I’m curently investigating Open View Theism thru a book shared by a friend of mine, The God of the Possible by Greg Boyd. I’m not going to do a critic nor affirm Open View here in the post — not yet. Rather, I’d like to share a very impressive suggestion on how to interpret the book of Revelation.
Boyd acknowledges that the common approach to interpreting the book of Revelation is to treat its symbols and prophecies as events at present or future time. For instance, when chapter 13 discusses about 666, some interprets it as the Roman Pope. But interpreting it that way, according to Boyd, “violates one of the most fundamental principles of sound biblical exegesis: Namely, the primary meaning of any text is the meaning the text would have had to its original audience“.
John tells us he is writing to “the seven churches that are in Asia” (1:4). This gives us a clue that the context of Revelation could have been written with the first century Christians in mind. Therefore, the symbols and interpretations could be applied to their generation. For instance, it is easy to see that the beast or 666 (13:18) is emperor Nero since the name “Nero Caesar” in Hebrew (nrwn qsr) add up to 666. The 42 months of his reign (13:5) “turns out to be the exact duration of the Roman siege on Jerusalem beginning in A.D. 66”.