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The Date and Theme of Revelation: Revelation's Theme

When interpreting any book of the Bible, it is important for us to understand the audience to which it was originally directed. There are at least three factors in Revelation that emphasize the original audience and their historic circumstances. These begin to move us toward the preterist position. When these are combined with the matter of the expectation of Revelation (with which I will deal in a moment), the preterist approach becomes justified on the basis of sound hermeneutical principle.

First, in Revelation we have clear evidence that John is writing to particular, historic, individual churches that existed in his day. Revelation 1:4a reads: "John to the seven churches which are in Asia." In verse 11 he specifically names the seven churches ' to whom he speaks. We know these are historical cities containing historical churches. These churches are specifically dealt with in terms of their historically and culturally unique circumstances in chapters 2 and 3. Real first century Christians are being addressed.