Jeanie C. Crain http://crain.english.missouriwestern.edu
for the Book of Revelation as a Whole
For your convenience, I had placed a copy of Greg Herrick's article on this page; he prefers you use the following link to read this article. I will, however, leave in place a couple of definitions and summaries.
This article focuses on just one interpretive problem, namely, the overall interpretive framework for the book.
There have traditionally been four or five schools of thought on the interpretive framework of the book of Revelation as a whole.
"For reasons outlined above, the historicist and idealist views seem untenable. The preterist method of interpreting the book cannot adequately deal with the text as a prophetic piece whose many prophecies simply cannot be matched with any known fulfillment in the author's lifetime. The association of the book with Jewish apocalyptic materials is not completely adequate and therefore remains an unreasonable ground for rejecting the futuristic aspects of the book. The moderately futuristic view has much to commend it, in that it sees both the historical setting and the future as playing a role in John's work. The identification of the seal judgments with the church age, however, is dubious for the reasons mentioned, and therefore the method as a whole remains spurious. Perhaps the best model is that which takes into account the historical setting of the book and yet sees the seals, trumpets and bowls as relating to a future time near the consummation. Such a model makes the best sense of 3:10 and realizes that the calamities to come on the earth are greater than anything seen to date. The mostly futuristic method is such a model."
Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996)
Summary of Four Views on Revelation
Preterist All events of Revelation were fulfilled during the period of the Roman Empire.
Historical Revelation is a panorama of church history from the apostolic era until consummation.
Idealist Revelation is not a representation of actual events but is rather a symbolic depiction of the spiritual warfare between good and evil.
Futurist Beginning with ch. 4, Revelation describes future events accompanying the end of the age.
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