Revelation is a book politely ignored by many mainstream
Christians, who have considered it the eccentric cousin in the canon, best kept at a discrete
distance. It has but a meager presence in the lectionary, although its
imagery has found its way into many beloved hymns. Its visions have
spawned numerous interpretations through the ages. Some see it as a book
of encoded prophecy which can be unlocked to reveal future happenings;
others as poetic descriptions of timeless truths; and still others as
oblique descriptions of past events. The book is an example of an
established literary form foreign to most modern readers known as
apocalyptic literature, in which a seer ascends in a heavenly journey,
receiving visions interpreted by angelic guides.
We studied Revelation from Jan 11, 2004 to Feb. 29, 2004, using the video series by
Professor Craig Koester of Luther Seminary
Is This the Time.
Interpreting the Mystery of Revelation,
Luther Productions, St. Paul, Minnesota,
2003; supplemented by Dr. Koester's book,
Revelation and the End of All
Publishing, Grand Rapids / Cambridge, 2001, ISBN 0-8028-4660-2.
The sessions were (based on chapter titles in Dr.
1. Interpreting the Mystery
2. Christ and the Churches (Revelation 1-3)
3. The Scroll Unsealed (Revelation 4-7)
4. Trumpets of Terror and Hope (Revelation 8-11)
5. The Beast and the Lamb (Revelation 12-15)
6. The Harlot and the Bride (Revelation 15-19)
7. The End (Revelation 19-22)