Tag Archives: symbolism in Revelation

THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND SYMBOLISM

PMW 2019-077 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

When opening the book of Revelation, the would-be interpreter must understand that it is a highly figurative book that cannot be approached with a simple, straightforward literalism. It constantly amazes me that when I discuss Revelation with many evangelical laymen they are immediately alarmed that I am not taking Revelation “literally”! Perhaps one of our first tasks in convincing laymen of the preterist view of Revelation is to disabuse them of literalism.

The first thing we need to do is to point out that though Revelation is highly symbolic, the preterist view does understand Revelation’s prophecies as strongly reflecting actual historical events in John’s near future. And this is despite their being set in an apocalyptic drama and clothed with poetic hyperbole. As even premillennialist commentator Robert Mounce notes: “That the language of prophecy is highly figurative has nothing to do with the reality of the events predicted. Symbolism is not a denial of historicity but a matter of literary genre.” Continue reading

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