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What's the best way to read Revelation?

Carefully.  Many read with a pre-determined mindset and make Revelation what they want it to be.

There are four main interpretive approaches to the book of Revelation:

1) Preterist which sees all or most of the events in Revelation as having occurred by the end of the 1st century.
2) Historicist which sees Revelation as a survey of church history from apostolic times to the present.
3) Idealist which sees Revelation as a depiction of the struggle between good and evil and applicable at any time.
4) Futurist which sees Revelation as prophecy of events to come, starting in Chapter 4.
The best way to read Revelation, and all books of the Bible, is to ask these questions:

What was happening when Revelation was written? Rome was persecuting Christians.  A group of churches in Asia Minor were experiencing problems both internally and externally.  The believers needed instruction and comfort.

When was Revelation written?  John wrote it on the island of Patmos.  Some believe since there is a reference to the temple in 11:1-2, the temple was still active, dating it late 60s.  Those who believe the tradition that John was sent to Patmos by Emperor Domitian favor 95 AD.  This conflict has created the division between Preterist and Futurist.  Many times John uses the word "soon" about the coming of the Lord (another way to say judgment).  What "soon" means to you will answer when you think Revelation was written.

What type of writing is Revelation?  It is apocalyptic, meaning it uses fantastic imagery and symbolism to make its point.  It's written in the same style, and borrows heavily from, the prophets of the Old Testament (Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel and others).  What were those books trying to do?  Warn Israel of the destruction of the temple and judgment on Israel.  Could John be doing the same thing?

Do we take Revelation literally?  We don’t take everything literally in the Bible.  Jesus told us to be born again.  Literally?  He said we must eat his flesh and drink his blood.  He said the Pharisees were blind and that dead people were asleep.  Literally?  Other books like Ezekiel and the prophets were not be taken literally, but communicated, using imagery, events in the near future.  The lamb with seven eyes means something symbolically as does the beast, the dragon and the lamb.

By answering these questions, you can read Revelation soberly and accurately, without forcing it to say something it wasn't meant to say.