72 pages 2 hours read


Bible (New Testament): English Standard Version

Nonfiction | Scripture | Adult | Published in 1611

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RevelationChapter Summaries & Analyses

Revelation Summary

Revelation is the sole representative of a book-length work of apocalyptic literature in the New Testament, though a few other passages also deal with apocalyptic content (such as Matthew 24-25 and 2 Thessalonians 2). Revelation attributes itself to John, who mentions his own name three times in the opening chapter, along with a description of his current context on the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea). According to early Christian traditions, John the disciple had been arrested during a wave of persecution in the 90s CE, and after being tortured, was sent as a prisoner to a penal colony on Patmos. Some critical scholars doubt this attribution, however, noting that the Greek used in Revelation varies widely from the rest of the Johannine literature.

The Book of Revelation is addressed to seven churches in Asia Minor clustered on the mainland near Patmos. John recounts how he was on Patmos when he was suddenly confronted with a vision of the glorified Jesus: “[…] one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest” (Rev 1:13). Jesus commands him to write down a series of short letters to the seven churches (Rev 2-3), each of which affirms or corrects certain aspects of the church’s life and encourages the Christians to overcome their trials by holding steadfastly to their faith.