Revelation Lecture Outline

I am lecturing on Revelation for Prof. Susan Eastman’s NT intro class this Friday here at Duke. Here is the outline of my lecture, minus illustrations. I will post parts of the lecture in coming days. 

Worshiping and Following the Slaughtered Lamb into the New Creation

I.                    When I say “Revelation,” you say…

II.                 Attraction or Revulsion?

A.       The Aesthetic Appeal of Revelation: music, art

B.      Revelation as a Problem

                                                        1.      Critics

                                                        2.      Functional de-canonization

                                                        3.      Fanatics

III.               Introductory questions

A.       Genre(s): a hybrid

B.      Date: 60s or 90s

C.       Authorship: which John?

D.      Rhetorical situation: persecution or accommodation?

E.       Addressees: then and now

IV.              Hermeneutics

A.       Four possible strategies

                                                            1.      Preterist (historical-critical)

                                                            2.      Predictive

                                                            3.      Poetic

                                                            4.      Prophetic

B.      Misinterpreting Revelation: Why the “Left Behind” series should be left behind

                                                             1.      Hermeneutical problems

                                                             2.      Theological problems

                                                             3.      Political problems

C.       Principles for the Interpretation of Revelation

V.                 The Contents of the Revelation

A.       An Outline

B.      Seven Prophetic Oracles

                                                             1.      Form

                                                             2.      Examples: Smyrna, Laodicea

C.       Theological Foci in Images and Symbols

                                                              1.      The Son of Man

                                                              2.      The Heavenly Throne Room

a.      Counter-imperial

b.      Source of judgment and salvation

c.      God and the Lamb

d.   Central Image: The Lion of Judah as The Slaughtered Lamb

                                                               3.      Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

                                                               4.       Judgment and Plagues: Seals, Trumpets, Bowls

                                                               5.      The Unholy Trinity: One Dragon, Two Beasts

                                                               6.      Babylon the Harlot and the Lamb’s Bride

                                                               7.      New Heavens and New Earth

VI.              The Spirituality of Revelation

VII.            Revelation as Climax: of prophecy, NT, canon, God’s story




Commentaries by Mitchell Reddish (Smith and Helwys), Ian Boxall (Black’s), Chris Rowland (NIB), Eugene Peterson (Reversed Thunder)

Richard Bauckham, The Theology of Revelation

-  M. Gorman, Reading Revelation Responsibly (late 2009 or early 2010)

6 Responses to “Revelation Lecture Outline”

  1. Hi Michael. Didn’t even realize you were blogging until I saw this on Euangelion today. Lecture sounds dead interesting. Cheers, Mark

  2. MJG says:


    I’ve revived a blog that I set up and did little with a year ago. Wish me luck–expert (you) to amateur (me).

    The lecture went very well; most students had never heard an approach like mine, kind of historical and theological in focus, not dispensationalist.

  3. elias tanos says:

    I really wish you can publish some details on how we can read revealation in a different way than that of dispensationalism . In my church the only reading we ever knew was the dispensationalist one and we are planning at the end of the year to teach revealation . i wonder if you can reccomend one commentary for revealtion.


  4. MJG says:


    There are some great commentaries out there. My favorite is by Mitchell Reddish in the Smyth and Helwys series. In addition to great interpretation of the text—historically, literarily, theologically—he has illustrations, maps, sidebars, etc. and brief discussions of the way Rev has been interpreted over the centuries. Another excellent commentary is hot off the press by Ian Boxhall (Black’s commentary series from Hendrickson). If you are looking for an easy, non-dispensational read for a study group with different abilities, try the Westminster John Knox companion to Revelation by Justo and Catherine Gonzalez. The text of the NRSV is even printed in it.

  5. elias tanos says:

    thank you very much dr. michael . i`ll order one of them.

  6. MJG says:

    My pleasure, Elias.

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