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Is the Book of Revelation a narrative or is it something else? Something else says Craig Koester in Revelation and the End of All Things. Here is his “outline.”
I quote Koester’s brief explanation, and his approach undoes the “then this and then this and following that then this” approach. Rather than a linear reading Revelation is to be ready cyclically with each cycle to be taken as a centralization of the themes of the Book.
Revelation - Encounter - Visions - Intensity - Visions
Those who read Revelation as a whole encounter visions that alternately threaten and assure them. With increasing intensity the visions at the bottom of the spiral threaten the readers’ sense of security by confronting them with horsemen that represent conquest, violence, hardship, and death; by portents in heaven, earth, and sea; and by seemingly insuperable adversaries who oppose those who worship God and Christ. Nevertheless, each time the clamor of conflict becomes unbearable, readers are transported into the presence of God, the Lamb, and the heavenly chorus. These visions appear at the top of the spiral. Threatening visions and assuring visions function differently, but they serve the same end, which is that readers might continue to trust in God and remain faithful to God.
It is easy to get lost and dizzied by these cycles but the music of Revelation keeps us focused: “Revelation is designed to unmask false sources of security while beckoning readers to join the heavenly host in singing praises to God and the Lamb. The musical compositions listed above direct our attention to Revelations festive scenes of worship, reminding us that these scenes show us the goal of Gods saving work.”
Messages - Churches - Rev - Seals - Rev
[Thus:] seven messages to the churches (Rev. 1-3), seven seals (Rev. 4-7), seven trumpets (Rev. 8-11), unnumbered visions (Rev. 12-15), seven plagues (Rev. 15-19); and more unnumbered visions (Rev. 19-22). Visions celebrating the...
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