C HAPTER 4 Section
FOUR APPROACHES TO APOCALYPTIC TEXTS: FUTURIST, HISTORICIST, IDEALIST, PRETERIST How you read depends on what you’re reading. Suppose you’re reading a comic book. Even if you pore carefully over every “ungh!” and “whump” in the white balloons, you’re likely to make it through a page of superhero duels far quicker than you’d finish a page from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That’s because these are two very different forms of literature (and perhaps also because, when reading a comic book, you are more likely to remain awake). Did you read the newspaper this morning? Even though you might take both a newspaper and a thought-provoking novel seriously, you approach these texts with two different sorts of seriousness. The newspaper quickly informs you about current events and weather patterns while the novel provokes questions deep in your soul. Once again, what you’re reading influences how you read. It’s that way when it comes to biblical apocalypses too (see definition on page 54). How you read these writings depends on what you think you are reading. If you take these texts primarily as predictions of events yet to come, you will scour them for clues about what could happen in the future. But if you see Daniel and Revelation mostly as elaborate illustrations of temptations that Christians face in every age, you’ll probably look for connections between your present struggles and the temptations of past believers. If you read them as writings that provide a God-centered perspective on what was happening in the times when the texts were written, you will spend your time seeking hints of first-century events. When it comes to biblical apocalypses, all of this becomes a bit more complex because the authors wove together different styles in the same text. For example, Daniel’s prophecies include apocalyptic elements—but the book of Daniel is also full of historical vignettes from life in Babylon. © Elnur
Published on Jul 20, 2011
Selected Sample Pages from the NEW Rose Guide to End Times Prophecy by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Professor, Southern Baptist Theolog...