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Revelation Ch. 1-11

Revelation Ch. 1-11

The Book of Revelation, often called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or simply Revelation or Apocalypse (and often misquoted as Revelations), is a book of the New Testament that occupies a central place in Christian eschatology. Its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning “unveiling” or “revelation” (before title pages and titles, books were commonly known by their first words, as is also the case of the Hebrew Five Books of Moses (Torah)). The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon (although there are short apocalyptic passages in various places in the Gospels and the Epistles).

The author names himself in the text as “John”, but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Melito the bishop of Sardis, and Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the “John” of Revelation.[1] Modern scholarship generally takes a different view,[2] and many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet.[3] Some modern scholars characterise Revelation’s author as a putative figure whom they call “John of Patmos”. The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81–96), and the evidence tends to confirm this.


The Apocalypse of St. Sever, circa 1150

The Angel Appears to John. 13th-century manuscript. British Library, London.

The angel gives John the letter to the churches of Asia, Beatus Escorial, circa 950.
Literary structure
Divisions in the book seem to be marked by the repetition of key phrases, by the arrangement of subject matter into blocks, and around its Christological passages,[46] and much use is made of significant numbers, especially the number seven, which represented perfection according to ancient numerology.[47] Nevertheless, there is a “complete lack of consensus” among scholars about the structure of Revelation.[48] The following is therefore an outline of the book’s contents rather than of its structure.



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約伯記 Job 約伯記的序言 (覆蓋《約伯記》第1章第1節至第5節參)這部分介紹約伯的背景,透露他為人“完全正直,敬畏上帝,遠離惡事”。約伯生活幸福,生了七個兒子,三個女兒。他家道豐富,牛畜成群,僕婢盈門,“在東方人中就為至大”。 (《約伯記》第1章第1節至第3節參)然而,他並不崇尚物質,也沒有倚賴財富。他在靈性上甚為富足,為人樂善好施,肯慷慨扶助困苦的人,常把衣裳贈送給有需要的人。 [15]人人都敬重他。約伯敬拜真神耶和華,拒絶像外邦人一樣膜拜太陽、月亮、星宿;他對耶和華保持忠信,緊守忠誠而與上帝享有親密的關係。 [16]約伯是家中的祭司,家裏若有人犯了罪,他便向上帝獻上燔燒祭物。 撒但向上帝挑戰 (覆蓋《約伯記》第1章第6節參-《約伯記》第2章第13節參)天上隱形事物的神奇地被揭開了。耶和華在天上臨朝,上帝的眾子侍立在旁,撒但也在其中。耶和華提及他的忠僕約伯,撒但卻就約伯的忠誠向上帝挑戰,指控約伯只為了物質利益才事奉上帝。上帝若容許他把約伯所擁有的一切都奪去,約伯必定會捨棄忠誠。耶和華接受撒但的挑戰,但不准他傷害約伯的身體。 對此毫不知情的約伯開始遭受一連串的災殃打擊。示巴人和迦勒底人攻擊他,掠走了他大量的財物。他的兒女在一場風暴中全部罹難。這些猛烈的考驗並未能使約伯動搖,令他轉而咒詛離棄上帝。相反,他説:“耶和華的名是應當稱頌的。”[17]在第一個回合證明虛謊失敗的撒但再來到耶和華面前指控説:“人以皮代皮,情願捨去一切所有的,保全性命。”[18]撒但聲稱只要他能夠傷害約伯的身體,他就可以使約伯當面棄掉上帝。上帝任憑撒但傷害約伯的身體,但不准他奪去約伯的性命。於是撒但使約伯染上一種非常可怕的疾病。他的“肉體以蟲子和塵土為衣”,他的肉和口發出惡臭,以致妻子親友都厭惡他。 [19]妻子看見約伯仍然緊守忠誠,遂催逼他説:“你仍然持守你的純正[“忠誠”,《中文聖經現代譯本》]嗎?你棄掉上帝,死了吧!”約伯斥責妻子,他並不“以口犯罪”。 [20] 撒但接著利用約伯的三個朋友去“安慰”他。他們是以利法,比勒達和瑣法。他們起初遠遠觀看,認不出約伯來,就放聲大哭,把塵土撒在自己的頭上。然後他們跟他一同席地而坐,不發一言。經過七天七夜的無言“安慰”之後,約伯終於打破沉默,跟這些所謂同情慰解他的人展開一場冗長的辯論。 [21]


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