Introduction to the Book of Revelation in the 2019 KJV: an Objective New Look

Introduction to the​​ Book of Revelation​​ in the 2019 KJV: an Objective​​ New Look

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Mary Baker Eddy urged spiritual interpretation of the Bible. ​​ Spiritual interpretation in its highest form involves discerning whether a statement is an inspiring, uplifting one, or a materialistic statement which would tend to depress one’s thinking. ​​ Spiritual interpretation of the Bible requires one to humanly understand the Bible as much as possible before attempting to spiritually interpret it.

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Spiritually interpreting the book of Revelation before humanly understanding it as much as possible leads to faulty, idiosyncratic interpretation. ​​ This essay is an attempt to present an objective, good human understanding of the book of Revelation, to achieve a​​ strong​​ foundation for the spiritual interpretation of the book.

If the book of Revelation had not mentioned Jesus Christ and the Lamb, the book would have more naturally ended the Old Testament (O.T.) rather than the New Testament (N.T.).

The writer of the book is very Jewish​​ in his outlook. ​​ The book is full of​​ imagery​​ from the O.T. ​​ There is the Euphrates River1, the temple of​​ Yahweh2, the golden altar3​​ with the four horns4​​ used for animal sacrifice, incense5, Babylon6,​​ (which stands​​ for Rome, which was persecuting the Christians at the time Revelation was written),​​ a reference to King David,7​​ Mount Zion,8​​ Moses,9​​ and the twelve tribes of Israel, each tribe named.10

The theology​​ of Revelation​​ often​​ has​​ more​​ of an​​ O.T.​​ quality​​ than​​ a​​ N.T.​​ quality. ​​​​ The traditional Deity of the O.T., Yahweh,​​ is impatient with human failings​​ and​​ believes that fear of punishment is a major motivator of righteous behavior. ​​ Yahweh, which​​ is quick to punish sinners rather than motivating them to repent and helping them to reform,​​ is​​ one of​​ the main characters​​ of Revelation. ​​ Another main person is​​ Jesus Christ, who​​ is​​ given​​ a character​​ which​​ at times​​ is​​ more in accord with​​ Yahweh​​ than with​​ the​​ God​​ of the N.T., who is presented by the N.T. as being primarily concerned with blessing all His creation. ​​ The Revelator​​ portrays​​ Jesus​​ Christ​​ as​​ afflicting​​ people and killing​​ sinners.11 ​​​​ ​​ 

According to the Gospels, sin causes suffering, not God. ​​ The​​ God​​ of the Gospels​​ is​​ almost always loving and​​ impartial in His blessings, causing the rain to fall upon the unjust as well as the just.12 ​​​​ However, the Deity of Revelation is​​ often portrayed as​​ a punishing​​ and​​ afflicting​​ Deity,13​​ which sometimes punishes just the unrighteous, but often punishes all of​​ humanity, which is​​ considered​​ to be​​ ​​ sinful​​ by the Deity of Revelation.

The Deity of Revelation is humanlike,​​ with body parts,14​​ who sits on a throne in heaven​​ and does not normally bless all His creation. ​​ The Deity is​​ portrayed as​​ wrathful​​ six​​ times,15​​ and the Lamb is​​ portrayed as​​ wrathful once.16​​ ​​ These characteristics do not agree with the portrayals of​​ God and Christ Jesus​​ found in​​ the Gospels.

In many chapters​​ in Revelation, beings or forces in heaven inflict evil and suffering on persons on​​ the earth. ​​ The view of heaven is materialistic. ​​ Even New Jerusalem in heaven​​ is given​​ many material characteristics.17

The symbolism in Revelation​​ is often highly dramatic and fantastic,​​ (meaning​​ drawn from fantasy.)​​ ​​ A typical​​ example​​ is, “a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,​​ and seven crowns upon​​ his heads.​​ In a lecture on Revelation given by a major Bible scholar, he said in effect, “Don’t get​​ sidetracked​​ trying to figure out the meaning of the various apocalyptic stage props in Revelation;​​ they are not important to the message of Revelation.” ​​ I firmly believe what he said.

Only in the last two chapters of the book is the thought of the​​ Revelator​​ sufficiently exalted to picture at times a heaven which is not materialistic: in Chapter 21:22 of the​​ 2019​​ KJV, the Revelator​​ writes, “And I saw no temple in it; for God Almighty and the Lamb take the place of the temple. ​​​​ Up until that time, the Revelator​​ had envisioned a temple in heaven​​ which was a heavenly, but still materialistic,​​ version of​​ Solomon’s temple.

The Revelator​​ contradicts himself;​​ one moment,​​ he portrays​​ the Supreme Ruler of the world​​ as​​ a loving God; the​​ next moment, he​​ portrays​​ the Supreme Ruler​​ as the punishing Yahweh,​​ in adjoining verses

The final battle between good and evil at Armageddon is not envisioned as a mental battle​​ between good and evil,​​ where Spirit eventually triumphs,​​ but rather as a violent physical battle between opposing,​​ material​​ armies.18​​ 

The book of Revelation shows how difficult it is to picture the heaven of Spirit in a nonmaterial way.

Occasionally in the book​​ of Revelation, the author says something regarding Deity which​​ to me​​ is inspired. ​​ In these instances, the Deity is called “God”​​ in the 2019 KJV. ​​​​ However, when the Deity is portrayed as having the​​ imperfect​​ characteristics of the customary​​ punishing​​ Deity of the O.T., the Deity is called “Yahweh​​ in the 2019 KJV.​​ 

If there had been​​ only​​ Old Testament​​ events​​ in human history;​​ if there had never been the events of the New Testament​​ in human history,​​ the book of Revelation might have been​​ a somewhat inspired imagining of​​ the end of time​​ with Yahweh being the Deity of the world.

Because Revelation does not have a coherent message, it is impossible to understand​​ it as a whole.​​  ​​​​ At times the Revelator​​ writes​​ as if​​ Yahweh is the Supreme Ruler of the world. ​​ At other times the Revelator​​ writes as if​​ God is the Supreme Ruler. ​​​​ The book of Revelation is a very confusing book written by a well-meaning, confused author, who cannot decide whether he is a Christian or a Jew. ​​​​ However, he manages to end the book on an inspired, spiritual note.

Anyone who thinks that the 2019 KJV strays too far from the 1769 KJV is welcome to read the 1769 KJV version of Revelation in the left column​​ of the​​ 2019 KJV.


​​ (16:12)​​ Revelation


​​ (11:1; 11:19)​​ Revelation


​​ (8:3; 9:13)​​ Revelation


​​ (9:13)​​ Revelation


​​ (8:3, 4, 5)​​ Revelation


​​ (14:8)​​ Revelation


​​ (3:7; 5:5;​​ 22:16) Revelation


​​ (14:1) Revelation


​​ (15:3) Revelation


​​ (7:5-8; 21:12)​​ Revelation


​​ (2:22, 23)​​ Revelation


 ​​​​ (Matthew 5:45)


​​ (See Chapters 6-9; 11-17; 19, 20)​​ Revelation


​​ (5:1)​​ Revelation


​​ (14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 19:15)​​ Revelation ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 


​​ (6:16)​​ Revelation


​​ (21:11-21)​​ Revelation


​​ (19:19; 20:9)​​ Revelation