The ESV Bible gives an extensive intro into the book of Revelation. I will highlight some of the background information provided in this before we actually get into the book. Again, this is mostly for my own thoughts to process but any comments or suggestions of study is appreciated!
Author: John, son of Zebedee the 'beloved disciple.' John authored the Fourth Gospel and three NT epistles. The divine author is obviously Jesus Christ and John is merely relaying the information that was presented to him while in Patmos, an island in which John was banned to for sharing the Gospel.
Date: It is estimated that the book was written between 95-96 A.D. based on the reign of Domitian's along with the churches described in the first three chapters of Revelation.
Place: John wrote the book while in exile on Patmos which is just west of Asia--at the time he was banned from Ephesus which is about 75 miles from the island.
Theme: I really like the ESV concordance because it gives the themes with references supporting it here are the themes with references:
- Jesus Christ has conquered Satan and has ransomed people from every nation to become a kingdom of priests who gladly serve in God's presence (1:5,18;5:5-10; 12; 1-11)
- Jesus Christ is present among his churches on earth through his Holy Spirit, and he knows their trials, triumphs and failures (1:12-3:22)
- World history, including its woes and disasters, is firmly in the control of Jesus, the victorious Lamb (5:1-8:1)
- God is restraining his own wrath and his enemies' efforts to destroy the church as he patiently gathers his redeemed people through the testimony that his suffering people proclaim about Jesus (6:5-11; 7:1-3; 8:6-12, 9:4-6,18;11:3-7; 12:6, 12-17)
- Present disasters, though limited in scope by God's restraint, are foreshadows and warnings of judgements to come (6:3-16; 8:6-13; 16:1-21; 20:11-15)
- Maintaining faith to the death, believers in Jesus will conquer both the dragon and the beast. The martyrs' victory, now hidden, will be manifest in their vindication at Christ's return (2:12-11, 26-29; 3:11-13; 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 11:7-12, 17-18; 12:10-11; 14:1-5;15:20:4-6)
- Satan's attacks the church's perseverance and purity through violent persecution, through deceptive teaching, and through affluence and sensual pleasure (2:1-3:22; 13:1-18;17:1-18:24)
- At the end of the age, the church's opponents will intensify persecution, but Jesus, the triumphant Word of God, will defeat and destroy his enemies; the old heaven and earth, stained with sin and suffering, will be replaced by the new heaven and earth; and the church will be presented as a bride in luminous purity to her husband, the Lamb ( 16:12-16; 19:11-21; 20:7-22:5)
Again, this is all from the concordance from "Introduction to Revelation" within the ESV study Bible, so I am not making any claims to these wordings, and perhaps I will find other little themes or subjects as I read, but It's just nice to have a 'heads up' on what Revelation is about so that we can better study it with context of other books of the Bible as well. My goal is go through chapter by chapter and write a response on each one; perform some word searches on critical words and do some cross referencing with books. It's a lot of work but I am excited !
I found an online source/copy of the ESV study Bible! Here's the Link:
Oh ps: Another area that the introduction touches on is the "Schools of Interpretation" which compares four approaches to studying Revelation---I would like to present some of that too--just so we can have an idea of what words like "Pretribulational Premillennialism" mean and why people believe that way and perhaps you will find that you agree more with one approach than the other. I am not intending on debating my personal view, but I would actually like to just come closer to understanding what they mean! :) I feel so behind in escatology.