Revelation Already Happened?

April 13, 2011

The Biblical book of Revelation is one of those mysterious books that many Christians just ignore. I used to find it frustratingly confusing and would generally ignore it. Then a pastor said to me, “try reading it assuming that the events being described have happened already (with the exception of the last couple of chapters).” Such an interpretation requires assuming highly metaphorical language but the genre of Revelation is supposed to be metaphorical. Reading it this way, the book became exciting and beautiful. More than that, it became a positive book. It was not a doomsday book to fear. It was a description of events that took place in the first century (often terrible events of torture and oppression of Christians) followed by an exciting and vindicating end in which the nations bow down before Christ and he is crowned victorious. The last two chapters are yet to come and they are wonderful.

The below video is of Dr. Gordon Fee explaining this understanding of Revelation. Fee is a significant scholar who has taught at some of the nations largest seminaries including Regent and Gordon-Conwell. He makes the case that most of Revelation (with the exception of chapters 21 and 22) is in the past. Check it out.

Do you agree? Is it possible that so much of our doomsday speculations (who is the antiChrist?) has been without warrant?

Now check out this video by NT Wright (a scholar who has taught at Cambridge, Oxford, and St Andrew’s).

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