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Book of Revelation

Revelation is the 11th book of the Christian New Testament. The author identifies himself as John. Revelation is one of the longest books of the New Testament at 22 chapters. It was likely written between 90-100 A.D. John reports that the vision that fill the book came to him while he was on the island of Patmos. The original recipients are identified as the seven churches of Asia (cf. 1:4). The purpose of the book is to relate a vision of the end times so that believers will be prepared. Its main teaching emphasis concerns the end times.

The writer calls himself John (Revelation 1:1,4,9; 22:8). Justin Martyr (Dialogues 308, 139-161) quotes it as the apostle John's work, referring to the millennium and general resurrection and judgment. Justin held his controversy with the learned Jew Trypho at Ephesus, John's residence 35 years previously; he says "the Revelation was given to John, one of the twelve apostles of Christ." Melito, bishop of Sardis (A.D. 171), one of the seven churches whose angel was reproved (Rev. 3:1), is said by Eusebius (H.E. iv. 26) to have written on the Revelation of John.

Fast Facts

Length: 22 chapters

Author: Apostle John or John the Presbyter

Date: c. 95 AD, probably during the persecution of Domitian

Place of Origin: Unknown; the vision John relates came to him on Patmos

Destination: "The seven churches in the province of Asia" (1:4)

Purpose: To relate a vision of the end times so that believers will be prepared

Characteristics: Apocalyptic, highly symbolic, frequent use of the number seven

Emphases: Eschatology, perseverance during persecution

Early opinion: "There was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied by a revelation that was made to him. He prophesied that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 81, c. 160 AD) "In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord's disciples what will happen n the last times, and concerning the ten kings who will then arise, among whom the empire which now rules the earth shall be partitioned." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 26.1, c. 180)