The original text, from which this book has been translated, was written in Dutch. Translators’ notes normally address aspects of a text that raise technical translation issues and how such issues may have been approached, including for example: explanations about what choices have been made structurally as regards certain frequently-occurring terms.
In general this book did not present many such issues. Nevertheless, questions arose from time to time as a result of the fact that an English-speaking audience would be unlikely to have much grasp of the history of the Netherlands or familiarity with historic Dutch authors and bible commentaries that are well known in the Netherlands and Flemish-speaking parts of Belgium.
And a result, some of the events, such as the German Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands during WWII, and the works of writers such as Johannes de Heer, are mentioned in this book and may require that the reader consider for a moment and even look further into some things that are not already part of their general base of knowledge.
Whatever may be the additional challenges presented by this book, it is well worth rising to meet that challenge, for what is presented here is the work of an erudite Dutch pastor arising out of a tradition that looks at the prophetic messages found in the Word of God in a different light, a tradition that takes these messages perhaps more seriously than they have been taken in other traditions.
The prophets of the bible were often exposed to experiences for which they had no adequate words. They were at times challenged to write, in their own inadequate words, about things for which they had only some approximate expression available. We are all, perhaps, familiar with how impossible it is to adequately express what we may remember of events that took place in our dreams. And yet, it is often by means of dreams and visions that the prophets and kings and prominent people in the bible were addressed by God. And it is the record of their attempts to translate what they experienced into some form of language that has presented us with much of what we now have in the various books that make up the Bible.
As I see it, the value of this book lies in the manner in which the author is able to reveal a unity in the messages of various prophets, rendering them internally consistent, giving them a coherence that is very worth considering. There is a new and different way of understanding the Bible at stake here. Even if you do not agree with what is written, it is worth considering the way that the prophetic word is handled. There is a way that this book contains an inspiring and encouraging message from the Bible about the restoration that God intends for His creation, and what He intends to do during the times in which we are now living.
This book exhorts us to read the Bible with a new and different understanding, and to take seriously certain passages that had perhaps previously been merely “flyover territory”, the parts that you just read over and set aside because they made no sense, or because you could not fit them into any coherent context. This book urges us to let the Bible indeed become what it is intended to be for us: a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. But it can only be that if we read it, and take it seriously.
I used to wonder about the things Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 4:10, 11: “And when He was alone, those who were about Him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. And He said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables.”
Jesus, the Word made Flesh who dwelt among us, continues to reveal more, to reveal himself and Gods plan for the restoration of Creation only to those who commit themselves, dedicating themselves to Him, investing their time in seeking Him, pursuing relationship with Him through becoming ever more familiar with The Word, and investing in that relationship in a posture of obedience. Such obedience and devotion comes with the promise, ”A people who know their God will do exploits”.
May the reader prepare to have some of his long-held beliefs about the Bible be challenged. Hold all things up against what is actually stated in the Bible. Consider that many a church doctrine is without basis in the bible. Many, for instance, should first read the section in the Appendix that pertains to a prevalent view about the identity of the anti-christ. Without realizing it, what many people hold to be true is actually a doctrine that cannot be found in the Bible. To uncritically hold such an unbiblical view is likely to impede acceptance and understanding of essential truths. May the Holy Spirit indeed do what Jesus promised the Spirit of God would do: lead you into all truth.