Revelation 9: Imagine Your Worst Nightmare

August 10, 2013

The fifth and sixth trumpets announce the ancient world’s worst nightmares. The terrifying images of Revelation 9 are worthy of our most horrifying apocalyptic movies. It seems 21st century western culture loves apocalyptic movies, whether it is the earth destroyed by a meteor, large armies battling for Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or the […]

The Second Vision: Revelation 4-16

July 5, 2013

When the seventh angel sounded the seventh trumpet, “voices” (note the plural) announced: The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever. This, I believe, is the fundamental agenda of the Apocalypse, that is, to announce the coming of the kingdom […]

Revelation 2:8-11 — Prophetic Oracle for Smyrna

June 10, 2013

Though often called the “letters to the seven churches” (with somewhat good reasons), the address to each church functions as a prophetic oracle. John has called his work a “prophecy” (Revelation 1:3) and in these “letters” the prophet calls the churches to respond in faithfulness much like Israel’s prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. Smyrna, the […]

Revelation 1:9-20 — An Imperial Christophany

May 28, 2013

The Christophany–the appearance of Jesus to John–sets the tone for the letters to the churches (Revelation 2 & 3) and provides the ground for patient endurance through the dramatic conflict that the Apocalypse will unfold in the second and third visions (Revelation 4-16 and Revelation 17-21). It is, therefore, important to pay close attention to […]

The Structure of Revelation: Four Visions

May 24, 2013

Interpreters have offered varied “outlines” of Revelation as they attempt to understand how the drama of the Apocalypse unfolds. There are some significant areas of consensus (such as recognizing the cohesive nature of the  septets, particularly the seals, trumpets and bowls). Given the diversity of “outlines,” no single outline can claim certainty and certainly not […]

Revelation 1:4-8: Jesus is Coming

May 20, 2013

Titled as an “Apocalypse” and described as a “prophecy” in the superscription, the text begins like a letter. It has all the typical elements of standard letter openings from that era but it is also thoroughly Christian, even with a Triune salutation. Author:   John Audience:   Seven Churches of Asia Salutation:   Grace and […]

Revelation 1:1-3 — The Apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah

May 17, 2013

The title, “Revelation of Jesus the Messiah,” is ambiguous, perhaps intentionally so. It may mean the revelation about Jesus, that is, the unveiling of the story at which Jesus stands at the center. Or, it may mean the revelation that belongs to Jesus, that is, the Father has given this story to Jesus for the […]

On Reading Revelation

May 16, 2013

Last Sunday I began an extended study of the Apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah with a studious, gracious, and interested group of Bible students at the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be a long journey but, I’m convinced, a fruitful one. I will post along the way as I have […]

The Lord’s Supper, the Apocalypse and Eucharistic Music

March 15, 2010

The book of Revelation portrays an eschatological community worshipping the one who sits on the throne. It is eschatological in the sense that Revelation portrays the present and future celebration of God’s redemptive work as it is experienced around the heavenly throne. The present worship of the church participates in the present and future worship of those […]

The Apocalyptic Struggle: A Series on Revelation 4-16 (2)

August 12, 2009

The Apocalypse’s second vision (Revelation 4-16) has a well-defined literary structure. The structure shapes the plot and progression of the drama’s movement.  Below is a way of picturing this structural development: The Heavenly Throne Room: The Sealed Scroll is Seized (4-5) The Seven Seals are Opened (6:1-8:1) The Seven Trumpets Herald the Opening of the Scroll (8:1-11:19) […]