About the Author(s)

Martin H. Pohlmann Email symbol
Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Pohlmann, M.H., 2019, ‘Revelation 20:1–10 within the overall paradigm theological thrust of John’s Apocalypse’, In die Skriflig 53(1), a2478. https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i1.2478

Original Research

Revelation 20:1–10 within the overall paradigm theological thrust of John’s Apocalypse

Martin H. Pohlmann

Received: 11 Apr. 2019; Accepted: 14 June 2019; Published: 30 Sept. 2019

Copyright: © 2019. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Revelation 20:1–10 has been discussed and debated from the earliest of times within Christian circles. The question has always been whether Revelation 20 ‘occurs’ after the return of Jesus Christ or whether it is to be appreciated as having a unique contribution to the overall message of the Apocalypse addressing the present church age. The objective of this article is to argue for the coherent complex structure of the Apocalypse including Revelation 20:1–10. The method will be a study of the entire Apocalypse to demonstrate how it functions coherently within its genre. The goal is to argue for a meaningful appreciation of the unique contribution of Revelation 20:1–10 to the present eschatological context of the church within the overall theological thrust. The chances of this chapter succeeding the return of Jesus Christ depicted in Revelation 19, as some would argue, are very remote. Three major themes are given in these 10 verses which are covered within the overall body of the Apocalypse and find a climax in this important chapter.

Keywords: Millennium; resurrection; recapitulation; structure; eschatology; Revelation 20.


This is an article in the field of biblical evangelical theological thinking. More specifically it is a study within the realm of eschatology, with specific reference to the biblical theological thinking around the debate of Revelation 20:1–10. The millennial debate has sadly robbed eschatological discussion of its deserving focus, namely Jesus Christ’s initial coming (Gl 4:4), his rejection by Israel (Jn 1:11), his reception by faith by both Jew and Gentile: ‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ (New International Version 2011 in all instances unless indicated), and his journey with us until his triumphal return. The Apocalypse includes what is seen and the ‘unseen’, the ‘above’ and the ‘below’: ‘The biblical answer is that the heavenly host was with God before creation’ (Heiser 2015:23).

The method will follow the process of exploring the structure of the book as presented, namely as a letter (Rv 1:4; 22:21), a prophecy (Rv 1:3) and the obvious fact of the literature being written in the form of Christian apocalyptic genre:

Apocalyptic is a form of literature claiming to reveal hidden things and the future. As a genre popular in Israel from about 200 B.C. to A.D. 100, it closely reflected the persecution of that the Jews experienced during this time. (Kylie 1998:19)

Christian apocalyptic writers used this style with the exception that they gave it a distinctive Christian spin. Appendices 1 and 2 will be referred to when needed to simplify understanding of the structure. I have developed these diagrams over time in search of some visual order. Appendix 1 demonstrates the ‘first’ to ‘last’ of Jesus in each theme dealt with. Appendix 2 tries to incorporate the same within the fact that we read literature from chapter 1 to 22 in this instance. It also shows the interludes and dynamic interaction between ‘above’ and ‘below’.

My goal is to reach beyond the classic millennial debates within a new evangelical consensus towards what the Apocalypse purports to be at the outset (Russell 2013:7–32):

The revelation from Jesus Christ which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. (Rev 1:1)

The a-millennial and post-millennial views can be grouped together on one side of the debate, while the pre-millennial and dispensational millennial views can be grouped together on the other side of the debate. Erickson (2013 [1983]), as a pre-millennial, confirms this:

This leaves us with a choice between a-millennialism and pre-millennialism. The issue comes down to the biblical references to the millennium – are they sufficient grounds for adopting the more complicated pre-millennial view rather than the simpler a-millennial conception? (p. 1116)

We need to reach beyond this conclusion.

The former view Revelation 20:1–10 either quantitatively or qualitatively as part and parcel of the age in which we live. The latter view the same passage in one style or another as awaiting a literal kingdom on earth after the return of Jesus Christ. There are also in-house differences between them, but for the purposes of this article the distinctions made above will suffice. Storms (2015 [2013]:15), speaking from a realised millennial perspective, rightly says: ‘Although there is a measure of legitimacy in both approaches, neither perspective is entirely adequate.’ This article wants to reach into this more realistic domain with a fresh attempt aided by recent research. I am proposing an integrated view emerging naturally from the Apocalypse as letter, prophecy and apocalyptic literature. Erickson (2013 [1983]:1113), as a contemporary leading classic pre-millennialist, alarmingly disagrees that this is a strength: ‘When millennialists deal with Revelation 20, they usually have the whole book in view.’ This, in fact, is the hermeneutical key to this research and any other research on a book of Scripture. A single passage can only be studied within the context in which it is positioned.

