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To quote from my NIV Study Bible:

For an adequate understanding of Revelation, the reader must recognize that it is a distinct kind of literature. Revelation is apocalyptic, a kind of writing that is highly symbolic. Although its visions often seem bizarre to the Western reader, fortunately the book provides a number of clues for its own interpretation (e.g. stars are angels, lampstands are churches, 1:20, "the great prostitute" 17:1 is "Babylon" (Rome?), 17:5,, 18, and the heavenly Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, 21:9-10."


Interpreters normally fall into 4 groups: Preterists, Historicists, Futurists, Idealists


"Fortunately, the fundamental truths of Revelation do not depend on adopting a particular point of view. They are available to anyone who will read the book for its overall message and resist the temptation to become overly enamored with its details."







1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud 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.

Greetings and Doxology


4 John,

To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.


7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”[b]

and “every eye will see him,

even those who pierced him”;

and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[c]

So shall it be! Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

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The study of Revelation is much more valuable with the context of OT apocalyptic scripture as reference. The imagery is duplicated.. or is it imagery as much as visionary in nature?... Glimpses of the future and of heaven? I think the later. My interpretation is futuristic. I have had many complex studies on Revelation. 3 at the graduate level for seminary and one thing is for sure - even the experts on biblical exegesis have various points of view on context and interpretation. The bottom line of good prevailing over bad is the heart warming ending.

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So true, Ghost. Not only is a knowledge of O.T. prophetic imagery and interpretation helpful but an understanding of all Biblical terminology from colors to numbers to animals to metaphors galore


However FAITH under the inspiration of God's Spirit is most vital.

Without that the book becomes nothing but a human written peice of literature. It was written to warn and comfort God's people.


Granted that the last days began at the ascension but we are closer than ever before. Deception and delusion are abroad - even among the "churched" and in every facet of society.


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