Revelation should, and does, gives clues to readers about what they should seek and find in revelation. It gives clues about how I might be guided in my interpretation of its claims.

Very plainly, I put it like this to myself: If I cannot ask and answer the question: “Is that true?” about a verse, then I am reading the verse wrong. I am not seeking for and therefore not able to know/tell whether what it claims is true or not. And the truth that I should be able to affirm must be one that makes sense for my provider and sustainer to reveal to me – it ought not be something I may expect from a fellow human being or some wise philosopher or some great scientist or a really sweet and kind person etc. Its truth is not subject to the emotional appeal or imagined benefit or harm that I feel it has for me in my current state. Yes, at the end of my reflection and investigation, I should be able to say that the verse brings peace and benefit to my heart (that is how I will know something is ‘true’) but it does not have to be my first reaction to the claim of the verse. I would need to reflect on the claim as the claim of the sustainer of this reality. Can i come to see that reality is as the revelation claims it or describe it (explicitly or implicitly) to be?

If i read a verse and I can’t meaningfully ask or answer if its claim is true, I am not reading revelation for truth. I am reading to find out “what God means by this or that example” and I assume its God speaking and have no desire to witness its truth. Which means I have no real hope or desire to be guided to truth by God – I already claim (implicitly) to have/know it! I don’t take truth from my God as my guide and remain confined to whatever meaning of reality I can come up with on my own or by following what others say. The soul that asks for safety and security of truth and certainty remains deprived and agitated and wounded.

Published by Faraz Sheikh

Faraz Sheikh

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