REVELATION: A Study. Understanding Biblical Apocalyptic Literature

What thoughts come to mind when you think about the Book of Revelation? What images do you see when you hear the word Apocalypse?

For most of us, we think of destruction, mystery or symbolism. We see images of four horsemen, blaring trumpets and war. Its enough to scare the devil right out of us. Or at least it should be.

For most of us, just the thought of the message contained in Revelation{/i] or any Apocalyptic literature generates a strong emotional response.

Titled in many Bibles The Revelation of St. John the Divine, this wonderful Book is actually the only Book of the Bible that contains its own title:

1The revelation of Jesus Christ€ (Revelation 1:1a)

While Revelation contains many predictions, it is about Jesus Christ and His ultimate victory. Revelation is a Book of hope and promise for all who believe in Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior.

Understanding Apocalyptic Literature

To understand Revelation we need to understand the genre known as Apocalyptic Literature. [i/Revelation cant be read like history, wisdom, the epistles, poetry or even prophesy. Revelation cant be interpreted in terms of current events or a modern world context. It cant be interpreted like a modern spy novel containing a code to be ciphered and deciphered.

To interpret Revelation we must understand the context in which it was written, the audience for whom it was addressed and the purpose of the revelation given to the author of this Book, John.

The meaning of Apocalypse

The immediate thought most of us have when hearing the word apocalypse is destruction. From modern doomsday novels to movies like the Viet Nam era Apocalypse Now, we associate the word with war and destruction.

The word apocalypse actually comes from a Greek word meaning to reveal or to uncover.

So, right off the bat we have to adjust our view of Biblical apocalyptic literature. In and of itself, it does not refer to disaster and hopelessness. Instead, it refers to an unveiling of something hidden. In this case, it is the final chapter in the story of Jesus Christ and His victory over sin and evil.

Next up: Symbolism in Apocalyptic Literature.

This series will follow my notes and some supplementary material from a weekly Bible study on the Book of Revelation. I want to thank the faithful men of the Men on the Grow study group and Pastor Michael who leads this amazing group.


Alive in The Word

This blog is part of an ongoing series based on my notes from a weekly Bible Study. For all of the blogs in this study, see:A Study of the Book of Revelation: Index of Blogs


About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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2 Responses to REVELATION: A Study. Understanding Biblical Apocalyptic Literature

  1. Pingback: The Revelation of St John the Divine-A Study | ChristianBlessings

  2. Pingback: The Revelation of St John the Divine-A Study | Aliveintheword's Blog

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