First of all, I believe in the whole Bible, that it is the infallible Word of God. But I also need to understand, at least from the Hermeneutical point of view.

Jesus came, 2000 years ago. And His coming was supposed to be the End of the Old Testament, and the beginning of the New Testament, the Testament of the good tidings, the good omen.

But, unexpectedly, the NT Ends in more mystification, interpretational, metaphorical language.

Look, Revelation at the end of the whole Bible!

So, why is the mystification, the prophetical language, at the end of the Bible?

By mystification I mean, the prophetic apocalyptic language, which contains symbols, needs more interpretation than other passages, and goes against the spirit of the Gospel, i.e: the good tidings.

  • 2
    You may find that this question is off-topic for the site but I await the opinions and votes of others to demonstrate this. No text is quoted above, so no hermeneutic analysis can occur. It is an attempt to open a discussion or debate on a topic. Which, I would say, is off-topic.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 1:27
  • @NigelJ it is very on-topic, it is about the interpretational language in Revelation.
    – salah
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 1:31
  • Also, the very question (why ... interpretational ?) is, itself, an interpretation. For I find the book extremely logical, very accessible and thoroughly understandable. But I have the advantage of an excellent teacher on the subject and a thoroughly compelling book (of 618 pages) which lays Revelation open to my gaze. There is no 'mystification' at all, once one is instructed by those sent of Jesus Christ to inform us.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 1:31
  • @NigelJ I mean by mystification, the Prophetical language, which contains symbols, and need interpretation.
    – salah
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 1:49
  • 1
    All of the Bible needs interpretation, so I've edit this to ask why the end is so metaphorical/apocalyptic. This will probably be closed as it's a guess-the-mind-of-God question. My personal opinion is that the levels of clarity in the Bible indicate the importance of the topics. It's very important that we learn who Jesus is and what he's done to save us, so those topics are discussed clearly. It's much much less important that we understand the details of eschatology, so it is discussed in less clear ways.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 3:47

2 Answers 2


There may be symbolic or metaphorical passages, but there is practical instruction too:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep, τηροῦντες what is written in it, for the time is near.
(Revelation 1:3 ESV)

Revelation begins by instructing those who read and hear it, to do what it says; just as Jesus did with His disciples before He was crucified:

If you love me, you will keep τηρήσετε my commandments. (John 14:15)

Jesus did not expect obedience to metaphors. He expected obedience to His commandments. Revelation begins with practical instruction, not metaphors, to the churches in Asia. Moreover, if the metaphors do not contain practical instruction, the only obligation on the part of the believer to be blessed is to read and hear. In other words, there is no command to understand a metaphor which does not speak to an area or issue which requires obedience to what is there. That is not to say looking into the meaning is wrong; it means understanding metaphors which lack practical instruction is secondary.

There are aspects to the Christian life, such as worship which are covered explicitly in Revelation (which has more to say about worship than any book in the New Testament). For example:

And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9)

"Worship the one who created..." and "worship God" are not metaphors.


This is a simple-literal approach, there are others also. Just go back to basics and the core question and direct statements from the text in question...

The text tells us its own purpose

The OP:

Why is the End of the Bible [Revelation]...

Look at what Revelation said about itself as to its own purpose:

Rev 4:1 (NASB)

...“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”

That is the beginning of the metaphorical literature you mean, starting in ch4. Ch1 is the literal setting and how John came to have this vision. Chs 2-3 are dictated letters from the Heavenly Son of Man (Glorified Jesus) he saw at the end of ch1. Ch4 begins his entry into the throne room.

But even in the beginning of the book, in ch1, John is told to write what he sees and send it to the churches...

Rev 1:11 (NASB)

“Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches...

So, the purpose of this text is for John to witness and report to us what events are yet to come.

Everything flows from that purpose.

Why metaphoric? To show us what is to come. Why a vision? To show us what is to come. Why _____? To show us what is to come.

In hermeneutics, once the purpose of the text is made clear, our interpretation requires that we remember that purpose and use it as part of our way to interpret the text.

John's Bible started with this same genre

John saw things happen after he went up into the heavenly realm and God's Throne Room with God on the Throne. These things were from heaven's perspective.

