What is the mark of the beast?

The ‘mark of the beast’ in Rev 13.18 is the most notorious and talked-about aspect of the book. [The beast from the land] also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or … Continue Reading

Reading Revelation 4–9

If you make use of Scripture Union’s Encounter with God Bible reading notes, then you will be reading through Revelation 4–9 this week. (If you don’t, why not subscribe?) Here are the comments I wrote on these chapters; for more detailed comment, see my Grove booklet How to Read the Book of Revelation. For my notes on chapters 1 to 3, see my previous post.

Reading Revelation 1–3

If you make use of Scripture Union’s Encounter with God Bible reading notes, then you will have been reading through Revelation 1–3 this week. (If you don’t, why not subscribe?) Here are the comments I wrote on these chapters; for more detailed comment, see my Grove booklet How to Read the Book of Revelation. Revelation 1:1-20: A kaleidoscopic … Continue Reading

Will Jesus come ‘soon’ like a taxi?

I recently had a very interesting debate with Ben Witherington about whether the English word ‘taxi’ is derived from the Greek word tachus meaning ‘quickly’. (Depending on where you live, you might be wondering what the connection is.) Witherington is a leading biblical scholar amongst evangelicals in the States, and has written commentaries on every book of … Continue Reading

The meaning of the Millennium

It is curious that we get more excited about the supposed events leading up to Jesus’ second coming than we do about what that coming itself will bring. It is a bit like being more excited about the fixtures and fittings on a train than where the train is actually going to take you. My … Continue Reading

Was Revelation written about the distant future?

Both popular and academic readings of Revelation still suffer from a need to find some future supposed reference to various features of the text. This is despite considerable evidence that the text would have made good sense to its first-century readers, and that many would have been able to understand it as a depiction of … Continue Reading

Introduction to the Book of Revelation

The latest video in the St John’s Timeline project is my hour and 20-minute introduction to the Book of Revelation. In it, I explore different chapters of the book, and look at issues arising in our reading, starting with questions of genre (what kind of writing is this?), through history, cultural context, its use of … Continue Reading