Revelation 20:1–10 is not an addendum, but part and parcel of the Apocalypse in its entirety. The Apocalypse is at pains to take one theme at a time under the umbrella that the God of Daniel’s vision in chapter 7, Ezekiel’s prophecies, Isaiah’s expectation in chapters 40–66 as well as the many references in Zechariah, has delegated the duties of the kingdom to the one now known as, ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals’ (Rv 5:5). The scroll was ‘sealed’ in Daniel 12:4 (e.g. Pohlmann 2015:2–4 for an overview of Old Testament fulfilment). Matthewson (2001:239) supports this approach, but adds a flavourful twist to it: ‘While the presence of recapitulation elsewhere in Revelation does not guarantee its presence in Rev 19:11–20:10, it at least invites further investigation.’ This is exactly the conversation this article plans to pursue. De Villiers (2017:352) investigates further and reaches a worthy conclusion after his survey of hermeneutical approaches to the Apocalypse: ‘As briefly noted above, throughout the centuries, some voices have rejected the literal approach to Revelation.’ What does this mean for our future quest of reaching consensus?

Evidence of Revelation 20:1–10 within the body of the Apocalypse of John

The Apocalypse of John commences with a vision of Jesus (Rv 1:12–16) in the tradition of Daniel 7 (vv. 9–14). Jesus is now the fulfilment:

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days, and led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Dn 7:13–14)

While Jesus takes the centre stage of eschatological fulfilment, the announcement is made:

I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Rv 1:17b–18)

This sets the stage for Revelation 20:1–10. Jesus is then linked to each letter addressed to the Seven Churches (Rv 2:1, 2:8, 2:12, 2:18, 3:1, 3:7, 3:14). As early as Revelation 2:10, a direct connection quotation is made to Revelation 20:4:

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Revelation 2:26 is even more specific: ‘To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.’ Revelation 3:12 continues the theme: ‘The one who is victorious, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.’ The allusions to Revelation 20 end in the church letters with the words:

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rv 3:21)

Revelation 20:4 says:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.

Storms (2015 [2013]:460) briefly but correctly states: ‘These parallels between Revelation 2 and 20 are certainly more than coincidental.’ John is repeatedly seeing the same thing as revealed by the ‘angel’ throughout the Apocalypse. This includes Revelation 20 into the body of the Apocalypse and of its theological thrust.

Some further examples are the following: Revelation 10:1, ‘Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven’; and 18:1, ‘After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven’, resembles Revelation 20:1, ‘And I saw and angel coming down out of heaven.’ It is fitting at this point to introduce the ‘recapitulation’ concept: ‘This has also been called the Recapitulation view, meaning that the structure of Revelation does not relate to consecutive events but frequently covers the same ground from different perspectives’ (Storms 2015 [2013]:427; see illustration in appendix 1).

Similarly, Revelation 12:9:

The great dragon was hurled down; that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him …

… can be compared to Revelation 20:2, ‘He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.’ Revelation 13:12 and 16 can be compared to Revelation 20:4, ‘They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.’

Further, Revelation 14:13 is an allusion to Revelation 20:4, ‘And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.’ Revelation 16:13 is very significant, because it mentions the ‘unholy trinity’ together, namely the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. Revelation 20:10 concludes what occurs in Revelation 19:20:

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

This clearly puts chapter 19 and 20 into a repeat of subject with a focus on different personalities.

Of special interest in Revelation 20 is how the Devil is dealt with, and the implications of the Devil’s influence on those who serve Jesus Christ. Nearly all the references in the body of the Apocalypse to Revelation 20 are from the seven letters and then later in the theological thrust related to Christ being victorious over the Devil (Rv 12–20; see appendix 2). Christians are ultimately victorious over the final ‘enemy’, namely death!

Exploring the structure of Revelation 20:1–10

Ladd (1979 [1972]:259), as a highly regarded classic pre-millennial, gives a sober warning to anyone attempting to understand Revelation 20: ‘The interpretation of this chapter has been the source of great debate and even conflict in the church.’ I suggest that the greater debate revolves around the structure of the entire Apocalypse rather than just the interpretation of Revelation 20. It’s not accurate scholarship to superimpose a structure on the book which would not have been recognised by the original readers:

The book of Revelation does not have the format of a typical letter or Gospel. It engages time and eternity, employs Old Testament symbolism, uses numbers creatively and explodes pictures onto the minds of the readers at will. (Pohlmann 2016 [2008]:192)

Revelation 20 is not an historical sequential result following the return of Jesus Christ in chapter 19.

