Thursday, May 14, 2009

Revelation 4 & 5: The Key to Understanding John's visions

(Here is a paper from my class on the book of Revelation. Its kinda long, but if you would like to read it have at it!)

The book of Revelation is the least understood book of the Bible. Ironically, it is one of the more written about books. I once heard a youth pastor say, “If you want to get student’s attention, talk about sex or the book of Revelation.” If you would like proof of the book of Revelation’s ability to capture people’s attention, look at the popularity of the Left Behind Series. The problem is that, as it has been said, there are as many interpretations are there are interpreters. Thus, the book is widely confusing, and because of its mystical nature, people are drawn to attempting to figure out what it means.

With so many understandings and so many hermeneutical methods through which people find their meaning in the text, it is no wonder that the book has become so confusing for so many. The majority of pastors simply refuse to preach this text. Others, who attempt to preach from it, often end up preaching ideologies that do not seem to fall in line with a responsible reading of the rest of the Biblical text. This leads to the question of, ‘how can we gain a proper understanding of the message in the book and where do we start?’