These events are very similar to the Book of Enoch in their apocalyptic/parapolic telling. That book, which was in the Bible Jesus, John, and Paul read and taught from, happens before Genesis 6. So:

  1. John doesn't think it is intentionally vague nor is he trying to be mysterious; he's simply writing what he sees because he was told to.
  2. John doesn't think it is a shift in genre at the end of other writings; his own Bible begins with strikingly similar literature from Enoch. John thinks it is quite consistent.

(For the record on Enoch, I won't preach from it, but I regard it as "the oldest historical context" to understand the Bible. It's legitimacy and place today is a different Question.)

With some things, John didn't understand and needed interpretation. Take ch17.

Rev 17:6-7 (NASB)

...When I saw her, I wondered greatly. 7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery...

Then, the angel explains what John saw in vv1-6.

John saw, wrote what he saw, was told what meaning he was told, and wasn't told what he wasn't told; all this was to inform us about future events.

That is the most direct and short answer to the Question: This is the best way for us to know what events are yet to come.

Maybe it wasn't so mysterious to John's audience

With some things, to those who know the Bible well, it may clarify many mysteries, not add vaguery.

The beast at the beginning of ch13 is a hybrid of the same four beasts Daniel saw in Daniel 7. The NT audience may have been glad to have more to read about the four beasts of Daniel, specifically that they later appear as a hybrid.

The eagles wings of Daniel's winged lion appear in Rev 12, not in Rev 13.

Dan 7:4 (NASB)

The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.

Rev 12:14 (NASB)

But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Maybe NT readers were glad to know where the wings went. That doesn't add confusion; it adds clarity.

I say this kindly and respectfully, to myself as well:

The Bible makes more sense to people who read it more.

The question of why the Bible contains mystery, in any book, is a normal question for every early Bible student, including myself when I was in Bible college.

That really gets to the second part of the OP:

But, unexpectedly, the NT Ends in more mystification, interpretational, metaphorical language.

Why all this mystery?

Studying God's mysteries helps us grow into God's fullness

Some things are a mystery; on such things, to summarize would be to elaborate. This is indeed a mystery, but answers and brings clarity to other mysteries. We cannot fully understand God's mind. Even Socrates had it right, that we can't learn anything until we know nothing. He doesn't interpret the Bible, but that frame of mind is necessary in hermeneutics when studying literature which is, technically speaking, "unfathomable".

Reconsider some assumptions in the original Question

The OP:

the prophetic apocalyptic language, which contains symbols, needs more interpretation than other passages, and goes against the spirit of the Gospel, i.e: the good tidings.

  1. It doesn't necessarily contain more symbols or things that need interpretation more than other passages, viz Enoch & Daniel.

It may help to interpret those, which is when both Revelation and Enoch/Daniel make sense together.

  1. Mystery does not go against the spirit of the Gospel.

Eph 3:17-19 (NASB)

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

  • V17: Faith in Christ (Gospel), love
  • V19: surpasses all knowledge

Mystery and Gospel are "good tidings". The value of the Gospel is not the absence of mystery, but that we rise up into "all the fullness of God" to understand.

In fact Nebuchadnezzar may have felt the same way, but he also answered:

Dan 2:47 (NASB)

The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

We looked at the introduction and purpose of John's Book of Revelation. Accordingly, understanding mysteries could be deemed part of the purpose of Daniel's book, especially because this statement is the text's own commentary on the first of many mysterious visions in Daniel.

We can understand

If you are praying and drinking richly from the Bible, you will find a gold mine in Revelation—not of insta-knowledge, but of things deep enough to understand and keep understanding. And, as the close of each letter in chs2-3 says:

Rev 2-3 (NASB)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

It takes an ear to hear the Spirit in order to understand. That was said seven times before any of the mysterious events.

I myself read Revelation over 70 times and translated it. I also read the Book of Enoch for an online audio book. Any serious kind of study, time, and reflection will change things that seem mysterious into the way for us to understand other mysteries.

This is a book about the future, many argue it is more about the present in these days. If you give time to the book about a future time, you too will know John's God can solve any mystery because he solved your mystery; then you will bring good tidings of the Gospel to others, that they will know your God can solve any mystery because he solved their mysteries.

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