Revelation

The English title “Revelation” comes from the first word of the book in Greek. That word is apokalypsis, which means “the unveiling of something previously unrevealed. In Revelation Christ and His eternal program are fully revealed, so that the book provides a fitting capstone to the New Testament revelation. Revelation is prophetic in form. It was written during a time of persecution by John, the author of the Gospel John. The book is filled with visions and the style is generally figurative and symbolic. The book contains many symbols and signs, such as numbers, colors, animals, stones, persons, groups and places. Some symbols are interpreted in the text itself; others have to be interpreted in the light of the Old Testament; and others may have no previous biblical connection. Revelation is commonly referred to by the Christian believers when discussing things such as end times, rapture, tribulation, the mark of the beast and Judgment Day.

Revelation 1

1:1-3 The revelation of Jesus Christ
1:4-8 Greetings to the seven churches
1:9-20 A vision of the Son of Man

Revelation 2

2:1-7 The message to the church at Ephesus
2:8-11 The message to the church at Smyrna
2:12-17 The message to the church at Pergamos
2:18-29 The message to the church at Thyatira

Revelation 3

3:1-6 The message to the church at Sardis
3:7-13 The message to the church at Philadelphia
3:14-22 The message to the church at Laodicea

Revelation 4

4:1-11 Around God’s throne

Revelation 5

5:1-4 The sealed book
5:5-14 The Lion and the Lamb

Revelation 6

6:1-17 The seals

Revelation 7

7:1-8 The 144,000 sealed
7:9-17 The numberless multitude

Revelation 8

8:1-5 The seventh seal
8:6-13 The trumpets

Revelation 9

9:1-21 The trumpets (continued)

Revelation 10

10:1-11 The angel and the little book

Revelation 11

11:1-14 The two witnesses
11:15-19 The seventh trumpet

Revelation 12

12:1-2 The sun-clad woman
12:3-4 The great red dragon
12:5-6 The man child
12:7-9 Michael
12:10-17 The blood of the Lamb

Revelation 13

13:1-10 The first beast
13:11-18 The second beast

Revelation 14

14:1-5 The Lamb
14:6-13 The messages of the angels
14:14-20 The harvest of the earth

Revelation 15

15:1-8 Preparation of the seven vials

Revelation 16

16:1-21 The vials of wrath

Revelation 17

17:1-18 The doom of Babylon predicted

Revelation 18

18:1-24 The fall of Babylon

Revelation 19

19:1-5 Those in heaven praise God
19:6-10 The marriage supper of the Lamb
19:11-21 The rider on the white horse

Revelation 20

20:1-15 Satan bound for a thousand years

Revelation 21

21:1-8 The new heaven and the new earth
21:9-27 The new Jerusalem

Revelation 22

22:1-5 The new Jerusalem (continued)
22:6-21 Christ is to come quickly

Jude

The half brother of Jesus Christ is likely the author of Jude. The writer gives his name and identifies himself as James’s brother, and the possibility exists that he can be the brother of one of four James, which creates some uncertainty among scholars. Jude writes to Christians who have been infiltrated by false teachers and people spreading the message that promotes immorality, theological error, destructive pride and divisiveness. Jude encourages his readers to stand firm against the pressure to dilute pure Christian doctrine.

Jude 1

1:1-2 Salutation
1:3-16 Judgment on false teachers
1:17-23 Exhortations to Christians
1:24-25 Benediction

3 John

This brief epistle is attributed to the apostle John, though he does not give his name. He called himself “the elder” which seems to have been John’s self-designation in the final years of his ministry. The same stylistic and theological similarities apparent in the fourth gospel, 1 John and 2 John are a distinct feature of 2 John as well. The letter is addressed to Gaius, a common name that can not be identified as a specific person. John commends and exhorts Gaius for his steadfastness and for his care of Christian missionaries, and he uses Diotrephes as an example of how not to live as a Christian. John’s words are meant to encourage Gaius until John can see him personally.

