Four major views of Revelation: the historicist, the preterist, the futurist, and the spiritual view. The view of the person will affect his/her interpretation of the book of Revelation.
(Article from Bible.org)
- The historicist view sees Revelation as a record of the course of history from the time of the apostles to the end of the world; it is thus still in progress.
- The preterist view sees Revelation as future from the standpoint of the writer, but having been fulfilled not long after the author’s own time (generally 70 AD), and thus it is history from our standpoint. Some preterists believe the final chapters of Revelation still look forward to a future second coming of Christ, while others believe that all of Revelation has been fulfilled.
- The futurist view believes that the prophecies are of events which are yet future from our perspective. Everything after chapter 4 is usually held to refer to things that will occur in a short period (i.e. a 7- year period known as the Tribulation) before the return of Christ.
- Rather than seeking to find individual fulfillments of the visions, the spiritual view takes Revelation as a kind of drama, which depicts spiritual truths which may occur over and over throughout history, such as the conflicts “between Christ and Satan, between the saints and the antichristian world powers, and depicting the final victory of Christ and his saints.” Thus fulfillment may be seen as “entirely spiritual or as recurrent, finding representative expression throughout the age, rather than in one-time, specific fulfillments.” Thus the prophecies are applicable to Christians in any age.