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An Overview of the Book of Revelation

Over the next several pages, I am entrusted with the task of giving an introductory overview of the book of Revelation. Undoubtedly, it is the most difficult book in the Bible. It has been said that wherever you find five commentaries on the book of Revelation, you will find six different views. To make matters worse, many of the commentaries are like a black hole - they are so dense that no light can escape from them. In fact, Ambrose Bierce wrote what he called The Devil's Dictionary. In his definition of "Revelation" we read: "A famous book in which St. John concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing."

In this overview I cannot deal with all the details of this very perplexing book. I do, however, want to highlight some portions that I think will be helpful as keys or tools to open up the book of Revelation to you. I want us to focus on two big issues: the date of the writing of Revelation and the theme of Revelation. These will provide helpful keys to the correct interpretation of the book.