One of the most misunderstood scriptures in our Bible centers around Revelation 21:21. This is the “pearly gates”, “street of gold” scripture. Should we take this scripture literally? Let’s explore what the scriptures reveal.
Revelation is undoubtedly a unique book. While considered part of the New Testament, it is different from other books of the New Testament. More importantly, it is different from styles of writing used today. Revelation is apocalyptic. The word ‘revelation’ in Greek is “apokalupsis”, which means ‘an uncovering’ or ‘unveiling.’ Thus, Revelation is a book that was intended to reveal, not conceal! The book is an example of apocalyptic literature.
Apocalyptic literature is a literary style popular from 200 B.C. to 200 A.D. It is a style known for highly symbolic or figurative language written during times of persecution. It usually depicts the conflict between good and evil while encouraging the righteous to persevere. Other examples of apocalyptic literature are parts of Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and Matthew chapter 24.