10 Things You Gotta Know About Revelation

You gotta know these 10 things about Revelation. You just gotta!

1. It’s the book of Revelation not Revelations. Don’t say “I iz reading Revelations whilst Ma is cooks up some possum pie. It’s pertnear my favrit book. I think I’ll go read it by the cement pond.” That sounds ignorant all because you made Revelation plural. Don’t be ignorant!

It’s also not the Revelation of John. It’s the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Even if the heading in your Bible says the Revelation of John (the headings aren’t inspired – they’re put there by the publisher).

2. John is the writer of Revelation and a MUCH bigger deal than you. Or me.
John had left the fishing business to follow Jesus. He followed Jesus for three years of ministry. He saw people raised from the dead, and saw Jesus walk on the water. John was at the last supper, there when Jesus was arrested, there as Jesus died on the cross – in fact the ONLY disciple there – all the others fled. Jesus told John to take care of Mary (Jesus’ mother). He was there at the empty tomb; he was among the first to believe. Nobody has lived a life like John lived. 

Jesus loves you
    John could wear this shirt.

3. He was known as the “beloved disciple”  or “the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 21:20).” It would not be an overstatement to say that John considered Jesus to be his “best friend.”

4. John wrote John, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.

5. John is about 100 years old.

6. John is banished on an island for criminals – Isle of Patmos – by the Emperor Domitian. Why? Because he wouldn’t shut up about Jesus. This is where he writes Revelation.

7. John survived martyrdom. Tradition says that he was boiled in a huge basin of oil during a wave of persecution in Rome (I tend to believe it though there’s no conclusive proof). However, he was miraculously delivered from death. The apostle John was later freed and returned to what is now modern-day Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

John couldn’t do this re: Jesus. And so he’s banished. 

8. He pastors/shepherds the seven churches he’s writing to in Revelation 1.

9. John didn’t fail. 100 years old, boiled in oil, banished to an island for criminals, still a faithful witness for King Jesus, his best friend. John lived a life far beyond anything we can imagine. For all the base jumping, cliff diving, ice climbing and BMXing out there – it’s nothing compared to the life John lived.

10. You’ll never find out when it all ends by studying numerology or Bible codes or Scrabble boards or by counting cards in Vegas (just in case you were wondering). And that’s not the point of the book. Jesus says Himself that no one but the Father knows (Matthew 24:36). 

The point of the book is to encourage persecuted believers, that in spite of any emperor’s hatred and even murder of Christians, King Jesus wins in the end. The Christian life is not trial free, but trial proof, not persecution free, but persecution proof, not tribulation free, but tribulation proof.

The point of the book is this: King Jesus gets the last word, He wins in the end, and so take heart! He will draw all of His to Himself to live with Him forever. Amen.

 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Revelation 1:8 (NLT)



3 thoughts on “10 Things You Gotta Know About Revelation

  1. Three Points Regarding Revelation

    1. This Is Not The John You’re Looking For.
    Common tradition tends to link the author of Revelation to John the disciple. However, the evidence for this claim is tenuous. In contemporary scholarship, the relationship is often rejected due to the stylistic differences between the two books. As New Testament scholar L. Michael White notes, “On the basis of style, vocabulary, and tone, it is most unlikely that it was written by the same author who wrote the Gospel of John.” But this is not just a contemporary rationalization. As far back as the third century A.D., many powerful Christian leaders questioned the link. Perhaps the most famous of these dissenters was Dionysius, the bishop of Alexandria, who wrote,

    “The one who wrote these things calls himself John, and we should believe him. But it is not clear which John he was. For he doesn’t call himself the disciple whom the Lord loved-as happens often in the Gospel- nor does he say that he was the one who leaned on Jesus’ breast or that he was the brother of James, who both saw and heard the Lord. But surely he would have described himself in these ways if he had wanted to make himself clearly known… I think [therefore] that there must have been another John living among the Christians in Asia Minor, just as they say that there are two different tombs in Ephesus, both of them allegedly John’s.
    The phrasing itself also helps to differentiate between the Gospel and Epistle [of John] on the one hand and the book of Revelation on the other. The first two are written without errors in the Greek, but also with real skill with respect to vocabulary, logic, and coherence of meaning. You won’t find any barbaric expression, grammatical flaw, or vulgar expression in them… I don’t deny that this other author had revelations… but I notice that in neither language nor style does he write accurate Greek. He makes use of barbaric expressions and is sometimes guilty even of grammatical error… I don’t say this in order to accuse him (far from it!), but simply to demonstrate that the two books are not at all similar.”

    Taken cumulatively, these obstacles make it highly unlikely that Revelation was written by the same person who wrote the Gospel of John (assuming that was the disciple John which is also unlikely for a separate set of reasons). Are we to assume that John’s writing skills suddenly vanished? Are we to overlook the fact that he gives no indication of being present with the apostles he witnesses (rev 4:4, 21:14)? For most people, as with most scholars, I suspect the answer is no. Nevertheless, it is certainly possible that the author was claiming the authority of John as this was a frequent practice in early apocalyptic literature.

    2. Unknown Epilogue.
    One question many Christians ask, with good reason, is a simple one: What on earth happened to John anyways? Of course, in light of the previous section, the answer will vary depending on which John we are talking about. If we are referring to John the disciple, the evidence is inconclusive. We have very little to draw on besides rumour and hearsay but what we do have consists of a consistent trend among later legends locating him in Ephesus, often after Domitian’s reign. As for his miraculous survival of execution and other feats, these are based on legendary accounts written decades after John’s death that hold little to no historical value. One primary source of these legend is the Acts of John, a creative work that, along with the fact that it was later deemed heretical, holds no claim to any historical foundation. Additionally, the work that contains the legend of John’s encounter with boiling oil was written at least 100 years after the death of John. To claim any measure of certainty with regard to these events is a stretch to say the least.

    3. One Of These Is Not Like The Other.
    When we open the Bible today, Revelation fits just as snugly in the canon as every other book in the New Testament. But has this always been the case? Far from it. In the first few centuries of Christianity, there was much debate over which texts should be considered “canonical.” Among these texts, some were more disputed than others. For the most part, the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles were widely considered to be scripture from a very early period. Other books such as The Shepherd of Hermas and Revelation were the subject of much more controversy. In fact, Revelation caused so much tension among the early Christian communities that, as late as the fourth century, Eusebius continued to remain uncertain about its status. It was not until Athanasius finalized his canon in 367 A.D. that we finally see Revelation acquire a solid foundation in the Christian tradition.


    1. Shane! Love you young man! Good to see your name. Miss you from the front row back in the day!

      As you might imagine, I completely disagree with much of what you wrote and could offer counterpoints by theologians for each point : )

      You lost me when you quoted Michael White. Without going into detail (not the point here) he’s a guy who doesn’t believe the Gospels are factual but DOES believe that his analysis words used for homosexuality in the Bible is factual, and even superior to every translation and every lexicon. When someone goes down that road, life is much, much too short (on this earth anyway) for me to waste my time following after (or arguing about). I think he misses the point because, as 1 Corinthians 2:14 says “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness…”

      Thanks for commenting though!


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