Revelation offers not an esoteric and encoded forecast of historical events but rather a theocentric vision of the coming of God’s universal kingdom, contextualised in the late first-century world dominated by Roman power and ideology. It calls on Christians to confront the political idolatries of the time to participate in God’s purpose of gathering all the nations into his kingdom. Once Revelation is properly grounded in its original context it is seen to transcend that context and speak to the contemporary church.
– Richard Bauckham.
The author is not just trying to comfort his audience with the truth that God is in heaven and that all will on day be right with the world. He is calling them to repent, believe, and behave in light of the coming redemptive judgment. He is also trying to re-vision the world taking into account the divine actions above, within, and beneath the surface of history’s tapestry.
- Ben Witherington.