Reading the Book of Revelation

Jason

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So how to get started with this Book, i came to know many end time revelations are written here. Is it good to go ahead and start reading the book or other books need to be read first to really understand what is being said here.? Please advice.

Sorry for my Ignorance in placing an 's', corrected the thread title
 
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jsimms435

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I would encourage you to read it, but it make take a while to completely understand it. You might want to read some good commentaries or listen to some sermons that address Revelations as well to understand it better.

J Vernon McGee teaches about this book here
 

tango

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So how to get started with this Book, i came to know many end time revelations are written here. Is it good to go ahead and start reading the book or other books need to be read first to really understand what is being said here.? Please advice.
By all means read the book, it's a good read. As you read it look at cross-references with other books and consider multiple different ways of interpreting it.

When people start to divide into beliefs as to whether a rapture will happen, when it will happen, just what the mark of the beast might be or indeed what it might have been (and the associated issue of whether it's in the future or the past), who or what the beast might be or have been, who or what mystery Babylon might be, and so on, every side makes appeals to Scripture to support their case and it appears Scripture can be used to support many different interpretations.

You've probably heard lots of theories about 666, ranging from possible to absurd. These days there are some vocal groups who claim a vaccine for the coronavirus is the mark of the beast, and there have been a range of other theories about things that might be the mark. If you read about the mark of the beast in context you can see that you'll need it to be able to buy and sell but also that if you don't have the mark you will be executed. The migration of payment technology from physical cash to a card to a contactless card to (in the future) a chip embedded in your body could potentially be a forerunner to something like the mark of the beast but unless the option is to take the chip or die we can safely figure it isn't the mark. That said Jesus told us to be watchful so it doesn't hurt to be aware of how things might develop, but without getting paranoid and seeing demons behind every corner.

As a small aside, the book is called Revelation (singular) not Revelations. It's surprising how many people call it Revelations.
 

JRT

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Bishop John Spong pretty much dismisses Revelation as of little value to the modern Christian:

The Bible closes its pages with the book of Revelation. It is a piece of apocalyptic or "end of the world" literature. Presumably that theme struck the leaders of the early Church, who still expected the end of the world to be near, to think that this book represented the proper way to close the New Testament. The book of Revelation has been a godsend to those who like to predict "doomsday" all of whom, let it be noted, have thus far been 100% incorrect! It is also the favorite book of those who believe that events in modern history are the fulfillment of and can be explained as the living out of biblical prophecy. In my lifetime I have heard the beast of Revelation 13 being identified with Adolf Hitler, Tojo, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev and Saddam Hussein, just to name a few. My mother told me that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was called the beast of Revelation during World War I. I have never found the book of Revelation to be worthy of the study it would take to open it to its own meaning and context. I have read it a number of times, but I have never been edified by it. It is all but nonsense to me. My good friend and admired colleague, Professor Elaine Pagels of Princeton University's department of Religion faculty, is now writing a book on Revelation. I shall read her work with delight when it is published, but I have never felt compelled personally to explore its words with any depth myself. I see this book primarily as a dated piece of first century literature and little more.

Despite this I can still say that my favorite text from Revelation is in chapter three where the author, writing to the Church of Laodicea, condemns them for being neither "hot nor cold" but "lukewarm," regarding them thereby as "wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked." As a bishop, I have known lukewarm congregations, which stand for nothing and thus have no passionate commitments. These churches will die of boredom long before they die of controversy. The love of God demands that our love go beyond our limits, confront our prejudices and call us into transformed lives. That always means that controversy is part of the Christian life.

I began this series of columns on the origin and meaning of the books of the Bible in the year 2007. It has taken me over seventy columns to complete it, interspersed as they were with treatment of the events of the day. This series has required me to go back to my library to familiarize myself anew with every book included in the sacred text, even those that I had long ago dismissed as irrelevant It has also kindled anew in me my long time love affair with this book, which began on Christmas day in 1943 when my mother gave me my first personal Bible. From that day to this, I have read it daily, going cover to cover at least twenty-five times. Some of its books I have read too many times to count. On many of its books I have spent more than a year in concentrated study. I am at this moment beginning my third year of study on the Fourth Gospel. Underneath its limited words it conveys to me a sense that all life is holy, that all life is loved and that each of us is called to be all that we are capable of being. Those are the themes that I hope our world never loses.

~~~ John Spong

I have even heard some commentators suggest that John of Patmos may have been suffering from a mental disorder.
 

Jason

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Wow thank you so much on your inputs, let me first the book entirely and for the second time i will make use of all your inputs.
 

tango

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One other thing to consider, at the end of Revelation John warns people of the consequences of adding or taking away from the message. Some people regard that as referring to the entire Bible but it's really only safe to say it refers to the words he wrote.

Although I disagree with much of the sentiment in JRT's post there is certainly merit in pointing out the number of failed predictions made relating to who or what might be the mark, the antichrist, the beast etc. It's very easy to look for some link, however tenuous, to current events so we can loudly point and shout about how it's the mark in its infancy or some such. That sort of thing tends to make Christians look foolish in the eyes of the world.

Whatever the merits of different perspectives of what, if anything, the Revelation means for us I think we can take heart in the final chapter. As my pastor put it in one of his sermons, we can jump to the end of the story and see the conclusion is "God wins".
 

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Keep in mind that John writes of the past, present and future so it's important to note them and not fall astray from context.
This single Revelation is meant for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear, stay vigilant at all times but always know that redemption has come, is, and is to come :)
God bless
 

Jason

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One of the preacher compares Book of Daniel with Revelation to get better idea. Without me reading Revelation i can't talk much now. Let me get started this week.
 

tango

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One of the preacher compares Book of Daniel with Revelation to get better idea. Without me reading Revelation i can't talk much now. Let me get started this week.
There are certainly parallels there, and parallels in Zechariah and elsewhere.
 
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