Throughout the centuries the book of Revelation has been subjected to wildly different interpretations. Why? "Its symbolism belongs to the first century, not to our own age," says Leon Morris in the preface to his commentary. Here he explains the ancient metaphors and symbols—most important, a slain lamb—in ways that demonstrate their compelling significance for the church today.
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“You have forsaken your first love. It is not clear whether this is love for Christ (‘you do not love me now as you did at first’, gnb), or for one another (‘you have given up loving one another’, Moffatt), or for mankind at large. It may be that a general attitude is meant which included all three (‘you do not love as you did at first’, Phillips). Forsaken (aphēkes) is a strong term; they had completely abandoned their first fine flush of enthusiastic love. They had yielded to the temptation, ever present to Christians, to put all their emphasis on sound teaching. In the process they lost love, without which all else is nothing.” (Page 65)
“The effect of this salutation is to give a picture of Christ as present in the very midst of the churches, a Christ who is intimately concerned with them and cares for them.” (Page 64)
“The book surely is that which contains the world’s destiny, and its contents are revealed to us pictorially as the seals are broken.” (Page 96)
“We simply do not know what the white stone signified, though clearly it did convey some assurance of blessing.” (Page 72)
“In this symbolism we must discern Israel, the chosen people of God.” (Page 153)
Leon Morris (1914–2006) was a leading evangelical New Testament scholar. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in England. He was principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, retiring in 1979. He then served as visiting professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.