Home > Eschatology, Hermeneutics, Old Testament > The Old Testament and the Book of Revelation

The Old Testament and the Book of Revelation

Following up on my comments regarding Eschatology and Christology (and how they are tied together) I wanted to offer some thoughts about the Old Testament and the book of Revelation.  I have posted a section of my notes from our Revelation study concerning the Old Testament and Revelation. 

The Relationship of the Book of Revelation to the Old Testament:  The relationship between the OT and the book of Revelation is significant.  The book of Revelation is the final prophecy given in Scripture and it takes all previous prophecies and builds off of them by clarifying and transforming them in light of Jesus Christ.  The book of Revelation not only draws from the prophetic literature in the OT, but also from the major narrative sections found in the text (e.g., creation, fall, exodus, land, etc.).  Revelation alludes to the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Job, and other major sections of all the prophets (especially Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah).  

Although the book rarely quotes directly from the OT, its allusions to it are numerous (UBS Greek text notes 394 allusions and citations and the NA Greek text notes 635 allusions and citations).  Many of the themes and ideas of the OT are heightened and find their true fulfillment in the new heavens and new earth, in which the physical-earthly reality was only a type or symbol of a much deeper embodiment (e.g., temple, altar, Jerusalem, etc.).  The OT functions as a servant and guide to interpreting the book of Revelation; thus, familiarity with the OT is crucial to understanding Revelation and unfamiliarity with it will seriously cripple any attempt at understanding the book. 

I have sought to demonstrate through our study how the Old Testament is necessary to interpreting Revelation.  You can see how I have tried to establish this relationship by viewing the teaching outlines at the Resources tab

  1. Ferron Morgan
    March 15, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Sitting under Chad’s teaching as a member of Cornerstone Bible Church, I can attest to importance of viewing Revelation as the capstone, as the bow that beautifully ties all these matters together. As we move through the book, and I would encourage everyone to do so along with looking at the notes off the church website, it has been extremely sobering and humbling to see the true message of Revelation: remain pure in the face of seduction and idolatry and persevere because Christ has already secured the victory and we await the full expression of that in the new heavens and new earth at his Second Coming.

    As Chad noted, not only is imperative to rightly understand our OT in order to properly understand Rev., but is it also critical to filter all those things through the person and work of Christ. If we fail do so, we will come to many wrong conclusions as many of the motifs and symbols in the OT have been transformed and redefined by Christ and now take on a whole new dynamic for the New Covenant believer.

    I used to think Revelation was such a difficult book to understand. However, I now see that looking at it through a redemptive-historical hermeunetic provides the key for us to accurate assess its meaning for us today and for us in the future as residents of that New Jerusalem.

  2. April 22, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Thank You

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