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Harkrider Commentary:

This Commentary is part of the "Truth Commentaries" Series (Edited By Mike Willis), and published by the "Guardian of Truth Foundation" in 1997.

How should one study the book of Revelation? First, recognize that it is in the apocalyptic genre of literature which is a style different from the rest of the New Testament. "Apocalyptic" indicates that its message is revealed through the figurative language of signs and symbols. Second, give attention to the historical background, being careful that one's interpretation is in harmony with the literary and social context of that period near the end of the first century. Third, determine what is its major theme, and then correlate the interpretation of each figure to the context of that theme. For example, if the book is about things "which must shortly come to pass" (1:1), then refrain from making its primary application to events 2,000 years or more in the future. Finally, always interpret difficult passages in the light of clear ones. Reject any interpretation that conflicts with texts more easily understood which are found elsewhere in Revelation and in the other books of the Bible. It is essential therefore to have a working knowledge of Scripture before becoming dogmatic on any interpretation of Revelation.

This introduction contains resource material that provides a foundation for the proper interpretation. The appendix offers special studies that should help in answering speculative interpretations. The main body of this commentary, which is an explanation of the inspired text, has been written in a simple, positive style. An attempt has been made to give a succinct analysis of the text without diverting into a review of the various interpretations of different commentators. This writer believes that if the reader understands the proper meaning of the book then all false explanations are thereby exposed.

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