3 John 1

1:1-4 Salutation
1:5-8 Service to the brethren
1:9-10 Rebuke to Diotrephes
1:11-12 A good testimony
1:13-14 Conclusion

2 John

The same person that wrote the first epistle of John, was also the author to the second epistle, and was probably John, the disciple and son of Zebedee. He was writing to the elder elect lady and her children, which some take literally to mean a personal acquaintance, and others believe it to metaphorically represent a particular local church and congregation of members. John intended to visit his readers soon. He was pleased in their spiritual progress, but felt that special words of admonition were necessary to assure continued progress.

2 John 1

1:1-3 Greeting
1:4-6 The commandment of love
1:7-11 Warning against deceivers
1:12-13 Final greetings

1 John

Evidence points to the author of the three Epistles of John, as John, the son of Zebedee who is the same writer who wrote the gospel bearing his name. John’s gospel seeks to bring the reader to faith and 1 John seeks to confirm the reader in that faith. He writes to strengthen the faith of his readers and to fight against the specific threat of Gnosticism towards their beliefs. Gnosticism is a deviant form of Christianity that values knowledge as the means of salvation rather than the Cross and asserts that physical matter was evil and proof that the Son of God could not come in the flesh. These aberrant teachings targeted many of John’s students, and led him to assure them of salvation, and firmly express their beliefs as compared to the false teachings of the Gnostics.

1 John 1

1:1-4 Testimony to Christ
1:5-7 God is light
1:8-10 Sin, it’s reality and remedy

1 John 2

2:1-2 Sin, it’s reality and remedy (continued)
2:3-6 Tests of true knowledge
2:7-17 The first love
2:18-27 The danger of the antichrists
2:28-29 The children of God and righteousness

1 John 3

3:1-10 The children of God and righteousness (continued)
3:11-24 Love one another

1 John 4

4:1-6 Trying the spirits
4:7-21 God is love

1 John 5

5:1-5 God is love (continued)
5:6-12 The witness concerning the Son
5:13-21 The knowledge of eternal life

2 Peter

Peter, disciple and rock of Jesus Christ, wrote this second epistle shortly before his martyrdom. Many who challenge him as an author to 1 Peter epistle, have no problem with crediting him with writing 2 Peter. In the second letter, Peter is writing to the same readers he addressed in the first. He encouraged them to be continually involved in the growth cycle of Christianity and reminded them of their salvation. He focused extensively on warning them about false prophets and teachers. He reminded them of the hope of the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming, as well as cautioned them about the scoffers and false teachers that will surround them as they watch for Him. He encouraged them to demonstrate the certainty of their calling and their election, be fruitful in their Christian lives, gain an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven and know of the ultimate destruction of the present heavens and earth, as recorded in the infallible inspiration of Scripture through prophesy.

2 Peter 1

1:1-4 Salutation
1:5-11 Growing in grace
1:12-21 Grounded in the truth

2 Peter 2

2:1-22 False prophets and teachers

2 Peter 3

3:1-18 Living in the hope of the Lord’s coming

1 Peter

The unknown author of this Epistle writes to the persecuted Christians. Many believe Peter the Rock and disciple of Jesus Christ wrote this letter because the words sound like his character. Others believe that a Galilean fisherman, whose native tongue was Aramaic, would be unable to accomplish the literary style used, and suggest Sylvanus or some unknown Roman teacher as helping Peter write his words. What can be certain, however, is the consistency and upholding of the words being written and spoken by Paul are in agreement with 1 Peter, and reflect that the One they both serve is the same Lord, as they were both inspired by the same Holy Spirit to uphold the persecuted Christians in their walks with Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1

1:1-2 Salutation
1:3-12 Salvation wrought by Father, Son, Holy Spirit
1:13-25 Call to Christian dedication

1 Peter 2

2:1-3 Call to Christian dedication (continued)
2:4-8 Christ the living stone
2:9-10 God’s own people
2:11-17 Live as servants of God
2:18-25 The example of Christ’s suffering

1 Peter 3

3:1-12 The behavior of wives and husbands
3:13-22 Suffering and reward

1 Peter 4

4:1-19 Good stewards of God’s grace

1 Peter 5

5:1-4 Shepherd of the flock
5:5-11 Submit to God, resist the devil
5:12-14 Farewell and peace

James

James, probably the half brother of Jesus Christ, writes a specific message of Christian accountability, which carries over so completely into this Epistle of James. He talks about the faith of a believer when faced with tribulations, trials and temptations. He speaks of the proper response to the Word of God in faith. He brings faith to a place for all people through impartiality, and encourages the active faith in doing the works of teaching. He encourages the faithful to work against worldliness and natural desires, and warns of their dangers. A pillar of Christianity, his focus is not merely on faith and works, but stresses the need for a faith that works.

