The book of Revelation, the only apocalypse among the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, has always occupied a marginal role within the field of Biblical interpretation. Its bizarre visions of beasts, dragons, plagues, and cataclysms have inspired poets and artists while confounding more traditionally minded scholars for centuries. This exegesis of the most controversial symbols in Revelation; these can also be known as the most misinterpreted.
Most of the time the number seven in the Apocalypses is referred as everything, as the universal:
-The seven Churches are a representation of the Universal Church.
-The seven spirits that are in front of the throne (4,5), is the Holy Spirit with its total spiritual richness, represented by its seven talents.
-The book of the seven seals (chapter 5) symbolizes the whole plan that God has for history; and the sealing with seven stamps is an expression that indicates complete closing, inscrutable for every human eye, which no one has knowledge upon, except the Lamb, Christ, to whom the Father gives to, the only one who can open it, read it and reveal it because he received that mission from the Father.
-The Lamb has seven horns, plenty of power and strength; seven eyes, plenty of science and knowledge; and the sever spirits, plenitude from the Holy Spirit whom He has sent us (other examples can be found in the number seven).
Nature of the Millennium
In his article The Competition, Everett Ferguson makes a significant and perceptive comment in purporting that, "When Christianity came to town, the religious marketplace was already crowded;" going on to assert that Christianity had not entered a "religious vacuum," but that on the contrary it was surrounded by hundreds of well-established and considerably attended beliefs. Indeed, the competition for the faith of the empire was substantial, and Christianity had unwittingly entered a pious hot-bed - a "plethora of paganism" - a religious conundrum of seemingly eschatological proportions. The adherents of the Third Race were undeniably the 'new kids on the block;' misunderstood and ultimately marginalised as atheistic, illicit, incestuous and even cannibalistic!
For the purposes of this investigation we will discuss the nature of the Christian existence and circumstance within the broader context of the Roman Empire of the later First Century CE. The fundamental intention of this paper will focus on a dialogue pertaining to the existence and essence of Christian persecution and discrimination during this period; supplemented by an ongoing digression noting the impact that this cultural and religious landscape would have had in shaping the apostle's purpose and occasion in penning the text. This will be concluded by a brief note regarding the effect that the context should have on our contemporary reading of the document.
Fundamental to any musing of historical nature is the formulation of a working set of historically accurate boundaries with which to date the discussion. With this in mind, and being fully aware of the differing views in this regard, we will assume the text to have been written sometime in the ...