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11

I don't think it's as simple as knowing when to take a verse literally or symbolically. I will attempt to propose a hermeneutical approach to the translation of the book of Revelation. I am going to approach the text from a Christian perspective (as this was the intended audience). I would not call these 'rules,' but rather 'principles' of interpretation ...


9

A bit of history Of the earlier known prophetic texts of Israel, we find a variety of delivery styles: plain oration, song, poetry, etc. There is a fair amount of figurative speech, but the messages are more or less straightforward: God is coming to judge Judah! He will raise up Nebudchadnezzar against Tyre! He will deliver Moab to the Edomites! But during ...


8

As a prior answer has examined where Enoch failed in canonicity, this one shall turn to the Book of Revelation to determine what factors led the church to recognize its canonicity. Though a popular genre, few apocalyptic works found their way into the New Testament canon. The most obvious exception comes to the modern world as The Revelation to John or The ...


8

The Book of Revelation had a mixed reception among the early Church Fathers. This is exemplified by Eusebius, who (Ecclesiastical History, VII, xxv) quotes Bishop Dionysius the Great of Alexandria: Some indeed of those before our time rejected and altogether impugned the book, examining it chapter by chapter and declaring it to be unintelligible and ...


7

The book was accepted into the canon at the Council of Carthage in 397 AD. It was, at the time when the canon was being constructed, believed to be authored by the Apostle John. Anything written by one of the disciples of Jesus tends to be held sacred. There was some opposition to its inclusion. One of the views against this was that it was one of the ...


7

There's two important things about interpreting the bible: You must be consistent, and not use a different method for different books of the Bible. (You can't interpret an entire book using one hermeneutic, and another book using an entirely different one. You must find a hermeneutic that you can apply consistently) Let the Bible interpret the Bible. ...


5

Antiochus Epiphanes. Basis An answer for the 'little horn' rests on which presuppositions the reader is willing to make about the book of Daniel. Having at least one presupposition is inevitable, no matter who you are, and that affects the way one reads the entire book. My presupposition is this: Daniel is about kingdoms, and the author names all of the ...


5

Apocalyptic Literature Apocalyptic literature developed as a distinctly Jewish genre. It began with them and developed with them. The Christians continued to use it. Stages of the history of Apocalyptic Literature First is the biblical stage of the genre. The first known record of apocalyptic literature is Isaiah 24:40. It then continues sporadically ...


5

The Main Difference is Whether to View it as Eschatological or Not The "Christian symbolic" or "spiritual" view believes the symbolism represents aspects of the church now (during the present time, in this age), and is a common view of amillennialists. Whereas the "apocalyptic" view still sees the vision referring to eschatological (yet future) realities ...


4

the book of Revelation (...) got accepted into the canonical New Testament of all the major branches of Christianity This is not true, Book of Revelation isn't accepted in Church of the East and its descendandts (Assyrian Church of the East). Can hermeneutics cast light on how this book overcame these barriers to admission to the canon? "Barriers" ...


4

Just a quick thought to add to the discussion: "literal" interpretation should include the concept of "literary", i.e. recognizing and respecting the genre a book is written in. Revelation is pretty widely recognized as an example of "apocalyptic" literature and should be read as such if we are to be faithfully submitting to the intended meaning. This means ...


4

The Book of Revelations is one of the most controversial books of the Bible, given the Apocalyptic nature of the messages it carries. However, in regards to it's authenticity it has always been seen as being written by the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos-a barren 30 sq. mi. island in the Aegean Sea where both common and political prisoners were held. Rick ...


2

Revelation (no 's') is an example of apocalyptic literature, a genre of religious writings common to the intertestamental period, though appearing in Scripture prior to this time in places like Ezekiel. Though this genre is different than, say, discourse or historical narrative, it was common and well recognized by the original audience. The genre is ...


2

No, it was written in symbolism to those who would understand, and confound those who don't. There are 4 Main Theological views to the Book of Revelations- there are certainly subsets of these views, but these views consist of: 1) Idealist 2) Preterist/Covenant Theology 3) Historicist 4) Futurist/Dispensational An explanation of these views and their ...


2

Since the question involves Literal and Figurative interpretation, let's answer both: Literal interpretation is when we use the normative historical/grammatical interpretation of the language(ie: the language as it is used and understood at time it was written). This position was exposited by Dr. Dwight Pentecost in Things to Come, the book used to ...


2

In his epistle Peter mentions again the immanency of "the end times" (1 Pet 4:7), and of course the imagery of the Book of Revelation captures in vivid imagery the end of the world. In other words, the end of the world is part of the Day of the Lord, to which Peter alludes in Acts 2:16-21. As in the imagery of day in the Bible, the beginning of the day ...


2

The phrase "in the last days" is the sign that Peter sees his words as an end-times prophecy. This is an interpretive take on Joel 2:28 because both the original Hebrew and Greek Septuagint say "And it shall come to pass afterwards..." (As an aside, this means that Luke is not working from the Septuagint here to put words in Peter's mouth.) The paraphrase ...


2

I agree with all the comments. Since the Revelation is so diverse with images, the meaning may seem impossible to discern. As for rules of interpretation, the hermeneutic here has to be plain, or normal, so as to minimize confusion. For example, the graph below is my suggested hermenutical approach to understanding the False Prophet, who is described in ...


1

I would say that everything is to be taken symbolically like a dream. However those symbols all represent literal truths, things, or events. In some cases the literal objects represented by the symbols is directly explained in the text, and other things are kept hidden for us to discern. This may seem overly simplistic, but this is the rule I use for ...



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