Just as Genesis is the book of beginnings, so Revelation is the book of completion. In it, we see how God finalizes the divine program of redemption and vindicates His holy name before all creation.
Although the Gospels and Epistles contain numerous prophecies, only Revelation among all the New Testament books focuses primarily on prophetic events. It borrows heavily from Old Testament symbols and passages, and seems to have a special connection to the Book of Daniel. Because of this potent imagery, it is often difficult to know in Revelation when the author is speaking literally and when he is speaking symbolically.
Revelation also features several high moments of worship in which the residents of heaven and the saints of God praise the Lord for His holy character and righteous judgments. These extraordinary times of worship are usually presented as joyful songs of praise (see Rev. 4:8–11; 5:8–14; 7:9–12; 11:15–18; 15:2–4; 16:5–7; 19:1–7).
The title of this book in the Greek text is Apokalypsis Ioannou, “Revelation of John.” It is also known as the Apocalypse, a transliteration of the word apokalypsis, meaning “unveiling,” “disclosure,” or “revelation.” Thus the book unveils what otherwise could not be known. A better title comes from the first verse, the “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” This could be taken as a revelation that came from Christ, or as a revelation about Christ; both are appropriate.
Revelation was originally written to seven local churches in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), but its message applies to all Christians everywhere. Jesus is coming again in great power and glory, and His certain return should motivate us every day to Spirit-filled, loving action on His behalf.
Theme: Revelation centers around awesome visions and extraordinary symbols of the resurrected Christ, who alone has authority to judge the earth, to remake it, and to rule it in righteousness.
Author: The apostle John wrote Revelation during his exile on the island of Patmos.
Date: Most scholars believe the book was written around A.D. 90–95.
Structure: Revelation starts out with a vision of Jesus Christ (chapter 1), followed by a message from Him to the seven churches in Asia Minor (chapters 2, 3), followed by another vision of Jesus (chapters 4, 5). The rest of the book employs difficult symbolism and startling imagery to picture the final triumph of good over evil.
Charles F. Stanley, The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles, 2005), Re.