Notes on Revelation
by Jeff Smelser
Contents of this Page
- Place & Circumstances
- Language of Apocalyptic
- Message of Apocalyptic Scriptures
- The place and circumstances in which John saw the
- Locate Patmos on a map
- The commonly held belief that John was an exile on Patmos is
upon the following:
- the use of διά in 1:9; cf. 6:9
- the fact that John identified himself as a "partaker
in the tribulation."
- strong support from early tradition.
- exile (under Domitian) was an existing practice.
The language of Revelation was not unprecedented; the
was not new, nor is a unique system of interpretation
- "Revelation" (1:1) = ἀποκάλυψις
(apokalupsis; cf. apocalypse)
- 1 Cor. 14:6, 26
- for the revelation of the mystery, i.e., the gospel Ro.
- for the revelation of Jesus and those who are his at his
coming - Ro.
8:9, 1 Cor. 1:7.
- of God's judgment Rom. 2:3
- Cf. I Sam. 20:30 (LXX). Verb is used for uncover in Leviticus
- ἀπό = (away) from &
- Revelation is typical of so-called "Apocalyptic
- characteristic traits include the following:
View of History
with Emphasis on Catastrophic End of Present
(including use of animals)
- Apocalyptic literature was so popular that uninspired
produced imitating the style. These were always
- Thus Christians of the first century would have recognized
of literature represented by Revelation. (Contrast the
Rev. 14:20 by modem Dispensationalists: They suppose the text
a literal military conflict that will take place in Palestine
result in so much bloodshed that the land will actually be
blood to a depth equivalent to a horse's bridle.)
- The key to understanding the book is not so much a
Roman history as it is a familiarity with scripture.
The message of apocalyptic scriptures.
- The chart below shows how apocalyptic scriptures portray time
a focus on coming judgment:
Present Evil Age
Catastrophe (wicked judged &
Future "Golden Age"
- So also, Revelation follows this pattern.
- Specifically, compare Ezek. 38-39, Joel 3, Dan. 2 & 7