Revival of Rome -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 126:504 (Oct 1969)
Article: Revival of Rome
Author: John F. Walvoord

Revival of Rome

John F. Walvoord

[John F. Walvoord, President, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.]

The question of whether the ancient Roman Empire will be revived in the prophetic future at the end of the age is one of the intriguing interpretative problems of the Scriptures. Liberal theologians have been quite sure that such an expectation is a vain hope, and that prophecy cannot be taken that literally.1 Evangelicals have not all been agreed on the answer to the question either, but many, particularly premillenarians, have felt that the prophetic foreview of both Daniel and Revelation anticipates the revival of Rome politically and religiously. The Protestant reformers like John Calvin interpreted prophecies of the end time to refer to the Roman Catholic Church, and tended to relate the political implications to the existing political situation.

In the twentieth century the question of the revival of Rome has taken on new prominence with the revival of the Middle East as a whole, the formation of the new State of Israel, the reformations of the Roman Catholic Church, and many other factors which again are directing attention to the Middle East. Accordingly, the revival of Rome becomes once again a live question.

Previously the author contributed an article on the ten-nation confederacy, dealing with four major Scripture passages (Dan 2:34–35, 40–45; 7:7–8, 19–24; Rev 13:1–2; 17:3, 7, 12–16).2 It was demonstrated that these passages prophesy a future ten-nation confederacy in the Middle East which will form a large part in prophecy of the end time and be the forerunner of the ultimate world government. The author has also

contributed to the subject several chapters on the place of Rome, including one specifically on the revival of Rome.3 The present study is directed specifically to the question as to whether these prophecies anticipate a revival of Rome politically and religiously.


In approaching this complicated interpretative problem of prophetic Scripture, certain assumptions are implicit in the argument. First of all, the Scriptures must be re...

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