Prophecy is a topic which can, and historically has, caused division. Has a prophecy been fulfilled? When will it be fulfilled? Was there a partial fulfillment which will be completely fulfilled in the future? The questions could gone on ad nauseam.
For this reason, I tend to shy away from study of prophecy and rarely preach over prophetic texts with definitive authority. I do not proclaim to know all of the answers, especially in regards to the end times prophecies or the book of Revelation. When I had the opportunity to get a copy of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, edited by John Hagee, I decided to give it a shot and add the reference material to my library.
To call this a study bible is a bit of a stretch if you read the introduction. Essentially the reader is told to read the bible and determine the context, cultural norms, target audience, and other helpful insights for study. I was pleased at what appeared to be a fair and balanced approach to the study of prophecy, at least until I hit the part dealing with the End Times. At this point of the introduction, the reader is told the Premillennial rapture followed by the Great Tribulation and Second Coming are the way it is and then the reader is spoon fed a series of verses and told the meaning of those verses to support this view. This is the main reason I shy away from the study of prophecy. I do not see it as an absolute certainty as described by the editor.
Following the above revelation (pun intended), I began to see the typical time-line prophecy study laid out in front of the reader. This happened, then in such and such time frame this was set to happen, on and on until the Second Coming on such and such time frame. Basing the book of Revelation on the book of Daniel to lay out such a time line is problematic for me. No man knows the day or hour that Christ will return and thus I do not believe one can read any bible verses and calculate when it will happen.
Essentially, this bible was what I feared it would be. Rather than a study bible it is a John Hagee in-depth timeline for when the End Times is happen. If you are a person who believes in the Premillennial Rapture, this bible is probably a great bible to have. However, if you question your beliefs regarding the End Times, this bible is probably not a great option as it does not offer any alternative interpretations to many questionable verses throughout the bible. You are either believe in a Premillenial Rapture, or you are wrong according to the authors/editor of the study materials included herein.
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