PMT 2013-034 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The opening words of Revelation are absolutely essential for its proper interpretation. Unfortunately, too many prophecy enthusiasts leap over the beginning of Revelation, never securing a proper footing for the treacherous path ahead. But stealing a line from Isaiah, the preterist asks: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?” (Isa. 40:21). The preterist insists that the key to Revelation is found in its front door.
We see this very clearly in John’s introduction:
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place . . . . Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Rev. 1:1a, 3)”
Here — before the dramatic visions flash on the scene and the highly-wrought imagery confound the reader — John provides an indispensable clue for interpreting his book: The events of Revelation “must soon [Gk.: tachos] take place” (v. 1) because “the time is near” [Gk.: eggus] (v. 2).
Greek lexicons and modern translations agree: these terms indicate temporal proximity. Continue reading