Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000



#93. The Bible book normally called Revelation draws it name from the Greek word in the first verse, indeed, the first word, apokalypsis.222 This word means an “unveiling” or a “revealing” of knowledge in a sacred mystery. Many will note a form of the word in Calypso as the name of Jacque Costeau’s ship which searched the dark depths of earth’s oceans to uncover their mysteries. And, so, the Apocalypse is a brilliant flash, illuminating the “eternal purpose” of God Almighty, a sacred mystery. (Ephesians 3:9, 11)
222 APOCALYPSE. The opening verse reads, ‘An apokalypsis of Jesus Christ which The God gave to him.’ (Revelation 1:1) The word group occurs Luke 2:32; Romans 2:5; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 12:1; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7, 13.

#94. How are we to understand this most complex of enigmatic books? What is the secret to breaking its cryptic codes and unveiling its true meaning? There are several. First, much of this book is composed of compound paraphrases of other apocalyptic prophets, particularly Daniel, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. For example, there are well over four dozen direct allusions to the prophet Daniel alone. Some Bible editions highlight these references in their marginal notes. In the case of the New Jerusalem Bible the key quoted words or phrases are italicized, indicating they have been drawn from sources in the Old Testament Hebrew Bible. Also, since the Apocalypse was written in Greek the many scores of citations to the Jewish Bible, the Septuagint (LXX) we can precisely compare these Greek words.

#95. Secondly, a major ongoing theme of the Apocalypse is the Great Oppression of the Saints, much of which we have already considered as background to the Nazarene’s answer to the disciples’ question. The bulk of the Apocalypse centers on events surrounding this particular period of three and a half years’ persecution by the Apocalypse calls the “wild beast.” Additionally, there are two reoccurring cities: “the Great City” Babylon, and the “Holy City,” New Jerusalem. In harmony with this, there are two women, Babylon the Great a harlot, and the Lamb’s Wife, the New Jerusalem.

#96. Several things or phrases are missing from the Apocalypse when we might well expect them to be present. For example, “the last days” are missing as a phrase. Also, the words parousia (presence) and syneteleia (con- summation). Missing also is any mention of “the end of the world” or “time of the end” as phrases. Why is this? We will see as we now take a close look at the Apocalypse.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved