The Use Of The Old Testament In The Book Of Revelation -- By: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 13:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: The Use Of The Old Testament In The Book Of Revelation
Author: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

The Use Of The Old Testament In The Book Of Revelation

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

Arnold Fruchtenbaum earned a B.A. degree from Cedarville College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the founder and Executive Director of Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, Texas, a ministry to Jewish people around the world. He holds Bible conferences all over the globe and has written such landmark books as Israelology and The Footsteps of the Messiah. Arnold is also an adjunct professor at Chafer Theological Seminary. Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s five-week study tour of Israel is highly recommended and accepted for credit at CTS. His email address is [email protected]

Old And New Things In Revelation

What is new in Revelation? And how much of it is really old? Although the Book of Revelation has no direct quotations from the Old Testament, it has about 550 references to it and most of the information found in its first twenty chapters is also found in the Old Testament. Only the last two chapters deal with things totally new. If this is true, what is the importance and contribution of Revelation? The Old Testament prophecies about the end times are scattered throughout the Books of Moses and the various Prophets and Writings. Without an additional framework, they cannot be arranged in any kind of chronological order. The value of the Book of Revelation is that it provides such framework. This is the reason for so many references to the Old Testament. However, the material found in the last two chapters is totally new. The kingdom was the high point of Old Testament prophecy and no prophet ever saw anything beyond that. But the high point of New Testament prophecy is the eternal order, and Revelation 21 and 22 provide new information as they describe this order.

Symbols In The Book Of Revelation

The Book of Revelation uses many symbols, which has led to two extremes. On the one hand, some argue that the book cannot be understood and must simply be interpreted in terms of a general conflict between good and evil or God and Satan, with the good or God winning in the end. This is how the book has suffered from its enemies. In the second extreme, the symbols are used for unchecked speculation and sensationalism, as they are explained in terms of current events. Such speculation has resulted in date setting and far-fetched interpretations that change with the current events. Thus, the Book of Revelation has suffered at the hands of its friends.

There is a balance between the two extremes. The Bible is consistent in its usage of symbols. A specific symbol will mean the same thing throughout the Old and New Testaments in...

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