Friday, January 2, 2009

Principles of Interpreting the Book of Revelation, Part 2

In this post, I will add a summary of the second (one third) of Rev. Morecraft's sermon on Principles of Interpreting the Book of Revelation. I have also restated the summary of the first (one third) of the sermon in red.

Joe Morecraft III -- Interpreting Revelation -- July 2, 1978

Principles of Interpretation:

1. Nature of the Book of Revelation

a. Revelation: Rev. 1:1, 11 (God given through Holy Spirit) --Thus every thing in this book is relevant through all time. --To understand, all we need is Scripture (Scripture interprets Scripture) and Holy Spirit --To neglect study of Revelation, is to be inadequately equipped. --Revelation means "unveiling"; not an "obscuring".

b. Prophecy: Rev. 1:3; 22:7, 10, 18 (God's word to His people) --Apocalyptic literature of the time outside of New Testament was characterized by a catastrophic breaking in of eternity at the end of history when evil reigns and the only hope is rapturous escape. First, over-against that view comes divinely revealed prophecy characterized by an inseparable connection between the flow of history and the consumation of history: i.e., Christ came to rescue human history (not to discard it), to perfect it, and make it more glorious. Thus, what we do now counts and matters: it has consequences (a theme of the Old Testament is God's calling His people to faithfulness and promising them resulting blessing). Secondly, biblical prophecy is characterized by a presentation of an accomplished, continual, progressive triumph of God over evil, until that triumph is complete and total (Is. 2, 9, 11, 40, 66, etc.). Thirdly, biblical prophecy is not irrelevant theologizing about what will take place at the end of the world, but it has instead, great ethical value (Rev. 1:5, 16, etc.).

c. Symbolic in Form: The revelation to John was "sign"-ified (written in signs and symbols and figures), Rev. 1:1. It should be taken "truly", but "not literally". Read Revelation with two questions in mind: (1) What is the picture? and (2) What does this picture mean? For the meaning, check the context of other Bible passages where the same picture (symbols, figures, etc.) is used. Other times, John actually stops and explains the meaning of the picture, Rev. 1:20, 12:1-9.

2. Time Frame
3. Content, Theme, Purpose

-----------TO BE CONTINUED -----------------

1 comment:

  1. Bill,

    Excellent post. The principles are very helpful.


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