"I am the Alpha and the Omega .. the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come ... the Almighty."
The Book of Revelation, often known simply as Revelation or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the Bible and is the only purely apocalyptic book in the New Testament. The author of the work identifies himself in the text as "John" and says that he was on Patmos, an island in the Aegean, when he was instructed by a heavenly figure to write down the contents of a vision. Most modern scholars believe it was written around AD 95, with some believing it dates from around AD 70.
The book spans three literary genres: epistolary, apocalyptic, and prophetic. It begins with an epistolary address to the reader followed by an apocalyptic description of a complex series of events derived from prophetic visions which the author has seen. These include the appearance of a number of figures and images which have become important in Christian eschatology, such as the Whore of Babylon and the Beast, and culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history; interpretations treat Revelation as mostly referring to the events of the apostolic era (1st century), or-at the latest-the fall of the Roman Empire; futurists believe that Revelation describes future events; and idealist or symbolic interpretations consider that Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.
Epistemologists have long considered Joseph Benson's classic commentary as definitive. The brilliant Methodist scholar dissects each chapter and verse in a dazzling analysis that deconstructs the riddles, symbols and endless layers of the most mysterious and popular book in the Bible.