T Nation

Book of Revalation


I've been reading a book dealing the Book of Revalation and the varying views as to how to intepret it, who wrote it, when it was written, etc. I'm interested in hearing what other people have to say about it. Specifically, I would like to see how most people feel about:

  1. When it was written?
  2. Who wrote it?
  3. Is it full of future prophecies or prophecies that have already been fulfilled?

Typically, the four major view points are futurist, historicist, preterist, and spiritualist. I have my own view (which my wife disagrees with), but I will keep it to myself until I hear from some others.


This is a very interesting topic to me (glad you started the thread!)

I have seen a lot of stuff pointing towards Islam being the cloak of satan, and it is crazy to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. Before I get attacked, I am not sure where I stand and I don't claim to be anywhere near knowledgeable enough to make conclusions.

I do sometimes feel like the study of Revelation is a lot like the movie National Treasure (you try so hard to find a meaning for things that you either get so lost or make ideas/theories fit to reach a conclusion)

The Book of Revelations is a very tough read, to say the least.


Answers in my opinion.
1. Prior to 70 AD
2. John the apostle
3. It is full of prophecies that have been fulfilled and just a couple waiting to be fulfilled.

and for the record I tend to lean towards A-mil, with a partial preterist stance. I was raised with a dispensational up bringing, but have rejected that idea out right. My dad is still frustrated by it to this day.


What. The. Mother. Fuck............

Your fucking shitting me right? Your fucking kidding right? Your fucking joking right?


So then if I'm guessing correctly, 666 is referring to Nero?


Dude, please don't ruin another fucking thread with this shit. Yes there are multiple cases of people pointing to Islam. Just like they did with the Nazis, and many others. I said I just found it interesting. Fucking Relax.


I misinterpreted that as your opinion.

But I'll be sure to "ruin" this thread when I find it fit to chime in. You must have some weak opinions if they can't stand up to some good ol' fashion devil's advocating... I'm doing you a fucking charity by giving you that juxtaposition.


Haney I agree with your 1. 2. 3. list. Could you please explain the second part?


Man for someone so opposed to religion, you sure do get involved a lot. To each his own. You must admit that, assuming you have read it, the Book of Revelation is a fascinating piece of literature regardless of your stance on its reliability. You are on the verge of being as closed minded as those silly christians you detest! Just keep it civil. I am trying to learn here, no need for being a dick.


How many times on this forum have I said I am not opposed to religion? I'm going to start counting... I am not opposed to religion and as a matter of fact I have a religion of my own - atheist and theist alike have religions... I'm opposed to bind faith and self deceit - the main components of the religions that I hate. I wasn't trying to be a dick I honestly thought you were calling Islam the devil... I misunderstood you.


By the way, I just realized that I spelled Revelation wrong for some reason. Probably just dumb.


For those interested (Disclaimer: It Is About Islam) this is a pretty interesting site.


Nuts how so much of Islam/Christianity seem to have the same ideals from different perspectives, yet many claim that the 2 religions share the same God.


Im studying this book too. As of right now, from what I can gather, the events have taken place. We just await Christ's second return. But thats just a guess (educated guess). I shall see what others have to say.


Can someone explain the rebuilding of the temple? Is it where the Dome of the Rock is supposed to be? Who is supposed to rebuild it? Israel?


Is it pretty much a consensus that there will be some form of 1 world government? That is what I got from scripture study? RFID Chip possible Mark of Beast?

Sorry if this wasn't the direction of the thread you wanted BBriere, just figured I would ask it here.


It is asserted that the Bible predicts the rise of a â??new world orderâ?? involving a â??centralization of world financial and political powerâ?? in the end times, and that these conditions are current. Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 are cited vaguely as proofs. The truth is, both of these contexts have to do with developments out of the ancient Roman empire (see Jackson, 1995, pp. 48-71). They do not refer to America!


Where does the anti-christ fit in? Isn't there supposed to be some guy who comes along "supposedly" helping people and leads all of the Christians to their deaths? And by deaths I mean God takes them back to heaven or what not? Is that the basis of the whole anti-christ schtick?


Agreed. For some reason many tie America too much with the biblical references. A few people I have talked to believe the U.S(as we know it) may not even be around when final pieces are in line. Of course thats all skepticism.


I agree, my post never mentioned America BTW.


I agree, my post never mentioned America BTW.


A good article, mainly about the millennial kingdom, but it has many elements of revelation in here that are covered to a degree:

Will There be a Millennium?
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Many within Christendom are preoccupied with dispensational theology, having embraced the premillennial framework that teaches a coming â??rapture,â?? â??tribulation,â?? â??antichrist,â?? â??Armageddon,â?? and â??millennium.â?? The millennium refers to an alleged thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth in which He will establish a literal, physical kingdom, and rule from Jerusalem. Is a thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth taught in the Word of God? The reader is urged to consider the following observations.

