Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come – finally!

For the past three years I have been leading a series of Great Adventure Bible Studies at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. It has been a wonderful journey along a path of deepening faith. There are three foundational studies – The Bible Timeline, Matthew: The King and His Kingdom, and Acts: The Spread of the Kingdom. You can read more about the studies here. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent reading and learning more about the Bible and how it pertains to my faith. I should preface my writing by noting that I am NOT a paid employee of Ascension Press or Great Adventure Bible Studies. I am simply a woman on a journey who found a key to unlocking the doors of understanding in these wonderful studies!

I have, however, been very keen on one study in particular – Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come. Learning more about this little known book at the end of the Bible has been something of which I have been curious about for some time now. I really wanted to be committed and dedicated to the idea of completing the foundational studies before taking on Revelation in order that I had the necessary background upon which to learn.

I am so very excited to have FINALLY started the Revelation study just yesterday! It is always so exciting to receive the new materials for each study and Revelation didn’t disappoint. The study guide includes a wonderful introduction outlining the *way* in which we will study Revelation as well as an overview of the relevance of numbers, colors and symbols in the Book of Revelation. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting to learn! I know there is much much more to the Book of Revelation, but we have already seen so many references to significant numbers in the studies thus far – though have been limited in our ability to go deeper into their meanings as there has been so many other significant and important things to focus on in our studies. Having the opportunity to reflect on these in great detail will be truly fascinating.

While far from an expert on scripture, I have managed to learn in the past three short years that when reading scripture it is important to read it in its ‘literal sense’, but also in its ‘spiritual sense’. When considering the ‘spiritual sense’, we can break this into three categories. The first is the allegorical sense – or how it relates to Christ. The second is the moral sense – or how it relates to me and how I live my life. Finally, the third is the anagogical sense or how it relates to ‘things beyond this world’. EWTN provides a great article regarding how all scripture is inspired by God.

While providing a great overview of the history of the Book of Revelation, Jeff Cavins also provided a great outline of  the different ways in which the Book of Revelation has been interpreted by various Biblical scholars. He spoke of how there have been interpretations that followed the seven stages of Church history and have mapped out historical events. He also outlined the approach that looked at the past and how it related to events that took place in the first century. He then noted the interpretation that notes that Revelation is an outline of the last days of mankind. Finally, he spoke of the ‘Idealist’ view which doesn’t reflect on past or future events and focuses on an allegorical interpretation concerned with ideas and principles and timeless truths.

What struck me most was the idea of the Book of Revelation as an ‘unveiling’ of both the Lamb (Jesus) and the Bride (the Church and us). The first eleven chapters will cover the unveiling of Jesus and chapters 12 – 22 will unveil the Bride.

I cannot wait until next week and to start reading this wonderful scripture! The women in our study are also very excited and almost all of them have completed at least one other Great Adventure study and have noted how the studies have become ‘addictive’. We are all excited about this next step in our journey.

For those of us who 'struggle' with Genesis

We were in our Bible study recently and were discussing some of the challenges of being lay people discussing and learning about theology. The biggest one, for me at least, is the idea of creation and the Book of Genesis. The challenge comes, for my simple little mind, when trying to determine where the dinosaurs fit in and how, if Adam and Eve only bore two sons, we ended up with an entire population. Taking these ideas and rolling in the concept of evolution (not in the sense that we were formed on the back of crystals and evolved from there) and intelligent design.

The challenge is to learn *how* to read the Bible. After three years of Bible studies – I’m still learning SO much about the *how*.

I stumbled across this piece recently which is a wonderful piece on reading the Book of Genesis. If you are searching and trying to understand, this is a great piece to read.

The Genesis Problem: Fr. Robert Barron