The End did not Come

The end did not come as prophesied for Daniel, nor did the final consummation arrive for John the seer by any human method of reckoning. This is an interesting problem, yet it is such only for those who see the Apocalypse primarily as a problem rather than as an act of witness. Indeed, the various theories of interpretation that have grown up around the book (preterist, futurist, church-historical, etc.) can be seen as a series of well-intentioned efforts to deal with the problem of the nonarrival of the end. Read charitably, they can be seen as different ways of relating the book to events in the ongoing history of church and world, a history that, no matter what the theory, remains under the sway and dominion of Christ the Lamb. Yet they still miss the point.

To hear the Apocalypse as it is meant to be heard—in the context of worship and as a prophetic word spoken to the ekklēsia—is to hear it not as a problem to be solved but as an authoritative testimony to and by Jesus Christ.

Joseph L. Mangina, Revelation, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2010), 252.

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