Schreiner (2018:3) confirms my thinking when he points out that, ‘Then I saw’, is used 32 times in the Apocalypse and so its use in Revelation 20:1 more than likely points to another angle on events. Walhout (2000) correctly points out:

The battle is still being waged, but its outcome is shown to us in this vision. Look to see how the battle is progressing, knowing beforehand wither it is destined to go. (p. 203)

There is no peace on earth in any form of idyllic millennial kingdom in Revelation 20:1–10! The beast is active, people are being martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ and conflict is growing intensely through the 10 verses. Hanson (1989 [1975]) says further of apocalyptic literature in particular:

The visionaries, disillusioned with the historical realm, disclosed their vision in a manner of growing indifference to and independence from the contingencies of the political-historical realm, thereby leaving the language increasingly in the idiom of the cosmic realm of the divine warrior and his council. (p. 12)

Beckwith points us in the right direction. While there were expectations of an earthly messianic perfect reign of Christ (Ac 1:7–8) by Israel or a transcendental reign by others, ‘Between these two stands the somewhat vaguely apprehended idea of an earthly messianic kingdom of limited duration, preliminary to the perfect consummation of the end’ (Beckwith 1979 [1919]:735). In the final analysis, ‘There is nothing of the hopes of Israel, the Temple, the land of Israel and the restoration of the people in their national spiritual identity in chapter 20’ (Pohlmann 2016 [2008]:195).

The first 10 verses of Revelation 20 can be sub-divided into three complimentary themes. Revelation 20:1–3 deals with the ‘binding of Satan’, verses 4–6 deal with the ‘reign’ of saints together with Christ and verses 7–10 deal with the final overthrow of Satan when he once again usurps destructive authority on earth prior to the final consummation followed by the final judgement.

Revelation 20:1–3: The pattern of these three verses is very similar to that found in Jewish apocalyptic traditions. Stuckenbruck (2003:1567) observes that, ‘The notion of a temporary abode for evil powers in anticipation of the final judgement (cf. Isa. 24:21–22; Enoch 10:12; 21:10; Jub. 5:10; 4Q203 7, 8).’ Luke 8:31 acknowledges: ‘And they begged him relatedly not to order them into the Abyss.’ The Apocalypse touches on this subject several times before the emphatic statement in Revelation 20, for example in 9:1–2. Part of the quotation says: ‘When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and the sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.’

Regarding Revelation 20:4–6: Stuckenbruck (2003) refers to apocalyptic traditional expectation as a background understanding to these verses:

The combination of these traditions allows John to split up the eschatological judgement into two stages or resurrections, one which stresses the reward of the martyred righteous (‘first resurrection’) and another which stresses the judgement of the wicked (‘the second death’). (p. 1567)

Within Revelation 20:4 alone, there are a possible four sub-scenes! There are ‘thrones on which sat “those who had been given authority to judge”’. Then it is possible to ask whether those who died as martyrs are another scene. Du Rand (1991:231) points out that: ‘In any case, the general tenor of Revelation evidences a spirit and prospect of persecution.’ Further, there are people resisting the evil reign of the anti-Christ. Lastly, there are those who ‘came to life and reigned with Christ’. There would obviously be a relationship between all of these, but the point is that there are four localities.

In Revelation 20:5, the reference to the ‘first resurrection’ is the subject of much debate. We all know that the resurrection of Jesus changed the landscape of biblical revelation. We also know that Jesus is the ‘first fruits’ of the resurrection: ‘But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (1 Cor 15:20). According to the ‘harvest’ analogy, Jesus introduces a complete ‘harvest’ of resurrection following his resurrection stretching over the entire period under review.

What is additionally important, is that Revelation 20:6 states that those who participate in the ‘first resurrection’ overcome the sting of the ‘second death’: ‘Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them.’ What is the first ‘resurrection’ then? It could include several things: firstly, it could commence with a spiritual renewal (Jn 5:24): ‘he has crossed from death to life’. Secondly, it would include the passing from earthly life to life in eternity (2 Cor 5:1–5). Thirdly, it would continue in our ‘reign with Christ’: ‘Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God’ (Col 3:1). Storms (2015 [2013]:455) correctly concludes: ‘I am again led to conclude that zao, like anastasis, is entirely fitting as a description of the nature and blessedness of the intermediate state.’

