Revelation

Updated 1.15.18

Course Description:

This course is a survey of the last book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation. It seeks to answer the following questions, “What did John say?” and “Why did he mean?” in the historical context of the first century. We seek to explain the intent of the author and the complex symbolism of Revelation. In the process, we seek to answer “How is it relevant for the church today?”

Download the Revelation Syllabus

Download the Revelation Study Guide

Course Requirements

There is a lesson for each chapter of Revelation. You may work together in groups. Each student is required to complete and turn in 8 of the 22 worksheets. There are extensive notes on the website to assist you.

Print handouts will be kept at a minimum in order to keep copying costs to a minimum. Course notes and more will be posted on the website. Register and access these downloads. Please check the site weekly for the notes before coming to class. If there are any special topics you would like to discuss, please let me know by sending me an email (johnruffin@gmail.com).

Course Topics and Outline

Daniel 7: Picking up where Daniel left off
Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature
Revelation 1: Prologue
Revelation 12: From the middle out
Revelation 1–3: First-Century church under Rome
Revelation 4-5: As Above So Below
Revelation 6-9: The Time of Tribulation
Revelation 10-11: A Pause and Preparation
Revelation 13-18: The Sytem, the Slaves, and the Saints
Revelation 19–21: The New Heaven, the New City and the New Earth
Revelation 22: Epilogue

Course Documents:

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Course Requirements:

  • Read through the Book of Revelation in one sitting.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • Complete assigned reading for each week (10%)
  • Complete eight (8) homework assignments for each week (80%)
  • Handouts and additional notes will be provided on the web site.

Course Articles:

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Recommended Books and Commentaries

B = Beginner; I = Intermediate, A = Advanced

  • Aune, David E. Revelation (Word Biblical Commentary 52A–C) 3 vols. Nashville: Nelson, 1997. (A)
  • Barr, David L. Reading the Book of Revelation: A Resource for Students. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. (I)
  • ___. Tales of the End: A Narrative Commentary of the Book of Revelation. Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 1995. (I)
  • Beale, G. The Book of Revelation (The New International Greek Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans & The Paternoster Press, 1999. (A)
  • Metzger, Bruce M. Breaking the Code: Understanding the Book of Revelation. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993. (B)
  • Thompson, Leonard L. Revelation (Abingdon New Testament Comentary). Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998. (I)
  • Witherington, Ben. Revelation (The New Cambridge Bible Commentary). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2003. (I)
  • The Harper Collins Study Bible (NRSV). Society of Biblical Literature. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993. (scholarly and non-devotional)