A Lacombe man is encouraging Christians (and anyone else so inclined) to make a closer inspection of the Bible with his new book.
Bert de Bruijn, a now semi-retired minister, has recently published his first book, Take Another Look at Revelations, a study that analyzes the many symbols and metaphors existing in the Book of Revelation.
de Bruijn said that he felt his book was important because it simplified the complex messages within Revelation.
“Lots of people have interpreted Revelation and I was never very convinced that people were getting the message,” said de Bruijn.
de Bruijn went on to say that it is difficult to interpret Revelation because its story is told as it was revealed in a vision to the apostle John, as a sequence of images. Much of Revelation is symbolic and deals heavily with the spiritual element.
de Bruijn said some interpretations make the mistake of taking too much of the scripture literally.
On the other hand, one can also make the mistake of thinking the scripture does not relate to the real world at all.
“Just because it is all symbolic doesn’t mean it has nothing to do with real life,” said de Bruijn. “Rather the opposite. It has everything to do with real life, but the images are given as a metaphor.”
He gave the example of one scene within Revelation that deals with the return of Christ where he is shown to come leading an army of the Christians who have gone before coming down from heaven on horseback.
He said that according to the Christian tradition, it is true that Christ will return, but the manner of that return may not be exactly as described in that imagery.
“Well, the reality of that is absolutely true. But I doubt very much that we will see horses coming out of the sky.”
Revelation is perhaps best known to the public at large as being the final book of the Bible, which describes the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. However, de Bruijn said very little of the book actually deals with the end times and most of it deals with things that are always happening, what is generally referred to as ‘the eternal present.’
Numbers are one thing that he said are incredibly important in the book of Revelation.
He said that certain numbers refer to certain things, something he discovered is consistent throughout Revelation.
“It became obvious that these numbers were important, so I started to list them.”
For example, he discovered the number four always refers to the whole earth, the number three to a person’s allegiance of worship, seven refers to Jesus or God, six to Satan, said de Bruijn.
He said Revelation uses specific numbers of repetitions to refer to different things. For example, if a passage uses repetition to describe something seven different ways, that passage is referring to Jesus or God.
He said this is done so the reader always knows, even if it isn’t spelled out, what the passage is referring to.
“The numbers give you clues to what is actually meant.”
He went on to say that some have even misinterpreted scenes in Revelation that relate to daily life within the church as scenes describing events that still have yet to take place.
He added that it became quite clear in his study that this is not the case.
de Bruijn first got the idea to write the book when he was asked to do a Bible study on Revelation in the late 90s.
In preparation for the study, he noticed there are many references that were consistent throughout the book. As the study progressed, these references became even more clear to him.
After the study, he completed the first draft of his book in 2001 and then the project remained more or less untouched until de Bruijn came to Lacombe in 2006.
He then acquired a printing contract and worked on tweaking and rewriting his draft until recently.
de Bruijn will be doing a reading and signing for his new book, Take Another Look at Revelation, at the Kozy Korner on Oct. 25th at 1:30 p.m.