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Revelation vs Vision vs Apocalypse vs Prophecy

Revelation, visionapocalypseprophecy are comparable when they mean disclosure or something disclosed by or as if by divine or preternatural means.

Revelation is often specifically applied to the religious ideas transmitted by writers of books regarded as sacred or divinely inspired, especially the Bible; by extension it has come to mean a body of knowledge distinguishable from that attained by the ordinary human processes of observation, experiment, and reason.

Vision implies, as revelation does not, a seeing of something not corporeally present; often, especially in mystical and poetic language, it suggests a profound intuition of something not comprehensible to the ordinary or unaided reason and often implies the operation of some agent (as the Holy Spirit) or the gift or accession of some inexplicable power (as genius or poetic rapture) not attributable to all men. Vision, however, unlike revelation, does not necessarily imply that what is seen or realized is true or of value to oneself or others.

Apocalypse in religious use denotes a type of sacred book (of which the Book of Revelation is an example) which presents a vision of the future in which the enemies of Israel or of Christianity are defeated and God’s justice and righteousness prevail. In its general application apocalypse usually denotes a vision of the future, when all the mysteries of life shall be explained and good shall magnificently triumph over evil.

The noun and still more its adjective apocalyptic often carry one or more connotations as various as those of a spectacular splendor or magnitude suggestive of the Book of Revelation or of wild and extravagant dreams of the visionary or passionate reformer.

Prophecy has become rare in its original meaning except in learned use and in some religious use. Its occasional connotation of the prediction of future events has been emphasized to such an extent that its historical implications have almost been lost, with the result that the word in older writings is often misinterpreted.

Prophecy in this narrow sense implies a commission to speak for another, especially and commonly for God or a god. It therefore further implies that the prophet has been the recipient of divine communications or revelations or that he has been granted a vision or visions.