The Book of Revelation as a Model for Divine Revelation?

The Book of Revelation as a Model for Divine Revelation? September 5, 2018

When it comes to the divine inspiration of Scripture, 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:19-20 are the go-to text that people normally discuss.

However, I think Amos Yong makes a good point when he identifies John’s Apocalypse as arch-typical of divine revelation since “God reveals himself in Christ and the Spirit in multisensory ways, through a range of signs, sounds, images, and genres … providing information surely, but also assuring, emboldening, and inspiring. Divine revelation lodges itself not only in our heads but in our hearts, motivating worshipful witness. Divine revelation connects human beings with the past work of Christ in anticipation of the triune unveiling that is both on its way and yet also beyond the horizon. … Divine revelation is therefore not merely communicative but evocative, transformative, and salvific.” [1]

Yong is a good warning about reducing divine revelation to communication via cognitively imparted information, words and verbal signs. Divine revelation and inspiration includes words and propositions but is more than this. In addition to the prophetic model of inspiration, we must also add the apocalyptic model of revelation and inspiration that resulted in the composition of the Book of Revelation. This is a model which can incorporate dictation, visions, the Spirit’s influence, and acknowledges the struggle to translate divine mysteries into human words.

[1] Amos Yong, Renewing Christian Theology, 347-48.

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