That’s right; we really need to have help from God as we study the book of Revelation. Don’t you agree?
So, what would revelation on Revelation look like?
I think it would look like humility. All too often we get dogmatic about a text; sure that we have understood and taught it correctly, only to realize later that we only saw but a faint glimmer of His truth. To read the sacred text is like gazing upon the Grand Canyon. You can’t take it all in with a glance. The light shines upon a section and reflects its beauty, and so it is with reading the book of Revelation. We need God’s help to understand it and we need humility to acquire God’s help.
“Be willing to be made low before the Lord and he will exalt you!” (James 4:10, TPT).
Why is there such controversy surrounding the book? (By the way, it’s not “Revelations”; there’s no ‘s’ on the end.) There are many reasons. It is one of the most supernatural accounts we have in all the Bible, for Jesus Himself appeared to John in His glorified state. He took John through heaven’s portal into a realm where John saw things that can’t fully be described. He had to use the words “like,” “something similar to,” etc.
Then add to that all the multiple interpretive models that may be applied to the book (futurist, historicist, preterist, idealist) with an almost endless supply of variations and nuances that come from hundreds of commentators. No wonder many believers today don’t even bother to read the summary book of the entire Bible — the book of Revelation.
So how does one navigate the “minefield” of often conflicting interpretations related to Revelation? In a word, carefully. Many believers hold their own views of the last days as the only valid one. It seems we all are divided over how God brings everything together in the end. But if we start with the premise that God indeed brings all things together in Christ, we can step back, take a deep breath and leave room for differing viewpoints.
“And through the revelation of the Anointed One, He unveiled His secret desires to us—the hidden mystery of His long-range plan, which He was delighted to implement from the very beginning of time. And because of God’s unfailing purpose, this detailed plan will reign supreme through every period of time until the fulfillment of all the ages finally reaches its climax—when God makes all things new in all of Heaven and earth through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:9-10, TPT).
For us working on The Passion Translation project, we did our best to keep these multiple interpretations in mind as we finished the monumental task of translating the New Testament, especially the book of Revelation. We prayed that the Holy Spirit would drench us with revelation from God, insights into His holy Word and passion to live the truth in every aspect of our lives. So what makes Revelation different as you read The Passion Translation?
First, we’ve tried to explain the nuances of the Greek text. Scholars will tell you that John’s text of Revelation breaks nearly every Greek grammatical rule. It’s almost like he’s saying, “You HAVE to think out of the box.” You’ll find in our footnotes ample explanations of many Greek words and phrases.
Read more of this amazing prophetic word on The Passion Translation blog.
Brian Simmons is known as a passionate lover of God. With his wife Candice and their three children, he spent nearly eight years in the tropical rainforest of the Darien Province of Panama as a church planter, translator and consultant. After their ministry in the jungle, Brian was instrumental in planting a thriving church in New England (U.S.) and now travels full-time as a speaker and Bible teacher. He is also the lead translator for The Passion Translation Project, which will result in a new, dynamic version of the Bible for this generation. He has been happily married to Candice for over forty-three years and is known to boast regularly of his children and grandchildren.
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