a. What are the contents of Revelation? What are the main teachings?
b. There are various ways to interpret Revelation. Which one is correct?
1. What are the main parts
a. Central theme: eschatology, judgment of evil and coming of the Kingdom
b. Outline: 4 visions based on the literary structure, indicated by the phrase "in the Spirit" (Rev 1:10, 4:1, 17:3, 21:10).
c. Vision 1 (1:9-3:22) -- the exalted Christ and his letters to the 7 churches
d. Vision 2 (4:1-16:21) -- heavenly throne room with a seven-sealed scroll resting in the hand of God; conflict between God and Satan(1) Seven seals (5:1-8:1)e. Vision 3 (17:1-21:8) -- the great prostitute, Babylon and its destruction, final victory of God over the powers of evil
(2) Seven trumpets (8:2-9:21)
(3) Seven bowls (15:1-16:21)
(4) Two multitudes: 144,000 Israelites (7:3), innumerable body of redeemed gathered from all races of men (7:9-17) who have "come out of great tribulation"
(5) Red Dragon (12:3-4), 2 beasts (13:1,11), False Prophet (19:20)(1) Marriage of the Lamb and His bride (19:6-10)f. Vision 4 (21:9-22:5) -- the heavenly Jerusalem
(2) Beast and False Prophet destroyed (19:17-21)
(3) Interim kingdom of a thousand years (20:1-3)
(4) Satan destroyed (20:10)
(5) Final judgment (20:11-15)
(6) New heaven and earth (21:1-8)
2. How do we interpret Revelation?
a. Preterist interpretation:(1) Revelation written to answer the problem of sufferings and persecution and to encourage a distressed people that Christ will shortly return.b. Historical method:
(2) does not contain prophecies of the future
(3) the Beast is one of the Roman Emperors and the False Prophet is the cult of the worship of the Emperor(1) Revelation is about history of the church, not about the futurec. Symbolical or Idealist method:
(2) the Beast and the False Prophet are the political and religious aspects of the Papacy(1) Revelation contains symbols of spiritual powers at work in the world(2) no prediction of concrete events either in the past or futured. Extreme Futurist interpretation:(1) Traditional dispensationalism (not modern) of two different divine programs: one for Israel and one for the church(2) seals, trumpets, bowls applied to Israel only
(3) Seven churches represent 7 successive periods of church history(4) Beast (the antichrist) is the head of the Roman empire to be restored in the last dayse. Moderate Futurist view:(1) 7 churches were historical churches, representative of the entire church(2) Seals represent the forces in history that can last a long time(3) The first 5 seals represent conquest (of the gospel?), war, death, famine, martyrdom.(4) The sixth seal brings us to the end of the age and the coming of the great Day of the Lord and of the wrath of the Lamb (6:16-17)(5) After the seventh seal, the content of the little book can be revealed (the content includes all that follows after chapter 6)(6) Events beginning with chapter 7 lie in the future