Revelation Essay

1728 words - 7 pages


"Revelation, n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing."1 The book of Revelation, the only apocalypse among the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, has always occupied a marginal role within the field of Biblical interpretation. Its bizarre visions of beasts, dragons, plagues, and cataclysms have inspired poets and artists while confounding more traditionally minded scholars for centuries. England in the early seventeenth century proved an exception to this rule. The flowering of apocalyptic exegesis in this period among academic circles bestowed a new respectability on the book of Revelation as a literal roadmap of church history from the time of Christ to the present, and on into the eschaton. The principal writers in this field, including Arthur Dent, Thomas Brightman, and Joseph Mede, have been dubbed "Calvinist millenarians" by modern historiography. They were certainly Calvinist in their views on doctrine, and also in their melioristic vision of England as the consummation of the Reformation, as an elect nation with the potential to recreate the true church of the early Christians. Their intense belief in the imminence of the end of the world, however, along with the mode of interpretation which they applied to the Revelation, reflected trends in Christian thought redirected by Martin Luther, and largely ignored by John Calvin.

In this paper I will examine Luthers role in three English interpretations of the Revelation, discussing both his influence as an intellectual precedent, and his appearance as a character within these texts. Luther himself never wrote a detailed commentary on the Apocalypse, but in a preface to the 1530 edition of his German New Testament, he outlined a mode of exegesis which emphasized the application of the Revelation to history. This literal approach first appeared in England in a 1545 commentary by John Bale, a transitional figure often considered the progenitor of the English apocalytic tradition. Later works utilized Luthers model more completely, and I will cite three of these in particular: Arthur Dents Ruin of Rome (1603), an excellent introduction to the mainstream of English commentaries; Thomas Brightmans Revelation of St. John (1609), which epitomized the Anglocentric slant inherent to the English version of the paradigm; and Joseph Medes Key of the Revelation (1627), which superseded all previous works in its sophisticated juxtaposition of history with Scripture, bringing the tradition to a kind of conclusion. Although these later scholars cited Luther as an important figure in church history, they did not acknowledge (or realize) any methodological debt to him; adopting a mode of interpretation outlined by Luther, they redirected these ideas towards a scheme which was Calvinist in its hope for worldly improvement.

The phrase "Calvinist millenarian," upon further...

Find Another Essay On Revelation

Revelation Essay

1082 words - 4 pages I was never one to question. For when one slips unknowingly into the treacherous abyss of routine the need to question is simply drowned out by the banality of what is considered by many to be Life. An inescapable foundation is built up underneath your soul, becoming the dominating force dictating your actions to serve the greater need of further expansion. To fall into this state of mind is tantamount to a certain loss of self. I say this not

Theology of Revelation Essay

2558 words - 10 pages Introduction Trinitarian theology within the book of Revelation is not at first sight easily recognisable amongst the plethora of images and prophecies that are recorded. The beauty of John’s theology is that the Trinity is deeply embedded in the text so that the reader must dissect the book in order to glimpse the theological beauty that is present. This essay will seek to explore the threads of the Holy Trinity that appear in the book of

Apocalypse in Revelation

1289 words - 5 pages The end. Absolute in its finality, the end provides at once both a tempting and alluring topic of discussion. Attributable to this fact is the popularity of literary works which discuss the resolution of humanity. Examples of so called apocalyptic literature predate the Old Testament, however, the most controversial biblical example is John’s The Book of Revelation. The work is controversial because it falls to the subjective application of

The Book of Revelation

3336 words - 13 pages This essay will argue that the eschatology of the Book of Revelation forms an integral part of John’s attempt within the pages of his book to form a literary world in which the forms, figures, and forces of the earthly realm are critiqued and unmasked through the re-focalization of existence from the perspective of heaven. It will attempt to show that, in response to the social, political, religious, and economic circumstances of his readers

