What about the Book of Revelation?

I only make small progress in reading the bible by myself since I don´t have too much time in university, which leads me to often listen to scholars and their interpretation of certain parables and talks about the biblical histority. Also I read most of the articles here and on other websites about the word of Jesus, but one thing that never really comes up is what to make out of the book of revelation. I don´t think there is any article here and I found that reliable sources about it are pretty rare. Also it hasn´t been discussed here, has it? So my questions are:
-How do you read it?
-Does it affect the way you see Jesus word or the way you think about theology?
-Are there historical accounts that you can name, that seemed to inspire it?
-Is it from John himself or another unknown author?
-Why is it even in the bible?
-Is the atheistic criticism, that christians tend to ignore it fair?
The old Testament is hold in a pretty high regard, even if we doubt several aspects of its histority, since it were old stories that have been written down a lot later, but on the revelation most seem to stay silent.
And I´m asking here, since I think that you will have better/more reliable answers than Wikipedia. :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot!


Welcome to the forum. As this gets away from the usual intersection of science and faith a bit, I am not sure how much interest it will gather, but you never know. There are so many different takes on the book, I have sort of neglected it, not wanting to get sucked into the discussion, but if I were to find time, think it would be good to read N. T. Wright’s book for the lay audience linked here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/066422797X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb


Thank you Phil!
Yes I figured that it is not really related to what much of this forum is about, nut it always kind of annoyed me thinking about a chapter, that I can´t really take much away from. I´ll check the book.

Hi, and welcome to the forum! Good questions… and you would probably get a bunch of different answers depending on the theology/denomination of the person answering. I think you’re right that we sometimes stay silent on Revelation, although it’s also possible to make too much of it.

I think one difficulty with Revelation is that since many assume it is speaking of future events, and because there’s so much spiritual imagery and symbolism, it’s very hard to verify which interpretation is “right” – unlike many of the eyewitness writings that at least have some clear historical basis, you can’t really do that when talking about the future.

But I do think it’s important because there’s a degree to which our view of the future will affect our attitude toward the here and now. For example, what someone believes about hell or the tribulation might affect the way they evangelize others.

Still, I’ve too often seen Revelation used as means to a theological end, and not appreciated the more poetic and majestic aspects of it. It affirms the worthiness of Christ, the power of God, the importance of persevering in the faith, etc.


Here is one take (from Catholic Bishop Barron) on how Revelation actually gives us a very profound teaching on how to read the rest of the Bible! And his observations ring true I think. The video isn’t about Revelation per se, but about the problematic violence in the Bible. I highly recommend it as it may also help you set the stage for better approaches on the book of Revelation itself.


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