Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation written on Patmos: The Island of Patmos has been celebrated for almost the last 2,000 years as the place where the Divine and God-inspired Book of Revelation was written by Saint John, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The mystical experience of St. John found expression in the Book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, the last of the 27 canonical books of the New Testament.

Many secular scholars have expressed their doubts on the authorship of the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless, most Christian Churches maintain that the Revelation was written by St. John, the favorite disciple of Jesus Christ and the author of the Fourth Gospel. As he himself says in Revelation 1: 9, St. John was exiled to the Island of Patmos in 95 A.D., during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Domitian, between 81 and 96 A.D.

There various apocalyptic visions occurred to him which is said to have been the allegorical depiction of the many persecutions and evils faced by the Early Christian Church and the prediction of the ultimate triumph of Christ's Church and its martyrs. At the beginning of his account, St John affirms the omnipresence and omnipotence of God in the famous verse: I am the Alpha and the Omega, said the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. [Rev 1: 8]

Then the Apostle heard behind him a great voice, as of a trumpet asking him to write the visions he was about to see in a book and send it to the seven churches of Asia Minor [Rev 1: 10,11]. When he turned to see where the voice was coming from, the awesome sight he beheld frightened him so much that he became as one dead. And having turned I saw... one like unto a Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool... his eyes were as a flame of fire... his feet like unto burnished brass... and his voice as the voice of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. [Rev 1:13-16]

The number seven is used in the Book of Revelation in a symbolic sense, to indicate "totality" or "perfection". The Apostle is ordered by the apparition (Son of Man) to write seven letters respectively to the seven churches of Asia Minor, commending their steadfastness in spite of persecutions, exhorting them to forbear until the final deliverance and warning them against apostasy.

The further visions of St John include the opening of the seven seals of the scrolls in the hands of the Son of Man; the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; the angels blowing the seven trumpets before the throne of God; and the seven visions including the vision of Satan as the seven-headed dragon. The vicious persecution of the Christians after the great fire of 64 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Nero is allegorically represented by the rising of the Beast out of the sea.

The occult number for Satan mentioned in Revelation, 666, is the numerical equivalent of Nero's name. The other visions of the Book of Revelation include the seven-headed Whore of Babylon (said to represent licentious Rome); the final defeat of Satan at Armageddon; the Last Judgment and the Millennial reign of Christ; and the founding of New Jerusalem. The Book of Revelation has the distinction of being the only book of the Bible whose literary character is apocalyptic in its entirety. It also contains numerous allusions to the prophecies in the various Old Testament books, such as Isaiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel.

One of the most controversial and difficult books in the Bible, the Book of Revelation, has been highly criticized by many secular and skeptical scholars, with Robert G. Ingersoll, the famous 19th-century American lawyer, and freethinker, even calling it the most insane of all books. However, to most Christians, the Book of Revelation will always remain one of the most profound books in existence.