Revelation, by Flannery O'Connor

1875 words - 8 pages In Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation” a woman, as the title implies, who experiences a revelation. Pigs are an important symbol in the protagonist’s, Ruby Turpin’s, revelation. Throughout Ruby’s journey to her revelation, pigs appear frequently in “Revelation” and are important to Ruby’s revelation at the end of the story. Pigs reflect several aspects of Ruby’s life, primarily her perceptions. Ultimately, pigs reflect Ruby’s true character

Revelation And God

4082 words - 16 pages Revelation and God This paper will look at different aspects of theology. Theology is not something that stands still. It moves. This will be seen throughout this paper. The three fixed points discussed in class are seen throughout this paper. The trinity is very important in seeing the uniqueness of God and the personalness of God. This is seen throughout the discussion of the Trinity and the attributes of God according to this. Also, Christ is

mark and revelation

825 words - 4 pages Why is it that Jesus is described in many different ways, in the books of the Bible? For example if the four canonical gospels are taken into consideration, it can be seen that Jesus is described and talked about differently in each one. If the other books of the Bible are also read, it can be seen that there is much difference in them also excluding the canonical gospels. I will be comparing the gospel of Mark and the book of Revelation, in

revelation research paper

2369 words - 10 pages INTRODUCTION It’s a fairly formidable task to come to a conclusion on a Bible verse that there simply isn’t an answer for. What I am referencing is Revelation Chapter 20: 1-6 in which we see a picture of Satan being thrown into an abyss for a thousand years and Christ ruling over the earth. As I dissected the research paper directions for this assignment I dove into the process of learning about each of the views that scholars would contend

Revelation by Flannery O'Connor

958 words - 4 pages Revelation by Flannery O'Connor The story opens with Ruby Turpin entering a doctor's waiting room with her husband Claud who has been kicked by a cow. As she and Claud wait, she takes hard stock of the other people in the room. There was some white-trash, a "red- headed youngish woman" who was not white-trash, just common, a well-dressed, pleasant looking lady, and her daughter, an ill-mannered ugly girl in Girl Scout shoes with heavy

Manifesto To Revelation

942 words - 4 pages Manifesto to Revelation In his, "Preface to the Lyrical Ballads," William Wordsworth denotes many ideas that, he believes, construct his contribution to poetry. Among them are the concept of the rejection of a specific and formulated etiquette in writing poetry, and the concept of ordinary things being depicted in an usual way. Along with the others, these concepts help the reader to identify the discoveries not only made by the poet, but

Reading The Book of Revelation

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

Similar Essays

Revelation Essay

770 words - 3 pages Revelation      “Revelation” starts off at a small town doctor’s office in the waiting room. Mrs. Turpin and several other characters are making small talk as they wait to see the doctor. Mrs. Turpin’s words quickly reveal the fact that she is a prejudiced snob. She is very quick to judge everyone in the room. Mary Grace is an ugly girl who is setting in the room listening to all of Mrs. Turpin’s judgments. Mary Grace

Revelation Essay

877 words - 4 pages Many scholars believed the book or Revelation was written about 95 A.D. This happened to be the time during the rule of the Emperor Domitian (90-95 A.D). John is thought to have written this book to those seven churches under the Emperor?s rule. John also during this time was said to have been exiled by Roman authorities to the island of Patomos, which is an island off the coast of Asia. John was one of the eyewitnesses to the incarnate Christ

Christian Revelation Essay

1841 words - 7 pages “The question of revelation in Christian theology is finally no less than the question of theology’s own ultimate source and norm… ” This statement serves as an excellent beginning point for our discussion of the Christian doctrine of revelation and its relation to the practice of theology. As these few words suggest, there is an intrinsically interwoven nature to the two ideas, more specifically, the dependency of Christian theology on

Revelation Essay

723 words - 3 pages The creation of the earth and all that is within the earth is mysterious yet miraculous at the same time. Although there are probably hundreds of different accounts, they all seem to be different while almost identical in text. I will be comparing and contrasting between account one and account two in the book of Genesis. In the beginning, according to Genesis in the bible.      In the two creation accounts God is