Summary: These are notes for a study through the Book of Revelation. This is the introduction.
The Revelation Of Jesus Christ - Introduction
THREE STEP PROCESS OF BIBLE STUDY
All Bible study consist of three processes. The first process is:
1. Observation – deals with the question - What do I see? If you have been a Christian for a while – we usually jump to interpretation to quickly because we think we know what the Bible says. During our study here I want us to slow down and take a good hard look at what is written. What does the Bible actually say? After we find out what it says we need to move on to the next step:
2. Interpretation – deals with the question, “What does it mean?” Most of us are very good at this process. Take for example John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” How do we interpret this – “God loves everybody.” How do we get to this interpretation? Because all of us are in the world therefore God must love everybody. This is a process of interpretation.
After we have seen what it says and found out what it means it is time for:
3. Application – deals the questions: “How should this affect my life?” In other words, “What should I be doing now?” Biblical principles should be applied to your life.
1. Bible – I suggest a Bible translation that you can understand. For Bible study I do not recommend a paraphrase. You need to find a Bible that takes the original langue and strives to put it in an understandable English translation. You may want to look at more than one translation in order to get a better grasp of what is being said.
2. Concordance – Next to the Bible this is perhaps the most important tool out there. The concordance will list every word in the Bible and will give you a text reference. This becomes very helpful if you can remember a portion of a verse but do not know where the verse is located. You can look up one of the words in the verse and then look at the references and find the verse you were looking for.
3. Commentaries – Commentaries are books of comments written about a particular book of the Bible. These are helpful if you want some insight as to what the passage is saying. They are other people’s interpretations of what the text means. Remember: they are only other people’s interpretations. In other words – they are giving you their opinions.
Another recourse that is out there for those of you who use computers is found at: E-Sword.net Here you can download a Bible study program for your computer. This program will give you various Bibles and commentaries. You can do a word search which acts as a concordance. So in that one program you have all the resources I have talked about. For me – this program has help me save a massive amount of hours when it comes to Bible study.
As we begin looking at the Book of Revelation we need to remember that there have been various:
METHODS OF INTERPRETATION
There have been many approaches to this book, but these can be divided into four major systems:
1. Preterist View: This view holds that all of Revelation has been fulfilled in the past. It had to do with local references in John’s day. The book refers to events were fulfilled in the first century A.D., or shortly thereafter. In other words this view holds that the Book of Revelation was already fulfilled in the Roman Empire – that it is a symbolic history of the first century.
2. Historical View: Fulfillment of Revelation is going on in history. It was written primarily to encourage the original readers but God has been at work and continues to work down through history. As such it would encourage Christians no matter when they lived and will end at the coming of Christ.
3. Spiritual View: The point of the book is to encourage Christians. The book does not deal with any specific historical situation. Instead, it is simply enforcing the principle that good will ultimately triumph over evil. As such the book is applicable to any age. Simply stated this view holds that what you find in Revelation does not really refer to any actual historical events. It is a story of the struggle between good and evil.
4. Futurist View: This theory holds that the Book of Revelation is primarily prophetic in nature – especially from Revelation 4 on to the end of the book. This is the view the premillennialists hold. This view allows for a literal interpretation of while recognizing that the Book of Revelation is full of symbolism. I personally have been influenced by this approach – however I have some cautions with this approach.