Book of Revelation

Book of Revelation

Overview
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation" (the author himself not having provided a title). It is also known as the Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine or the Apocalypse of John, (both in reference to its author) or the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (in reference to its opening line) or simply Revelation, (often dubbed "Revelations" in contrast to the singular in the original Koine) or the Apocalypse.
The word "apocalypse
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

" is also used for other works of a similar nature in the literary genre
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

 of apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

.
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Encyclopedia
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation" (the author himself not having provided a title). It is also known as the Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine or the Apocalypse of John, (both in reference to its author) or the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (in reference to its opening line) or simply Revelation, (often dubbed "Revelations" in contrast to the singular in the original Koine) or the Apocalypse.
The word "apocalypse
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

" is also used for other works of a similar nature in the literary genre
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

 of apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

. Such literature is "marked by distinctive literary features, particularly prediction of future events and accounts of visionary experiences or journeys to heaven, often involving vivid symbolism."
The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

, though there are short apocalyptic passages in various places in the Gospels and the Epistles.

Authorship



The author of Revelation identifies himself several times as "John". The author also states that he was on Patmos
Patmos
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,984 and an area of . The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 meters above sea level. The Municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi ,...

 when he received his first vision. As a result, the author of Revelation is sometimes referred to as John of Patmos
John of Patmos
John of Patmos is the name given, in the Book of Revelation, as the author of the apocalyptic text that is traditionally cannonized in the New Testament...

.

Early views


Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr, also known as just Saint Justin , was an early Christian apologist. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue survive. He is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church....

 (c. 100–165 AD) who was acquainted with Polycarp
Polycarp
Saint Polycarp was a 2nd century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him...

, who had been mentored by John, makes a possible allusion to this book, and credits John as the source. Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

 (c. 115–202) assumes it as a conceded point. At the end of the 2nd century, it is accepted at Antioch
Antioch
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the...

 by Theophilus (died c. 183), and in Africa by Tertullian
Tertullian
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian , was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and...

 (c. 160–220). At the beginning of the 3rd century, it is adopted by Clement of Alexandria
Clement of Alexandria
Titus Flavius Clemens , known as Clement of Alexandria , was a Christian theologian and the head of the noted Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement is best remembered as the teacher of Origen...

 and by Origen of Alexandria, later by Methodius
Methodius of Olympus
The Church Father and Saint Methodius of Olympus was a Christian bishop, ecclesiastical author, and martyr.-Life:Few reports have survived on the life of this first scientific opponent of Origen; even these short accounts present many difficulties. Eusebius does not mention him in his Church...

, Cyprian, Lactantius, Dionysius of Alexandria
Dionysius of Alexandria
Pope Dionysius of Alexandria, named "the Great," was the Pope of Alexandria from 248 until his death on November 17, 265 after seventeen years as a bishop. He was the first Pope to hold the title "the Great" . We have information on Dionysius because during his lifetime, Dionysius wrote many...

, and in the 5th century by Quodvultdeus
Quodvultdeus
Saint Quodvultdeus was a fifth century church father and bishop of Carthage who was exiled to Naples. He was known to have been living in Carthage around 407 and became a deacon in 421 AD. He corresponded with Saint Augustine of Hippo, who served as Quodvultdeus' spiritual teacher...

. Eusebius (c. 263–339) was inclined to class the Apocalypse with the accepted books but also listed it in the Antilegomena
Antilegomena
Antilegomena, a direct transliteration from the Greek , refers to written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed.Eusebius in his Church History written c. 325 used the term for those Christian scriptures that were "disputed" or literally those works which were "spoken against" in Early...

, with his own reservation for identification of John of Patmos with John the Apostle, pointing out there were large difference in Greek skill and styles between the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

, which he doubtlessly attributed to John the Apostle, and the Revelation. Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 (347–420) relegated it to second class. Most canons included it, but some in the Eastern Church rejected it. It is not included in the Peshitta
Peshitta
The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition.The Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated into Syriac from the Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century AD...

 (an early New Testament in Aramaic).

Traditional view


The traditional view holds that John the Apostle
John the Apostle
John the Apostle, John the Apostle, John the Apostle, (Aramaic Yoħanna, (c. 6 - c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles...

—considered to have written the Gospel
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 and the epistles of John
Epistles of John
Three books in the New Testament, thought to have been written between 90-100, are collectively called the Epistles of John:*First Epistle of John*Second Epistle of John*Third Epistle of JohnThe traditional author of these letters is John the Evangelist....

—was exiled on Patmos in the Aegean archipelago during the reign of Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

, and there wrote Revelation. Those in favour of apostolic authorship point to the testimony of the early church fathers (see "Early Views" above) and similarities between the Gospel of John and Revelation. For example, both works are soteriological and possess a high Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

, stressing Jesus' divine side as opposed to the human side stressed by the Synoptic Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

. In the Gospel of John and in Revelation, Jesus is referred to as "the Word of God" , although the context in Revelation is very different from John. The Word in Rev 19:13 is involved in judgement but in John 1:1, the image is used to speak of a role in creation and redemption.

Charles Erdman (1866–1960) advocated apostolic authorship and wrote that only the Apostle John fits the image of the author derived from the text.

Modern views


More recent methods of scholarship, such as textual criticism
Textual criticism
Textual criticism is a branch of literary criticism that is concerned with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts...

, have been influential in suggesting that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist
John the Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist is the conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John...

 and John of Patmos were three separate individuals. Differences in style, theological content, and familiarity with Greek between the Gospel of John, the epistles of John, and the Revelation are seen by some scholars as indicating three separate authors.

The English Biblical scholar Robert Henry Charles
Robert Henry Charles
Robert Henry Charles was an English biblical scholar and theologian. He is known particularly for English translations of apocryphal and pseudepigraphal works, and editions including Jubilees , the Book of Enoch , and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs which have been widely used.He was...

 (1855–1931) reasoned on internal textual grounds that the book was edited by someone who spoke no Hebrew and who wished to promote a different theology to John's. As a result, everything after 20:3, he claims, has been left in a haphazard state with no attempt to structure it logically. Furthermore, he says, the story of the defeat of the ten kingdoms has been deleted and replaced by 19:9-10. John's theology of chastity has been replaced by the editor's theology of outright celibacy, which makes little sense when John's true church is symbolised as a bride of the Lamb. Most importantly, the editor has completely rewritten John's theology of the Millennium which is "emptied of all significance".

John Robinson in "Redating the New Testament" (1976) has heavily criticised Charles' position and accepted apostolic authorship, dating John's Gospel before the Siege of Jerusalem
Siege of Jerusalem (70)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in...

 in 70 AD. He also argues that John's "poor" Greek is a literary device since Galileans were known to have excellent Greek. He says: "The Greek of the Apocalypse is not that of a beginner whose grammar and vocabulary might improve and mature into those of the evangelist. It is the pidgin Greek of someone who appears to know exactly what he is about [to say]".

