Friday, October 06, 2006


OK, so we've begun teaching a class on the Book of Revelation to the lay people of our church. It's going well for being the second week. So far the turn out has been much better than expected, and it's supposed to be even better this week.

Over the course of 11 weeks, we will cover the entire book of Revelation. This past week, we touched on the Starting Points of reading the book (genre, date, author, structure, etc.). This week we will cover ancient apocalypses and how they work and are to be read. Then we will cover the Seven Letters to the Churches, and the remainder of the time, we will cover the Seven Visions of the Shift of the Ages.

On the last week, though, might be my greatest challenge. We will cover the various abusive interpretations of Revelation that have become popular in American mainstream evangelicism. We will cover the issues of the rapture, the Great Tribulation, and the Antichrist. I am placing this at the end of our study to establish a scholarly based understand of Revelation first, and then going back to dissect how the traditions came to be regarded as truth.

But I am so excited to teach the Book of Revelation. It has a most important message to the Church in America today. When we see past the apocalyptic symbolism, we find that Revelation is written to encourage Christians to not assimilate into an alien culture whose teachings are counter to those of Jesus Christ. I've studied Revelation very extensively over the past two years, now I have a passion for sharing what I learned with others, especially the lay people within the Church.

Please pray for that God speaks in this Bible study this fall...


Chris said...

Sounds like a bible study I'd like to be a part of. Shame I'll be so far away (not that I've ever been to Texas, but no matter). I've always been curious about the book and even read it a few times when I was younger to try and make sense of it, but it was a reading colored most heavily by the Left Behind novels, and after my reading, I never quite saw what they saw. So I gave up on it, hoping someday I'd start to understand it ... so far, nada.

cruz-control said...

The best verse-by-verse book I've ever read on Revelation is Charles H. Talbert's "The Apocalypse: A Reading of the Revelation of John" (1994, Westminster John Knox Press).

I'm basing the Bible study on this book, but I wrote a workbook thingy for the class. Talbert's book is very understandable for someone familiar with ancient literature, and stources (e.g., Eusebius, Tertullian, Josephus, etc.). But it can be kind of confusing for lay people. But's it definately worth getting and it's still possible to understand it, it just takes some work to sift through the citations in the text.