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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. 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!

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's choosing, not something that can be precipitated nor trivially deduced by mortals. Book of Revelation is the only book of the New Testament that is not read during services by the Byzantine Rite Churches although in the Western Rite Orthodox Parishes , which are under the same bishops as the Byzantine Rite, it is read.

The early Protestants followed a historicist interpretation of the Bible, which identified the Pope as the Antichrist. Similar to the early Protestants, Adventists maintain a historicist interpretation of the Bible's predictions of the apocalypse. Seventh-day Adventists believe the Book of Revelation is especially relevant to believers in the days preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The "two witnesses" spoken of are Muhammad and Ali. The Book of Mormon states that John the Apostle is the author of Revelation and that he was foreordained by God to write it. Doctrine and Covenants , section 77, postulates answers to specific questions regarding the symbolism contained in the Book of Revelation. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that the warning contained in Revelation —19 [71] does not refer to the biblical canon as a whole.

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.

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Christian Gnostics "believed in the Forgiveness of Sins, but in no vicarious sacrifice for sin James Morgan Pryse was an esoteric gnostic who saw Revelation as a western version of the Hindu theory of the Chakra. 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.

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. The radical discipleship interpretation asserts that the Book of Revelation is best understood as a handbook for radical discipleship; i. In this interpretation 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.

Many literary writers and theorists have contributed to a wide range of theories 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. 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 which are less interested in what the original author intended. 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 thought this was a point often lost sight of because most English bibles render everything in prose.

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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 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. Subsequently, this John was banished by Nero and died on Patmos after writing Revelation. Torrey argued that until AD 80, when Christians were expelled from the synagogues, [82] 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.

Christina Rossetti was a Victorian poet who believed the sensual excitement of the natural world found its meaningful purpose in death and in God. In her view, what Revelation has to teach is patience. The relevance of John's visions [89] belongs to Christians of all times as a continuous present meditation.

Such matters are eternal and outside of normal human reckoning. Winter that returns not to spring 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. 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. In contrast, Tina Pippin states that John writes " horror literature " and "the misogyny which underlies the narrative is extreme. Lawrence took an opposing, pessimistic view of Revelation in the final book he wrote, Apocalypse. 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" [96] which he saw in a technology-based totalitarian society. The other enemy he styled "vulgarity" [97] and that was what he found in Revelation. 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.

In the first, there was a scheme of cosmic renewal in "great Chaldean sky-spaces", which he quite liked. After that, Lawrence thought, the book became preoccupied with the birth of the baby messiah and "flamboyant hate and simple lust Modern biblical scholarship attempts to understand Revelation in its 1st-century historical context within the genre of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature. Under this interpretation, assertions that "the time is near" are to be taken literally by those communities.

Consequently, the work is viewed as a warning to not conform to contemporary Greco-Roman society which John "unveils" as beastly, demonic, and subject to divine judgment.


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Although the acceptance of Revelation into the canon has from the beginning been controversial, it has been essentially similar to the career of other texts. Scholar Barbara Whitlock pointed out a similarity between the consistent destruction of thirds depicted in the Book of Revelation a third of mankind by plagues of fire, smoke, and brimstone, a third of the trees and green grass, a third of the sea creatures and a third of the ships at sea, etc.


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Whitlock wrote: "Zoroastrianism, the state religion of the Roman Empire's main rival, was part of the intellectual millieu in which Christianity came into being, just as were Judaism, the Greek-Roman religion, and the worship of Isis and Mithras. A Zoroastrian influence is completely plausible". Much of Revelation employs ancient sources, primarily but not exclusively from the Old Testament. For example, Howard-Brook and Gwyther [] regard the Book of Enoch 1 Enoch as an equally significant but contextually different source.

There is an angel ascending in both accounts 1 En ; Rev —19 and both accounts have three messages 1 En —9; Rev — Academics showed little interest in this topic until recently. For example, an anonymous Scottish commentary of [] prefaces Revelation 4 with the Little Apocalypse of Mark 13, places Malachi "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 side-by-side with the role of "the Satan" in the Book of Job.

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. Revelation concentrates on Isaiah, Psalms, and Ezekiel, while neglecting, comparatively speaking, the books of the Pentateuch that are the dominant sources for other New Testament writers.

Methodological objections have been made to this course as each allusion may not have an equal significance. To counter this, G. 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.