Erickson (2016) disagrees:

The most common pre-millennial criticism of the view that the first resurrection is spiritual and the second physical is that it is inconsistent in interpreting identical terms (`εζησαν) in the same context. (p. 1114)

Firstly, the resurrection of Jesus was not entirely only physical or spiritual, but a combination of both. He could pass through doors, disappear at will and yet satisfy Thomas when he touched both hand and side wounds. Bauckham (1993:56) points out that: ‘His eternal livingness was interrupted by the experience of a human death, and he shared the eternal life of God through triumph over death.’ Secondly, the first resurrection of the believer is not entirely only spiritual. 2 Corinthians 5:1–5 includes the transition from a ‘tent’ to a ‘building’. Thirdly, the final resurrection will also not be entirely physical, but be included in the event commenced as the ‘first-fruits’. Fourthly, it needs to be noted that Paul uses ‘all’ in two ways in Romans 5:18. The first ‘all’ is all inclusive, whereas the second ‘all’ is conditional on faith in Jesus Christ. So, in fact there will be many excluded from the second ‘all’. It is not unreasonable to use words with slightly different nuances within different contexts.

Revelation 20:7–10: These verses complete the trilogy of pictures surrounding this experience of what appears to be a ‘long time’ on earth (1000 years), but a ‘short time’ in God’s perspective. Typical of the Apocalypse, each overview concentrates on one theme, while at the same time, there is a measure of ‘progress’ from the first to the third:

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. (Rv 20:7–8)

Revelation 20:1 commences with the period and verse 10 ends the same period.

It’s important to note that the nations of the world are present within this period and so are believers in Jesus Christ. Revelation 20:10 links this chapter to 19:19–21. ‘Described as “the second death,” this destruction is permanent and corresponds to the announcement of eternal torture for Babylon in 14:11 and 19:3 (20:10; cf. Isa. 34:10)’ (Stuckenbruck 2003:1568). It describes three ‘movements’ in the work of Christ. Kӧnig (1989:80) adds: ‘Each time the goal is really reached; yet inherent to the first two is a certain deficiency which requires a third mode.’ There are thus movement and fulfilment taking place all the time until the end is achieved.

The ‘1000’ years of Revelation 20:1–10

My own translation would preferably read as follows in order to remove the distraction of the historical ‘millennial debate’:

Revelation 20:2: In my vision the powerful messenger seized the ‘dragon’ that ‘ancient serpent’, who is the ‘devil’, or ‘Satan’ (see Rv 12:9) and dealt with him for what appears to us as a long period of time, but is a short period in God’s eternal understanding.

Revelation 20:6: They ‘came to life’ and seemed to have been resurrected and they reigned with Christ for this long period of time, which in God’s perspective is like one day (2 Pt 3:8–9).

Revelation 20:7: When this ruling period is over, Satan will alarmingly be released from his earlier restriction of Gospel success, and he will go out in a final burst to deceive the nations that have enjoyed the truthful Gospel for all this time.

The question of the ‘1000 years’ needs to be addressed against the background of Scripture itself. Psalm 90:4 is a good starting point for our purposes: ‘A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.’ Before this, Psalm 90:1 says: ‘Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.’ The psalmist is using figures of speech to convey something of the great faithfulness of God. One ‘measure’ of this is the hypothetical 1000 years compared to a sense of one day, or furthermore, one six-hour watch duty of a soldier at night. This stretches the comparison to 4000 years (four times six-hour watches).

2 Peter 3:8 picks up on this Psalm in its eschatological treatise: ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.’ Within the Apocalypse itself, the number 1000 is used repeatedly in its apocalyptic genre. For example, Revelation 5:11: ‘Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.’ Then in Revelation 7:4, ‘I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144 000 from all the tribes of Israel.’ For whatever reason, the writer has taken the number of the 12 tribes of Israel multiplied by 12 apostles and multiplied it again by one thousand (see also Rv 14:1). Storms 2015 [2013] concludes that, ‘“one thousand” rarely if ever is meant to be taken with arithmetic precision’.

Grudem (1994) is another pre-millennialist to criticise the approach taken in this article:

When we look through the whole Bible, a-millennialists will say, only one passage (Rv 20:1–6) appears to teach a future earthly millennial rule of Christ, and that passage is itself obscure. (p. 1114)

This article is an integrated Christ-centred model – not necessarily a-millennial, although it is very similar. The contention of this article is that none of the Old Testament peace and prosperity expectation nor any focus on Israel can be found in the contents of Revelation 20:1–10. The exegetical content is clearly that of the martyrdom of Christians, the negative activity of the beast and horrific conflict. Even Ladd (1997 [1974]) admits: ‘The Revelation nowhere expounds on the theology of the millennium.’ I am not sure what he means by that, because the book does expound on the period of time covered in Revelation 20 if exegeted correctly and correlated to the contents of the book.