In the first place, several contextual indicators within the book of Revelation militate against the application of the bookâ??s contents to a yet-future time. For example, the events of the book of Revelation were to â??shortly take placeâ??â??an expression that occurs near the beginning as well as near the end of the book (1:1; 22:6). â??Shortlyâ?? (en tachei) meant quickly, at once, without delay, soon, in a short time (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, p. 814). Moffatt gave the meaning as â??soon.â?? and noted: â??The keynote of the Apocalypse is the cheering assurance that upon Godâ??s part there is no reluctance or delay; His people have not long to wait nowâ?? (n.d., 5:335).

Other passages where the term is used, confirm that a brief length of time is intendedâ??not merely the rapidity with which the designated events occur. Regarding those disciples who cry out to God night and day for His intervention, Jesus assured: â??He will avenge them speedily (en tachei)â?? (Luke 18:8). What comfort would be afforded if Jesus intended to convey the idea that relief may be long delayed, but when it finally did come, it would come in a quick fashion? When Peter was asleep in prison, bound with two chains between two soldiers, and an angel awoke him by striking him on the side and instructed him to â??arise quickly (en tachei)!â?? (Acts 12:7), would Peter have understood the angel to mean that he could continue resting or sleeping for as long as he chose, just as long as when he did get ready to get up, he came up off the prison floor with a rapid motion? When Festus insisted that Paul be detained in Caesarea rather than transferred to Jerusalem, since â??he himself was going there shortly (en tachei)â?? (Acts 25:4), would anyone have understood him to mean that he may delay his visit to Caesarea by years? Paul even used the term in contradistinction with being â??delayedâ?? (1 Timothy 3:14-15; cf. White, n.d., 4:117). Additional occurrences of the expression further underscore the meaning of â??soonâ?? (Acts 10:33; 17:15; 22:18; Romans 16:20).

Another contextual indicator within Revelation itself is the occurrence of the phrase: â??for the time is nearâ?? (1:3; 22:10). Thayer said â??nearâ?? (eggus) refers to â??things imminent and soon to come to passâ?? (1901, p. 164; cf. Arndt and Gingrich, p. 213). Such a reference would necessarily pertain to the first centuryâ??not the twenty-first. Two or three thousand years would be too late for the desperate Christians of Asia Minor (see Summers, 1951, p. 99). Those who get caught up in â??millennium maniaâ?? seem oblivious to the fact that the book was written to an original, immediate audience. Revelation was, in fact, written to the seven churches of Christ situated in Asia Minor (1:4). All seven are even named (1:11)! If the book was written to them, and if it was their spiritual condition that was the concern of the book, millenarians are incorrect in their contention that the book is devoted primarily, if not exclusively, to predictions of the end times. Though the Old Testament prophets predicted future events on occasion, their primary message was relevant to their immediate audience. Dispensationalists have trouble finding in Revelation a relevant message for a first-century audience. The apostle John recognized their need, and identified himself as their â??companionâ?? in the terrible tribulation they were then enduring (1:9). Not only was this tribulation going on at that time, but John further referred to himself and his readers as being in the kingdom at that time (1:9). Thus, Christâ??s kingdom was already set up, in existence on Earth, and in full operating mode.

In addition to these contextual indicators, there is the statement of the angel to John: â??Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this bookâ?? (Revelation 22:10). What did the angel mean? What he meant becomes apparent when one reflects upon the fact that Daniel was told to do the exact opposite of what John was told to do. After receiving a remarkable series of detailed prophecies, Daniel was told to â??shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the endâ?? (Daniel 12:4, emp. added). Furthermore, he was instructed: â??Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the endâ?? (vs. 9, emp. added). The reason Daniel was told to seal the book was because the fulfillment of the prophecies that had been revealed to him were hundreds of years off in the futureâ??far from his own day. The predictions, therefore, would be of no immediate value to the initial recipients of the book. The book could be closed and placed on the shelf until those who would be living at the time of their fulfillment could appreciate the relevance of its predictions. In stark contrast, John was ordered: â??Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this bookâ?? (22:10, emp. added). Why? The text answersâ??â??for the time is at handâ??! These words can hold no other meaning than that the bulk of Revelation was fulfilled in close proximity to the time they were written.

Still another significant contextual detail pertains to the use of the impersonal verb â??mustâ??: â??things which must shortly take placeâ?? (1:1). Greek grammarian Ray Summers explained:

The verb translated â??it is necessaryâ?? or â??mustâ??â?¦indicates that a moral necessity is involved; the nature of the case is such that the things revealed here must come to pass shortlyâ?¦. The things revealed here must happen shortly, or the cause will be lostâ?¦. They were in need of assurance of help in the immediate presentâ??not in some millennium of the distant and uncertain future (p. 99, emp. in orig.).

