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Revelation - Introduction

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Revelation is a book written in an apocalyptic genre by the apostle John.



Part 1

I.  Introduction

A.  Authorship

1.  The author claims to be John (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8)

2.  Tradition states the author was John

a.  Justin Martyr

b.  Melito

c.  Eusebius

d.  Irenaeus

3.  Opposition to this came from Dionysius (3rd Century)

B.  Date

1.  Probably the mid 90's

2.  Written during a time of persecution

a.  Persecution under Nero was too limited

b.  Probably during the persecution of Domitian (81-96)

C.  Literary Genre - Apocalyptic Literature

1.  Other examples

a.  Daniel

b.  Isaiah 24-27

c.  Ezekiel 38-39

d.  Zechariah 9-14

e.  Enoch

f.  Apocalypse of Baruch

g.  2 Esdras

2.  Qualities of Apocalyptic Literature

a.  The view that the world is divided into two camps (good and evil) ruled by God and Satan.

b.  There is moral dualism between God and Satan, good and evil, not metaphysical dualism between body and spirit.

c.  Pseudepigraphic authorship

d.  Expecting that the old age was about to end and the new age to begin shortly

e.  Believing that the time of great persecution had begun and sometimes this kind of work is called "tracts for hard times."

f.  Cosmic and eschatological events taking place

g.  Fantastic symbolism

h.  Angelic intervention in the activities of the world

i.  Predictions as to when the final consummation would take place

3.  Use of Metaphorical Imagery

a.  Stars falling

b.  Altars speaking

c.  Locusts as large as horses with serpent tails

d.  A lamb with seven horns

e.  A monster with ten horns and seven heads

4.  Use of Symbolic Numbers

a.  "Seven" is used 54 times

b.  "Twelve" is used 23 times

c.  "Four" is used 16 times

5.  Use of Symbolic Color

a.  Purple - royalty

b.  Black - death

c.  White - victory, joy, purity

6.  Use of various objects and figures

a.  Woman - people or cities

b.  Horns - power

c.  Wings - mobility

d.  Eyes - knowledge, omniscience

d.  Trumpets - superhuman, divine voices

f.  Sword - Word of God, which judges and punishes

7.  Heavy Use of the Old Testament

D.  Outline

1.  Prologue (1:1-8)

2.  Messages to the Seven Churches (1:9-3:22)

3.  The Seven Seals (4:1-8:2)

a.  The vision of God and the Lamb (4:1-5:14)

b.  First interlude - Two visions of comfort (7:1-17)

c.  Opening the seven seals (6:1-17, 8:1-2)

4.  The Seven Trumpets (8:3-11:19)

a.  Opening the seven trumpets (8:3-9:21; 11:15-18)

b.  Second interlude - the two witnesses (10:1-11:14)

5.  The Dragon and two beasts (12:1-14:20)

6.  The Seven Bowls (15:1-18:24)

a.  Opening the seven bowls (15:1-16:21)

b.  The fall of Babylon (17:1-18:24)

7.  The final victory and last judgment (19:1-20:15)

8.  The heavenly Jerusalem (21:1-22:5)

9.  Epilogue (22:6-21)

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