Therefore you need to rely on God’s word and your own study of the book, rather than just on my teachings.
As noted in the introduction material to the class, one of the frustrating aspects of studying Revelation is determining the date of the book.
Once we are done and have read the images, only then let us determine when it was likely for Revelation to have been written. To suggest such violates the very name of the book. This book is explaining things that were previously hidden.
We will have much more to say about the date of the book as we study Revelation. “‘Revelation’ () means to expose in full view what was formerly hidden, veiled, or secret” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary). The book of Revelation is revealing something that previously was concealed. While we do not know for certain yet, our most likely source would be Old Testament prophecies that were shrouded in mystery that the book is going to make plain.
My encouragement for you in your study (and the basis of our study) is to not begin Revelation with a date in mind.
Beginning your study with a date in mind will color how you read the book.
I presented a study of Revelation back in 2002-2003.
We will see this image made clearer in Revelation 4. The first is found in verse 1, “To show his servants the things that must soon take place.” The second time marker is in verse 3, “For the time is near.” Carefully read those time markers. If someone told you that these things are going to happen soon, how long do you think it will be? Tim La Haye, who is one of the most well known futurist advocates for the book of Revelation (popular as co-author of the about these time markers.
Verse 1 says that the revelation concerns things that must soon take place. One method to keep a futurist view is to ignore these verses and just keep moving on. Thomas, defends a futurist view by arguing, “God is not limited by considerations of time in the same way man is” (, 56). God is not bound by time in the same way that people are. Remember, Revelation is supposed to be the unveiling, not the concealing.
When we read language in Revelation that is found in the Old Testament, we need to go back to the origin of the image and understand it in its proper context.
Then we can see how the book of Revelation is shedding light or revealing information about that prophecy. There are two ways to understand “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” One way is that the revelation is about Jesus.