James 1

1:1 Salutation
1:2-18 Faith and humility
1:19-27 Hearing and doing the word

James 2

2:1-13 Impartiality toward all
2:14-26 Faith that works

James 3

3:1-12 Dangers of the tongue
3:13-18 True and false wisdom

James 4

4:1-10 Worldliness and pride
4:11-12 Consideration for a brother
4:13-17 Unchristian conduct

James 5

5:1-6 Warning to the rich
5:7-18 Patience in affliction
5:19-20 Saving the erring brother

Hebrews

Only the LORD GOD knows with certainty who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. The strongest argument for authorship goes to Paul, while other worthy suggestions include Luke, Barnabas, Silas, and Appolos. The focus of the message that encourages the high priestly ministry of Christ in behalf of believers cannot be missed. Throughout the epistle the author stresses the continuity and flow between the Old Testament revelation and the new faith in Christ, while emphasizing the superiority of both Christ and His New Covenant. By so doing, he assures the Jewish Christians of the biblical heritage contained in the New Covenant, with 29 direct quotations from and 53 clear allusions to the Old Testament. He challenges them to run with endurance the race that is set before them, and offers encouragement, comfort and warning, as it leads the reader from superficial thinking to profound depths concerning the person and work of Christ.

Hebrews 1

1:1-4 God has spoken by his Son
1:5-14 The Son superior to angels

Hebrews 2

2:1-4 So great salvation
2:5-18 Christ’s work of salvation

Hebrews 3

3:1-6 Christ superior to Moses
3:7-19 Under Moses Israel failed to believe

Hebrews 4

4:1-13 The present danger of unbelief
4:14-16 The sympathetic Christ

Hebrews 5

5:1-10 Christ, the High Priest
5:11-14 An appeal to believe

Hebrews 6

6:1-12 An appeal to believe (continued)
6:13-20 An anchor of the soul

Hebrews 7

7:1-10 The priestly order of Melchizedek
7:11-28 Aaronic priesthood inferior to Christ’s

Hebrews 8

8:1-5 Christ, the High Priest
8:6-13 The new covenant

Hebrews 9

9:1-14 The old and the new covenants contrasted
9:15-28 The sacrifice of Christ establishes the new covenant

Hebrews 10

10:1-18 The failure of the old covenant
10:19-39 A plea to hold to the new faith

Hebrews 11

11:1-3 By faith we understand
11:4-7 Faith at the dawn of history
11:8-12 Faithful Abraham
11:13-16 The heavenly hope
11:17-22 The faith of patriarchs
11:23-29 The faith of Moses
11:30-40 By faith they overcame

Hebrews 12

12:1-2 Run the race
12:3-11 God’s discipline
12:12-29 Warning against disobedience

Hebrews 13

13:1-17 Service well-pleasing to God
13:18-25 Benediction

Philemon

Philemon is one of the four epistles (along with Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, which Paul wrote during his first Roman imprisonment. Onesimus, Philemon and Paul are the three main characters in his epistle. Onesimus, a slave in Colossae, had robbed Philemon, his master, and then ran away. During the course of his flight, Onesimus encountered Paul in Rome, and through his ministry came to faith in Christ. Subsequently, Onesimus became a helper to Paul. Paul recognized Onesimus’s duty to his master, so sent him back to Philemon, along with Tychicus, who carried Paul’s letter to the Colossian church at the same time. In this letter, Paul implores Philemon to receive Onesimus not as a slave, but as “a brother beloved”.

Philemon 1

1:1-3 Salutation
1:4-7 Thanksgiving
1:8-21 Paul’s appeal for Onesimus
1:22-25 Final greetings