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It’s the apocalypse! But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. In the Bible, the word apocalypse means “to reveal.” It refers to moments when God uncovers the true nature of reality to someone, usually in a dream or vision.

And because this often happens in dreams, biblical apocalyptic literature is packed with fantastic imagery and strange symbols: dragons and beasts, bowls of blood and fire, cosmic collapse, and more.
Interpreting all these images is what makes biblical apocalyptic so controversial and intriguing. So how do we read it wisely? First, we need to see how apocalyptic visions are all connected to the bigger biblical storyline.
God’s purpose from the beginning is to rule creation with his human images. They are to live by his wisdom in the place where heaven and earth are united, depicted as a mountain-garden of Eden.
Once humans are exiled from the garden, the rest of the biblical story is about the restoration of that original purpose. This is why apocalyptic dreams and visions (like Genesis 28, Exodus 24, Isaiah 6, or Ezekiel 1) are all so similar.
They’re visions into the heavenly Eden-temple, where God’s image rules all creation. And from that divine throne, God reveals wisdom about how he’s guiding history towards a renewed creation.
And as for all that intense imagery in biblical apocalyptic literature, the best thing you can do to understand it is study the rest of the Bible. Apocalyptic symbols are all based on biblical design patterns and themes that begin in Genesis 1-11 and develop throughout
the rest of the biblical story. Whether it’s the four horsemen, the seven trumpets, or the dragon and the lamb, these are all images with deep roots in the Hebrew Bible that come to their climax in the story of Jesus.
Apocalyptic literature is the deep end of the pool when it comes to reading the Bible, but learning how to read it well comes with a great reward.
We can learn to see the world from a divine perspective as we understand that the risen Jesus is the true King of the world who is guiding history toward a renewed creation.

#Apocalypse #BibleProject #HowtoReadtheBible
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