Walhout’s reflection (2000) on Revelation 19 is very important as he says:

In the next chapter the ‘lake of fire’ is identified as the ‘second death’ (20:14). In subsequent visions John sees the devil being thrown into the lake of fire (20:10), ‘death and Hades were [also] thrown into the lake of fire’ 20:14 and finally all those whose names were not ‘written in the book of life’ (20:15) joined them in this fiery sea. (p. 202)

This is the unique contribution of Revelation 20:1–10: Satan is included in the judgement after a long and arduous conflict with ‘good’.

Wright (2011:176) adds to the discussion by saying: ‘It is hard enough to get people to envisage a two-stage post-mortem reality, with “resurrection” as the second of two stages. But Revelation 20 seems to envisage a three-stage reality …’ He goes on to ask the question: ‘No other writing, Jewish or Christian, has any mention of this “double resurrection”, let alone the surrounding events. What are we to make or this?’ This raises the importance of summarising the application of Revelation 20:1–10 for Christian life and discipleship.

To explain this, Walhout (2000) says:

To say that believers reign with Christ is to say that Satan is bound. If Christ reigns in us and we therefore reign with him, then Satan does not reign in us – he is bound. (pp. 203–204)

The Christian can live a victorious life starting here and now – and extending to eternity.

This needs to be followed by the next statement:

As long as this process continues, so long as the thousand years continues. Satan is bound, but his influence on human life is not completely eliminated. Only his ability to ‘deceive the nations’ is ended. (Walhout 2000:204)

The difficult concept to process is that Satan will be loosed to impose his unbridled influence. Yet, even in this scenario, believers will remain true to Jesus Christ. Walhout (2000) gives a chilling depiction of what this could look like:

Visualize this godless reaction to the gospel and to just civilization on a worldwide scale. The atheistic powers within the world will unite and acquire incredible power, such that will threaten the very existence of the entire Christian world. (p. 205)

In typical style, as found in the Apocalypse, one theme is dealt with at a time as the scene changes. In the case of Revelation 20:1–10, the scenes run concurrently with each other with differing degrees of intensity in time. Right and wrong has always played out side by side since Genesis 3:15. God has ‘marked’ his people in and through Jesus Christ on the one hand: ‘Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God’ (Rv 7:3). Christians are ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit of God (Eph 1:13). Yet, a ‘beast’, representing Satan, promises to ‘counter-seal’ those who follow evil: ‘It also forced all people, great and small, free and slave, to receive the mark on their right hands and on their foreheads’ (Rv 13:16).

The witnesses to Jesus are promised to be effective and triumphant, but not without a fight! The stronger Christians become in influence and the counter reaction can be expected to be equally fierce. Yet, the moment will come when the Devil will join the ‘beast’ and ‘false prophet’ in the ‘burning lake of sulphur’. Opposition to God’s plan and purpose will finally end. Even De Waal (2013:4) who has a different stance to this article admits in a developing consensus of opinion among Evangelical thinkers today: ‘The conflict that began in Genesis is finally resolved in Revelation.’

Schüssler Fiorenza (1989) offers the following words:

Rev. does not describe, therefore, a continuous development of events from the beginning to the final eschatological judgement and salvation. Rather Rev. consists of pieces or mosaic stones arranged in a certain design, which climaxes in a description of the final eschatological event. The goal and high point of the composition of the whole book … is the final judgement and the eschatological salvation. (p. 47; see appendix 2)

John Stott (2006 [1984]) offers the following pastoral theological counsel on the last page of his book to any Christian at any time:

This means that God has a leadership role of some degree and kind for each of us. We need then, to seek his will with all our hearts, to cry to him to give us a vision of what he is calling us to do with our lives and to pray for grace to be faithful (not necessarily successful) in obedience to the heavenly vision. (p. 498)


Competing interest

The author declares that no competing interest exists.

Author contributions

I declare that I am the sole author of this research article.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability statement

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.

Ethical consideration

This article followed all ethical standards for carrying out research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.


Bauckham, R., 1993, The climax of prophecy: Studies in the book of Revelation, T&T Clark, Edinburgh.