It has also been contended that the core verses of the book, in general chapters 4 through 22, are surviving records of the prophecies of John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. In this view, the Lamb of God
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

 references and other hallmarks of Revelation are linked to what is known of John the Baptist, though it must be confessed that little information about him is known.

Dating


According to early tradition, this book was composed near the end of Domitian's
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

 reign, around the year 95 AD. Others contend for an earlier date, 68 or 69 AD, in the reign of Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 or shortly thereafter. The majority of modern scholars accept one of these two dates, with most accepting the Domitianic one.

Those who favour the later date appeal to the earliest external testimony, that of the Christian father Irenaeus (c. 150-202), who wrote that he received his information from people who knew John personally. Domitian, according to Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon...

 (c. 263–339), started the persecution
Persecution of Christians
Persecution of Christians as a consequence of professing their faith can be traced both historically and in the current era. Early Christians were persecuted for their faith, at the hands of both Jews from whose religion Christianity arose, and the Roman Empire which controlled much of the land...

 referred to in the book. While some recent scholars have questioned the existence of a large-scale Domitian persecution, others believe that Domitian's insistence on being treated as a god may have been a source of friction between the Church and Rome.

The earlier date, first proposed in modern times by John Robinson in a closely argued chapter of "Redating the New Testament" (1976), relies on the book's internal evidence, given that no external testimony exists earlier than that of Irenaeus, noted above, and the earliest extant manuscript evidence of Revelation (P98) is likewise dated no earlier than the late 2nd century. This early dating is centered on the preterist interpretation of chapter 17, where the seven heads of the "beast" are regarded as the succession of Roman emperors up to the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

John W. Marshall dates the book to 69 or early 70 AD, saying it predates any formal separation of Christianity and Judaism, and that it is a thoroughly Jewish text.

Some interpreters attempt to reconcile the two dates by placing the visions themselves at the earlier date (during the 60s) and the publication of Revelation under Domitian, who reigned in the 90s when Irenaeus says the book was written.

Canonical history


Revelation was accepted into the canon at the Council of Carthage of 397 AD. Revelation's place in the canon was not guaranteed, however, with doubts raised as far back as the 2nd century about its character, symbolism, and apostolic authorship.

2nd century Christians in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 rejected it because Montanism
Montanism
Montanism was an early Christian movement of the late 2nd century, later referred to by the name of its founder, Montanus, but originally known by its adherents as the New Prophecy...

, a sect which was deemed to be heretical by the mainstream church, relied heavily on it. In the 4th century, Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age...

 and other bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s argued against including Revelation because of the difficulties of interpreting it and the risk of abuse. In the 16th century, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 initially considered it to be "neither apostolic nor prophetic" and stated that "Christ is neither taught nor known in it", and placed it in his Antilegomena, i.e. his list of questionable documents, though he did retract this view in later life. In the same century, John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 believed the book to be canonical, yet it was the only New Testament book on which he did not write a commentary. It remains the only book of the New Testament that is not read within the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, though it is included in Catholic and Protestant liturgies.

According to Merrill Unger
Merrill Unger
Merrill Frederick Unger was a Bible commentator, scholar, and theologian. He earned his A.B. and Ph.D degrees at Johns Hopkins University, and his Th.M and Th.D degrees at Dallas Theological Seminary. After serving as a pastor at several churches, Unger taught for a year at Gordon College...

 and Gary N. Larson, in spite of the objections that have been raised over the years, Revelation provides a logical conclusion, not just to the New Testament, but to the Christian Bible as a whole, and there is a continuous tradition dating back to the 2nd century which supports the authenticity of the document, and which indicates that it was generally included within the, as yet unformalized, canon of the early church.

Content


Revelation spans over three literary genre
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

s: epistolary, apocalyptic, and prophetic. Using the Greek Septuagint, the author uses 348 allusions, or indirect quotes, from 24 canonized books of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, predominantly from Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

, Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve....

, Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 and Psalms.

In terms of being apocalyptic, there is no clear evidence that the author drew from noncanonical Jewish apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

, even though Revelation has been compared with other non-biblical Jewish writings from 200 BC to AD 200. Revelation makes use of symbolism and visions, mentions angelic mediators, has bizarre imagery, declares divine judgment, emphasizes the kingdom of God, prophesies a new heavens and a new earth, and consists of a dualism of ages.

In terms of being prophetic, the author of Revelation uses the words: prophecy, prophesy, prophesying, prophet, and prophets twenty-one times in these various forms throughout the text. No other New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 book uses these terms to this extent.

Text reconstruction


There are approximately 230 Greek manuscripts available for the reconstructing of the original reading of the Apocalypse. Major texts used are: the uncial scripts - Codex Sinaiticus
Codex Sinaiticus
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the four great uncial codices, an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible. It is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in the 4th century in uncial letters on parchment. Current scholarship considers the Codex Sinaiticus to be one of the best Greek texts of...

 (4th century), Codex Alexandrinus
Codex Alexandrinus
The Codex Alexandrinus is a 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible,The Greek Bible in this context refers to the Bible used by Greek-speaking Christians who lived in Egypt and elsewhere during the early history of Christianity...

 (5th century), and Codex Ephraemic (5th century); the papyri, especially that of p47 (3rd century); the minuscule (8th to 10th century); the church father quotations (2nd to 5th centuries); and the Greek commentary on Revelation by Andreas (6th century).

Some have argued that the author originally wrote Apocalypse in Aramaic and was later translated into common Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

. However, due to evidence of semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 words and phrases used throughout the book, it stands to reason that Revelation is good “Jewish Greek” used in 1st century Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. Though not proven, it may explain the numerous grammatical imperfections of the text.

Literary structure


In terms of literary structure, Revelation consists of four visions, each involving John “seeing” the plan of God unveiled,[1:9; 4:1, 17:1, 21:9] with an epilogue that concludes the book.[22:6-21]

In terms of content, the structure of Revelation is built around four successive groups of seven: the messages to the seven churches
Seven churches of Asia
The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia , are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation and written to by Ignatius of Antioch...

, the seven seals
Seven seals
The Seven Seals is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that refers to seven symbolic seals that secure the book or scroll, that John of Patmos saw in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. The opening of the seals, on the Apocalyptic document occurs in Revelation Chapters 5-8...

, the seven trumpets
Seven trumpets
Seven trumpets are sounded, one at a time, to queue apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Christ Jesus, by John of Patmos, as written in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels and the events that follow are...

, and finally, the seven bowl
Seven bowls
The Seven bowls are a set of plagues mentioned in Revelation 16. They are recorded as apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, by John of Patmos...

 judgments. The repeated occurrence of the number seven contributes to the overall unity of Revelation. While several numbers stand out: 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 24, 144, 1000, the number seven appears to have a special significance. In fact, there are twenty-four distinct occurrences of the use of "seven".

