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Monday, March 17, 2008

Apocalyptic Literature

Apocalypse: to reveal, is the name given to the last book in the Bible.
It is also called the Book of Revelation.
What is apocalyptic Literature about?
This was written by John the Apostle as a message of encouragement to the believers, that God is working among them and to know that the final victory would be Jesus' and the Christians.
The book was written at at time when the Christians were being persecuted and needed encouragement to keep faithful.
How are we to understand its language and imagery?
If anyone has read the book of revelation one might be expected to say that they had difficulty understanding the meaning of so many of its passages due to the extensive use of imagery, symbols, codes, etc.
That is exactly the point.
The writing was completed at a time of persecution. The Christan of the time possessed an understanding of the images and symbols used in the writing, however the Non-Christian Romans who were persecuting the Christians would not.
The writing filled with encouragement, support, and love could be circulated under the noses of the persecutors without fear of death for being caught with Christian writings.
Does the Book of Revelation predict the end of the world?
This is probably the most misunderstood book of the bible as described in the above question and evident by so many (i.e. "Left Behind Series").
The book tells a story of the "end of an age" with Jesus and the Christians being the victor and the defeat of Satan and all of his followers. But to give modern interpretation to the symbols and representing that certain things are to happen in detail is not accurate. To do so is to really misunderstand the message and to entirely take the message out of its original contextual meaning.
So much energy has been given to reading the signs and awaiting the rapture that many have neglected simply living a life of virtue and being ready at all times for our (MY) end of earthly life.

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