Upcoming: Project “Revelation DIY“

A friend of mine, Werner E. Lange, has started a very interesting project in relation to the Sabbath School Lessons for the next quarter. He is the retired book-editor of the German Adventist Publishing House and has edited several of my books.

I am excited about his project called “Revelation DIY” (Do it yourself). The aim is not to present a verse-by-verse interpretation or a different study guide, but rather to show church members an approach whereby they can discover themselves the meaning of the visions and judge whether a given interpretation does justice to the text and its context. His goal is for church members to be less dependent on pastors, books or study guides, and more on the Word of God itself. He contends that Revelation is easier to understand than many people think—provided that we approach it with the appropriate tools for its interpretation. The principles he uses are based on my book The Deep Things of God, which is still available.

His elaborations are published in both German and English on the website of the Hansa-Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The first (PDF Revelation DIY1, the text of a sermon) concerns hints on the interpretation in the introduction of the Revelation; the second is a lecture on specific principles of interpretation, focusing especially on how to detect and apply the allusions to the Old Testament. From January on you can download his elaborations with hints on the interpretational approach for the chapters in Revelation upon which the Sabbath School lesson for that week is based. He will also show dead ends in interpretation and give some explanations of the text (the one on Rev 1:10–20 is already available). You can access all PDFs here.
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I am personally very curious about his suggestions for interpretation. Some years ago he translated and heavily revised (with my approval) my Facebook comments on Revelation 12–14 and put them into book form. From the detailed discussions we had, I know that he is a careful and thorough Bible student and has internalized my principles for the interpretation of Revelation. He would remind me when I hadn’t followed my own rules and challenged some of my interpretations (often with success).

I would love to see more open discussion about Adventist interpretations of Revelation. Ellen White encourages us to study the book thoroughly, even claiming that we haven’t understood it well enough (see the quotations at the end of PDF DIY 0). And Jesus promises a special blessing for those who read Revelation and heed what they have learned (Rev 1:3). So let’s study it anew and with an open mind. We just might be surprised at what we learn.

5 thoughts on “Upcoming: Project “Revelation DIY“

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      I am not directly involved in DIY, I just wrote a letter of encouragement that Adventist Today published. You can subscribe to AT’s twitter feed (I do) and get notified that way.

  1. Karl Wagner

    “The principles he uses are based on my book The Deep Things of God, which is still available.”
    That was my first lesson on my Revelation Seminar. The whole lesson taken from your book to help prepare the student to use these tools to open up the book of Revelation as we went through it. My goal of the seminar is more about telling the story of the book rather than trying to identify every seal, trumpet or plague through news headlines. I use John 14:1-4 as our overall text and tell the story of belonging and restoration culminating in a new earth and a new city. Revelation is a story not about the end, but the rather; the beginning. “See,” God says, “I am doing a new thing.”

  2. Floyd Phillips

    After sitting in on your class on Revelation many years ago at Andrews, I developed an interest in unpacking this book personally instead of just relying on what others tell me it means. A few years ago I felt compelled to go through the entire book and assemble every link I could find to every other place in Scripture for each verse, which obviously took some time. But in the process my perception of this book was radically altered from the stock views handed out through seminars.
    My desire is to find people, anyone, interested in actually dialoging about this book who is open to fresh ideas and new perspectives and honestly looking to go much deeper. Are there people around like that? Could a FB group be set up for anyone wanting to do something like this?

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      I suspect such already exists, but my day job and my relative lack of tech skill prevent me from engagement with a lot of that at this stage of life. Let me know if you find or start such a group.


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