One half of seven, 3½, is also a conspicuous number in Revelation: two witnesses are given power to prophesy 1,260 days, or exactly 3½ years, according to the Hebrew year of 360 days;[11:3] the witnesses are then killed, and their dead bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3½ days;[11:9] the "woman clothed with the sun" is protected in the wilderness for 1,260 days, or 3½ years;[12:6] Gentiles tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months, or 3½ years;[11:2] and the beast is given authority to continue for 42 months, or 3½ years.[13:5]

Narrative criticism


In terms of narrative criticism
Narrative criticism
Narrative criticism focuses on the stories a speaker or a writer tells to understand how they help us make meaning out of our daily human experiences. Narrative theory is a means by which we can comprehend how we impose order on our experiences and actions by giving them a narrative form...

, the details surrounding the narrator of Revelation, leads the reader to view him as a Jewish Christian. Thus, the story must be related to this point of view of the author-in-text. The main plot of Revelation is the battle between good and evil, God and Satan.

The story starts with the introduction of the main character, John of Patmos, followed by a series of events that lead to the resolution of the main problem, which is the defeat of evil and the establishment of New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem
In the book of Ezekiel, the Prophecy of New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city to be established to the south of the Temple Mount that will be inhabited by the twelve tribes of Israel in the...

. The hero, or protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

, is Jesus. Satan is the antagonist
Antagonist
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

, the ultimate adversary.

The setting presents elements that are external to the main character, conveying messages through archetypal imagery and symbolism.

Figures in Revelation


In order of appearance:
  1. John of Patmos
    John of Patmos
    John of Patmos is the name given, in the Book of Revelation, as the author of the apocalyptic text that is traditionally cannonized in the New Testament...

  2. The angel who reveals the Revelation of Jesus Christ
  3. The One who sits on the Throne
  4. Twenty-four crowned elders
  5. Four living creatures
  6. The Lion of Judah
    Lion of Judah
    The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

     who is the seven horned Lamb with seven eyes
  7. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a "'book'/'scroll' in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals"...

  8. Four angels holding the four winds of the Earth
  9. The seal-bearer angel
  10. Seven angelic trumpeters
    Seven trumpets
    Seven trumpets are sounded, one at a time, to queue apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Christ Jesus, by John of Patmos, as written in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels and the events that follow are...

  11. The star called Wormwood
    Wormwood (star)
    Wormwood, αψίνθιον or άψινθος in Greek, is a star, or angel, that appears in the Biblical New Testament Book of Revelation.-Wormwood in the Bible:...

  12. Angel of Woe
  13. Scorpion-tailed Locusts
  14. Four angels bound to the great river Euphrates
  15. Two hundred million lion-headed cavalry
  16. The mighty angel of Seven thunders
  17. The Two witnesses
    Two Witnesses
    The two witnesses are two of God's prophets who are seen in a vision by John of Patmos, who appear during the Second woe in the Book of Revelation 11:1-14....

  18. Beast of the Sea having seven heads and ten horns
  19. The woman
    Woman of the Apocalypse
    The phrase Woman of the Apocalypse refers to a character from the Book of Revelation 12:1-18:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in...

    and her child
  20. The Dragon
    Dragon
    A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

    , fiery red with seven heads
  21. Michael the Archangel
    Michael (archangel)
    Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

  22. Lamb-horned Beast of the Earth
  23. Image of the Beast of the sea
  24. The False Prophet
  25. Whore of Babylon
    Whore of Babylon
    The Whore of Babylon or "Babylon the great" is a Christian allegorical figure of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Her full title is given as "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth." -Symbolism:...

  26. Death and Hades

Outline


  1. Act I: Introduction
    1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ
      1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is communicated to John of Patmos
        John of Patmos
        John of Patmos is the name given, in the Book of Revelation, as the author of the apocalyptic text that is traditionally cannonized in the New Testament...

         through prophetic visions. (1:1-9)
      2. John is instructed by the "one like a son of man" to write all that he hears and sees, from the prophetic visions, to Seven churches of Asia
        Seven churches of Asia
        The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia , are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation and written to by Ignatius of Antioch...

        . (1:10-13)
      3. The appearance of the "one like a son of man" is given, and he reveals what the seven stars and seven lampstands represent. (1:14-20)
    2. Messages for seven churches of Asia
      1. Ephesus
        Ephesus
        Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

        : From this church, those "who overcome are granted to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." (2:1-7)
        1. Praised for not bearing those who are evil, testing those who say they are apostles and are not, and finding them to be liars; hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans; having persevered and possessing patience.
        2. Admonished to "do the first works" and to repent for having left their "first love".
      2. Smyrna
        Smyrna
        Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

        : From this church, those who are faithful until death, will be given "the crown of life". Those who overcome shall not be hurt by the second death
        Second Death
        The second death is an eschatological concept in Judaism and Christianity related to punishment after a first, natural, death.-Judaism:Although the term is not found in the Hebrew Bible, Sysling in his study of Teḥiyyat ha-metim in the Palestinian Targums identifies a consistent usage of the term...

        . (2:8-11)
        1. Praised for being "rich" while impoverished and in tribulation.
        2. Admonished not to fear the "synagogue of Satan", nor fear a ten-day tribulation of being thrown into prison.
      3. Pergamon
        Pergamon
        Pergamon , or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus , that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC...

        : From this church, those who overcome will be given the hidden manna
        Manna
        Manna or Manna wa Salwa , sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is the name of an edible substance that God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert according to the Bible.It was said to be sweet to the taste, like honey....

        to eat and a white stone with a secret name on it." (2:12-17)
        1. Praised for holding "fast to My name", not denying "My faith" even in the days of Antipas
          Herod Antipas
          Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

          , "My faithful martyr".
        2. Admonished to repent for having held the doctrine of Balaam
          Balaam
          Balaam is a diviner in the Torah, his story occurring towards the end of the Book of Numbers. The etymology of his name is uncertain, and discussed below. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor, though Beor is not so clearly identified...

          , who taught Balak
          Balak
          Balak was king of Moab around 1200 BC. According to Book of Numbers 22:2, and the Book of Joshua 24:9, Zippor was the father of Balak.Book of Revelation 2:12 - 2:14 says about Balak:...

           to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel; eating things sacrificed to idols, committing sexual immorality, and holding the "doctrine of the Nicolaitans".
      4. Thyatira
        Thyatira
        Thyateira is the name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar . The name comes from Koine Greek "Θυάτειρα" . The Turkish equivalent of Thyateira is Tepe Mezarligi. It lies in the far west of Turkey, south of Istanbul and almost due east of Athens...

        : From this church, those who overcome until the end, will be given power over the nations in order to dash them to pieces with the rule of a rod of iron; they will also be given the "morning star". (2:18-29)
        1. Praised for their works, love, service, faith, and patience.
        2. Admonished to repent for allowing a "prophetess" to promote sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
      5. Sardis
        Sardis
        Sardis or Sardes was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart in Turkey's Manisa Province...