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Yet, with Revelation, the problems might be judged more fundamental. The author seems to be using his sources in a completely different way to the originals. For example, he borrows the 'new temple' imagery of Ezekiel 40—48 but uses it to describe a New Jerusalem which, quite pointedly, no longer needs a temple because it is God's dwelling. 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. He sets out a comparative table listing the chapters of Revelation in sequence and linking most of them to 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 matter. Beale believes that, however much John makes use of Ezekiel, his ultimate purpose is to present Revelation as a fulfillment of Daniel 7.


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For example, Ezekiel's encounter with God is in reverse order as John's encounter with God Ezek —28; Rev —7; note both accounts have beings with faces of a lion, ox or calf, man, and eagle Ezek ; Rev , both accounts have an expanse before the throne Ezek ; Rev The chariot's horses in Zechariah's are the same colors as the four horses in Revelation Zech —8; Rev —8. The nesting of the seven marches around Jericho by Joshua is reenacted by Jesus nesting the seven trumpets within the seventh seal Josh —10; Rev —17; —; — The description of the beast in Revelation is taken directly out of Daniel see Dan —8; Rev —7.

The method that John used allowed him to use the Hebrew Scriptures as the source and also use basic techniques of parallel formation, thereby alluding to the Hebrew Scriptures. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 24 June This article is about the book in the New Testament. For other uses, see Book of Revelation disambiguation.

Matthew Mark Luke John. Apostle Beloved disciple Evangelist Patmos Presbyter. Apocryphon Acts Signs Gospel.

1 Peter was written primarily for the benefit of Christians who were suffering from

Main article: Authorship of the Johannine works. Further information: Development of the New Testament canon. After them is to be placed, if it really seem proper, the Apocalypse of John, concerning which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. These then belong among the accepted writings [Homologoumena]. Among the rejected [Kirsopp.

A Slaughtered Lamb : Revelation and the Apocalyptic Response to Evil and Suffering

Lake translation: "not genuine"] writings must be reckoned, as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books. Main article: Events of Revelation. Now I am not a big fan of martyrdom either. It is not that John is telling us that there will be masses of martyrs, but that in the face of threat, danger or tribulation, when we stand together in Christ, we will be victorious.

Suffering will come to an end because God wills it. But how? Allan Boesak, a black pastor in South Africa, writes about Revelation from his experience of apartheid:. The song of the 24 elders is the same age-old song of Israel, and it vibrates with the same power and certainty…. On a Sunday afternoon young black Christians pick up this ancient song and make of it a new song as they dance around a police vehicle just after a student has been arrested at our church service… The police, somewhat confused, somewhat bewildered, somewhat scared, release our friend.

Others join us as we march, singing and dancing, back into the church. This is a new song, a freedom song, and the power of it, the sheer joy of it, the amazing truth in it captivate and inspire thousands upon thousands through South Africa. I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink.

Revelation unveils the bankruptcy of imperial power and domination systems. Governments, corporations, banks, the military—all those things we believe to be so powerful in the end are shown to be powerless. It is the people who are willing to follow the way of Jesus, those willing to make sacrifices for others, the church, called to be the servant instead of the master, these are the great multitude in white found victorious in the end.

The lamb slaughtered by the unholy alliance of religious and political authorities is the one who reigns in the end. May that blood, that power, that life be in us. Westview Press, Contrary to the popular image of the last book of the Bible, Revelation is not a book of predictions concerning the end of the world. The immediate future of those Christians living at the end of the first century is the subject of its vision, not events of the distant future.

Though Nero is the most likely candidate for the number , we should understand that John saw Nero as simply representing the royal throne which stands in opposition to the rule of God and thus it is not the individual Caesar, but the office of Caesar which he sees as opposing Christ. The central figure of Revelation is the Lamb who was slain, referring to Christ, and whose only weapon to oppose the Roman beast is the sword of his mouth, in other words, the Word of God. And all I know is a little, so I get some help from scholarly friends.

Lastly, while I do not believe Revelation describes the future, it does describe the present. That it is to say, we live in a time very much like that described by Revelation in that the way of the Lamb and the way of the beast are very much at odds with each other. White robes symbolize holiness and endurance. Priests in the time of Christ were examined for purity; if they passed, they were dressed in white robes, as was the High Priest. In the new covenant, those who have been baptized into Christ, the High Priest, and who endure to the end will be saved through the sacrifice of the Lamb on the Cross.

The palm branches allude to the feast of Tabernacles cf. Palm branches were also used as symbols of victory 1 Macc. The great multitude worship God in His temple, which ultimately is the Person of Christ cf. Being washed and made white suggests the bath of Baptism, and the lack of hunger or thirst is Eucharistic in its promise of complete joy in the presence of the Lamb.

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