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Book of Revelation


Authorship and Origin:

The author of this large book refers to himself four times in the text as John. Most agree, even from early times that this was the apostle, the son of Zebedee. He says that he is writing from the island of Patmos which is off the coast of Asia Minor, and was known to have been a Roman penal colony. John may have been imprisoned there for his missionary activities in Asia Minor. Because the book was accepted as written by John about 90 A.D., it was admitted into the New Testament canon readily.

Overview and Significant sections

This book is one of the most stirring of the books in the Bible, next of course to the gospels, in that it has had many influences on the language and literature of the western world. It is a call to love God, but also an appeal to the coming destruction and woe for the ungodly. The target may have been Rome and the Roman empire, called the beast and the Whore of Babylon in the book. There are many other interpretations of the book. The ultimate message of the book however can be said to be woe to Babylon and glory to the Faithful, who will see the Millennium and sit with God and the Son at the love feast in heaven.

The book is written as a revelation or an apocalypse which God gave to John. Throughout the Bible, there are prophesies of the future and even of the end times (eschatology) such as in Daniel. These books are filled with imagery and symbols, which were clearer for the original readers than they are for us today. But the book was written to be read to all the churches, and is worthy of reading and trying to understand today.

Significant sections:

  • Prologue: 1:1-3
  • Various exhortations to the Seven Asian Churches: 1:4-3:22
  • The Revelation of Things to Come 4:1-22:5
    The chronology of the revelation as it relates to our understanding of the passage of time is not clear.
  • Epilogue 22:6-22:21

For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book. study of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.