Bk of Revelation: I think I understand it

I’ve had a while to prepare for an upcoming local presentation of the study of Revelation from Ascension Press. And, my method is to read and study in a quiet place – which I have (for better or for worse).

In addition to the study guide from ascension press, I re-read Dr. Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper” which is mostly about the Mass, but with its tie-ins to the book of Revelation and with some really deep thoughts of spirituality from Hahn that are “right on the money.” (essential reading, if you can)

Revelation is a scary book – monsters, beasts, plagues ( sin, in visual form), the wrath of God, final judgment. What ties this together is how scary sin is. And, that’s how the book starts out, really, with a threat to the seven churches of Asia Minor that their “lampstand” – Jesus Christ – could be taken away from them. WHAT could be scarier than that? – to lose our salvation?

Jeff Cavens of Ascension press works through the symbolism in Revelation – very well – (and I haven’t even seen the videos for this course yet).

Is my name written in the book of life? (very scary thought)

All of my deeds are going to be revealed? (very, very scary thought)

What Cavens hasn’t emphasized at least in the study book portion, is how this letter was written primarily to Jewish Christians in Asia Minor. they should very quickly understand the significance in the opening chapters of losing their “lampstand.” What is that shorthand for? The menorah (“lampstand”) in the wilderness and Jerusalem temples was a physical reminder of God speaking to Israel through Moses at the burning bush. And, so to lose the lampstand refers to God withdrawing from their presence. – very, very Old Testament scary, and now, New Testament scary too. (I may have nightmares tonight - the horror of sin.)

Reformer Martin Luther is said to have almost eliminated this book from his German translation of the Bible, because of all the wild symbolism. Too bad he could’t have talked with Cavens and Hahn.

The non-scary parts of Revelation are the marriage feast of the Lamb – Christ and His Church. Eternal bliss. No pain. No tears. Things of old are forgotten. Hallelujah.

Very good post.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

After reading so many commentaries on Revelation, from all different viewpoints, but not Scott Hahn’s–which I must get, I’ve reached my own conclusions too-right or wrong.

I’ve read that the Church doesn’t really try to analyze the Book verse by verse, but recognizes the vastness of the book and, even though it espouses various ideas, mostly leaves it open to interpretation. So I think we are free to reach some of our own conclusions, as long as it doesn’t directly oppose church teaching.

I too think that the symbolism is rich in Jewish tradition and an understanding of Judaism is helpful–such as the Menorah-which you mentioned, and that the garments Jesus is pictured wearing are reminiscent of the high priest’s garments.


Thank you and God Bless, Memaw


" The cries for vengeance on the lips of Christian martyrs that sound so harsh are in fact literary devices the author employed to evoke in the reader and hearer a feeling of** horror **for apostasy and rebellion that will be severely punished by God."

Yes, precisely, horror, thank you. There’s more horror in the book that that one example, cited by the USCCB essay. But, it’s the same horror over and over. If you don’t catch it right away, you’re bound to pick it up later – like giant hailstones raining down on people who yet don’t get it – people who say, "yeah, these are really big hailstones. Must be (take your pick) the Russians, the N. Koreans, ISIS, or DoD playing with the weather. "

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