The book of Revelation (summary) implies being a revelation of the events that will attend the end of the age and the establishing of the Kingdom of God. In this blog, we discuss I, II, III John and the book of Revelation
Book of Revelation summary
The primary theology of the book, therefore, is its eschatology. It claims to be a prophecy of the things that must soon take place (Rev. 1:2-3), whose central event is the second coming of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:7).
However, the interpretation of this book has been the most difficult and confusing of all the books of the New Testament. Out of the history of interpretation have emerged from several distinct approaches.
The easiest approach to the Revelation is to follow one’s own particular tradition as the true view and ignore all others (but intelligent interpreters must familiarize themselves with the various methods of interpretation that they may criticize and purify their own way).
Authorship and Date
As early as the middle of the 2nd Century, Revelation was ascribed to John, one of the apostles of Christ. But some did not agree and suggested that it was written by another person. Dionisius a 3rd Century Bishop of Alexandria claimed on three grounds that John, The Apostle, could not have written Revelation:
- The Author makes no claim to be an apostle or eyewitness and does not describe himself as the author of the fourth Gospel does.
- The conceptions and arrangement of the book are completely different from those of the fourth Gospel and I John.
- The Greek of the book differs drastically from the Greek of the fourth Gospel and I John. If then, John the apostle wrote the Gospel and I John, he could not have written Revelation.
The revelation was written in a time when the Christians of Asia Minor and probably other places as well, were being persecuted by the Roman Officials for their refusal to worship the Emperors, both the living and dead, as gods and to worship Roma, the personification of Rome, like a goddess.
John wrote from Patmos while he was in exile because of his Christian testimony. Most Scholars place its composition around 95 CE, the time when Emperor Domitian rules and regarding himself as a God.
John writes this apocalypse for the Christians of his own time. His purpose was to sharpen the alternatives open to the Christians, to of worshipping either Caesar or God, of being completely loyal to the State or wholly devoted to Christianity.
Furthermore, he endeavored to make martyrdom, with its eternal rewards, so attractive, and worship of the Emperor, with its eternal punishments, so fearsome, that his readers would willingly accept death as martyrs, rather than be disloyal to almighty God by worshipping Roma and the Emperor.
In a style typical of apocalyptic literature, Revelation uses highly symbolic language for the description of visions. All this presented not to satisfy idle curiosity about the future but to encourage the people of God to endure in a world dominated by wickedness.
The structure of Revelation is hotly debated; mainly because conclusions on this matter radically influence one’s understanding of the historical referents and eschatology of the book.
It is a general agreement that chapter 1:1-20 and 22:6-21 are respectively, the prologue and epilogue; the letters to the seven churches in chapter 2-3 and three folds of seven in chapter 5-16 form separate units.
Content (Book of Revelation summary)
The outlines of the content of the book can give as below:
The book opens with a brief introduction (Rev. 1:1-3), address and salutation (Rev. 1:4-8). After an address, the first chapter contains an account of John’s vision of Christ on a certain Sunday (“Lord’s day” Rev. 1:10). Chapter 2-3 contain seven messages dictated to John by Christ and addressed to seven Churches in Asia, in and around Ephesus, then follows a vision of God, His heavenly count, and an appearance of Christ (Rev. 4-5).
Then follows a threefold series of seven: the breaking of seven seals (Rev. 5:1-8:1), the blowing of seven trumpets (Rev. 8:2-9:21), and the emptying of seven bowls (Rev. 15:1-16:21). Each seal, trumpet, and bowl followed by a symbolic representation of something that happens on Earth.
Finally, John tells about the reign of Christ and the saints for 1000 years, the last judgment, and the New Jerusalem (Rev. 20-22:5). The book closes with an epilogue (Rev. 22:6-21) inviting people to receive God’s gift of life (Rev. 22:17).
With the final promise, “I come quickly,” the book of Revelation ends. One greater revelation is yet to come; when He shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for Him, unto salvation.
Conclusion (Book of Revelation summary)
We see that the Johannine Epistles and the book of Revelation; were mainly on the basis of strengthening the people of God in their faith in Christ; and also the reign of Christ with the invitation to receive God’s gift of life.
We may conclude by saying that they prepare the people for the Second Coming (parousia).
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