        : From this church, those who overcome will be clothed in white garments, and their names will not be blotted out from the Book of Life; their names will also be confessed before the Father and His angels. (3:1-6)
        1. Admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God.
      6. Philadelphia
        Alasehir
        Alaşehir, in Antiquity and the Middle Ages known as Philadelphia , i.e. " brotherly love" is a town and district of Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey. It is situated in the valley of the Kuzuçay , at the foot of the Bozdağ...

        : From this church, those who overcome will be made a pillar in the temple of God having the name of God, the name of the city of God, "New Jerusalem
        New Jerusalem
        In the book of Ezekiel, the Prophecy of New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city to be established to the south of the Temple Mount that will be inhabited by the twelve tribes of Israel in the...

        ", and the Son of God
        Son of God
        "Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

        's new name. (3:7-13)
        1. Praised for having some strength, keeping "My word", and having not denied "My name".
        2. Admonished to hold fast what they have, that no one may take their crown.
      7. Laodicea
        Laodicean Church
        The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea . The church was established in the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the seven churches addressed by name in the Book of Revelation The Laodicean Church was a...

        : From this church, those who overcome will be granted the opportunity to sit with the Son of God on His throne. (3:14-22)
        1. Admonished to be zealous and repent from being "lukewarm"; they are instructed to buy the "gold refined in the fire", that they may be rich; to buy "white garments", that they may be clothed, so that the shame of their nakedness would not be revealed; to anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they may see.
    3. Before the Throne of God
      1. The Throne of God
        Throne of God
        The Throne of God is the reigning centre of the chief deity of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The throne is said by various holy books to reside above the Seventh Heaven called Araboth in Judaism.-Judaism:...

         appears, surrounded by twenty four thrones with Twenty-four elders seated in them. (4:1-5)
      2. The Four Living Creatures are introduced. (4:6-11)
      3. A scroll, with seven seals, is presented and it is declared that the Lion of the tribe of Judah
        Lion of Judah
        The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible .-Lion of Judah and Judaism:...

        , from the "Root of David", is the only one worthy to open this scroll. (5:1-5)
      4. When the "Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes" took the scroll, the creatures of heaven fell down before the Lamb to give him praise, joined by myriads of angels and the creatures of the earth. (5:6-14)
    4. Seven Seals
      Seven Seals
      Seven seals may refer to:* Seven seals, mentioned in the Book of Revelation whose opening is said to signal the end of the world* Seven Seals , a 2005 album by German power metal band Primal Fear...

       are broken off
      1. First Seal: A white horse appears, whose crowned rider has a bow in which to conquer. (6:1-2)
      2. Second Seal: A red horse appears, whose rider is granted a "great sword" to take peace from the earth. (6:3-4)
      3. Third Seal: A black horse appears, whose rider has "a pair of balances in his hand", where a voice then says, "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (6:5-6)
      4. Fourth Seal: A pale horse appears, whose rider is Death, and Hades
        Hades in Christianity
        According to various Christian faiths, Hades is "the place or state of departed spirits".-Hades in the Old Testament:In the Septuagint , the Greek term "ᾅδης" is used to translate the Hebrew term "שׁאול" in, for example,...

         follows him. Death was granted a fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (6:7-8)
      5. Fifth Seal: "Under the altar", appeared the souls of martyrs for the "word of God", who cry out for vengeance. They are given white robes and told to rest until the martyrdom of their brothers is completed. (6:9-11)
      6. Sixth Seal: (6:12-17)
        1. There occurs a great earthquake where "the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon like blood" (6:12).
        2. The stars of heaven fall to the earth and the sky recedes like a scroll being rolled up (6:13-14).
        3. Every mountain and island is moved out of place (6:14).
        4. The people of earth retreat to caves in the mountains (6:15).
        5. The survivors call upon the mountains and the rocks to fall on them, so as to hide them from the "wrath of the Lamb" (6:16).
      7. Interlude: The 144,000 Hebrews are sealed.
        1. 144,000, from the twelve "tribes of Israel", are sealed as servants of God on their foreheads. (7:1-8)
        2. A great multitude stand before the Throne of God, who come out of the Great Tribulation, clothed with robes made "white in the blood of the Lamb" and having palm branches in their hands. (7:9-17)
      8. Seventh Seal: Introduces the seven trumpets (8:1-5)
        1. "Silence in heaven for about half an hour" (8:1).
        2. Seven angels are each given trumpets (8:2).
        3. An eighth angel takes a "golden censer
          Censer
          Censers are any type of vessels made for burning incense. These vessels vary greatly in size, form, and material of construction. They may consist of simple earthenware bowls or fire pots to intricately carved silver or gold vessels, small table top objects a few centimetres tall to as many as...

          ", filled with fire from the heavenly altar, and throws it to the earth (8:3-5). What follows are "peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake" (8:5).
        4. After the eighth angel has devastated the earth, the seven angels introduced in verse 2 prepare to sound their trumpets (8:6).
    5. Seven trumpets
      Seven trumpets
      Seven trumpets are sounded, one at a time, to queue apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Christ Jesus, by John of Patmos, as written in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels and the events that follow are...

       are sounded (Seen in Chapters 8, 9, and 12).
      1. First Trumpet: Hail and fire, mingled with blood, are thrown to the earth burning up a third of the trees and green grass. (8:6-7)
      2. Second Trumpet: Something that resembles a great mountain, burning with fire, falls from the sky and lands in the ocean. It kills a third of the sea creatures and destroys a third of the ships at sea. (8:8-9)
      3. Third Trumpet: A great star, named Wormwood
        Wormwood (star)
        Wormwood, αψίνθιον or άψινθος in Greek, is a star, or angel, that appears in the Biblical New Testament Book of Revelation.-Wormwood in the Bible:...

        , falls from heaven and poisons a third of the rivers and springs of water. (8:10-11)
      4. Fourth Trumpet: A third of the sun, the moon, and the stars are darkened creating complete darkness for a third of the day and the night. (8:12-13)
      5. Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe (9:1-12)
        1. A "star" falls from the sky (9:1).
        2. This "star" is given "the key to the bottomless pit
          Abyss (religion)
          Abyss refers to a bottomless pit, to the underworld, to the deepest ocean floor, or to hell.The English word "abyss" derives from the late Latin abyssimus through French abisme , hence the poetic form "abysm", with examples dating to 1616 and earlier to rhyme with "time"...

          " (9:1).
        3. The "star" then opens the bottomless pit
          Abyss (religion)
          Abyss refers to a bottomless pit, to the underworld, to the deepest ocean floor, or to hell.The English word "abyss" derives from the late Latin abyssimus through French abisme , hence the poetic form "abysm", with examples dating to 1616 and earlier to rhyme with "time"...

