Revelation

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Revelation

or

Apocalypse

(əpŏk`əlĭps), the last book of the New Testament. It was written c.A.D. 95 on Patmos Island off the coast of Asia Minor by an exile named John, in the wake of local persecution by the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81–96). Tradition has identified John with the disciple St. JohnJohn, Saint,
one of the Twelve Apostles, traditional author of the fourth Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation (see John, Gospel according to Saint; John, letters; Revelation); it is highly unlikely, however, that all five works were written by the same author.
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, but many scholars deny such authorship. They also disagree as to whether this book has common authorship with the Gospel or with First, Second, and Third John. The book is an apocalypse, comprising visions of victory over evil and persecution and of the triumph of God and the martyrs. Its structure is deliberate, depending heavily on patterns of sevens. It consists of letters counseling and warning seven churches in Asia Minor; the opening of the seven seals on the scroll in the hand of God, four revealing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; the blowing of seven trumpets by angels before God's throne; the seven visions, including a seven-headed dragon (Satan) and the rising from the sea of the Beast, related to the Emperor Nero (persecutor of Christians in Rome after the great fire of A.D. 64), whose name is numerically equivalent to 666; the seven plagues; the seven-headed harlot named Babylon, representing the Roman Empire; and visions of heaven, the defeat of Satan, the judgment, the millennial reign of Christ, and the New Jerusalem. Constant allusion occurs to earlier scriptural prophecies, such as EzekielEzekiel
, prophetic book of the Bible. The book is a collection of oracles emanating from the career of the priest Ezekiel, who preached to Jews of the Babylonian captivity from 593 B.C. to 563 B.C. (according to the chronology given in the book itself in chapters 1 and 2).
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, DanielDaniel,
book of the Bible. It combines "court" tales, perhaps originating from the 6th cent. B.C., and a series of apocalyptic visions arising from the time of the Maccabean emergency (167–164 B.C.
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, and IsaiahIsaiah
, prophetic book of the Bible. It is a collection of prophecies from a 300-year period attributed to Isaiah, who may have been a priest. Some scholars argue that a long-lived "school" of Isaiah preserved his oracles and supplemented them in succeeding centuries.
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. One immediate goal of Revelation was to encourage persecuted Christians; absolute assurance of interpretation stops there. Every period of Christian history has produced variant explanations of the book's mysteries. See apocalypseapocalypse
[Gr.,=uncovering], genre represented in early Jewish and in Christian literature in which the secrets of the heavenly world or of the world to come are revealed by angelic mediation within a narrative framework.
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.

Bibliography

See studies by G. E. Ladd (1972), D. H. Lawrence (1972), G. B. Caird (1980), L. Morris (1987), A. Y. Collins (1988), J. P. M. Sweet (1990), R. Wall (1991), J. Kirsch (2006), and E. Pagels (2012).

Revelation

final book of the New Testament discussing the coming of the world’s end. [N.T.: Revelation]

revelation

Christianity
a. God's disclosure of his own nature and his purpose for mankind, esp through the words of human intermediaries
b. something in which such a divine disclosure is contained, such as the Bible

Revelation

the last book of the New Testament, containing visionary descriptions of heaven, of conflicts between good and evil, and of the end of the world. Also called: the Apocalypse, the Revelation of Saint John the Divine