Studying Book of Revelation & confused


#1

My faith sharing group is studying the Book of Revelation using Little Rock Scripture Study series by Catherine Cory. This is not an “instructor led” class, we are learning together - and would like to learn enough about the Revelation to be able to share it with others. I missed several weeks so I am trying to catch up. (the group is on Ch 10-11 & I am on Ch 4-5) Mostly I am confused by the different views and interpretations of the events and visions. I have looked for other resources & find more sources of confusion. So far, I have read the Chapter (29?) in Scott Hahn’s “Understanding the Scriptures” - very helpful but also quite brief (intended audience is high school). I also purchased the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (covering the letters of St John and the Revelation) which seems to be a good companion to the Little Rock series. My Protestant friend seems quite interested in my Catholic study of Revelation, but the resources she suggests might be anti-Catholic. Are there any other resources I can search for a Catholic understanding of Revelation? Do I need to understand the differences in what the Protestants believe about Revelation?


#2

You’re not alone…Revelation is confusing. :hmmm:

Really should have a good moderator.


#3

We have a group facilitator who has as many questions as the rest of the group and was also looking for additional resources. The problem is that there is no “class” offered that is accessible to the average person and no “teacher” to present it. Little Rock does a pretty good job of presenting the Scripture and commentary and cross referencing with OT & NT passages. The participants have study questions & the facilitator’s guide provides answers to the study questions, except when individual responses are needed to reflect on personal experiences & current applications. The Ignatius Study Bible also has Scripture, commentary, cross reference & study questions, but no facilitator’s answer guide.


#4

The Gospels are living and we are still learning what it says. See if this helps catholic-resources.org/Bible/Revelation.htm
m.facebook.com/FrMitchPacwaSJ/posts/225751347441161


#5

The problem is not with the Book of Revelation itself. It is not that difficult.

Understanding the themes and imagery in Revelation is reasonably easy if one has read and studied what comes before it. You can’t expect to understand the end of a book if you didn’t read and understand the beginning of the book. That’s the biggest mistake people make - attempting to understand Revelation apart from the rest of the Bible. Revelation is at the end for a reason. You are expected to have read and understood what comes before it.

The second problem is that Little Rock Scripture Study stinks. I have been through two of their studies and I don’t know how else to put it. They are just horrible studies.

I highly recommend getting into The Bible Timeline by Jeff Cavins/Great Adventure. This is a 24 week overview study of the 17 major books of the Old and New Testament. It will set the stage for further study of Revelation.

I have facilitated The Bible Timeline in my home twice and have led Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come in my home once. The Great Adventure series is excellent.

-Tim-


#6

Thank you. I can look for some of these titles. I already have “The Lamb’s Supper”. And I will definitely watch Fr. Mitch’s segment on You Tube. I agree. We are always learning


#7

Tim,
I was looking at “The Great Adventure”. We had just completed Little Rock study of Luke and John. It seemed logical to follow the Johannine letters with Revelation


#8

My reply would be that a fuller understanding of Revelation comes with a an understanding of the Old Testament. Revelation draws especially on Daniel and Ezekiel and it helps to understand who they were in the context of Israel’s history and what their message was.

Remember that John was a Jew. He wrote the Book of Revelation to seven Churches struggling with persecution for their refusal to worship the Roman emperors - that is the reason Revelation was written. It’s theme was that if you persevere to the end you will saved. John’s entire view of the situation in Asia Minor was based on the Old Testament Scriptures and their fulfillment in the person of Jesus. His audience was expected to know the references to Daniel and Ezekiel and expected to understand his veiled references to what were the current events of his time.

Seven trips into heaven. Seven seals. Seven trumpets. Seven bowls of wrath. The elders and angels. Much of it is based on the Old Testament. Beast and dragons and symbolic numbers were all based on contemporary events at the time the book was written.

-Tim-


#9

Yes, I agree it would have been helpful to have done a little OT study first. I will look up Daniel and Ezekiel in the “Understanding the Scriptures” (Scott Hahn) textbook


#10

It can be extremely confusing when making reference to different commentaries and study resources because there are so many ways the book can be approached. I have studied many commentaries on Revelation, and some of the greatest theologians have struggled with it. But dont be fooled, nobody can claim that they have the one correct interpretation because this book is so deep and has so many layers of meaning. The book can be understood historical, present, and futuristic, not to mention it can be approached as Eucharistic, Christilogical, and Ecclesiastical. If a person can grasp that this book can be studied this way, then the reader can appreciate all sorts of commentaries. The scholastics such as Hugh of St. Cher and St. Albert the Great do a great job of providing the different senses, though their commentaries are not in English. Nicholas of lyra provides a blend of future and historical approaches. The Glossa Ordinaria on Revelation, which I am having translated and will be publishing soon provides the best balanced commentary I have ever seen on Revelation, has a lot of St. Anselm of Leon St. Bede and Haimo of Auxerre.

