BibleProject | Reading Revelation Wisely

BibleProject | Reading Revelation Wisely

DAY 6 OF 7

Day 6: Reading Revelation Wisely (Part 1)

Congrats! You’ve made it to the book of Revelation! 

In today’s readings, you’ll look at the first few chapters of Revelation. But before diving in, here’s some important background information on the book.

In the opening paragraph, the author identifies himself as “John,” which could refer to the author of the Gospel and letters of John, or it could be another leader in the early Church named John.

The book of Revelation is multi-genre work, including apocalyptic, prophetic, and epistolary (letters) literature. It’s considered apocalyptic literature because John is given a divine vantage point on his life and human history. The book of Revelation is also a prophetic work, as it speaks words of comfort and/or challenge on behalf of God to his people in their concrete historical situation (Gorman, Reading Revelation Responsibly, pg. 23). Prophets comfort God’s people in crisis by reminding them that God is God and that he will one day bring an end to all evil and oppression. Prophets also warn the people about the coming judgment because the people may be participating, or tempted to participate, in the very evil for which the oppressive system and its perpetrators will be judged. (Gorman, pg. 24)

Finally, the book of Revelation records what was seen and heard in the form of a pastoral letter. It is addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia.

Revelation’s prophetic critique is targeted at imperial idolatry (civil religion) and injustice (military, economic, political, and religious oppression)—specifically, Rome’s imperial idolatry and injustice (Gorman, 33). However, it is best read as a response to “ordinary empire,” the everyday evils, injustices, and misguided allegiances that occur among humans. In the book of Revelation, Babylon means Rome, but it also means something more than Rome. The absence of the word Rome from Revelation is significant because it keeps us from limiting Revelation’s message to the first century. Revelation is also a critique of all idolatries and injustices similar to those of Rome throughout history and into the present (Gorman, 33-34).

As you watch the video, pay attention to key themes, imagery, and literary design found in the first eleven chapters of Revelation.

About this Plan

BibleProject | Reading Revelation Wisely

This plan is an introduction to reading apocalyptic literature, specifically, the book of Revelation. This reading plan will provide videos, Scripture passages, and helpful tips for understanding the story of the Bible a...

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