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BIBL 102 (Fa '14) T11b - Revelation

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Hartmut Scherer

on 22 November 2014

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Fa '14) T11b - Revelation

(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word)
In this “final chapter” of the Bible, God pulls back the curtain to give his people a glimpse of his plans for human history—plans that center around Jesus.
Historical Context
Persecution of Christians is becoming more intense and widespread.

Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96)
- some Christians are
turning away
from Christ
Literary genre?
Opens and closes like a NT letter
(1:4-5; 22:21)
Revelation 2-3
Promise to those who “overcome” at end of the seven messages in chapters 2-3
Revelation 12:11
Believers “overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”
Revelation 21:7
“He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son”
A letter
A prophetic letter
Includes both
"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3
(1:3; 22:6-7, 10, 18-19)
A prophetic-apocalyptic letter
“The revelation [
] of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. Revelation 1:1
- Literature in which God promises to
intervene in human history to
overthrow evil and establish his kingdom

- Intensified form of Hebrew prophecy
written during a time of crisis
What is the purpose of Revelation?
Readers enter the symbolic world created by the images of Revelation to get
heavenly perspective
on their own world.
Interpreting Revelation
Traditional approaches:
Combines strengths of others, i.e. the traditional approaches
Guidelines for reading Revelation:
Try to discover the message to the original readers
Pay attention when John identifies an image
A prophetic-apocalyptic letter …
God Wins!
- Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah in the OT

- Abundance of strange and bizarre
images (picture language)
"Caesar is Lord"
"Jesus is Lord"
Double-edged message of Rev.:
with the world system.
Whole book is a letter
Revelation is situational
Central theme:
Revelation is not just about the future;
An “unsealed” or open book (22:10)
Revelation uses prophetic counter-images to answer the question: “Who is Lord?”
Main message: “God will win!”
Read with humility
Don’t try to detect a strict chronological map of future events
Take Revelation seriously, but don’t always take it literally
Above all, focus on the main idea and don’t press all the details
Look to the OT and historical-cultural context when interpreting images and symbols
And in the end …
Revelation gives us the heavenly perspective we need to overcome
Revelation answers the question: “Who is Lord?”
To comfort the suffering and warn the complacent
Using powerful picture language …
Your initial response to reading Revelation?
“revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1)
“revelation” – unveiling or open display
of Jesus Christ” – both about Jesus and from Jesus
Full transcript