Sam Storms on Rev. 20 And Hermeneutical Problems

When I first let it be known to several of my premillennial friends that I had embraced amillennialism, I was, as Vos predicted, confronted with the “insistent demand” to subject my conclusions drawn from the Pauline literature to the singular declaration of Revelation 20. It seemed to me at the time, and still does, to be more than merely hermeneutically “unmethodical” (to use Vos’ odd term). It seemed flatly illogical.

…Most premillennialists read these texts through the grid of Revelation 20. As Vos indicated, one is rarely permitted to discuss other relevant passages prior to the interpretation of Revelation, but only the former in the allegedly clear and antecedent light of the latter. Often the premillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 has become so deeply embedded in the minds of its advocates that it borders on unconscious assumption. This makes it difficult for them to read other portions of God’s word through anything other than premillennial spectacles. This, I suggest, is contrary to good hermeneutical sense. It is contrary to the analogy of faith. It would not be, were it the case that a premillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 could be harmonized with the rest of Scripture. I will contend, however, that it cannot.

My point, then, is that sound hermeneutical procedure would appear to demand that we interpret the singular and obscure in the light of the plural and explicit. To make the rest of the New Testament (not to mention the Old Testament) bend to the standard of one text in the most controversial, symbolic, and by scholarly consensus most difficult book in the Bible, is hardly commendable hermeneutical method. The first reason, therefore, for my theological shift to amillennialism is that I can in good conscience no longer allow the apocalyptic tail to wag the epistolary dog. I must not force the whole of Scripture to dance to the tune of Revelation 20.*


*Storms, Sam (2013-04-30). Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative (Kindle Locations 2290-2293). Christian Focus Publications. Kindle Edition.


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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3 Responses to Sam Storms on Rev. 20 And Hermeneutical Problems

  1. RFB says:

    That type of (pre) hermeneutic reminds me of Bierce’s definition: REVELATION, n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.

  2. Pingback: Revelation 20 and Revelation 12 | The Beginning of the End

  3. Pingback: Hermes | Reason & Existenz

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