Why is Revelation’s first-century historical context important to understanding the book? How has your understanding of Revelation changed after learning more about its historical context?

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    • #95335701
      Kathleen
      Participant

      Revelations first-century historical context is important because it helps you to read it from the right perspective. My understanding has changed in that ii see it as being more appropriate for the first century church and their current problems.

    • #95332290
      Nathaniel
      Participant

      The first-century historical context is important in helping us understand the book because John was written to the people of that day, even though it would also speak to us to day. But to rightly interpret the book it would be helpful to recognize that the message was given in a language familiar to the first century with signs and symbols they understood.

      The Book of Revelation is a book of prophecy. Prophecy is forth telling as well as fore telling . So God spoke to them concerning their presence circumstances through fore telling and spoke to them in regard to their future through forth telling.

    • #95319240
      Elaine
      Participant

      Knowing history is important as human always repeat mistakes made in the past over and over again. It will be helpful to learn from the past as it would be as applicable for all churches in the current world.

    • #95317670
      Doug
      Participant

      I always thought that Revelation is all about the future. Knowing the historical context will help me to understand the book of Revelation correctly. It’s a book about the situation at that time which also gives visions about the heavenly world beyond what we can see. Fascinating!

    • #95313866
      Linnae
      Participant

      I think it’s especially important to understand the historical context since we don’t have apocalypse literature anymore, which makes it so easy to misread Revelation. I really liked the point/warning at the end that any interpretation that John’s readers wouldn’t have understood is probably incorrect.

    • #95313756
      Ken
      Participant

      Understanding the historical context helps us in our interpretation of what John is conveying to his readers. This is a new concept to me.

    • #95313655
      Dorothy j Bowen
      Participant

      I always thought it was a revelation of future events. It is interesting to realize that it was written for people of the time how to live. Yes, I can see how that is true with the letters to the churches. This study hasn’t changed my mind, except that it has widen my view to include teaching us how to conduct our lives in view of the coming final world events.

    • #95313471
      Richard
      Participant

      Most of the time, I have looked at the Book of Revelation from a futurists point of view, which seems to be the populist view in this generation. And while it may not be wrong to look at what is going on in the world in this this current generation when on reads Revelation, we still need to look at it in the light of what was the world condition and culture when it was written FIRST. God’s Word is eternal, therefore applicable in all generations of Believers, but we must have a firm grasp of the original intent!

    • #95312893
      Joseph Wilson
      Participant

      The beauty of the book of Revelation, and the Bible in general, is that it’s addressing multiple audiences. God’s Word is as relevant to the people of today as it was when it was written. I learned that the book of Revelation is a prophecy, an apocalypse, and a letter. It’s a beautiful book with layers of truth.

    • #95312504
      James
      Participant

      You cannot understand the imagery being referenced if you do not know what was going on historically. In hindsight, the imagery makes a lot of sense considering what was happening historically.

    • #95310551
      Irina
      Participant

      Never thought of the book of Revelation as letter and of course in historical context, looking from this perspective helped me to see book of Revelation less as magic book and more like real answer to the first century believers and some answers to us too.

    • #95307101
      Rod
      Participant

      You must know the history to understand the contents of the book.

    • #95302830
      Nina
      Participant

      You must know the history in order to understand and interpret the Book. My understanding has changed because I focus more on the whole picture and not so much on the details. It was written to the first century Christians during the Roman empire. So the language and imagery reflect that time period.

    • #95302744
      Wai
      Participant

      Revelation’s first-century historical context is important to understanding the book because this is an important principle when interpreting Revelation that any interpretation of Revelation John could not have intended, and his first-century readers couldn’t have understood, is probably in correct.

      I learned to read Revelation from their historical context. What the author trying to address to his readers and his purpose given to their needs.

    • #95297605
      Wendy Mcconachie
      Participant

      The seven churches of Asia Minor accepted Revelation as a letter, a prophecy, and apocalyptic. Accepting that understanding means that John would have been writing to them about current times (oppression by the Roman Empire), a time somewhat different than our current times….or is it really that different? John’s warnings of the evil of the current ruling organization still holds today in much of the world, but the people of the first-century churches may not of understood why they were persecuted by the Romans. Perhaps they thought they had been abandoned by God.
      Since reading the novel series “Left Behind”, I have been more prone to seeing only the prophetic side of the Book of Revelation – looking for signs to watch for in the future or to match current world situations to the symbolic descriptions John used in writing the book. I hadn’t given much thought to historical context before, but obviously John was writing to the current world situation and was addressing the seven churches.