The Church Fathers and ancient Christians provide great commentaries, such as Bede, Oecumenius, Andrew of Caesarea, Victorinus, and St. Augustine on chapter 20.


#11

It can be extremely confusing when making reference to different commentaries and study resources because there are so many ways the book can be approached. I have studied many commentaries on Revelation, and some of the greatest theologians have struggled with it. But dont be fooled, nobody can claim that they have the one correct interpretation because this book is so deep and has so many layers of meaning. The book can be understood historical, present, and futuristic, not to mention it can be approached as Eucharistic, Christilogical, and Ecclesiastical. If a person can grasp that this book can be studied this way, then the reader can appreciate all sorts of commentaries. The scholastics such as Hugh of St. Cher and St. Albert the Great do a great job of providing the different senses, though their commentaries are not in English. Nicholas of lyra provides a blend of future and historical approaches. The Glossa Ordinaria on Revelation, which I am having translated and will be publishing soon provides the best balanced commentary I have ever seen on Revelation, has a lot of St. Anselm of Leon St. Bede and Haimo of Auxerre.

The Church Fathers and ancient Christians provide great commentaries, such as Bede, Oecumenius, Andrew of Caesarea, Victorinus, and St. Augustine on chapter 20.


#12

Coming Soon, by Michael Barber, is also a good book to help understand the symbols and signs in Revelation from a Catholic perspective…


#13

Scott Hahn has a 1-hour CD from Lighthouse Catholic Media called “Unlocking the Book of Revelation” ($3.00 plus postage), as well as a 12 CD set with 170-page book called "The End: A Study of the Book of Revelation. ($85 for the set).

I have the CD, it’s excellent but of course, the book/CD set I imagine must be very thorough.


#14

Scott Hahn’s book The Lamb’s Supper deals primarily with Revelation. If you are looking to understand Revelation, this is the book for you. It’s not very long, either–only about 175 pages.


#15

Scott Hahn’s book The Lamb’s Supper deals primarily with the book of Revelation. If you are looking to understand Revelation, this is the book for you. It’s not very long, either–only about 175 pages.


#16

At least I am not alone in being confused.:slight_smile: Thanks for the links.

Jeff Cavins DVD series is expensive - even used. Not sure that a group could just use the study guide without the DVDs. Little Rock is basic - Scripture, commentary, study questions and leader’s answer guide. We have used several of their programs - Women of the Old Testament, Women of the New Testament, Luke, John & the Johannine letters, and now Revelation. The commentary is from New Collegeville Bible Commentary - maybe not the best commentary, which is why I was looking for something more. So far, the Ignatius Study Bible has been a good companion commentary. Someone on another thread about Bible Resources suggested the Aquinas Study Bible which is all online & includes several commentaries, even some of the historical commentary translations.

I downloaded 2 FREE mp3’s from CA - I think one was Michael Barber or Thomas Smith on Unlocking the Book of Revelation - will listen again. And read the chapters on Daniel & Ezekiel in the “Understanding the Scriptures” Textbook (Scott Hahn).


#17

You could get a group to chip in for the DVD’s. Ten people would put the cost at less than $20 each and you could group buy the study guides to reduce shipping cost.

You could approach your pastor about starting parish subsidized studies. Great Adventure flew three people from Minnesota to Atlanta to train our small-group facilitators. My parish buys the DVDs and the individual students buy the study guides. We pay the parish for the study guides when we sign up for any given study and they are ordered.

Great Adventure is expensive but excellent. They are Catholic from the ground up, faithful to the Church with references to the Catechism, Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church and Encyclicals. I have been through five of them and am starting my sixth after Easter. I think they are worth it.

-Tim-


#18

Yes, I have read The Lamb’s Supper and also have an audio CD of Scott Hahn’s talk.

I am in the process of reading Ezekiel & Daniel. Also very difficult to understand what is actually prophetic and what is imagery for effect. Someone suggested that I use the Living Bible - however the only copy I have is the Protestant version. (I had the Catholic version at one time, but it was not among any of my books or my mom’s books). While this did not seem problematic at first, I have learned that Daniel is missing several chapters in the Protestant version. I will try using the NAB or RSV for Daniel. (I am not a fan of the Douay-Rheims - too difficult to navigate the language)

I downloaded the Catholic Encyclopedia app, then found the entire CE here on CA. :slight_smile: Another commentary I found helpful for Ezekiel was Fr. Most.


#19

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