THE KEY KEY TO REVELATION

PMW 2017-067 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

There are several keys to interpreting the Book of Revelation. But the key key is that of John’s statement regarding the prophetic events being temporarlly near. When I discuss Revelation with folks I begin by urging them to read the first three verses. Once the shock wears off their faces, the gears in their head will often begin to turn.

Thus, the leading preterist evidence derives from John’s temporal delimitations, which he emphasizes by strategic placement, didactic assertion, frequent repetition, and careful variation.

He strategically places them twice in his introduction (1:1, 3) and five times in his conclusion (22:6, 7, 10, 12, 20), thereby bracketing the highly wrought drama within (4:1–22:6). In these didactic passages John employs two terms demanding preterism: tachos / tachu (1:1, cp. 22:7, 12, 20) and eggus (1:3; cp. 22:10). For example:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly [tachos] take place. . . . Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near [eggus]. (1:1a, 3)

John immediately impresses upon his reader the nearness of his prophetic events.
Lexicographers agree on the temporal significance of tachos in Revelation: The Baur-Arndt-Gingrich-Danker Lexicon (BAGD) notes that en tachei means: “soon, in a short time Lk 18:8; Ro 16:20; 1 Ti 3:14 v.1; Rv 1:1; 22:6; 1 Cl 65:1; shortly Ac 25:4.” Thayer offers the following range of meanings: “quickness, speed and quickly, shortly, speedily, soon,” listing Revelation 1:1 and 22:6 with the “speedily, soon” entries. Abbott-Smith concurs: 1:1 and 22:6 mean “quickly, speedily, soon.”

Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues


Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Greek text editors F. J. A. Hort, Kurt Aland, and Howard Marshall agree. Hort translates it “shortly, soon.” Aland comments: “In the original text, the Greek work used is tachu, and this does not mean ‘soon,’ in the sense of ‘sometime,’ but rather ‘now,’ immediately.” Marshall cites Revelation 1:1 and 22:6 as evidence that the normal use of the phrase en tachei “suggest[s] that soon is the meaning.”

In fact, all English versions translate it either as: “soon” (NIV, RSV, Beck, NRSV, NAB, CEV), “shortly” (KJV, ASV, Weymouth, NEB, NASB, NKJV), or “very soon” (Moffatt, Phillips, Williams, TEV). Tachos obviously indicates temporal brevity elsewhere (e.g., Lk 18:8; Ac 12:7; Ro 16:20). The same is true of its related form tachus (Mt 5:25; Mk 9:39; Lk 15:22; cp. Rev 2:16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:7, 12, 20).

This evidence is reinforced by John’s linking tachos with eggus in the same contexts, as if to provide a two-fold witness (1:1, 3; 22:6, 10). BAGD provides the following entry for eggus: “of time near a. of the future: kairos Mt 26:18; Rv 1:3; 22:10.” The other lexicons cited above concur. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament notes that the term means “temporally near at hand” and observes that “like the Synpt., Rev. uses eggus only as a term for the near coming of the kingdom of God. Thus we have ho gar kairos eggus in 1:3; cf. 22:10” (3:330, 331).

The various samples of eggus in the NT all agree: some relating spatial, others temporal nearness (Mt 24:32, 33; 26:18; 13:28, 29; Lk 19:11; 21:30, 31). And again, all translations of Revelation agree; all versions cited above have either “near” or “at hand.”

Blessed Is He SMALL (Larry Ball)


Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective.
It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

For more Christian studies see: www.KennethGentry.com


Perhaps the most interesting proof of the meaning of these terms is the various competing, innovative, counter-intuitive attempts to get around their obvious significance! Indeed, if these terms do not express temporal nearness, what terms could John have used to do so? I am firmly convinced John prophesies the fast approaching destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.

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One thought on “THE KEY KEY TO REVELATION

  1. Barry Will August 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    It seems God’s nature would impel Him to be forthright and truthful to His redeemed ones giving them clear instructions especially when warning them of impending disaster and dire circumstances as appears to be the case with the book of Revelation. The preterist hermeneutic bears that out. It reveals God acting in love to equip them for the times ahead. Other interpretations miss that important message inherent in Revelation.

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