A verse-by-verse exegetical commentary on the New Testament Greek text



The book of Revelation was most likely written during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian, AD.81-96, during a time of great persecution for the Christian church. We are not sure who wrote the book of Revelation, although early tradition holds that John the apostle was the author. It is written as a letter in an apocalyptic literary style which uses conventional symbols of the time. It is written with particular reference to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia, western Asia Minor, although applicable to all Christian churches. The author defines his work as "prophecy", although in simple terms we might define it as a word of encouragement for believers going through difficult times.

The structure of Revelation

Prologue, 1:1-8

Greeting, doxology and prophetic sayings, 1:1-8

John's vision of the risen Christ in Patmos, 1:9-20

John's call to the prophetic ministry, 1:9-20

The letters to the seven churches, 2:1-3:22

i] Ephesus, 2:1-7

ii] Smyrna, 2:8-11

iii] Pergamum, 2:12-17

iv] Thyaitira, 2:18-29

v] Sardis, 3:1-6

vi] Philadelphia, 3:7-3:13

vii] Laodicea, 3:14-22

The vision of God and the Lamb, 4:1-5:14

The key to John's visions and theology

i] Adoration of the Creator, 4:1-11

ii] Adoration of the Lamb, 5:1-10

iii] Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, 5:11-14

The messianic judgments, 6:1-16:21

Three "action replays" of the judgment at the end of the age

1. The judgment of the seven seals, 6:1-8:1

i] The opening of the first four seals, 6:1-8

ii] The opening of the fifth seal, 6:9-11

iii] The opening of the sixth seal, 6:12-17

iv] Interlude #1. The sealing of God's servants, 7:1-8

v] Interlude # 2. The Lamb is the shepherd, 7:9-17

vi] The opening of the seventh seal, 8:1

2. The judgment of the seven trumpets, 8:2-11:18

i] Preparing to sound the trumpets, 8:2-6

ii] Sounding the first four trumpets, 8:7-13

iii] Sounding the fifth trumpet, 9:1-12

iv] Sounding the sixth trumpet, 9:13-11:14

v] Interlude #3a. The mighty angel and the little scroll, 10:1-11

vi] Interlude #3b. The two witnesses, 11:1-14

vii] Sounding the seventh trumpet, 11:15-18

Interlude # 4. The holy war between the church and evil powers, 11:19-15:4

i] Introduction. The security of the saints, 11:19

ii] The woman and the dragon, 12:1-6

iii] War in heaven, 12:7-17

iv] The evil of political power, 13:1-10

v] The evil of false ideologies, 13:11-18

vi] The triumph of the redeemed and the Lamb, 14:1-5

vii] The church militant, 14:6-13

viii] Life and judgment, 14:14-20

ix] The church triumphant, 15:1-4

3. The judgment of the seven bowls, 15:5-16:21

i] The angels prepare for judgment, 15:5-8

ii] The outpouring of the first three bowls, 16:1-7

iii] The outpouring of the fourth, fifth and sixth bowl, 16:8-16

iv] The outpouring of the seventh bowl, the final judgment, 16:17-21

The reign and ruin of the Antichrist, 17:1-19:10

In the coming of Christ the antichrist's kingdom self-destructs

i] The great harlot, Babylon, 17:1-6a

ii] The beast, the harlot and the ten kings, 17:6b-18

iii] The judgment of Babylon, 18:1-8

iv] The three woes - a lament for Babylon, 18:9-19

v] Babylon remembered, 18:20-24

vi] The marriage of the Lamb - vindication, 19:1-10

The revelation of Christ, 19:11-22:5

The last judgment, the new creation, the city of God,

i] The coming king and his armies, 19:11-16

ii] The defeat of the beasts, 19:17-21

iii] The millennia bondage of Satan, 20:1-4

iv] The millennia reign of the saints and the defeat of Gog, 20:6-10

v] The final judgment, 20:11-15

vi] New heavens and a new earth, 21:1-8

vii] The new Jerusalem, 21:9-21

viii] Paradise regained, 21:22-22:5

ix] Instructions and exhortations, 22:6-21

Epilogue, 22:6-21

i] General testimonies to Christ, 22:6-11

ii] The testimony of Jesus, 22:6-21

Bibliography: Commentaries - Revelation

Aune, Word. Brighton, Concordia Commentaries. Bauckham, NTT & The Climax of Prophecy. Beale, NIGTC. Beasley-Murray, NCB. Blount, NTL, 2009. Caird, Blacks. Charles, ICC, 1920. Ford, Anchor. Glasson, CBC. Goldsworthy, The Gospel in Revelation, Paternoster. Love, Layman's. Massyngberde, Anchor, 1975. Morris, Tyndale, 2nd. ed. 1987. Mounce, NICNT. Osborne, BECNT. Preston & Hanson, Torch. Reddish, Smyth & Helways Commentaries. Richardson, MPA, 1996. Smalley, IVP. Strelan, ChiRho. New ed. Openbook, Where Earth Meets Heaven, 1994. Sweet, Pelican. Thomas, Moody. Turner, BECNT. Wilcock, BST. Witherington, NCBC, 2003.


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