Monday, 15 August 2011


Revelation Can Not Be A Revelation If Doesn't Clearly Reveal Something!
Written by Dr Andrew Corbett, President of ICI Theological College Australia, and author of the popular commentary on the Book of Revelation- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible, August 15th 2011
Revelation is only a revelation if its a revelation
I was dining with a theologian recently who had lectured on the Book of Revelation for years. He had even been to Patmos to conduct a teaching tour of the Apocalypse. But like some theologians, he felt that Revelation was a complete enigma. He was adamant that there was not any particular method to understand everything in the Book of Revelation. His claim is believed by many. He cited Deuteronomy 29:29 to justify his belief that it was impossible to understand the Book of Revelation, claiming that The Apocalypse was a divine secret. But there is one immediate and gargantuen problem with this idea: for Revelation to be a revelation it has to be a revelation. If it can not be understood, then it can never be a revelation!
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Revelation 1:1
The Book of RevelationThere is a certain hang-over from Post-Modernism that makes the idea of the Book of Revelation being divinely vague very appealing. Post-Modernism relishes in the idea that nothing can be known for certain. It despises the notion of being 'right' and extols the notion of uncertainty. In presenting a case for how the Book of Revelation can be understood, Post-Modernist Theologians will protest that this is just one of the many ways that it can be interpretted. This dismissal fits their larger idea about how the Bible can be interpretted in a singular fashion. It promotes the concept that a Biblical text can be validly interpretted a number of diverse ways simultaneously. To hold a contrary view to this Post-Modern approach is to be accused with the worst name-calling a Post-Modernist can employ to belittle their objectors: narrow-minded and dogmatic. (Which ironically seems like a rather narrow-minded and dogmatic objection.)

The Deuteronomy 29:29 is hardly a Biblical justification for the Post-Modernist to substantiate their claim that the Book of Revelation cannot be interpretted accurately and singularly.
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29
If Deuteronomy 29:29 can be appealed to by anyone in regards to the Book of Revelation, it is surely the one who claims that God has revealed something to His people - which He intends to be understood - since it says that the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Just because there has been a diverse range of alleged interpretations of the Book of Revelation does not mean that they are each equally valid or that one of them in particular may be the singularly and exclusively correct.

There are generally considered to be 4 Schools of Interpretation when it comes to the Book of Revelation. (There are actually many more, and even many many more when we consider variants of each major School of Interpretation.) But the Post-Modernist who finds words like: "wrong", "incorrect" and "false", too harsh to employ when assessing any idea, is averse to describing any School of Interpretation with these terms. But this Hermeneutical-Relativism is both unnecessary and illogical. Each interpretative idea should have its claims assessed and evaluated. Where should this assessment begin?
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Revelation 1:1
There are general principles for interpreting Scripture that should equally apply to the Book of Revelation. These principles are based on the following foundation-

1. God intends to convey something to His people which can be understood (otherwise it is notconveying anything).

2. What God intended to communicate is discovered by interpretation of the text based on familiarity with the penman, audience, circumstances, vocabulary, literary style, and occassion. This is called Exegesis and is the first step in Hermeneutics.
3. While there can only be one correct interpretation of a text, there can be several reasonableapplications of a text.
4. Where Scripture states an interpretation of its own text, we need not disagree with it and look for additional interpretations. This especially applies to Biblical prophecy where a prophecy is given and recorded as being fulfilled. For example, Isaiah's prophecy that a virgin would conceive a child is stated by Matthew to have been fulfilled when Mary gave birth to Jesus. It seems unecessary to think that this prophecy might have multiple fulfilments - even into the future.
In addition to this, there are general principles of Bible Interpretation that include...[read the full article]

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