Home > Eschatology, Hermeneutics, Old Testament > Revelation Through the Lens of the Old Testament

Revelation Through the Lens of the Old Testament

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kim Riddlebarger has a good statement about the importance of the Old Testament for interpreting Revelation.  Check it out here.  Below are my own comments on the importance of the Old Testament for Revelation from a previous post.

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.

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