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What does it mean to see Progressive Recapitulatory Parallelism in Revelation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alan Gross, Nov 26, 2023.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:

    refers to the identification of Seven Parallel Visions in Sections of chapters in Revelation:

    -ch 1-3
    -ch 4-7
    -ch 8-11
    -ch 12-14
    -ch 17-19
    -ch 20-22

    "Recapitulatory" refers to how each of these Sections of chapters is seen as being somewhat overlapping, with One Vision or Section recapitulating what another has said, but in a different way.

    The Second Vision is a Section of chapters which reiterates, reemphasizes, reviews, and expands of the First Vision, etc.

    Each and every one of these Visions and Sections of chapters
    is by most thought to culminate with Christ's Return:

    -ch 1-3....Describing the church age up to Christ's return

    -ch 4-7.....Earth described with godly and ungodly people,
    culminating with Christ's return,

    -ch. 8-11...The ungodly are punished and the godly will triumph

    -ch 12-14....Tracks Satan's activities and defeat
    from creation until the return of Christ,

    -ch.15-16....The judgment of the world,

    -ch 17-19....False religions are created and gain influence,
    but are finally destroyed

    -ch 20-22....The final judgment against evil,
    and a long description of the fate of the righteous.

    "Progressive" refers to how new information is revealed in a different way each time the history of the world is tracked, and how we are helped understand events by being given different perspectives.

    "For some, "progressive" also refers to the time periods described: that in the beginning they see more focus on this age and physical realities, but as we approach the end of Revelation, we get an increased focus on spiritual realities and the eternal state.

    "Some have likened this to the waxing tide: waves splash in over the sand and quickly retreat, but with time, the tide advances the waves further and further up the shore.

    "Thus PROGRESSIVE RECAPITULATORY PARALLELISM refers to the movement of thought through Seven Visions in Parallel Sections of chapters in Revelation which tell and retell the same story from different angles."

    Notice each of the Seven Visions, in these Sections of chapters, and how Jesus is shown to Return, Once and for All, in blue bold.

    With each Vision having its own depiction of Jesus Return, we know that all Seven Visions overlap on another and cover the same period of time.

    Each Vision covers the Period of Time between Jesus' Ascension at His First Coming and Jesus' One and Only Return, at the End of Time, at His Second Coming.

    There is, therefore, no warrant to justify or necessitate a view of Revelation, as following along in a straight chronological line from the first chapter, to the last, because it doesn't.

    The Book of Revelation is structured hermeneutically, as follows;


    SECTION ONE. Christ in the Midst of the Lamps (Rev. 1:1-3:22):

    The lampstands represent the 7 churches; these are typical of all churches throughout this church age.

    As in all of these sections, the narrative brings us to Christ’s return (3:20-22).

    SECTION TWO. The Vision of Heaven and the Seals (Rev.4:1-7:17): THE CHURCH WILL BE TRIUMPHANT.

    This is a picture of the entire Church triumphant and includes the first mention of the 144,000. Once again, the section closes in chapter seven with the return of Christ, but since the theme here is the Church triumphant, the focus is almost entirely on the saved.

    SECTION THREE. The Seven Trumpets (Rev. 8:1-11:19):

    This section describes the affects of the Seven Trumpets on both those who reject God and upon the saved. Dark and fearful things affect the world in chapters eight and nine, whilst chapters ten and eleven focus on the Church.

    Once again (as in all of the other sections), the narrative brings us to Christ’s return at the seventh trumpet (11:15).

    The message is clear: terrible things will come upon a God-rejecting world but God’s own people will rejoice!

    SECTION FOUR. The Persecuting Dragon (Rev. 12:1-14:20):

    The woman and the Man-child are persecuted by the dragon and his helpers.

    The section starts with a clear reference to the birth of our Saviour (12:5), the dragon threatens to devour the Man-child (Christ), but He is caught up to heaven, so the dragon now persecutes the ‘woman’ (the Church) through the agencies of the ‘beast’ and the ‘harlot.’

    This is why Christians must expect persecution.

    Yet again the section closes with the Second Coming
    and with impending judgment (14:14-20).


    SECTION FIVE. The Seven Bowls (Rev. 15:1-16:21):

    These seven sections progressively reveal a little more and now the entire focus is on the final judgment of this world, and Armageddon is mentioned (16:16). Indications are strong (as we will learn later in this article) that the seven bowls and seven trumpets refer to exactly the same events but from somewhat differing perspectives;

    Christ returns at the seventh bowl and seventh trumpet.


