The Throne and the Lamb

It was a strange day when I first realized normal people don’t read book introductions. An incurable completist, I couldn’t imagine not taking in every bit of the front matter, from the title and “other works” pages, to the forwards, prefaces, and introductions, so the thought that some (read: most) people simply can’t be bothered with all of this “incredibly vital information” boggles my mind.

Layout 1I understand that most people want to get on to the main attraction; that in many works you can skip the front matter entirely and the reading experience wouldn’t be totally shortchanged, but in the book of Revelation, these first five chapters are of immense significance if one is to understand the original interpretive lenses, the fundamental perspective, and primary theme of the book. So as much as we want to jump straight to John’s acid trip, let’s make sure the foundation is adequately laid. 

As we discussed in our chapter 1 posts, John first introduces the book itself, providing clues to the interlaced genres and responses this work was supposed to engender. Understanding the genres helps us frame our expectations and ask the right questions. (Chapter 1 also includes a vision of Christ that we did not discuss but which provides a particular angle on the prophet’s Christology.)

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