          . When this happens, "smoke [rises] from [the Abyss] like smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky [are] darkened by the smoke form the Abyss" (9:2).
        4. From out of the smoke, locusts who are "given power like that of scorpions of the earth" (9:3), who are commanded not to harm anyone or anything except for people who were not given the seal on their foreheads (from chapter 7) (9:4).
        5. The "locusts" are described as having a human appearance (faces and hair) but with lion's teeth, and wearing "breastplates of iron"; the sound of their wings resembles "the thunderings of many horses and chariots rushing into battle" (9:7-9).
      6. Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe (9:13-21)
        1. The four angels bound to the great river Euphrates
          Euphrates
          The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

           are released to prepare two hundred million horsemen.
        2. These armies kill a third of mankind by use of three plagues: fire, smoke, and brimstone.
      7. Interlude: The little book. (10:1-11)
        1. An angel appears, with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, having an opened little book in his hand.
        2. Upon the cry of the angel, seven thunders utter mysteries and secrets that are not to be written down by John.
        3. John is instructed to eat the little book that happens to be sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach, and to prophesy.
        4. John is given a measuring rod to measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.
        5. Outside the temple, at the court of the holy city, it is treaded by the nations for forty-two months.
        6. Two witnesses
          Two Witnesses
          The two witnesses are two of God's prophets who are seen in a vision by John of Patmos, who appear during the Second woe in the Book of Revelation 11:1-14....

           prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. (11:1-14)
      8. Seventh Trumpet: The Third Woe that leads into the Seven bowls
        Seven bowls
        The Seven bowls are a set of plagues mentioned in Revelation 16. They are recorded as apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, by John of Patmos...

        (11:15-19)
        1. The temple of God opens in heaven, where the ark of His covenant can be seen. There are lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
  2. Act II: From the Second Woe to the fall of Babylon the Great
    1. Events leading into the Second Woe
      1. A woman "clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars" is in labor with a male child. (12:1-2)
      2. A great, fiery red, seven-headed dragon drags a third of the stars of heaven with his tail, and throws them to the earth. (12:3-4)
      3. The dragon waits for the birth of the child. However, when born, it is caught up to God's throne while the woman flees into the wilderness for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (12:5-6)
      4. War breaks out in heaven between Michael and the Dragon, identified as the Devil, Satan
        Satan
        Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

        .(12:9) After a great fight, the Dragon and his angels are cast out of heaven for good, followed by praises of victory for God's kingdom. (12:7-12)
      5. The Dragon engages to persecute the Woman, but she is given aid to evade him. Her evasiveness enrages the Dragon, prompting him to wage war against the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (12:13-17)
      6. A seven-headed leopard-like beast emerges from the sea, having one mortally wounded head that is then healed. By the Dragon, he is granted power and authority for forty-two months. (13:1-5)
      7. The Beast of the sea blasphemes God's name, wages war against the Saints, and overcomes them. (13:6-10)
      8. Another beast appears, but from the earth, having two horns like a lamb and speaking like a dragon. He directs people to make an image of the beast, breathing life into it, and enforcing all people to bare "the mark of the Beast". (13:11-18)
    2. Events leading into the Third Woe
      1. The Lamb stands on Mount Zion
        Mount Zion
        Mount Zion is a place name for a site in Jerusalem, the location of which has shifted several times in history. According to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Samuel, it was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, becoming his palace in the City...

         with the 144,000 "firstfruits" who are redeemed from earth. (14:1-5)
      2. The proclamations of three angels. (14:6-13)
      3. One like the Son of Man reaps the earth. (14:14-16)
      4. A second angel reaps "the vine of the earth" and throws it into "the great winepress of the wrath of God... and blood came out of the winepress... up to one thousand six hundred furlong
        Furlong
        A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and U.S. customary units equal to one-eighth of a mile, equivalent to 220 yards, 660 feet, 40 rods, or 10 chains. The exact value of the furlong varies slightly among English-speaking countries....

        s." (14:17-20)
      5. The temple of the tabernacle, in heaven, is opened. (15:1-5)
      6. Seven angels are given a golden bowl, from the Four Living Creatures, that contains the wrath of God. (15:6-8)
      7. Seven bowls
        Seven bowls
        The Seven bowls are a set of plagues mentioned in Revelation 16. They are recorded as apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, by John of Patmos...

         are poured onto Earth:
        1. First Bowl: A "foul and loathsome sore" afflicts the followers of the beast. (16:1-2)
        2. Second Bowl: The sea turns to blood and everything within it dies. (16:3)
        3. Third Bowl: All fresh water turns to blood. (16:4-7)
        4. Fourth Bowl: The sun scorches the Earth with intense heat. (16:8-9)
        5. Fifth Bowl: There is total darkness and great pain in the Beast's kingdom. (16:10-11)
        6. Sixth Bowl: Preparations are made for the final battle between the forces of good and evil. (16:12-16)
        7. Seventh Bowl: A great earthquake: "every island fled away and the mountains were not found." (16:17-21)
    3. Aftermath of Babylon the Great
      Whore of Babylon
      The Whore of Babylon or "Babylon the great" is a Christian allegorical figure of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Her full title is given as "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth." -Symbolism:...

      1. The great harlot who sits on many waters: Babylon the Great. (17:1-18)
      2. Babylon is destroyed. (18:1-8)
      3. The people of the earth mourn Babylon's destruction. (18:9-19)
      4. The permanence of Babylon's destruction. (18:20-24)
  3. Act III: God's Kingdom reigns
    1. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
      1. A great multitude praises God. (19:1-6)
      2. The marriage supper of the Lamb. (19:7-10)
    2. The Millennium
      1. The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. (19:11-21)
      2. Satan is imprisoned in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. (20:1-3)
      3. The resurrected martyrs live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. (20:4-6)
    3. After the Thousand Years
      1. Satan is released and makes war against the people of God, but is defeated. (20:7-9)
      2. Satan is cast into the lake of fire. (20:10)
      3. The Last Judgment: the wicked, along with death and Hades, are cast into the lake of fire. (20:11-15)
    4. The New Heaven and Earth
      1. A new heaven and new earth replace the old. There is no more suffering or death. (21:1-8)
      2. God comes to dwell with humanity in the New Jerusalem. (21:2-8)
      3. Description of the New Jerusalem. (21:9-27)
      4. The river and tree of life appear for the healing of the nations. The curse is ended. (22:1-5)
    5. Conclusion
      1. Christ's reassurance that his coming is imminent. Final admonitions. (22:6-21)

Interpretations



Revelation has a wide variety of interpretations, ranging from the simple message that we should have faith that God will prevail (symbolic interpretation), to complex end time scenarios (futurist interpretation), to the views of critics who deny any spiritual value to Revelation at all.