Beckwith, I.T., 1979 [1919], The Apocalypse of John: Studies in introduction with a critical and exegetical commentary, Baker, Grand Rapids, MI.

De Villiers, P.G.R., 2017, ‘Reading the book of Revelation politically’, Stellenbosch Theological Journal 2017 3(2), 339–360. https://doi.org/10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a15

De Waal, K., 2013, ‘The downfalls of Satan in the book of Revelation’, Ministry: International Journal for Pastors 85(2), 22–24.

Du Rand, J.A., 1991, Johannine perspectives: Introduction to the Johannine writings, Part 1, Orion, Doornfontein.

Erickson, M.J., 2013 [1983], Christian theology, 3rd edn., Baker, Grand Rapids, MI.

Grentz, S.T., 2000 [1994], Theology for the community of God, pp. 571–660, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Grudem, W., 1994, Systematic theology:. An introduction to biblical doctrine, IVP, London.

Hanson, P.D., 1989 [1975], The Dawn of Apocalyptic: The historical and sociological roots of Jewish Apocalyptic Eschatology, Fortress, Philadelphia, PA.

Heiser, M.S., 2015, The unseen realm, recovering the supernatural worldview of the Bible, Lexham Press, Bellingham.

Kӧnig, A., 1989, The eclipse of Christ in Eschatology. Toward a Christ-centred approach, Marshall, London.

Kylie, R., 1998, Awaiting the millennium: A history of end-time thinking, IVP, Leicester.

Ladd, G.E., 1972, A commentary on the Revelation of John, pp. 244–279, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Ladd, G.E., 1979 [1972], A commentary on the Revelation, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Ladd, G.E., 1997 [1974], A theology of the New Testament, rev. edn., Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Matthewson, D., 2001, ‘A re-examination of the millennium in Rev 20:1–6: Consummation and recapitulation’, JETS 44(2), 237–251.

Pannenberg, W., 1998, Systematic theology, vol.3, pp. 527–646, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Piper, J., 2009, An evening of Eschatology – Pre-millennialism, a-millennialism, post-millennialism, viewed 24 May 2019, from www.youtube.com/watch?v=4soTQ2dXnms

Pohlmann, M.H., 2015, ‘Embracing a vision of the New Jerusalem (Rv. 21:1–22:5) to impact on the life of society’, In die Skriflig 49(2), Art. #1854, 1–7 https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i2.1854

Pohlmann, M.H., 2016 [2008], From above, for below: Exploring the book of Revelation theologically, Hebron, Benoni.

Russell, B.A., 2013, Christ’s return as King of Kings: A comprehensive biblical and devotional study of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, Grace Publishers, Glasgow.

Schreiner, T.R., 2018, What is the Millennium? (Revelation 20), viewed 23 May 2019, from www.crossway.org/articles/what-is-the-millennium-revelation-20/

Schüssler Fiorenza, F., 1989 [1985], The Book of Revelation: Justice and judgement, Fortress, Philadelphia, PA.

Storms, S., 2015 [2013], Kingdom come [The a-millennial alternative], Mentor, Bellshill.

Stott, J., 2006 [1984], Issues facing Christians today, 4th edn., Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

Stuckenbruck, L.T., 2003, ‘Revelation’, in J.D.G Dunn & J.W. Rogerson, Eerdmans commentary on the Bible (eds.), pp. 1535–1572, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Tennent, T.C., 2007, Theology in the context of World Christianity: How the global Church is influencing the way we think about and discuss Theology, pp. 221–248, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

Walhout, E., 2000, Revelation down to earth: Making sense of the Apocalypse of John, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.

Wright, T., 2011, Revelation for everyone, SPCK, London.

Appendix 1

I have noted another way of reading Revelation. This illustration demonstrates the repetition of themes with Jesus being both the ‘Alpha’ and the ‘Omega’ in each instance. Thus, in one sense, the meaning of Revelation can be appreciated by reading any one of the segments and it will demonstrate how Jesus is glorified in every instance.

FIGURE 1-A1: Revelation structure.

Appendix 2

In the final presentation, the revelation is presented to us today in the order of 22 sequential chapters. This could mistakenly miss the point of the obvious parallels with multidimensional visuals to the senses. The reader needs to be sensitised to the complex process of reading Revelation. It is just a book in the sense of an epistle or even a gospel. There is an unfolding multi-dimensional process of communicating with a measure of elements of progress from one point to another (Rm 8:28).

FIGURE 1-A2: Revelation: Chapters 1– 22.

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.