A few years ago, I set a goal to study the book of Revelation. It would be nice if I could answer every question concerning this strange book found at the end of the Bible, but that appears to be beyond my ability. However, the time I have spent studying has certainly been worth it, as a fair amount of understanding has been brought to this most misunderstood book of the Bible. When a reader has limited knowledge of the Scriptures, it is easy for them to read Revelation with a sense of fear and trepidation. A closer examination reveals that most (if not all) of the disturbing images and symbols found in Revelation are borrowed or expanded upon from either the Old or New Testaments. Without a strong knowledge of the Bible, the words can quickly lose their meaning. I offer you the example of a political cartoon - without knowledge of the situation, the symbols mean very little. In fact, it would be very easy to "find" a meaning that was absolutely foreign to the author.
To help with this problem, I employ a method of interpretation I call "Biblical-Historical". My first question is always, "Is there a Biblical reference or allusion to this image?" My second question is always, "Is there a historical reference to the image the first-century Christian would understand?" This system will be used throughout this study.
Over the coming weeks, I will post my thoughts and findings on the book of Revelation. It would be ridiculous to expect you to agree with every thing I say, but I hope this will lead to more understanding of this wonderful, yet misunderstood book.
Possibly more than ever, the world needs to understand Revelation! The Church needs to understand Revelation! Hopefully, this forum will give us the opportunity to study and learn.