In the early Christian era, Christians generally understood the book to predict future events, especially an upcoming millennium of paradise on earth. In the late classical and medieval eras, the Church disavowed the millennium as a literal thousand-year kingdom. With the Protestant Reformation, opponents of Roman Catholicism adopted a historicist view, in which the predicted apocalypse is believed to be playing out in church history. A Jesuit scholar countered with preterism, the belief that Revelation predicted events that actually occurred as predicted in the 1st century. In the 19th century, futurism (belief that the predictions refer to future events) largely replaced historicism among conservative Protestants.

Religious views


Most of the interpretations fall into one or more of the following categories:
Historicist, which sees in Revelation a broad view of history;
Preterist, in which Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era (1st century);
Futurist, which believes that Revelation describes future events; and
Idealist
Idealism (Christian eschatology)
Idealism in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols.Jacob Taubes writes that idealist eschatology came about as Renaissance thinkers began to doubt that the Kingdom of...

, or Symbolic, which holds that Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.


Other interpretations are as follows:

Eastern Orthodox view


Eastern Orthodoxy treats the text as simultaneously describing contemporaneous events (events occurring at the same time) and as prophecy of events to come, for which the contemporaneous events were a form of foreshadow. It rejects attempts to determine, before the fact, if the events of Revelation are occurring by mapping them onto present-day events, taking to heart the Scriptural warning against those who proclaim "He is here!" prematurely. Instead, the book is seen as a warning to be spiritually and morally ready for the end times, whenever they may come ("as a thief in the night"), but they will come at the time of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

's choosing, not something that can be precipitated nor trivially deduced by mortals. This view is also held by many Catholics, although there is a diversity of opinion about the nature of the Apocalypse within Catholicism.

Book of Revelation is the only book of the New Testament that is not read during services by the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Coptic Orthodox Church (which is not in communion with the Eastern Orthodox church but is liturgically similar), the whole Book of Revelation is read during Apocalypse Night or Bright Saturday (6 days after Pascha).

Paschal liturgical view


This view, which has found expression among both Catholic and Protestant theologians, considers the liturgical worship, particularly the Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 rites, of early Christianity as background and context for understanding the Book of Revelation's structure and significance. This perspective is explained in The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse (new edition, 2004) by Massey H. Shepherd
Massey H. Shepherd
The Reverend Doctor Massey Hamilton Shepherd, jr was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1941. He was born in Wilmington, NC the son of Alice Louise Gladstone Melville and Massey Hamilton Shepherd, sr. He had an older sister...

, an Episcopal scholar, and in Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn is a contemporary author, theologian, and Catholic apologist. His works include Rome Sweet Home and The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. He currently teaches at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic university in the United States.-Education:Hahn received his...

's The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth (1999), in which he states that Revelation in form is structured after creation, fall, judgment and redemption. Those who hold this view say that the Temple's destruction (70 AD) had a profound effect on the Jewish people, not only in Jerusalem but among the Greek-speaking Jews of the Mediterranean. They believe The Book of Revelation provides insight into the early Eucharist, saying that it is the new Temple worship in the New Heaven and Earth. The idea of the Eucharist as a foretaste of the heavenly banquet is also explored by British Methodist Geoffrey Wainwright in his book Eucharist and Eschatology (Oxford University Press, 1980). According to Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 some of the images of Revelation should be understood in the context of the dramatic suffering and persecution of the churches of Asia in the 1st century.
Accordingly, the Book of Revelation should not be read as an enigmatic warning, but as an encouraging vision of Christ's definitive victory over evil.

Seventh-day Adventist view



Adventists maintain a historicist interpretation of the Bible's predictions of the apocalypse.

Esoteric view



The esoterist
Esotericism
Esotericism or Esoterism signifies the holding of esoteric opinions or beliefs, that is, ideas preserved or understood by a small group or those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest. The term derives from the Greek , a compound of : "within", thus "pertaining to the more inward",...

 views Revelation as bearing multiple levels of meaning, the lowest being the literal or "dead-letter." Those who are instructed in esoteric knowledge enter gradually into more subtle levels of understanding of the text. They see the book as delivering both a series of warnings for humanity and a detailed account of internal, spiritual processes of the individual soul.

The Gnostic Kabbalist believes that Revelation (like Genesis) is a very profound book of Kabbalistic
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 symbolism. This view is held by teachers such as H.P. Blavatsky, Eliphas Levi
Eliphas Levi
Eliphas Lévi, born Alphonse Louis Constant , was a French occult author and purported magician."Eliphas Lévi," the name under which he published his books, was his attempt to translate or transliterate his given names "Alphonse Louis" into Hebrew although he was not Jewish.His second wife was...

, Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

.

Christian Gnostics, however, are unlikely to be attracted to the teaching of Revelation because the doctrine of salvation through the sacrificed Lamb, which is central to Revelation, is repugnant to Gnostics. Christian Gnostics "believed in the Forgiveness of Sins, but in no vicarious sacrifice for sin ... they accepted Christ in the full realisation of the word; his life, not his death, was the keynote of their doctrine and their practice."

James Morgan Pryse
James Morgan Pryse
James Morgan Pryse was an author, publisher, and theosophist.-Family Background and Early Life:Pryse was born in New London, Ohio , and died in Los Angeles, California....

 was an esoteric gnostic who saw Revelation as a western version of the Hindu theory of the Chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

. He began his work, "The purpose of this book is to show that the Apocalypse is a manual of spiritual development and not, as conventionally interpreted, a cryptic history or prophecy". Such diverse theories have failed to command widespread acceptance. But Christopher Rowland argues: "there are always going to be loose threads which refuse to be woven into the fabric as a whole. The presence of the threads which stubbornly refuse to be incorporated into the neat tapestry of our world-view does not usually totally undermine that view."

Radical discipleship view


The radical discipleship
Radical Discipleship
Christian radicalism encompasses a number of different movements and actions in practical theology...

 view asserts that the Book of Revelation is best understood as a handbook for radical discipleship; i.e., how to remain faithful to the spirit and teachings of Jesus and avoid simply assimilating to surrounding society. In this view, the primary agenda of the book is to expose as impostors the worldly powers that seek to oppose the ways of God and God's Kingdom. The chief temptation for Christians in the 1st century, and today, is to fail to hold fast to the non-violent teachings and example of Jesus and instead be lured into unquestioning adoption and assimilation of worldly, national or cultural values - imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

, nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, and civil religion
Civil religion
The intended meaning of the term civil religion often varies according to whether one is a sociologist of religion or a professional political commentator...

 being the most dangerous and insidious. This perspective (closely related to liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

) draws on the approach of Bible scholars such as Ched Myers
Ched Myers
Ched Myers is a theologian specializing in biblical studies and political theology. In 1988 he published Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus, which was influential in the Radical Discipleship Movement, particularly among Catholic Workers...

, William Stringfellow
William Stringfellow
Frank William Stringfellow was an American lay theologian during the 1960s and 1970s.-Life and career:...

