I.  Introduction--difficulty of Revelation
    A.  Struggles of theologians with this book
    B.   Disadvantages of apocalyptic style
    C.  Advantages of apocalyptic style
    D.  Skills needed to understand Revelation

II.  Difficulty with dating and authorship
    A.  External evidence
    B.  Internal evidence
        1.  Rev. 17:10  (Beast with seven heads)
            Julius Caesar (d. 44 B.C.)
            Augustus (31 B.C.--A.D. 14)
            Tiberius (14-37)
            Caligula (37-41)
            Claudius (41-54)
            Nero (54-68)
nast rev17
III.  Four approaches to Rev./difficulty of deciding among them

    A.  Preterit: book refers mostly to events of 64-70 A.D.
    B.  Historical: book forshadows all subsequent history
    C.  Futurist: book describes a still-future conflict w/antichrist
    D.  Allegorist: book describes spiritual forces, not hist. events

IV.  Beautiful aspects of Revelation in general and especially Chapters I-IV
    A.  Beautifully constructed book
        1.  Repeated/modified images: theme and variations
        2.  Strikingly appropriate images
    B.  Message of hope
    C.  Depiction of majesty of God and heavenly worship

V.  Difficult passages
    A.  Revelation 5-7 seven seals.  A difficult passage, but a comparison with Matthew 24 helps (maybe!)

1.  Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ and shall deceive many (vs. 5).
2.  And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars (vs. 6)
3-4.  There shall be famines and pestilences (vs. 7-8).
5.  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted (vs. 9)
6.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven (vs. 29). And he shall send his angel with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect form the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (vs. 31).

  B.  Four approaches to 11:1-3 (gentiles treading down city)
Preterit: refers to 3 1/2 year war between Jews and Rome
    A.D. 64        Rome burns, Nero blamed
    A.D. 65-68        First persecution of Christians/Peter and Paul (and most apostles) killed
    A.D. 66-70        War between Jews and Romans/Civil war in Jerusalem
    A.D. 68-69        "Year of Four Emperors"/Rome sacked
    A.D. 70        Jerusalem (and the temple) destroyed
Historical: entire period of gentile domination
Futurist: the "Great Tribulation" of the the future antichrist
Allegorist: a limited # of Jews/unlimited # of gentiles saved
  C.  Different interpretations of the "two witnesses" (ch. 11).
  D.   Different interpretations of woman clothed with sun (ch. 12)
  E.  Different interpretations of two beasts of Rev. 13
  F.  Different interpretations of harlot drunk with saints blood

V.  Beautiful conclusion of Revelation