Revelation 1:1 – 8


Definition of “apokalypsis” is “to unveil,” “disclose,” “reveal,” “appear,” or “manifest.”  It means to draw back the curtain that all alike may see.  This is not a cryptic book.

“One definition for “apocalyptic” is “the present addressed through parallels with the future.”  Therefore, the church in the present is addressed through the prophecies of the future.

It is important to keep in mind that the genre of “apocalyptic” was prevalent at the time John wrote Revelation.  Even though there are similarities; there are also significant differences.

The Book of Revelation is primarily a prophecy in letter format.

We must be careful in interpreting the symbols.

Note: “The great victory in the Apocalypse occurs not at Armageddon, but at the cross.  Armageddon is not the final battle, but the last act of defiance by an already defeated foe” (Revelation by Grant R. Osborne; Baker Academic).

Author: John the Apostle

Date: Two views – after Nero’s death (54 – 68 AD); toward the end of Domitian’s reign (81 – 96 AD).  Persecution under Nero was more severe than during Domitian’s reign, but it was mainly local – in Rome.  Emperor worship (the imperial cult) was more developed, sophisticated and prominent in Domitian’s reign.  Early church fathers (Irenaeus, Victorinus, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Trajan, Donotheus, Theophylact) testify to John writing the Revelation toward the end of Domitian’s reign.  There is no concluding evidence as to when John wrote the Apocalypse, though the evidence seems to weigh in favor of Domitian’s reign.

Key Verse:Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.

Theme: The triumphant Lamb as conquering King bringing God’s eternal kingdom to completion by salvation through judgment to the glory of God.

 Nature: Prophetic.  Salvation, wrath and the sovereignty of God over all history.  The Saints of God are vindicated.  The book of Revelation has approximately 400 allusions or references to the Old Testament.  It is the most Jewish in nature, followed by Matthew then Hebrews.

My Approach: I choose to remain irenic.  There are many views to the book’s interpretation.  I desire to bring out the chief truths that will edify any believer no matter what their understanding of the book may be.

Scripture Focus:  Revelation 1:1 – 3