Introduction to historicism

Understanding the subject of Bible prophecy - especially the book of Revelation - from the school of teaching known as ‘historicism’.

Introduction to historicism

The central purpose of The Omega Path is to provide you with an understanding of the subject of Bible prophecy from the school of teaching known as ‘historicism’. Don’t let that word intimidate you, it simply means that the book of Revelation (and connecting Scriptures) are considered to be speaking of events that have been transpiring over the last two thousand years of world history. They are not over yet. Therefore we need to trace, on the map so to speak, where we have come from, in order to understand where we are now, and what is coming next.

In times past virtually every Protestant Christian teacher in the world believed and taught some form of the historic interpretation of Revelation. It was one of very few subjects that all Protestant believers unanimously agreed upon, until about two hundred years ago when new schools of teaching began to emerge among the churches. In the past 50 or so years at least one of these new schools of thought has become majorly popularised with dedicated study Bibles, fiction books and movies. Now the old school of the martyrs’ teachings, which many learned at the cost of their lives, has been almost extinguished – but not quite!

Things you need to know about historicism

Historicists interpret Revelation as a book of symbolism. Just like the book of Daniel, and in various other Scriptures, the prophetic message is wrapped in sign language. Here are some to get you started:

  • A day – In key ‘timeline prophecies’ is not a period of 24 hours, it represents a year.
  • Beasts & horns – Represent empires and kingdoms.
  • Sun, moon, stars & the heavens – Speak of authorities, rulers, powers, governments and the like.
  • Earthquakes – Are used metaphorically, in the exact same way we still use this word today in world news. It means earth-shattering, world-altering events.
 

That’s enough for the moment. Further foundational and additional information can be found in our prophecy articles. The link at the foot of this section will take you to The Omega Path study – A simple overview of the book of Revelation from a historicist perspective.

Who teaches historicism

Just a few well known adherents of historicism include: John Wycliffe, John Huss, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Foxe, Thomas Newton, John Bunyan, Sir Isaac Newton (yes, the scientist), Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, John Gill, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, the whole translation committee of the King James Bible (read the epistle dedicatory), Albert Barnes, H. Grattan Guinness, Charles Spurgeon and many, many others.

It is difficult to cite more recent well known figures as the old school of historicism has been superseded by the popularity of more recent views but it continues to be held to in some smaller segments of evangelical churches. One name that will be familiar to UK readers will be the late Ian Paisley, who famously declared the pope to be, “an antichrist” – proclaiming this boldly in the EU parliament in 1988. Some USA readers may recognise Robert Caringola, author of, The Present Reign of Jesus Christ – a more up to date presentation of historicism. A small group of people on both sides of the Atlantic may be familiar with Edgar Parkyns, through whom I was first introduced to historicism.

Being able to cite a list of renowned men of God and theologians does not of course prove the view. Neither does the decline of its popularity disprove anything – contrary to the dogma, people do not always get smarter and more enlightened! However, every impartial seeker of truth should at least make himself aware of the teachings of the great men of the past and enquire diligently concerning the origins and effects of the more recent alternatives.

Walk The Omega Path

A simple overview of the book of Revelation from a historicist perspective.

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An overview of the book of Revelation

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Walk The Omega Path

An simple overview of the book of Revelation from a historicist perspective