The book of revelation is the last book of the new testament and consequently, in the Christian bible. The book uses the apocalyptic and prophetic literary genre in its entirety. The message in the book of revelation is that God will come to judge and redeem. There will be a clash of powers of evil before God establishes his kingdom. The prophecies both acts to warm and to comfort the people. The key to interpreting the book of Revelation is to understand four key perspectives; the author, date, the original targeted audience, and its historical background.
The author of the book of revelation was John the Apostle. The name is mentioned in parts of the book as the sole author of the book. The book was written in Greek and used the apocalyptic genre different from other John’s works (Allen, 2017). This shows that he had a different agenda to put across to his original audience when writing the book. According to Revelations, he wrote the book while in Patmos, an island in the Aegean Sea. The island is rocky and devoid of trees and was as a punishment by the Roman Empire. John received the visions from God but used his own words to portray the visions in ways that were most suitable for the original audience. John’s work was to record the visions and send them to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Like the book of John, where he selected the material to be portrayed, the book of revelation may have been designed to suit a particular audience.
The book is presumed to have been written at the time when believers were being persecuted because of their faith. The emperor at the time was pressuring the people to worship him (Thomas & Macchia, 2016). The original audience of the book of revelations was the seven churches in Asia Minor. The Christians were enduring temptations to turn from Christianity, and each church received rebuke or encouragement, depending on its condition. The historical background of writing the book was the doctrine of the last days and the role of biblical prophets. The message was to encourage the Christians at the time not to give in to temptations and that God would come for them after conquering the evil powers. This analysis allows the reader of the book of Revelation to critically examine the book from an original audience perspective and helps understand the book better.
Allen, G. V. (2017). The Book of Revelation and Early Jewish Textual Culture (Vol. 168). Cambridge University Press.
Thomas, J. C., & Macchia, F. D. (2016). Revelation. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.