- The Beast is the state and its persecuting power whenever and wherever it threatens Christians. </li></ul><ul><li>Modified Idealists- The Beast is the state and its persecuting power whenever and wherever it threatens Christians; however, it will come to a final future consummation in the person of the Antichrist and man of lawlessness. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Question- Based upon our study of Genre and “how to read” Revelation, which view do you think is the best?
  7. 7. “ Many passages have at least three main applications namely to the first century, to the final crisis, and to us in whatever time we live.” Poythress, 29.
  8. 8. Strengths and weaknesses of each view:
  9. 9. Idealism <ul><li>Revelation describes events between the 1 st and 2 nd coming of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Satanic counterfeiting favors idealism. </li></ul><ul><li>Addressed to “his servants” (1:1; 22:6) which would include all Christians at all times. </li></ul><ul><li>Seven churches in Chapters 2-3 are representative of the church throughout the ages. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation unfolds the “last things” (1:1; 4:1). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Daniel 2:45 and the NT <ul><li>In Daniel and NT “latter days” represents events in the past, present and future. </li></ul><ul><li>Acts 2:17 interprets the Joel 2:28 prophecy as fulfilled at Pentecost. </li></ul><ul><li>Heb 1:2 says that “last days” is the time when Jesus’ ministry took place </li></ul><ul><li>1 Jn 2:18 “last days” is Already/not-yet </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel spoke of the last days as a far off future event; whereas, John writes closer to the end when Christ’s kingdom has been inaugurated. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Already and Not Yet <ul><li>Jesus’ ministry inaugurated the “last days”, and his second coming will bring the “last days” to its final consummation. </li></ul><ul><li>There is an overlapping of the ages… </li></ul>
  12. 12. Futurism: <ul><li>There will be a future consummation of judgment and salvation. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation looks forward to Christ’s second coming (Rev 19:6-9). </li></ul><ul><li>The dawning of the new Jerusalem / New Creation (21:1-22:5) </li></ul><ul><li>Final promise in 22:20 is that He is coming soon. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Preterism: <ul><li>connects Revelation to the situation of the seven churches </li></ul><ul><li>This view understands the message of the churches to be expanded throughout the rest of the book </li></ul><ul><li>The statement, “the time is near” (1:1, 3; 22:10) supports Preterism </li></ul>
  14. 14. Historicism: <ul><li>Fulfillment is spread throughout church history </li></ul><ul><li>Weakest of the four views. </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes a chronological framework that does not fit Revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>“ This view tries to identify historical movements too specifically and limits the prophecies of the Apocalypse to Western church history, leaving aside the worldwide church.” Beale, 46. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Modified Idealism: <ul><li>Combines the best of Idealism along with the best of futurism, preterism and Historicism. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation deals with the 1 st century, it can be applied across the ages of the church, and it ultimately looks to a final consummation. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Two main schools of interpretation <ul><li>Futurist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strict chronological framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deals mainly with events just before the Parousia . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Views 1:19 as an outline of the past (1.9-1.18), present (2.1-3.22), and future (4.1-22.5). </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Recapitulationist: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeats themes of Judgment and salvation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1:19 deals with Christ’s first coming, the latter-day church age, and the second coming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>meta tauta “after these things” (1:1; 4:1) in NT and Daniel refer to events in the past present and future. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The 7 th in the seals, trumpets and bowls pictures the final end. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repetition of key themes: “the battle” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John sees order of vision not chronology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recapitulation is a characteristic of Apocalyptic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy use of Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel which all follow the pattern of repetition. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Millennial views and Revelation: <ul><li>Premillennial: The book relates to the life of the church. “The persecutions are to be experienced by the believers up to the time of the end, when they will be delivered from the power of antichrist by the return of Christ (ch 19). There will be a resurrection of believers at the time of Christ’s second coming, followed by a millennium, and then a final judgment of unbelievers at the ‘great white throne’ (20:11-15). After that a new heaven and a new earth are instituted, and the eternal day dawns.” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380). </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Amillennial : (Origen, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin) “It rejects the idea of a literal thousand year reign of Christ after his return at the end of the age…the millennium is fulfilled in a spiritual fashion in the ministry of the church during this present age…Revelation is understood to be a description of the life of the persecuted church that will end with Christ’s second coming, at which time there is a general resurrection of everyone, the saved and the lost alike. The last judgment takes place and a new heaven and a new earth are inaugurated as the home of the believers. The lost are cast into the lake of fire.” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380). </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Dispensational Premillennial : chs 1-3 deal with the church after which the saints are raptured (4:1) “come up here” refers to the church that is taken out of the world. “The middle section of the book deals with Israel on earth (4-19) during a seven year period of great tribulation that does not affect the church, because it is in heaven with Christ. At the battle of Armegddon in Ch 19, Christ brings with him the raptured Christians and establishes a Jewish millennium in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The Christian saints rule with Christ during this thousand-year period. At the end of this time, Satan is released from his confinement for a final rebellion” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380). </li></ul>
  21. 21. Dispensational Premillennial <ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-tribulation Rapture theory- the church is taken out before the tribulation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Midt-ribulation Rapture- the church is taken out during the tribulation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Post-tribulation Rapture-the church is take out or raptured after the tribulation. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Postmillennialism: “…through the preaching of the Gospel the world will be gradually won to Christ. In this way the idea of the millennium is fulfilled. The age of the church is the millennium, where righteousness and justice throughout the earth…After the world has been made worthy of Christ, he returns in glory to the world he has saved—hence the name ‘postmillennialism,’ Christ returns after the millennium” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380). </li></ul>