Apocalypse of John

February 19, 2019, Week 6

Danica R. McKinney and Daniel Vasquez

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Jean-Pierre Ruiz writes in his introduction to Revelation in the Anselm Study Bible:
    Some believe Revelation was written during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero (54-68 CE), in response to his persecution of the Christians whom he executes as scapegoats for the great fire of Rome in 64 CE. Many suggest 666 (number of the beast) is a numerological reference to Caesar Nero and that three references (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14) to a beast whose mortal wound had been healed alludes to Nero’s suicide in 68 CE and to the legend that he would return to life.
    If the book of Revelation was written during the reign of the Roman emperor, Nero (54-68 CE), how could the belief that Nero would “return to life” impact the understanding of the eschaton?
    1. What would his “return” have looked like?
  2. What are the seven seals? (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:1-6)
    1. What is the significance of each?
    2. What have people attributed to the breaking of these seals?
      1. How do they justify the perceived “signs” of the coming?”
  3. Who are the souls beneath the altar? (Rev. 6:9-11)
    1. What is the significance of the “white robe”? (Rev. 6:11; See also Rev. 7:9-17)
    2. What can we interpret about the souls being told to “be patient” in contrast to the rapture? (Reference our conversation last week: the rapture believes that people will be taken up and others will be left behind.)
      1. How does this verse impact how one interprets that?
  4. Who are the 144,000 marked with the seal? (Rev. 7:1-8)
    1. What is the significance of the marking?
    2. What does the context inform you about the importance of the marking? (Rev. 7:1-3)
    3. Are there more saved than the 144,000? (Rev. 7:9-17)
  5. What are the seven bowls? (Rev.16)
    1. What does their existence reveal about the eschaton?
  6. If there is only one resurrection, why would there be a mention of the term “first”? (Rev. 20:4-6; 20:12-13)
    1. Who or what is being resurrected?
  7. What is the “second death”?
    1. Who is condemned to suffer the second death? (Rev. 21:8)
    2. What does this tell us about the first death?