    • #95297059
      Becky
      Participant

      Most tend to read Revelation as only prophecy. But John wrote the book of Revelation so that the 1st century readers could understand what was happening around them by using symbols and images. This not helped them to understand their present day circumstances, but also us in our day and what will be the future our heavenly world.

    • #95296772
      Penny
      Participant

      The first century historical context is important to understanding the book because it was written to the first century Christians to help them deal with problems they were
      encountering in their daily lives. I forget that Revelation was primarily written to the first century Christians and I try to apply it to modern day happenings.

    • #95296360
      Anne
      Participant

      We tend to have short memories and lose sight of the larger picture, ONLY seeing today’s events in light of our circumstances. It is good to ground ourselves in the events of John’s day, his purpose and the message to his listeners.

    • #95296100
      Brenda Jackson
      Participant

      I have learned and understand so far that Revelation is a proclaiming type prophecy plus an apocalype. It communicates in symbols and metaphors. John used symbols and images to refer to real things, places, people and events. The people of the first-century could understand exactly what he saw because he described his visions using symbols. Therefore, I now understand the historical context of Revelation–it describes things symbolically.

    • #95296075
      Terry
      Participant

      We need to read Revelation with the same viewpoint or understanding as its first century readers would have. We can only do this by understanding how they looked at prophets and prophecy. By understanding the difference between foretelling prophecy and forthtelling prophecy we can better understand the different parts of Revelation and how each part interacts with each other. By understanding that it is also a letter helps us understand that John was writing in a kind of personal way also. By understanding that it is also an apocalypse book we can see how it is unveiling or uncovering what John saw and experienced in his vision.
      I now see that there are different parts of Revelation that can be looked at in different ways yet they intertwine to give us a full sense of what John has seen. It was interesting to learn that there are two kinds of prophecy and how each one is used.

    • #95295127
      Richard
      Participant

      Because our understanding is informed in part by having some knowledge of what living was like in those times for John and the people to whom he was writing . Only by that can we know what the ruling authority was , the cultural practices, and the challenges faced by Christians in an environment of idolatry and paganism.
      My understanding of the Revelation has already become better informed through this short course.

    • #95295032
      Tony
      Participant

      Through using symbols and what would seem strange images, John was able to have the people of the first century see the Rome in a much different light.

    • #95293429
      Tanja
      Participant

      The historical context helps you understand when the book was written, the background, and the culture.

    • #95293259
      Patricia
      Participant

      The first-century historical context is important because all of the Bible is intended to be understood by God’s people. I never thought about this before and this makes perfect sense. Give that this is a letter to His people, God wouldn’t want the Book of Revelation, or any other book in the Bible, to be so misunderstood and mysterious that only some could understand it. The Bible repeats the phrase “he who has an ear to hear, let him hear” in different places, mostly the Book of Revelation.

    • #95290148
      Andrea
      Participant

      You need the historical context to help you understand the whole story better, with out the context nothing will make sense to you.

    • #95285614
      Richard Roger
      Participant

      It is important to understand historical context, I order to interpret Revelation’s meaning accurately
      The observation that if my view couldn’t have been understudy the 1st century audience- it’s probably incorrect

    • #95285340
      Peter
      Participant

      historical context is important to help you understand when the book written, to whom it was written and why to better apply to the current culture and time

    • #95281229
      Jaime
      Participant

      It is important to understand the first-century historical context of Revelation to build a foundation before moving forward. The historical context is a solid point of entry into understanding Revelation. I don’t believe my understanding of Revelation has changed as I continue to learn more about its historical context.

    • #95280368
      Helena
      Participant

      It’s important to understand the first century historical context because you are able to understand the ways people thought and expressed what they experienced during that time period.
      I have a deeper understanding knowing that during the first century, people expressed their experiences and thoughts through images.

    • #95278300
      Alvin
      Participant

      It’s important to understand the historical context of Revelation, because it gives the reader a deeper and more complete understanding about the book.

      Understanding the historical context of Revelation, has helped me to read it with the right mindset, specially because of its heavy reliance in abstract imaging.

    • #94235
      Our Daily Bread
      Keymaster
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