I recently recorded a ‘fireside chat’ on the Book of Revelation for a conference of the Christian Residential Network. Keith Hagon asked me a number of questions, including the ones below. For fuller exploration, see my Grove booklet and my IVP Tyndale commentary.
(On some of these questions, see also the articles on this blog which are hyperlinked.)
What sort of writing is it?
Based on an answer of letter, prophecy, apocalyptic, etc, with symbols, numbers, etc, how do we read it – that is, how do we know when it’s to be taken literally (as in the 7 actual towns) and not (the horned beast)?
Why was it written and what are we to take from it now? (To include who to, when and by whom)
Does it speak to our environmental and ecological concerns—especially if God is making a new heaven and earth?
What are we to make of the present-day applications of it i.e. end time timelines and prophecies e.g. bar codes, the EU, etc.