Indeed, the downtrodden, persecuted Christians of Asia Minor needed assistance right away. The dispensational framework would rob those first-century saints of the very comfort and reassurance they so desperately needed, deservedâ??and received!

One additional contextual feature is the use of the term â??signifiedâ??: â??And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant Johnâ?? (1:1). This term, as is evident from the English translation, meaning â??to show by signsâ?? (Vincent, 1890, 2:564; Summers, p. 99). The term, along with the Greek word translated â??revelationâ?? (apocalupsis), introduces the nature of this book. The book of Revelation reveals or unveils Godâ??s message through signs or symbols. Placing a literal interpretation on the numbers, animals, objects, colors, and locations of Revelationâ??as dispensationalists routinely try to doâ??does violence to the true intent of the book. Johnâ??s Revelation declares itself to be a book of symbols, filled with figurative language, and not intended to be taken literally. In fact, as Swete observed, â??much of the imagery of the Apocalypse is doubtless not symbolism, but merely designed to heighten the colouring of the great picture, and to add vividness and movement to its scenesâ?? (1911, p. cxxxiii). A genuine recognition of this realization of this self-declared feature of the book excludes a literal interpretation of the number one thousand.

In addition to these preliminary contextual details (which are sufficient of themselves to dismiss the dispensationalism scheme from the book), chapter twenty contains specific features that assist the interpreter in pinpointing the meaning of the symbol of a â??thousand-year reign.â?? It is surely noteworthy that in the entire Bible, the only allusion to a so-called thousand-year reign is Revelation 20:4,6â??a fact that is conceded even by dispensationalists (e.g., Ladd, 1972, p. 267; Mounce, 1977, pp. 356-357). Yet an entire belief system has been built upon such scanty evidence. An examination of the setting and context yields surprising results. For example, a simple reading of the immediate context reveals that the theme of Revelation 20 is not â??the thousand-year reign of Christ.â?? Rather, it is â??victory over Satan.â?? Each of the symbols presents concepts that, when put together, relieve the fears of oppressed first-century Christians regarding their outcome. The key, abyss, and chain (vs. 1) are apocalyptic symbols for the effective limitation or containment of Satan in his ability to deceive the nations in the specific matter of emperor worship enforced by the government (see Swete, 1911, pp. xxxi, civ-cv). The symbol of one thousand years (vss. 2-7) is a high multiple of ten, representing ultimate completeness (see Summers, p. 23). Johnâ??s readers thus could know that the devil was to be completely restrained from deceiving the nations into worshipping the emperor. The thousand years symbolized the extended triumph of Godâ??s kingdom on Earth over the devil, who was then operating through the persecuting powers of Rome. A thousand symbolic years of victory would lesson suffering in the minds of persecuted Christians.

â??Loosing for a little seasonâ?? (vs. 3) would have represented the revival of persecution under later emperors. â??Thronesâ?? (vs. 4) represented the victorious power of the oppressed. The persecuted saints were pictured on thrones, judging because of the victory of their cause. â??Soulsâ?? (vs. 4)â??not resurrected bodies, but disembodied spiritsâ??represent those who were martyrs of the persecution. Their refusal to â??receive the markâ?? meant they refused to worship Caesar, or to manifest those marks that would identify them as adherents of the false state religion of emperor worship. The â??first resurrectionâ?? (vs. 5) referred to the triumphant resurrection of the cause for which the Christians of Revelation 20:4 had lived and died. Gog and Magog were symbolic of the enemies of God and Christ, the imagery drawn from Ezekiel 38 and 39. The â??beloved cityâ?? (vs. 9) is an unmistakable reference to spiritual Israel, the church (John 4:20-21; Galatians 6:16).

Some allowance may be granted in the interpretation of these highly figurative symbols, without doing damage to other Bible doctrines, or reflecting adversely upon the Gospel system and the broader will of Deity. However, the thousand years must not be perceived as a yet-future period. There is simply no biblical support for doing so. The figure represents an important concept for those to whom it was first directed. It has meaning for people living today only in that context. There will be no one thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

Ladd, George E. (1972), A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Moffatt, James (no date), â??The Revelation of St. John the Divine,â?? ed. Nicoll, W. Robertson, The Expositorâ??s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Mounce, Robert (1977), The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Summers, Ray (1951), Worthy is the Lamb (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).

Swete, Henry B. (1911), Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1977 reprint).

Thayer, Joseph H. (1901), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977 reprint).

Vincent, M.R. (1890), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946 reprint).

White, Newport (no date), â??The First and Second Epistles to Timothy,â?? The Expositorâ??s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).