The Word for today:
Today, in part 1, we begin with a specific literary definition. From there we will proceed, in part 2, to plumb the depths of the Word, the irreducible building block upon which our faith is based.
mark this: Daniel 2:28
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
The book of Daniel is an Old Testament counterpart to the book of Revelation.
The book of Daniel, like Revelation in the new Testament, is an apocalypse. (Isaiah 24-27 and the book of Zechariah are also apocalyptic.)
Apocalypse means an unveiling--specifically, a disclosure of that which was previously hidden or unknown. The word comes from the Greek word apokalupsis, which has a meaning similar to the Latin word revelatio--from which the title of Revelation is derived.
Apocalyptic writing uses many figures of speech and symbols. When evil powers seemed dominant, these unveilings were given to show the real situation behind that which was apparent, and to indicate the eventual victory of righteousness upon the earth:
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. (Daniel 2:28)
The Bible student should be respectful of literary issues because the Bible is literature. Thus, the more we know of literature writ large, the more we can know of scripture. And the more we know of scripture writ large, the more we can know of the Word at the heart of it all.
(To be continued tomorrow.)