On Reading Revelation

My friend and co-author of Down in the River to Pray has posted on a reading group at our former church in Nashville, Woodmont Hills Church, who are doing the same thing we’re doing at Garnett Church in Tulsa: we’re reading Revelation! The goal of a preaching series I’m doing is to prepare us to read Revelation and to have a different “reading” of Revelation, one that goes through the goal posts between the poles of flat and simplistic platitudes, as Greg Stevenson says, that make simplistic statements about Revelation like, “we win” as an excuse not to read the 22 chapters John wrote and the pole of finding a current event under every beast. It is a reading that tries to understand how the 7 churches read it and then through that context come to understand what it means today, but it’s very difficult to understand it today when we fail to understand what it meant to John and the 7 churches. I’ll post more on Revelation but wanted to go ahead and Reblog this from John Mark Hicks.

John Mark Hicks Ministries

Last Sunday I began an extended study of the Apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah with a studious, gracious, and interested group of Bible students at the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be a long journey but, I’m convinced, a fruitful one. I will post along the way as I have other texts we have studied (e.g., Mark, Amos, Zechariah; these and others are available through the “Serial Index” menu).

In this initial post I will address three major questions that shape how one reads the last book of the Christian canon.

First, when reading Revelation, we are reading an “Apocalypse.” It is the first word in the Greek text and it identifies the genre of the document. We should read not this as a historical narrative (like Luke-Acts). It is neither history, poetry, or even letter, though it may contain aspects of it.  It is…

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