    SECTION SIX. The Fall of Babylon (Rev. 17:1-19:21):

    The current Babylonian system is why people are currently blinded to spiritual truth and worship money, commerce and various satanic ideologies:

    Darwinism, Marxism, Pantheism (modern ‘environmentalism’ is clearly pantheistic), and all the false religions.

    Babylon said (and currently still says) that people can freely be wealthy and prosperous at the expense of others and that these people can have a religion of their choice to appease their souls;

    Babylon masked the truth about God and gave people a religion of their minds;

    Babylon truly offered a self-earned justification, bedecked in deceptive luxury, moreover, it may even be observed in modern evangelicalism.

    This section shows when Babylon will finally be destroyed for her evil works of deception.

    We again find the return of Christ occurring (19:11), these regular returns of Christ confirm that these are parallel sections, not consecutive occurrences!


    SECTION SEVEN. The Great Consummation (Rev. 20:1-22:21):

    The final section which reveals such great spiritual truth begins by going back to the start of the Church age to show how Satan has been restricted during this age.

    We even see the saints in heaven awaiting the resurrection (20:4-5), then we learn more about a final great military battle and the final destruction of the beast, false prophet and Satan himself (20:7-11), next we are presented with an amazing glimpse of the Great White Throne of Judgment when everybody who has ever lived must stand before God! (20:11-15).

    Yet it does not even finish there: God has even allowed us a symbolic glimpse into the New Jerusalem and the New Heavens and New Earth (chapters 21-22).

    See also: The Seven Visions again here:
    He cometh with clouds . . . .
    #1 Alan Gross, Nov 26, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2023
  2. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2023
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    Who comes up with these names and labels?

    Progressive Recapitulatory Parallelism said no parishioner ever.

    From where did you copy and paste your data?

    I actually agree with your post. I just find it silly to create such terms.
  3. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
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    The Apocalyptic Genre begins in the first verse of Revelation and yet most miss it and, in fact, few translations even get the word right.

    "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"

    Strong's Greek: 4591. σημαίνω (sémainó)
    sémainó: to give a sign
    Original Word: σημαίνω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: sémainó
    Phonetic Spelling: (say-mah'-ee-no)
    Definition: to give a sign
    Usage: I signify, indicate, give a sign, make known.

    The Book of Revelation is taught in The Apocalyptic Genre, of which much can be said.

    Understanding Apocalyptic Literature.

    See: Chapter V SYMBOLISM IN THE BOOK pg. 37,
    More than Conquerors, by William Hendricksen.

    It's just
    Coram Deo
    "Understanding how the different biblical genres work will help us avoid misinterpretation, thereby improving our ability to find the wisdom that God is showing us in His Word. Our Creator commends the careful study of His Word (2 Tim. 2:15), and this careful study is essential for building the knowledge that is necessary for true wisdom. Getting a grasp of the basic, sound principles of biblical interpretation is a must for discipleship."

    "We are accustomed to finding rhyme and meter in English poetry, but Hebrew poetry is different. Hebrew poetry exhibits parallelism as its chief characteristic. We see parallelism when two or more lines of a Hebrew poem correspond closely with one another in order to make a point. There are three major types of parallelism in Hebrew poetry: synonymous parallelism, antithetic parallelism, and synthetic parallelism.

    "Synonymous parallelism is probably the easiest one for us to grasp. A synonymous parallel says the same thing in different ways in order to convey its teaching. Though it is not from one of the Wisdom Books, Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6:13—"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"—exhibits synonymous parallelism. The prayer has us asking God for the same thing in two different ways, namely, that He would keep us from the full assault of the evil one. The parallel does not mean that the Lord is able to tempt us (see James 1:13).

    "Antithetic parallelism uses a contrast between two or more lines to teach us the truth. Proverbs 10:1 is an example of antithetic parallelism; there, opposing behaviors of wise and foolish sons reveal to us the kind of children that please their parents."

    "Synthetic parallelism synthesizes two or more poetic lines. In such parallelism, successive lines build on and intensify the first line. Proverbs 6:16-19, wherein the list of things God hates expands over the course of the verses, illustrates synthetic parallelism."

    Progressive Recapitulatory Parallelism is explained above for what it exactly is.

    Progressive Parallelism in Revelation Google search.

