This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Reading The Book Of Revelation Essay

1378 words - 6 pages

The Book of Revelation, the final book of the Christian biblical canon, is perhaps one of the most complex and polyvalent biblical texts accessible to modern readers, and has been the source of many differing and divergent interpretations and readings. This is due in large part to the richly detailed language and imagery the author has placed within the book as well as the vast array of content. Both of these features function within the text to produce a book that is extremely difficult to describe within the traditional literary conceptions of genre and structure, which, as we shall see, feed into the complexity and multiple interpretations that can be drawn from it. With all this in mind, it will be the purpose of this essay to explore the Book of Revelation, examining the nature of its structure and content as well as the generic framework(s) the text function within. Following this, we will also survey one of the major ways people have read Revelation, namely the scientific/positivist understanding, and outline some of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach in relation to other models.

The examination of the Book of Revelation by those seeking to understand and explain its structure has been one of the most difficult tasks undertaken by biblical literary critics. As a result of this, there are multiple understandings of the way in which the author of Revelation has laid out the book, focusing on different aspects and particularities within it. While there is no scholarly consensus on the matter of structure in this book , there do appear to be two primary schools of thought that, while not unified, centre around the theories of recapitulation and the ‘series of seven’. Several major scholars , to varying degrees, argue that the structure is determined by the parallelism present between the various visions, with Collins stating that the repetition of certain motifs show the beginning and end of discernable sections. In contrast to this theory, a structure based on the ‘series of seven’ visions is another prominent understanding. Argued especially by Farrar and Collins, this theory lays out a structure split into eight segments , viewing number seven, used by the author of Revelation very strongly, as the key to understanding the structure. Critics, however, point out the ‘unnumbered’ sections as a dubious aspect of this theory. As such, the structure of Revelation is a complex matter that is still debated widely within scholarship, with no solution offered thoroughly without difficulty.

Closely related to the structure of the Book of Revelation, and one of the primary causes behind the difficulty in determining structure, the content of the text is multifarious and deep in meaning and imagery. Primarily, content centres around the letters sent to seven churches, the extrapolation of John’s visions of Heaven, the remainder of the ‘series of seven’ , and finally the defeat of Babylon and establishment of the New...

Find Another Essay On Reading The Book of Revelation

New Testament: Analysis of the Book of Revelation

1056 words - 5 pages humanity if it is what does the book of revelation say about the "end of the world"? After carefully reading the book of revelation I came to the conclusion that the end of the world does not mean the destruction of the earth. World refers to the people alienated from God and this wicked system of things, false religion, commercial empire, and the governments of the earth. God's righteous people have never been destroyed along with the wicked so they will survive the great tribulation and Armageddon. However I would like to know more about this subject.


709 words - 3 pages WHY WE SHOULD STUDY THE BOOK OF REVELATION The book of Revelation is one the most unread, unstudied, most misunderstood, and most twisted out of context, books of the Bible. So why is it one the most unread book? The main reason seems to stem from fear of the book. This fear is driven from the idea that the book is one which cannot be understood. That it is a book written in code that cannot be decoded. When you add to these issues a lack of

Reading the Book of Stars

1143 words - 5 pages Reading the Book of Stars Herbert emphasizes the gratification that comes from reading, and the opportunity for self-discovery that is given to those who read the Bible within his sonnet “The Holy Scriptures II.” He captivates his audience with the use of celestial imagery in relation to Scripture and provides a personal example in order to establish his credibility. Yet in order to fully appreciate this poem one must take the time to

Comparsion of Passages in the Book of Ezekial and the Book of Revelation

3082 words - 13 pages This term paper will attempt to compare specific biblical passages from the book of Ezekiel to specific passages in the book of Revelation. These passages are comparable due to their similar use of language, visions, and symbolism. The book of Ezekiel was written by the prophet Ezekiel who was a priest. The New American Standard Study Bible suggests this book was written approximately between 597—586 B.C. It is generally divided into three

The Two Witnesses of Revelation

1103 words - 5 pages anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body.’ (2) One can see that in the book of Revelation, a lampstand represents a called out group of people.” (1) This could represent the two houses of Israel. Later in Revelation, we see the two houses of Israel represented by the 144,000. This is a very different twist. However, I don’t see how this theory will fulfill Revelation 11:7. It will be really hard to kill a

