Q. “In the KJV Rev. 1:1 reads: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John.”
Unbelievers have used this term “must shortly come to pass” in Revelation 1 to show that since all the prophecy in the book did NOT come about “shortly” after it was written that it cannot be true. They claim that more than 2000 years is far beyond any acceptable interpretation of “must shortly come to pass.” Are there any clues in the ancient script or other theories as to why things that “must shortly come to pass” have been delayed for over two millennia?
A. Several translations overlook the fact that the Greek word “tachos”, which means shortly, is accompanied by a modifier, the Greek word “en”, that changes its meaning from shortly to quickly and refers to the sequence of events rather than their future time.
It’s a difficult translation into English but simply speaking it means when the things John was told to write about begin to happen they’ll happen quickly, in rapid fire order. As history has shown, it has nothing to do with how much time would pass between the giving of the prophecy and its fulfillment.
We get the word tachometer from tachos, and as you know a tachometer can’t predict when the engine of our car will be started, but it does tell us how rapidly things are happening once we start it.