Showing posts with the label Scripture

New Testament Language

What was the original language of the documents that became the New Testament? For centuries, the scholarly consensus has been that it was written in the Koiné Greek dialect of the Eastern Roman Empire in the first century. However, there is a growing minority within the church that claims the New Testament was composed in the Hebrew or Aramaic language.

Holding Fast to the Word

The first literary section of the letter to the Hebrews concludes with an exhortation and an ominous warning. Any believer who fails to heed the far “ better word ” that God is now speaking in His Son will suffer an even “ sorer punishment ” than the rebellious Israelites received when they disobeyed the Mosaic Law in the wilderness.

Hidden Mysteries Revealed

The Bible speaks of the “ mysteries ” of God, His ways that are hidden from human wisdom and defy our expectations. In his teachings, Jesus declared that not everyone can understand the “ mysteries of the kingdom .” It is God who reveals the deep and obscure things to whomever He pleases. And in His Son, He has done so for all who have “eyes that can see” to behold.

Jesus is the Key

Jesus is the key that unlocks the Hebrew Scriptures and reveals the nature and redemptive purpose of God . Not only does Jesus play the central role in unveiling the plans of God, but he also is the very center of all his Father’s plans, especially the redemption of humanity. Only in Christ is the glory of the Creator of all things revealed, and only His Son is qualified to reveal His true nature. In him, all the promises of God find their fulfillment.

Unlocking Prophecy

Jesus, the Word become flesh, is the interpretive key that opens the Hebrew scriptures and the book of Revelation .  Jesus is the one who unveils the plans and mysteries of God, and only he is qualified to reveal the nature of the “ unseen God .” In him, all the promises of God find their fulfillment. He is the  INTERPRETIVE KEY  that unlocks the Hebrew scriptures and provides the correct understanding of prophecy, and this is especially so in the book of  Revelation .

Stand Fast!

Believers prepare for the Apostasy and the coming Man of Lawlessness by standing firm in the apostolic tradition .  Having explained the coming “ Apostasy ” and “ Man of Lawlessness ,” Paul instructs believers on how they may avoid the coming deception and find themselves standing “ blameless ” before Jesus when he “ arrives .” They must  “ stand fast ” by adhering to the teachings and  “ traditions ”  of the apostles.

Common Errors Interpreting Revelation

The relevance of Revelation for today is lost if we ignore its historical context and read it with incorrect presuppositions .  The book of  Revelation  presents a sweeping picture of the church age that highlights the real “wars” being waged behind the scenes of history, “battles” that manifest in the daily struggles of the church. Its visions show God working through the “ Lamb ” to implement His kingdom, and it begins in the first century with the “ seven churches of Asia .”

Fourfold Structure

The book of Revelation is comprised of a prologue, the vision proper, and an epilogue. The vision falls into four recognizable divisions, and each commences when John finds himself “ in the spirit ” and is transported to a specific location. For example, the first vision begins with John on Patmos where he “ comes to be in spirit ” and sees a vision of the one “ like a son of man .”

Provided Interpretations

The book of  Revelation  itself provides several interpretations of its images. For example, it states that the “ seven golden lampstands ” represent seven churches. Likewise, “ stars ” are said to represent angels, “ incense ” portrays the “ prayers of the saints ,” and so on.

Introduction to Revelation

The book of  Revelation  is an account of the visions received by John while in exile on the Isle of Patmos - “ on account of the testimony of Jesus .” The document was addressed to first-century Christian congregations located in seven cities of the Roman province of Asia, and most likely, it was penned in the late first century when Domitian was emperor (A.D. 81-96).

Literal and Non-literal Language

The book of Revelation informs the reader from the start that it communicates visually and symbolically .  Must prophecy be interpreted only or primarily in the most “literal” fashion possible unless a passage specifically indicates otherwise? Often in our minds, there is an unstated assumption that  literal  language is more reliable than  nonliteral  language, an assumption that becomes especially problematic when interpreting  Revelation .