The Christian View of Revelation

1785 words - 7 pages The Christian View of Revelation Revelation by definition is the disclosure of facts or theories through religious events that have previously remained hidden. For Christians revelation is mainly associated with the revelation of God to his people throughout the ages. God has made himself known to us but we have to consider that he has also presented himself to us, with the choice up to us whether we accept his love

This paper discusses the topic of Endism and how it relates to fundamentalist belief and the Book of Revelation

541 words - 2 pages Fire and brimstone, raging winds, earthquakes, hail falling from the sky, the world's water turning into blood, the end is near. Ok, so the conditions in our world might not be as catastrophic as they are portrayed in the Book of Revelations, but as author Charles Strozier tells us the belief in the coming end or endism is brewing in the minds of people. Endism is the belief the Book of Revelations' description of the end of the world is true

Comparison Taming of the Shrew - reading of the book and the Stratford performance

689 words - 3 pages , but it was performed in a Western style, with 18th century technology (guns, trains) and setting. That was unexpected, and I think it detracted from the atmosphere a bit. I would have enjoyed a play more if it was performed as it was supposed to be performed - not changed to help the people who didn't bother reading the book to understand it better.There were several types of comedy in the play, such as slapstick and situational comedy. A good

Flannery O’Connor's "Revelation" and the Power of Religion

1310 words - 5 pages . In her story “Revelation,” the protagonist, Mrs. Turpin, acts sanctimoniously, but ironically the virtue that gives her eminence is what brings about her downfall. Mrs. Turpin’s veneer of so called good behavior fails to fill the void that would bring her to heaven. Grace hits her with force and their illusions, causing a traumatic collapse exposing the emptiness of her philosophy. As Flannery O’Connor said, “In Good Fiction, certain of the

Revelation of a Mistaken Love: Aurthur Miller's The Crucible

571 words - 2 pages book, it can be easily defined that Abigail and Proctor never had a romantic relationship. In fact, five quotes with specific details, used in this text, can undoubtedly describe the evident love of Abigail toward Proctor while expressing the rejection of Proctor and his true love for his wife.

The Importance of Reading

1139 words - 5 pages ancient and so is its culture. I visited every ruin and castle I could in the four-year span I was there. And as a result my writing blossomed as my imagination and knowledge of the ancients expanded with the combination of my extensive reading. I remember when I was in fourth grade we had to write a short children’s book. At first the idea scared me and I had what I call baby writers block. I could not think of a good topic to write it on

Similar Essays

The Book Of Revelation Essay

3336 words - 13 pages ) the vindication demanded by the martyred souls during the opening of the seals (6:9-10). This role as ruler, when read in the context of a Church facing the possibility of martyrdom for their beliefs, would provide a reassurance that in their death the ‘beast’ had not been victorious, rather that in their sacrifice they have damned it more and won for themselves an honoured place. Having looked at the effect of reading the Book of Revelation

Approaches To Interpreting The Book Of Revelation

1893 words - 8 pages Approaches to Interpreting the book of Revelation The book of Revelation is often very hard to understand because of its "visions and elaborate symbolism" (Mounce, 1992, p. 39). Because of the many visions and symbols that come from the book of Revelation there are several different approaches to interpreting it including the idealist view, the preterist view, the historicist view, and the futurist view. This paper will discuss the four main

The Theology, Christology And Pneumatology Of The Book Of Revelation

1404 words - 6 pages name of God. With this understanding the portrayal of God in the Book of Revelation, we see the attempt by John to undermine within the congregations reading his apocalyptic text the authority of Rome. This, in turn, would offer assurance that, regardless of evident circumstances, the ‘truth’ remains that God reigns over all, and that Rome’s dominion is limited when contrasted with the kingdom of God. The strongly monotheistic and

The Theology, Christology And Pneumatology Of The Book Of Revelation

1931 words - 8 pages The Theology, Christology, and Pneumatology of the Book of Revelation are highly reflective of the social, political and religious context in which the book was written. Within the text, we find expressed the views of an author, and Christian community in general, challenged by the power and ideology of Rome, as well as having to re-imagine and re-comprehend their God, and divinity in general, in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the