Revelation 17:5 – What is the mystery of Babylon?

Problem: Commentators wonder how we should render this section of Revelation. Should we render this section in this way?

NASB: “On her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ‘Babylon the Great.’”

ESV: “On her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great.’”

NLT: “A mysterious name was written on her forehead: ‘Babylon the Great.’”

Or should it be translated as the NIV renders it?

NIV: “This title was written on her forehead: ‘Mystery Babylon the Great.’”

Is “Mystery Babylon” the title? Or is the title a mystery now revealed as Babylon? Moreover, what does this title mean?
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 16:21 – Could the 100 pound hailstones actually be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70?

Problem: Preterist interpreters argue that the “huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each” (Rev. 16:21) were actually the rocks were catapulted over the walls of Jerusalem in AD 70. Preterist Kenneth Gentry writes,

John is presenting the dramatic covenant lawsuit against Israel for her adultery. The punishment in God’s law for adultery is death (Lev. 20:10), which in biblical law is by stoning. Thus, we witness enormous hailstones raining down on Jerusalem in Revelation 16:21: ‘From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds [Gk. talantiaia, talent, kjv] each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.’ Josephus records its historical fulfillment in the Roman catapulting of Jerusalem.[1]
Gentry goes on to cite Josephus Jewish Wars, which states:

Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color. (Jewish Wars 5.6.3)
Does this citation from Josephus support a Preterist reading of Revelation?
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 16:14 – Can demons perform miracles?

Problem: The Bible sometimes uses the same words (sign, wonders, power) to describe the power of demons as those used to describe miracles of God (Rev. 16:14; 2 Thes. 2:9). However, a miracle is a supernatural act of God, and only God can perform such acts. The devil is a created being and has only limited power.
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Posted by petra1000

Revelation 14:6-7 – Is this a message of forgiveness or judgment?

Problem: Some interpreters believe that God sent the angel merely to preach judgment—not forgiveness. The angel screams, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (v.7).
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 13:3 – What is the “fatal wound” mentioned here?

Problem: Many interpretations have been offered for this passage. Modern, end-times fanatics have identified this fatal wound with Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and even JFK![1]These wild speculations should be avoided. Instead, let’s consider some of the more common interpretations held by commentators:
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 12:4, 9 – When did Satan sweep a third of the angels away to the Earth? When was Satan cast out of heaven?

Problem: John writes, “His [Satan’s] tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth” (Rev. 12:4). Later in the same chapter, we read, “The great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (v.9). When did this event occur?
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Posted by petra1000 in Apologetics, Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 12:1 – Who is the woman: Israel, Mary, or the Church?

Problem: In Revelation 12, some of the symbols are very clear, while others are not.

The “red dragon” is no doubt Satan. John explicitly tells us that “the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (v.9; c.f. v.12). In addition, he wages war with Michael—the archangel—in heaven (v.7). Moreover, he is colored red, because he is drenched in the blood of believers (similar to the red horse of Revelation 6:4). He has a crown on his head (Rev. 12:3), as the current prince or ruler of the Earth (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4).
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching