The Book of Revelation Is Not Apocalyptic Literature

It may seem odd to suggest that the book entitled Apocalupsis does not belong to the genre of literature commonly referred to as apocalyptic. Nonetheless that is my suggestion here. The term employed in the title of the book denotes a revelation or disclosure.1 While this particular revealing or disclosing describes a broad swathe of eschatological events, it is not its own literary genre.

Apocalyptic as a genre is described as “characteristically pseudonymous; it takes narrative form, employs esoteric language, expresses a pessimistic view of the present, and treats the final events as imminent.”2 Henry Barclay Swete (Cambridge), even while arguing that Revelation is apocalyptic literature, admits that the book differs from that genre, in that the book of Revelation (1) is not pseudepigraphic, (2) engages a specific audience (seven churches), (3) has a significant church focus, rather than a purely Israel nation-centered focus, and (4) includes notes of insight and foresight that are more indicative of inspiration than is found in earlier extra-biblical apocalyptic literature.3

Discussion

How Close Are We?

Body

“Never view the world circumstances or any events with a temporal viewpoint. Recognize that God is constantly seeing the big picture while we normally see what is taking place day by day.” - P&D

Discussion

The Purveyors of ‘Peace and Safety’

To me, one of the strangest oddities of the year of 2020 was the call for safety in the face of COVID-19.

“Stay safe,” we were cautioned. Here in Wisconsin, our governor even issued an order titled “Safer at Home.”

This seemed to me to be an extraordinary choice of wording—because COVID-19 results from a virus. I’m sure that experts disagree on the best methodologies for warding off infection from a virus. But one thing that you certainly cannot do to escape it is to stay safe. Your only hope is to stay healthy.

Discussion

A Prayer for the King

We sometimes see Jesus’ mission as just personal salvation—a golden ticket away from a sinking ship. Christmas then becomes a celebration about the ticket going on sale for those who want it. In Psalm 72, Solomon shows us a Christmas vision that includes personal salvation, but is so much bigger than that.

Discussion

Signs Intensifying: What’s Ahead for Israel?

As we approach this New Year, our world is weighted down with manifold troubles. Yet believers in Christ need not succumb to despair. God’s Word gives us the capacity to discern God’s work in history—in light of the prophetic Scriptures. Jesus, in fact, entreated His followers to engage in this exercise, and chided those who were unable to “discern the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:3).

Discussion

Advent Meditation: Hope Fulfilled

Body

“’We have found him of whom Moses … and also the prophets wrote’ (John 1:45). He didn’t say, ‘Surprise! God sent a Savior.’” - TGC

Discussion

Knowing What’s Coming Will Help You Through What’s Happening

Body

“One reason God has given His people prophetic promises is that their dependence on God’s faithfulness in keeping His Word takes away their fear of the future so they will experience spiritual comfort and peace in present difficulties (Isa. 26:3–4).” - P&D

Discussion