, Richard Horsley, Daniel Berrigan
Daniel Berrigan
Daniel Berrigan, SJ is an American Catholic priest, peace activist, and poet. Daniel and his brother Philip were for a time on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for their involvement in antiwar protests during the Vietnam war....

, Wes Howard-Brook, and Joerg Rieger. Various Christian anarchists
Christian anarchism
Christian anarchism is a movement in political theology that combines anarchism and Christianity. It is the belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus...

, such as Jacques Ellul
Jacques Ellul
Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. He wrote several books about the "technological society" and the interaction between Christianity and politics....

, have identified the State
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 and political power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

 as the Beast
The Beast (Bible)
The Beast of Revelation, may refer to two beasts in the apocalyptic visions by John of Patmos, as written in the Book of Revelation. The first beast comes from "out of the sea". The second beast comes from "out of the earth" and directs all peoples of the earth to worship the first. This first...

.

Paschal spiritual view


There is also a perspective that holds that the book of Revelation describes a spiritual battle that took place while Jesus was on the cross and in the grave. Some Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptists, also known as Hard Shell Baptists or Anti-Mission Baptists, are conservative, Calvinist Baptists adhering to beliefs that formed out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 1800’s over the appropriateness of mission boards, bible tract societies, and temperance...

s believe this to be the intended meaning.

Aesthetic and literary views


Many literary writers and theorists have contributed to a wide range of views about the origins and purpose of the Book of Revelation. Some of these writers have no connection with established Christian faiths but, nevertheless, found in Revelation a source of inspiration. Revelation has been approached from Hindu philosophy and Jewish Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

. Others have pointed to aspects of composition which have been ignored such as the similarities of prophetic inspiration to modern poetic inspiration, or the parallels with Greek drama. In recent years theories have arisen which concentrate upon how readers and texts interact to create meaning and are less interested in what the original author intended.

Charles Cutler Torrey
Charles Cutler Torrey
Charles Cutler Torrey was an American historian, archeologist and scholar who presented manuscripturial evidence to support alternate views on Christian and Islamic religious sources and origins...

 taught Semitic languages at Yale. His lasting contribution has been to show how much more meaningful prophets, such as the scribe of Revelation, are when treated as poets first and foremost. He felt this was a point often lost sight of because most English bibles render everything in prose. Poetry was also the reason John never directly quoted the older prophets. Had he done so, he would have had to use their (Hebrew) poetry whereas he wanted to write his own. Torrey insisted Revelation had originally been written in Aramaic. This was why the surviving Greek translation was written in such a strange idiom. It was a literal translation that had to comply with the warning at Revelation 22:18 that the text must not be corrupted in any way. According to Torrey, the story is that "The Fourth Gospel was brought to Ephesus by a Christian fugitive from Palestine soon after the middle of the first century. It was written in Aramaic." Later, the Ephesians claimed this fugitive had actually been the beloved disciple himself. Subsequently, this John was banished by Nero and died on Patmos after writing Revelation. Torrey argued that until 80 AD, when Christians were expelled from the synagogues, the Christian message was always first heard in the synagogue and, for cultural reasons, the evangelist would have spoken in Aramaic, else "he would have had no hearing." Torrey showed how the three major songs in Revelation (the new song, the song of Moses and the Lamb and the chorus at 19: 6-8) each fall naturally into four regular metrical lines plus a coda. Other dramatic moments in Revelation, such as 6: 16 where the terrified people cry out to be hidden, behave in a similar way.

Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Christina Georgina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems...

 was a Victorian poet who believed the sensual excitement of the natural world found its meaningful purpose in death and in God. Her The Face of the Deep is a meditation upon the Apocalypse. In her view, what Revelation has to teach is patience. Patience is the closest to perfection the human condition allows. Her book, which is largely written in prose, frequently breaks into poetry or jubilation, much like Revelation itself. The relevance of John's visions belongs to Christians of all times as a continuous present meditation. Such matters are eternal and outside of normal human reckoning. "That winter which will be the death of Time has no promise of termination. Winter that returns not to spring ... - who can bear it?" She dealt deftly with the vengeful aspects of John's message. "A few are charged to do judgment; everyone without exception is charged to show mercy." Her conclusion is that Christians should see John as "representative of all his brethren" so they should "hope as he hoped, love as he loved."

Recently, aesthetic and literary modes of interpretation have developed, which focus on Revelation as a work of art and imagination, viewing the imagery as symbolic depictions of timeless truths and the victory of good over evil. Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza wrote Revelation: Vision of a just world from the viewpoint of rhetoric. Accordingly, Revelation's meaning is partially determined by the way John goes about saying things, partially by the context in which readers receive the message and partially by its appeal to something beyond logic. It is Professor Schuessler Fiorenza's view that Revelation has particular relevance today as a liberating message to disadvantaged groups. John's book is a vision of a just world, not a vengeful threat of world-destruction. Her view that Revelation's message is not gender-based has caused dissent. She says we are to look behind the symbols rather than make a fetish out of them. Tina Pippin puts an opposing view: that John writes "horror literature" and "the misogyny which underlies the narrative is extreme". Professor Schuessler Fiorenza would seem to be saying John's book is more like science fiction; it does not foretell the future but uses present-day concepts to show how contemporary reality could be very different.

D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

 took an opposing, pessimistic view of Revelation in the final book he wrote, Apocalypse. He saw the language which Revelation used as being bleak and destructive; a 'death-product'. Instead, he wanted to champion a public-spirited individualism (which he identified with the historical Jesus supplemented by an ill-defined cosmic consciousness) against its two natural enemies. One of these he called "the sovereignty of the intellect" which he saw in a technology-based totalitarian society. The other enemy he styled "vulgarity" and that was what he found in Revelation. "It is very nice if you are poor and not humble ... to bring your enemies down to utter destruction, while you yourself rise up to grandeur. And nowhere does this happen so splendiferously than in Revelation." His specific aesthetic objections to Revelation were that its imagery was unnatural and that phrases like "the wrath of the Lamb" were "ridiculous". He saw Revelation as comprising two discordant halves. In the first, there was a scheme of cosmic renewal "great Chaldean sky-spaces" which he quite liked. Then the book hinged around the birth of the baby messiah. After that, "flamboyant hate and simple lust ... for the end of the world." Lawrence coined the term "Patmossers" to describe those Christians who could only be happy in paradise if they knew their enemies were suffering hell.

Academic views


Modern biblical scholarship attempts to understand Revelation in its 1st century historical context within the genre of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

.

This approach considers the text as an address to seven historical communities in Asia Minor. Under this view, assertions that "the time is near" are to be taken literally by those communities. Consequently the work is viewed as a warning not to conform to contemporary Greco-Roman society which John "unveils" as beastly, demonic and subject to divine judgment. There is further information on these topics in the entries on higher criticism and apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

.

