Während meiner Studien bin auf diesen Artikel der Christian Bible Reference Site gestossen. Er ist auf Englisch – ich hoffe aber, dass Ihr doch einen Eindruck dieser sachlichen Auslegung bekommen könnt.
Ich glaube, es ist wichtig, sich klar zu machen, dass Jesus kommen wird, ohne dass die Enszeits-Szenarien vielleicht so kommen werden, wie wir uns sie bisher vorstellten.
Aber schlimm genug werden sie – wie von Jesus unmissverständlich gesagt (Matth. 24, Luk. 21).
What Is the Book of Revelation About?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Revelation say only 144,000 people will go to heaven?
- Is the United States or Israel mentioned in Revelation?
- Does Revelation predict present and future events?
- What is the mark of the beast?
- What does the number 666 mean?
- What do the four horsemen represent in Revelation?
- Were the seven churches actual places?
The book of Revelation is difficult to understand and inspires a wide range of questions, especially since there are many competing interpretations.
One day in about the year 95 A.D., a man named John had a vision from heaven. The book of Revelation is John’s record of that vision (Revelation 1:9-11). John was a Christian leader of Jewish origin who was in exile on the Roman prison island of Patmos. We don’t know why John was exiled to Patmos, but it may have been for refusing to worship the Roman emperor Domitian, who had declared himself a god. Tradition says John the apostle (Mark 3:14-19) was the author of both Revelation and the Gospel of John, but that is not certain. The author does not identify himself as an apostle.
The book of Revelation (also called The Revelation of John or The Revelation of St. John the Divine) is an example of “apocalyptic” writing – a form that delivers a message using symbols, images and numbers. Parts of the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Daniel, are also written in the apocalyptic genre. Many of the symbols and images in Revelation have parallels in the Old Testament.Apocalyptic writing is characteristic of times of persecution. Some of the symbols and images in Revelation equate the Roman emperor with Satan and depict the ancient Roman Empire as the ultimate evil. As a prisoner of the Romans, John could not communicate that message in plain language, but the apocalyptic form was ideal for recording John’s heavenly vision. John’s writing would have been just nonsense to his Roman captors. But the Christians of Asia Minor were familiar with the Old Testament and the apocalyptic writings and would be able to understand it.
Revelation is also a prophecy (Revelation 1:1-3). We often think of prophecy as a prediction of the future, but the original Greek word, propheteia, means “speaking the mind of God.” A prophecy may predict the future, or it may not (Matthew 26:65-68, 1 Timothy 4:14, Revelation 19:10, 22:7).
Revelation is also known as The Apocalypse from its original Greek title. The word “apocalypse” has come to be associated with cataclysmic disaster, judgment day or the end of the world. However, its true meaning is an unveiling or revelation of things known only to God.
Revelation was written as a letter to be circulated among the Christian churches at seven important cities in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Revelation 1:9-11).Asia Minor was a region of the Roman Empire that is now the western part of the country of Turkey. Patmos is a small, rocky island off its coast. The map at right shows these sites at the time Revelation was written.
There had been several waves of persecutions of Christians by Roman authorities. The vision John received offered encouragement to persecuted Christians and assurance that God was still in control. The forces of evil, particularly the Roman Empire, would eventually be utterly destroyed by God.
Revelation offers comfort and encouragement to Christians of all ages that God is firmly in control. When the time is right, the forces of evil that seem to dominate our world will be utterly destroyed, and God’s eternal kingdom will come into its fulfillment. In particular, John’s vision offered encouragement and comfort to the persecuted Christians of Asia Minor that their suffering was not in vain. God would surely triumph and destroy the evil Roman Empire that was the source of their persecution.
Revelation often seems bizarre and incomprehensible. But understanding the apocalyptic genre, the history of the early Christians, the persecutions they faced, their fears, and the issues they debated makes it much clearer. Many of the images and symbols parallel those in Old Testament books such as Daniel. Others allude to people, places and events that were very familiar to the first century Christians of Asia Minor. Extensive research in these areas has given Bible scholars a good understanding of what John’s visions were intended to mean and how they would have been understood by their original audience in Asia Minor.Even so, many different shades of interpretation are possible, and there is still considerable debate about the meaning of some of the symbols and images. Many of the scenes in Revelation convey a strong sense of God’s infinite power and glory, and that may be its most important message of all.
Prediction of Current and Future Events
Over the centuries, there have been countless fanciful interpretations of Revelation. Many fascinating books, essays, and sermons have tried to equate the cataclysmic images in Revelation to world events and to predict when or how the “end times” would come. But the fact that none of those countless predictions has come true demonstrates the futility of trying to predict things known only to God (Matthew 24:36-50, Luke 12:40, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
In recent years, some people have understood the allusions in Revelation as references to modern events and modern nations, particularly Israel and the United States. However, most Bible scholars say the symbols in Revelation refer to events and places familiar to its intended audience – the first century Christians in Asia Minor. The book, itself, states that its message is directed at the first century Christians in Asia Minor, and that the events it describes would happen “soon” (Revelation 1: 1-4, 1:9-11, 22:10).