Models Interpretation

Home Search

Jeanie C. Crain http://crain.english.missouriwestern.edu

 

Up

Interpretive Models
for the Book of Revelation as a Whole

by
Greg Herrick, Th.M.
gregh@bible.org

(C) 1997, Biblical Studies Foundation. All rights reserved.

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.

http://www.bible.org/docs/nt/books/rev/modelrev.htm

Introduction

This article focuses on just one interpretive problem, namely, the overall interpretive framework for the book.

Methods of Interpretation

There have traditionally been four or five schools of thought on the interpretive framework of the book of Revelation as a whole. 

  • historicist method of interpretation refers to actual events from the beginning of the church until the time of the interpreter. 
  • idealist method  events only symbolize the ongoing struggle between good and evil.
  • preterist method the symbols and content relate only to events and happenings at the time of the author. T
  • futuristic method.11 In chapter 3:10 the Lord says to the church at Philadelphia that they "will kept from" (thrhvsw ejk) the hour of trial to come upon the earth. This is a literary, programmatic statement.
  • moderate futurist view view, the one espoused by Ladd, is referred to as a moderate futurist view. According to Ladd, an answer to the problem of the relationship of the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments to one another, could provide the solution to the view of history affirmed in the book. With that in mind, he proposes that the seal judgments represent "the forces in history, however long it lasts, by which God works out his redemptive and judicial purposes leading up to the end."an answer to the problem of the relationship of the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments to one another, could provide the solution to the view of history affirmed in the book. With that in mind, he proposes that the seal judgments represent "the forces in history, however long it lasts, by which God works out his redemptive and judicial purposes leading up to the end." 

Conclusion

"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.

Postmillenial View

Death/Resurrection/            Ministry of Church culminates in lengthy period of peace        Second Coming        Eternal Reign of    Ascension of Christ            and righteous before Christ's return`                                        Final Judgment          Christ

Premillenial View

Ascension/Death/    Church Age    Rapture    Great Tribulation    Second Coming    Millennium    Final    Eternal Reign  \Resurrection                                                    (7years)                                            (1,000 yrs)  Judgment        

 

 
Premillenial/Posttribulational View

Death/Resurrection    Great Tribulation    Second Coming        Millenium    Final Judgment    Eternal Reign of Christ

Ascension                         (7 years)                                         (1,000 yrs)

Amillenial

Death/Resurrection/Ascension    Second Coming/Final Judgment    Eternal Reign

 

 

Home ]

Send mail to crain@mwsc.edu with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2000 Jeanie C. Crain
Last modified: October 27, 2005