Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Revelation then and now

Many scholars view the 1C as the proper frame of reference for interpreting Revelation. You also have scholars who think Revelation has a futuristic dimension, but is grounded the 1C. Even though, say, Rev 19-22 looks far ahead, they think much of Revelation speaks directly to the situation facing 1C Christians. 

But here's an interesting thing about Revelation: from a 1C standpoint, it's surreal and hyperbolic. Yet as of the 20-21C, the surreal, hyperbolic aspects are becoming increasingly feasible. 

That doesn't necessarily mean we should interpret the imagery literally. I myself think it's dream-like. Things are possible in dreams that are physically impossible. 

But it is striking that technological advances make the literal interpretation of Revelation more realistic, in terms of hitech analogues to the ancient imagery. 


  1. I'm not sure why they couldn't have a component of both 1 century and future fulfillment. Some things very much seem to point to Nero, etc. (666 for instance). Why couldn't there also be a greater future Nero?

  2. Yes, there's a sense in which we can view the Antichrist as a role played by different actors at different times and places in the course of church history, culminating in a definitive showdown. One part, many actors.