The acceptance of Revelation into the canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 is itself the result of a historical process, essentially no different from the career of other texts. The eventual exclusion of other contemporary apocalyptic literature from the canon may throw light on the unfolding historical processes of what was officially considered orthodox, what was heterodox, what was even heretical. Interpretation of meanings and imagery are anchored in what the historical author intended and what his contemporary audience inferred; a message to Christians not to assimilate into the Roman imperial culture was John's central message. Thus, his letter (written in the apocalyptic genre) is pastoral in nature, and the symbolism of Revelation is to be understood entirely within its historical, literary and social context. Critics study the conventions of apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

 and events of the 1st century to make sense of what the author may have intended.

During a discussion about Revelation on 23 August 2006, Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 remarked: "The seer of Patmos, identified with the apostle, is granted a series of visions meant to reassure the Christians of Asia amid the persecutions and trials of the end of the first century."

Criticism


19th-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert Green "Bob" Ingersoll was a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism. He was nicknamed "The Great Agnostic."-Life and career:Robert Ingersoll was born in Dresden, New York...

 branded Revelation "the insanest of all books". Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 omitted it, along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible
Jefferson Bible
The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson's effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by...

, and wrote that at one time he considered it as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 claimed that the Book of Revelation was primarily a political and anti-Roman work. George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

 described it as "a peculiar record of the visions of a drug addict".

Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 changed his perspective on Revelation over time. In the preface to the German translation of Revelation that he composed in 1522, he said that he did not consider the book prophetic or apostolic, since "Christ is neither taught nor known in it." But in the completely new preface that he composed in 1530, he reversed his position and concluded that Christ was central to the book. He concluded, "As we see here in this book, that through and beyond all plagues, beasts, and evil angels, Christ is nonetheless with the saints and wins the final victory."

Old Testament origins


There is much in Revelation which harnesses ancient sources. Although the Old Testament provides the largest reservoir for such sources, it is not the only one. For example, Howard-Brook and Gwyther regard the Book of Enoch
Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel...

 (1 Enoch) as an equally significant but contextually different source. "Enoch's journey has no close parallel in the Hebrew scriptures."

Until recently, academics showed little interest in this topic. But this was not the case with popular writers from non-conforming backgrounds. They liked to intersperse their text of Revelation with the prophecy they thought was being promised fulfilment. For example, an anonymous Scottish commentary of 1871 prefaces Revelation 4 with the Little Apocalypse of Mark 13, places Malachi 4:5 (Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord) within Revelation 11, and writes Revelation 12:7 side-by-side with the role of 'the satan' in the Book of Job
Book of Job
The Book of Job , commonly referred to simply as Job, is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of Job, his trials at the hands of Satan, his discussions with friends on the origins and nature of his suffering, his challenge to God, and finally a response from God. The book is a...

. The message is that everything in Revelation will happen in its previously appointed time.

Steve Moyise uses the index of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament to show that "Revelation contains more Old Testament allusions than any other New Testament book, but it does not record a single quotation." Perhaps significantly, Revelation chooses different sources than other New Testament books. Revelation concentrates on Isaiah, the Psalms and Ezekiel and neglects, comparatively speaking, the books of the Pentateuch which are the dominant sources for other New Testament writers. Methodological objections have been made to this way of proceeding. Each allusion may not have an equal significance. To counter this, G. K. Beale sought to develop a system that distinguished 'clear', 'probable' and 'possible' allusions. A clear allusion is one with almost the same wording as its source, the same general meaning and which could not reasonably have been drawn from elsewhere. A probable allusion contains an idea which is uniquely traceable to its source. Possible allusions are described as mere echoes of their putative sources.

Yet, with Revelation, the problems might be judged more fundamental than this. John seems to be using his sources in a completely different way to the originals. For example, John borrows the 'new temple' imagery of Ezekiel 40 to 48 but uses it to describe a New Jerusalem which, quite pointedly, no longer needs any temple at all because the new city is now God's own dwelling-place. Ian Boxall writes that Revelation "is no montage of biblical quotations (that is not John's way) but a wealth of allusions and evocations rewoven into something new and creative." In trying to identify this something new, he argues that Ezekiel provides the 'backbone' for Revelation. He sets out a comparative table listing the chapters of Revelation in sequence then identifying against most of them the structurally corresponding chapter in Ezekiel. The interesting point is that the order is not the same. John, on this theory, rearranges Ezekiel to suit his own purposes.

Some commentators argue that it is these purposes - and not the structure - that really matters. It is the view of G. K. Beale that, however much use John makes of Ezekiel, his ultimate purpose is to present Revelation as a fulfilment of Daniel 7.

See also


  • Apocalypse of John - dated astronomically
    Apocalypse of John - dated astronomically
    Die Offenbarung Johannis – Eine astronomisch-historische Untersuchung is the title of the German edition of the 1905 book by the Russian astronomer Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov....

  • Apocalypse of Peter
    Apocalypse of Peter
    The recovered Apocalypse of Peter or Revelation of Peter is an example of a simple, popular early Christian text of the 2nd century; it is an example of Apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. The text is extant in two incomplete versions of a lost Greek original, one Koine Greek, and an...

  • Apocalypse Revelation
    Apocalypse Revelation
    Apocalypse Revelation is a 2002 telefilm starring Richard Harris and Bruce Payne.-Plot:The film is set in 90 AD and concerns Jesus Christ's last surviving disciple, John of Patmos, and his writings and visions of the Apocalypse. Emperor Domitian has declared himself to be God and ruler over heaven...

  • Apocalypticism
    Apocalypticism
    Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God's will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end time very soon, even within one's own lifetime...

  • Arethas of Caesarea
    Arethas of Caesarea
    Arethas of Caesarea became Archbishop of Caesarea early in the 10th century, and is reckoned one of the most scholarly theologians of the Greek Orthodox Church.-Life:He was born at Patrae . He was a disciple of Photius...

  • Christian eschatological differences
  • Events of Revelation
  • Horae Apocalypticae
    Horae Apocalypticae
    Horae Apocalypticae is an eschatological study written by Edward Bishop Elliott. The book is, as its long-title sets out, "A commentary on the apocalypse, critical and historical; including also an examination of the chief prophecies of Daniel illustrated by an apocalyptic chart, and engravings...

  • New Earth
    The New Earth
    The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah , 2 Peter , and Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity...

  • Number of the Beast
    Number of the Beast
    The Number of the Beast is a term in the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation chapter 13, the Beast of the sea. In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the Beast is...

  • Second Coming
    Second Coming
    In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

  • The Beast (Bible)
    The Beast (Bible)
    The Beast of Revelation, may refer to two beasts in the apocalyptic visions by John of Patmos, as written in the Book of Revelation. The first beast comes from "out of the sea". The second beast comes from "out of the earth" and directs all peoples of the earth to worship the first. This first...

  • Textual variants in the Book of Revelation
  • Woman of the Apocalypse
    Woman of the Apocalypse
    The phrase Woman of the Apocalypse refers to a character from the Book of Revelation 12:1-18:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in...


External links