    There is a link embedded in the title.
    #3 Alan Gross, Nov 27, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2023
  4. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2023
    Likes Received:
    Here's a rebuttal to Progressive Recapitulary Parallelism (Amillenialism for most folks).

    Progressive Parallelism | Salvation By Grace

    In the linked article the person attempts to argue that the use of the Greek word "kai" (then) makes Johns comments mean he is working off a timeline. This is not necessarily true. In this instance, when John is saying "then", he is referring to the tapestry he is seeing (remember chapter 1 tells us this is a picture book). He is looking at this tapestry in cycles and each time he cycles back to a part of the tapestry he sees more details and thus draws us in closer to the image.
    The use of "kai" (then) is not a timeline at all, but an expression of moving his eyes to another part of the tapestry John is seeing.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I had seen this question and answer article and stopped when he said he found the use of the Bible humorous, from Romans, not grasping anything but his own cheap inability to review something without making a fool of himself.

    I was done with him, right there. "Jim – Yes, I’m familiar with Hendrickson. His book “More Than Conquerors” is one of the more popular Amillennial defenses in print (although I find it humorous that he took his title from the book of Romans)

    Is Romans not Amillennial, Big Jim?

    Then, you say he goes on to make an argument using a linking adverb?

    Perfect. Great job. Taisto! Still moving in sequence, just not a desperate need for inventing a timeline.

    Now that is silly.
  6. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2023
    Likes Received:
    Indeed, a linear timeline across history does not make any interpretive sense when reading Revelation. The timeline becomes tortured and then needs to be ever adjusted when the timeline doesn't come true in the futurists prognostication.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Honestly, do they really teach this crap?
  8. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2023
    Likes Received:
    I was taught futurism with a whole series of linear charts and timelines to show what dispensation we were in and when the pre-trib rapture occurred, with an exact 7 year tribulation, followed by an exact 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, followed by an undetermined time when Satan is let loose and Jesus leaves, followed by another return of Jesus and then a Great white throne judgment where people are then either sent to heaven or sent into the lake of fire. It's all in dispensational chart work. There is a woman in my church (dispensationalist/futurist) who has spent her entire life building diagrams and charts to create the exact timeline of events. I don't have the heart to tell her it's all for naught. Let her go into glory and be surprised.
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Nuts… she must be on the autism spectrum.:Geek
  10. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2023
    Likes Received:
    She worked in the airline industry. It's all about schedules. :Barefoot
  11. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    If you can imagine that a major part of the confusion with interpreting the Book of Revelation is that it records SATAN'S DOOM, and thus, Satan does everything he can to mess things up.

    If the Lord will permit you to read through the following, to the seventh section, it tells plainly of Satan's Doom.

    And if you get what is being said, you'll never be deceived by him on it, again.

    More than Conquerors, by William Hendricksen



    1. Christ in the midst of the lampstands (i: 1-3: 22)

    THE central theme of the first three chapters of Revelation
    seems to be Christ in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.

    These lampstands represent the seven churches
    (1: 20).

    To each church John is directed to write a letter (see
    chapters 2 and 3).

    As this number seven occurs again and again
    in the Apocalypse and is everywhere symbolical of completeness,
    we may safely take it for granted that such is the case here,
    and that it indicates the entire Church throughout the full
    span of its existence to the very end of the world.

    Thus interpreted, each individual church is, as it were, a type, not indicating one definite period in history, but describing conditions which are constantly repeated in the actual life of the various congregations. 1

    Therefore this section appears to span the
    entire dispensation, from Christ’s first coming to save His
    people (1: 5) to His second coming to judge all nations (1: 7).

    The last of these seven letters is written to the church at

    It is evident that chapter 4 introduces a new—
    though closely related—subject.

    2. The vision of heaven and the seals (4: 1-7: 17)

    Chapters 4-7 constitute the next natural division of the book.

    Chapter 4 describes the One who is sitting upon the throne and
    the worship of those who surround Him.

    In the right hand of the Lord there is a book sealed with seven seals (5: 1).

    The Lamb takes this book and receives adoration.

    From chapter 6 we learn that the Lamb opens the seals one by one.

    Between the sixth and the seventh seals we have the vision of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who were sealed and of the countless multitude standing before the throne.

    It should be carefully noted that this section also covers the
    entire dispensation, from the first to the second coming of

    The very first reference to Christ pictures Him as having
    been slain and as now ruling from heaven (5: 5, 6).

