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4 horses of Revelation


Anna G.
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11 hours ago, Anna G. said:

White, red, black, pale horse of Revelation | Signs Of The Times (verafo.wixsite.com)

Learn about the 4 horses of Revelation covering the time span from the emperors to our time. The symbols given match  with the Roman church. 

I'm not sure whether this is just a 'post and run', or whether you want to discuss the issue Anna G, but in my opinion (and that of most biblical scholars) Revelation is about events contemporary to the author and have nothing to do with prophecy or the return of Jesus some hundreds and thousands of years later.

As Bart Erhman points out, "Critical scholars insist that it is more reasonable to interpret the text within its own historical context, not as a literal description of the future of the earth, but as a metaphorical statement of the ultimate sovereignty of God over a world that is plagued by evil."

Here's a bit more info from a blog post of Bart's:

"It is true that to modern readers, Revelation is incredibly bizarre and mind-boggling, with its rich symbolism and strange beasts and heavenly visions coming one after the other in a tumble that is almost impossible to grasp, let alone explain.   It seems unlike any other book we have ever read.  But that is because most readers are not accustomed to reading “apocalypses.”.  We do in fact have a wide range of Jewish and Christian books like Revelation, written from about the same time (roughly 200 BCE – 200 CE).   These are all first-person narratives of visionary experiences. The visions are almost always explained to the author (who, like the reader, tends to be clueless about what he is seeing) by an accompanying angel who interprets them.  The visions are highly symbolic in ways meant to mystify, but the author often provides hints (as well as angelic explanations) that provide the critical reader with clues to unpack their meaning.

Apocalypses are always intent on explaining the heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.  Sometimes the visions do appear to describe the course of future events.  That is true, for example, of the one Apocalypse of the Old Testament, the book of Daniel – where the pseudonymous author, allegedly living in the 6th century BCE – uses a vision of bizarre beasts arising up out of the see to describe a sequence of future kingdoms that will appear and persecute the faithful people of Israel.  The actual author pretending to be Daniel, however, was living four hundred years later, long after these kingdoms had appeared.  He therefore had no trouble “predicting” them.  Other apocalypses describe the prophet’s visions of heaven as an indication of why the realities on earth are what they are.   What seems unfathomable to us down here makes sense if once we see these divine realities.

The ultimate point of all these apocalypses is that as bad as things may seem here on earth –with economic disasters, oppressive governments, religious persecutors, unimaginable natural disasters – everything in fact is going according to plan.  In the end, God will make right all that is wrong.  He will intervene in history, destroy the cosmic forces that are wreaking havoc on earth, and bring in a new utopian age where all will be right, all will be happy, all will prosper for all eternity.

These books were written to help people in their present lives.  Not the people living hundreds or thousands of years later, but the people the authors were addressing, members of their own communities.  The authors were trying to provide hope in the midst of suffering.  The deep and puzzling symbolism of the books were necessary to show that reality is far more complicated than one would expect.  God’s sovereignty is hidden and mysterious.  But it is the ultimate truth.

As an apocalypse, Revelation is also to be read this way.  Critical scholars have had no difficulty showing that the symbols of the book have to do with what the author and his readers knew about their own context, the world of the Roman Empire, an empire that massively exploited its world through economic, social, and military power, an Empire that persecuted Christians to the death, an Empire that was aligned (for the author) with the forces of evil, but which God would soon – very soon for the author – overthrow.

This understanding of the book applies not only to the macro-level, to explain its overarching message, but its detailed symbolism.  And so critical scholars have long recognized that the Beast whose number is 666 actually refers to the Emperor Nero (I will be demonstrating this in the book); the Great Whore of Babylon, who is enthroned on a beast with seven heads and is  drunk with the blood of the martyrs,” is the first-century city of Rome itself, built on seven hills and engaged in deadly persecutions of Christians.  This is a book written for persecuted Christians at the end of the first century.  It is not predicting what will happen 2000 years later."

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Anna G,

I think the first verse says it all.....    Note the words that say must shortly come to pass. I don't believe the word shortly is an error so the things written in the book must be as Paul said above interpreted about events contempory to the author and their implications of their past, present , and things which were shortly to come to pass rather than thousands of years later.

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Joseph

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