from the early church Most (or all) of the events are during the Roman Empire
Popular among liberals and Roman Catholics
|Taken to extremes,
it is very poor interpretation. Often used to sidestep the existence of
prophecy Not covered in this class.
This particular view originated with a “historicist” perspective as applied by the early church fathers. They correctly concluded that it prophesied that the Roman Empire had to fall. In short, they took the book to be prophetic of the future and went from there. Liberal scholars have picked this up and (with a little magic on the dates) have turned it into a “non-prophetic” work. The original view, however, still retains much of its validity; it’s just that the passage of time has rendered the interpretation obsolete due to new evidence (i.e......., more history).
You can see why it’s popular with liberals; it denies the existence of prophecy about the future (as they interpret it). It’s popular with some (but by no means all) Roman Catholics because it uses the “historicist” method but eliminates the Roman Church from being any of the evil portrayals so clearly linked with Rome in the text. (This desire to avoid attacking the Roman Catholic Church is also a major factor in the popularity of the futurist approach).
I will not be covering this approach in this class for these reasons:
• As defined by modern liberals, it denies the inspiration of the Scripture .
• As defined by the church fathers, it lacks the knowledge of the last 1000 years of history -- history which would have been important to them. In this sense, it is largely superseded by the historicist approach.