    Towards the end of this section the final judgment is introduced. Notice the
    impression of the second coming on unbelievers.

    ‘And they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from
    the face of the One sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of
    the Lamb! For it came, the day, the great one, of their wrath;
    and who is able to stand? ’ (6: 16, 17). Now notice the bliss of

    ‘They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;
    neither shall the sun fall upon them, nor any heat; for the
    Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd,
    and shall lead them to life’s springs of water; and God shall
    wipe away every tear out of their eyes’ (7: 16, 17).

    This is a picture of the entire Church triumphant, gathered out of
    all the nations and thus, in its entirety, standing before the
    throne and before the Lamb, an ideal which is not realized
    until the day of the great consummation.

    We have again spanned the entire gospel age.

    3. The seven trumpets (8: 1-11: 19)

    The next section consists of chapters 8-11.

    Its central theme is
    the seven trumpets that affect the world.

    What happens to the Church is described in chapters 10 and 11 (the angel with the
    little book, the two witnesses).

    Also at the close of this section there is a very clear reference to the final judgment.

    ‘The dominion over the world became the dominion of our Lord,
    and of his Christ: and he shall reign for ever and ever. ’..
    And the nations were wroth, and thy wrath came, and the
    time of the dead to be judged... ’ (11: 15, 18).

    Having reached the end of the dispensation, the vision ends.

    4. The persecuting dragon (12: 1-14: 20)

    This brings us to chapters 12-14: the woman and the Man-child persecuted by the dragon and his helpers.

    This section also covers the entire dispensation. It begins with a very clear
    reference to the birth of the Saviour (12: 5).

    The dragon threatens to devour the Man-child. The Child is caught up to God
    and to His throne. The dragon now persecutes the woman (12:

    As his agents, he employs the beast coming up out of the
    sea (13: 1) and the beast coming up out of the earth (13: 11, 12)
    and the great harlot, Babylon (14: 8).

    This section, too, closes with a stirring description of Christ’s second coming in judgment.

    ‘And I saw, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud
    I saw one sitting like unto a son of man, having on his head a
    golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.... And he
    that sat on the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the
    earth was reaped’ (14: 14, 16).

    5. The seven bowls (15: 1-16: 21)

    The next section comprises chapters 15 and 16 and describes
    the bowls of wrath. Here, too, we have a very clear reference to
    the final judgment and events that will take place in connection
    with it.

    Thus we read in 16: 20, ‘And every island fled away,
    and the mountains were not found. ’

    6. The fall of Babylon (17: 1-19: 21)

    Next comes a very vivid description of the fall of Babylon and
    the punishment inflicted upon the beast and the false prophet.
    Notice the picture of Christ’s coming unto judgment (19: n if. ).

    ‘And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse,
    and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in
    righteousness he judges and does battle.... ’

    7. The great consummation (20: 1-22: 21)

    This brings us to the final section, chapters 20-22,
    for Revelation 20: 1 definitely begins a new section and introduces a new
    subject. 1 This new subject is the devil’s doom.

    A comparison, moreover, with chapter 12 reveals the fact that at the beginning
    of chapter 20 we are once more standing on the threshold of the
    new dispensation.

    While in 12: 9 we are told that in connection with Christ’s ascension and coronation the devil is cast down, here in 20: 2, 3 we read that he is bound for a thousand years
    after being cast into the abyss.

    The thousand years are followed by the little season during which Satan is loosed out of his prison (20: 7).

    This, in turn, is followed by a description of the
    final overthrow of Satan in connection with Christ’s coming in
    judgment (20: 10, 11 if. ).

    At this coming the present universe,
    fleeing away, makes room for the new heaven and earth, the
    new Jerusalem (20: n if. ).

    A careful reading of the book of Revelation has made it
    clear that the book consists of seven sections, and that these
    seven sections run parallel to one another.

    Each of them spans the entire dispensation
    from the first to the second coming of Christ.
    This period is viewed now from one aspect, now from another.

    1 See W. Milligan, The Book of Revelation (Expositor's Bible), VI, p. 836;
    E. H. Plumptre, The Epistles to the Seven Churches, p. 9; W. M. Ramsay,
    The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, pp. 30, 177 ff.; R. C. Trench, Com-
    mentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, pp. 59 ff.; C. F. Wishart,
    The Book of Day, p. 22.