Understanding Revelation: It's always literal, except when it's not, which is more often than we like to admit

The book of Revelation should always be interpreted literally unless it clearly indicates otherwise. It means what it says and says what it means.

Except, of course, for when it describes a wounded lamb with seven eyes and seven horns. Everyone knows that’s Jesus, so it’s an obvious exception.

Or when it describes a sea beast with seven heads and ten horns. We know that imagery from the book of Daniel, so it’s another exception.

And of course there's the other beast that comes out of the earth, looks like lamb and talks like a dragon. That’s clearly symbolic because, well, it comes right after the first beast.

So there are three clear exceptions. But everything else is literal unless the passage itself says it’s symbolic by calling it a “sign”, like Rev. 12:1-3 does with the woman and the dragon.

Or like Rev. 15:1 does with all of the bowl judgments.

Or like Rev. 1:1 does with the whole book.

Oh, wait...