The more dominant view throughout Church History, it reads the text of Revelation as 'literal' and as a transcript of historical events. It is usually considered to include varying contemporary political/religious events. The Gulf War, The Soviet Union, etc. I find this to be a poor translation of literal events, especially when it is contingent on our current situation. Thus we read back into Revelation our current circumstances. Highly problematic for me.2. Historical:
Instead of being read as a prediction, Revelation is to be read as a commentary on political events within the context of the original author of Revelation. Hays states that like the Book of Daniel, Revelation is a resistance document. Simply, the imagery evokes the intended meaning of, say, Caesar and the Roman empire. This is a more attractive interpretation as it affirms the original intent of the author and grants a window into the views/symbols/ideals of the time.3. Theopoetic:
One reads this text as a theological and poetic representation of the spiritual environment within where the church finds herself. It is thus a prophetic confrontation of all earthly pretensions of power. This allows for a stronger sense of ethics, and seems to drive most fluidly within the context of apocalyptic literature, especially with the imagery there within.I don't pretend to understand the Book of Revelation. I find it to be a fascinating but also a maddening document. Mostly because I cannot read it without the image of Putin and Reagan. But, it is indeed a fascinating document.
For a pacifist reading of Revelation, Hays "The Moral Vision of the New Testament" is quite good. Material taken from 170-173.