Sign up ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are of course a number of different approaches to, and interpretations of the book of Revelation. When I read theological works on end times I stumble upon some of those. But I never really understand how widespread those are.

Approaches: Idealist approach, the futurist approach, the church historical approach and the preterist approach (among others).

Different views on the millennium: Historic premillennialism, premillennialism (and dispensialism), postmillennialism and amillennialism.

What I am interested in is some statistics of present day Christianity. Are there any estimates on how many people that support those different approaches and views on the millennium (I'm most curious of the later). And what kind of Christians do generally hold on to which view?

share|improve this question
It's a big question so even if you only can give a part of an answer - That's great. :) –  Niclas Nilsson Aug 8 '12 at 7:43
The following is not statistics, but Mike's answer to Study Sources of Book of Revelation lists who supports what view (based on the books they've written.) –  user1694 Aug 8 '12 at 8:25
Oh. That's great. I look into it. –  Niclas Nilsson Aug 8 '12 at 8:56
Related background for those who don't know what the different millennium views are about: What are the differences between the different millenialisms? –  Caleb Aug 8 '12 at 9:52
I figured the bounty would've drawn some more attention to this –  warren Aug 20 '12 at 14:10

1 Answer 1

I have still not found any good answer to this question. But I post some hints that have been helpful to me. Hoping that it might be helpful for someone else and maybe intriguing to give a better answer. The following is a quotation from Steve Gregg, Revelation - four views, 1997, p. 33-34.

The contemporary conservative protestant scene

Conservative Protestants commentaries (those that not follow the literary-critical approach) in the 19th and 20th centuries have been divided: The historicist approach continued into the 19th century in the writings of E. B. Elliott (Horae Apocalypticae, 1847), A. J. Gordon, Albert Barnes, and others. To my knowledge, the only modern commentaries that espouse this view have not come from recognized scholars (not that this fact should condemn them), but from essentially self-published authors who are desirous to reintroduce this viewpoint to a modern readership. Eugene Boring would seem to be correct when he writes, "Although widely held by Protestant interpreters after the Reformation and into the twentieth century, no critical New Testament scholar today advocates this view." The preterist approach was followed in the 19th century by Moses Stuart (1845), and in the early 20th century by James Snowden (1919). Preterism has had a recent resurgence in the writings of Christian Reconstructionists like David Chilton and Kenneth Gentry. On of the first popular presentations of the futurist approach, and the most influential, was that of J. A. Seiss (Lectures on the Apocalypse, 1909). In the 20th century, the futurist approach to Revelation has become most common - especially since the publication of the phenomenally successful The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey - having its place almost in the very common stock of American pop culture. Futurism has been advocated by sound scholars, such as Walvoord, Mounce, and Ladd, as well as by innumerable cranks and eschatelogical faddists, who have often given it a bad name by their repeated speculations concerning the date of the Second Coming and their assigning of correspondences between the symbolic visions and specific developments in an ever-changing modern political milieu.
The spiritual approach has received wide acceptance in modern commentaries, though various labels have been attached to it. Since Eichhorn, in the 18th century the dramatic nature of the book has intrigues many students of the book. In 1939, William Hendriksen popularized this view in his book, More Than Conquerors, though it was found in a number of works earlier in the 20th century as well. As I write, there appear to be more new commentaries published advocating a dramatico-spiritual approach to Revelation than there are advocating any of the other conservative approaches.

Authors emphasis. All spelling mistakes are (probably) mine. I do, by the way, highly recommend this book (even though I only started).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.