Thursday, January 24, 2013

Revelation Intro, Lecture 2, Part 1 | Steve Gregg | The 1st half of the 2nd lecture of Steve Gregg's intro on Revelation. This is the 2012 module of The New Great Commission School in Monroe, WA. Steve takes a fair look at all the major views of Revelation.


The entire second lecture is on MP3 here.

You may download Steve's notes for the 3 introductory lectures here. I've pasted the a portion below.

by Steve Gregg

IV. Stylistic Features:

  A. Symbolism:

1. People, nations, spiritual personages are depicted as animals (e.g. a Lamb, a dragon, beasts, locusts, etc.)

2. Two women (harlot and bride) and two cities (Babylon and New Jerusalem)

3. Symbolic names [e.g. Jezebel (2:20), Egypt and Sodom (11:8), and Babylon (17:5)]

4. Frequent cosmic disruptions: sun darkened, stars falling, 100-pound hailstones

5. Numbers that convey concepts, rather than statistical units:

a. "Seven" - the number of completeness or perfection (Deut.28:7,25/ Psalm 12:6;  119:164/Prov.9:1;  24:16). There are seven of the following: seals, trumpets, bowls,  thunders, beatitudes, etc. There may be an echo of the sevenfold judgments of Psalm 79:12 and Leviticus 26: 18, 21, 24 & 28.

b. "One-third" may simply mean "a significant minority."

c. "Twelve" (and multiples thereof: 24, 144,000) generally associated with God's people.

d. "1000 years" means "a long time" (as in Psalm90:4 and II Peter 3:8). Contrast this with "10  days" (2:10) , "one hour" (17:12), and the indefinite "a little while" (20:3).

  B. Parallelism

1. One view sees the book as a symbolical drama in seven Acts (chapters 1-3/ 4-7/ 8-11/12-14/ 15-16/ 17-19/ 20-22).  Some Acts are parallel to others, retelling the same story, but employing a different set of symbols.

2. Evidence of parallelism:
a. In Daniel (a book similar to Revelation), there are parallel sections (e.g. Daniel, chapters 2 & 7)
b. Some features are repeatedly mentioned:
  1) The phenomena (4:5/ 8:5/ 11:19/ 16:18)
  2) The battle (16:14/ 19:19/ 20:8)
  3) The three-and-a-half years (11:3-4/ 12:6,14/ 13:5)
  4) The seven trumpets and seven bowls parallel each other as follows:
    A. The first of each affect the earth (8:7/16:2)
    B. The second of each affect the sea (8:8/16:3)
    C. The third of each affect the rivers (8:10/16:4)
    D. The fourth of each affect heavenly bodies (8:12/ 16:8)
    E. The fifth of each affect men (9:1/16:10)
    F. The sixth of each affect the Euphrates (9:13/ 16:12)
    G. The seventh of each spell the end (11:15/ 16:17)

C. Interplay with the rest of the scriptures:

1. Not so much as one  actual quotation from the rest of scripture, but a multitude of allusions to Old Testament images and phrases, especially from Isaiah (79 allusions), Daniel (53), Ezekiel (48), Psalms (43), Exodus (27), Jeremiah (22), Zechariah (15), Amos (9), and Joel (8).

2. Echoes of the Exodus:

a. "Freed" by the blood (1:5 [early manuscripts])

b. Egypt the persecutor of God's people (11:8)

c. Dragon persecutes the woman (12:3ff)  [like Egypt - Ezekiel 29:3 & Psalm 74:13]

d. Plagues of darkness, hail, locusts, boils, frogs, water turned to blood, etc.

e. "The song of Moses and the Lamb" (15:3)

f. Woman [like Israel], having escaped the dragon, is nourished in the wilderness (12: 6, 14)

g. Earth opens to vindicate the righteous (12:16)

h. Counterparts in the heavens to Moses' tabernacle:
    1) Golden lampstands (1:12)
    2) Hidden manna (2:17)
    3) Altar of incense (8:3-5)
    4) Altar of sacrifice (6:9)
    5) Holy of holies (11:1, 15:8)
    6) Ark of the covenant (11:19)

3. Echoes of the Babylonian exile:
a. Euphrates dries up (16:12)
b. Babylon is fallen (14:8/ chapter 18)

4. Ministry of "two witnesses" mirrors ministry of Christ:
a. Duration of ministry: 3.5 years (11:3)
b. Slain in the city "where our Lord was crucified"(11:8)
c. Resurrected after 3 days [actually 3.5] (11:11)
d. Ascend to heaven (11:12)
e. Shortly thereafter, the city is smitten (11:13)

If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)

Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary