The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: R

Previous Index Next

Rev, understanding

General Study Guidelines

Some Principles of Interpretation

  1. The Book of Revelation is understandable, because God gave it as revealed Scripture, not concealed.
  2. There is nothing in Revelation for which God did not set up the groundwork and background in the rest of the Bible.
  3. The meaning of any symbolism can be (indeed, must be) found in OT and NT source passages.
  4. The text should be allowed to interpret itself, and this should take precedence over other contending interpretations.
  5. Any interpretations should be consistent with what has already been understood or determined to be correct.
  6. Any interpretation must be in harmony with well-established principles of God's Truth.
  7. There can be more than one "application" of a passage, as long as it has valid Biblical support.
  8. Reference to history as confirmation to an interpretation is allowable, and ultimately necessary to prove the accuracy of any interpretation involving the future.
  9. However, unless there is a plain directive from Scripture to look at any particular date or event, historical evidence must be regarded as assumptive and speculative.
  10. Any interpretation that involves future events cannot necessarily be confirmed until such events take place; but that does not mean that one has a totally uncertain interpretation, since the Return of Christ, a future event, is very certain!
  11. God has placed more importance, and consequently has given more details, on the coming of Christ (both first and second) than any other Biblical event. Therefore we can expect the Revelation to have a great amount of detail about events in and around the Second Coming of Christ.
  12. Without ignoring prophetic patterns and applications to past ages, the Revelation is particularly relevant to the faithful living in "the last days" and contains information that can/will have a direct impact on the 20th century.
  13. No one can work out an exact timetable of what God has said He would do, even though "God reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). However, a general framework is both reasonable and possible.
  14. The book is not necessarily in chronological order; it will be apparent that some events are concurrent, and may even include "gaps" of time, ie, whole periods are skipped.
  15. Correct interpretation is not an end in itself, but the means to an end, namely, the personal preparation of the Bible student for the coming King! (NF)
Previous Index Next