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   HISTORICIST




The historicist approach to interpreting the Book of Revelation is to view the book as a symbolic prophecy of Church history as a whole. To historicists, the Book of Revelation is a symbolic picture of all of the events and movements which have shaped the conflict and progress of the Christian church. Because this approach is directly tied into historical developments, a great deal of conjecture has become associated with it. For example, within the historicist framework, references are made to barbarian hordes, the 16th Century Reformation, the French Revolution, World Wars I and II, the European Common Market, etc. Of course, this approach is very vulnerable, because when actual history proves historicist interpretations wrong, such interpretations need to be revised. Some noted Christian historicists include John Wycliffe, John Knox, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon and Matthew Henry. The historicist approach to understanding the Book of Revelation developed during the Twelfth Century and is the view of most premillennialists prior to the 19th century. At that time, it was replaced by the development of dispensationalism, which became popular through the Scofield Reference Bible, which was published in 1909.

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