Revelating of the Johannes

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New Testament
Acts of the Apostles
Paul's letters
Catholic letters
John looks at the visions of Revelation on Patmos, altarpiece by Hans Memling , 1479
The apocalyptic woman and the dragon, Bamberg Apocalypse (around 1000), cf. Rev 12: 3b-4  EU

The Revelation of John (according to some translations: “The revelation of Jesus Christ through John”) or the Apocalypse (according to Rev 1,1  EU , ancient Greek ἀποκάλυψις apocalypsis , literally “Revelation”) is the last book of the New Testament . It is the only prophetic book of the New Testament and became a book of comfort and hope for oppressed Christians during the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire .

As a first-person narrator, the author John addresses himself in the form of a letter in the seven letters within the Revelation to seven churches in Asia Minor in the eastern hinterland of Ephesus . These were theologically shaped by the Apostle Paul and now suffered from persecution or at least from severe restrictions. Since the Middle Ages , the Revelation of John has been divided into 22 chapters.


In the early Church it was felt since the second century that it was in the first-person narrator John to the Apostle John or (Jn 21.2) the author of the Gospel of John , so the Evangelist John IN QUESTION. This was controversial in the Eastern Church , and Revelation was not part of the canonical scriptures for a long time .

Papias († around 140) attributed an apostolic origin to the book, as did Justin the Martyr († 165): "Furthermore, one who was with us, called John and belonged to the apostles of Christ, prophesied in a revelation." Irenaeus says expressly that the apostle John was the author of the revelation, Clemens of Alexandria († around 215) and Tertullian († after 220) confirm this. Origen († around 254) wrote: “John at last, who lay on the breast of Jesus, left a Gospel [...] He wrote the Apocalypse. "

This view is practically no longer represented in today's continental European exegesis (but see below dating ). Linguistic, content and formal deviations are cited as arguments. The author of Revelation does not claim any apostolic authority comparable to Paul . For this he mentions “three times his name” (1.4 EU  9 EU ; 22.8 EU ), while the author of the Gospel of John avoids mentioning his name.

The majority of the author is considered to be an early Christian prophet who belongs to a group of prophets; so he speaks of his "brothers, the prophets" (22.9 EU ). Language and world of thought indicate an origin from Palestinian Jewish Christianity . In the text himself he describes that he is living in exile on the island of Patmos before Ephesus (1.9). Therefore, this John of Revelation is also called John of Patmos in the English-speaking world .

The ancient historian Theodor Mommsen wrote in his work The Roman Empire about "the appearance of a false Nero in the last years of Vespasians ". This is the one who initiated the revelation of St. John. “The 'false Nero', in reality a certain Terentius Maximus from Asia Minor, but deceptively similar to the singer emperor in face, voice and arts, found not only support in the Roman area on the Euphrates, but also support from the Parthians . […] However, this had no consequences; rather soon afterwards the Parthian government handed the pretender over to Emperor Domitianus . "


The writing is written in the form of a letter and, with the seven letters, is addressed to the seven congregations in Ephesus , Smyrna , Pergamon , Thyatira , Sardis , Philadelphia and Laodicea (1.11 EU ). The Beatitudes and the closing of the book as well as the symbolism of the number seven suggest, however, that a wider audience should be adopted .


Until the end of the 19th century, the so-called early dating to the emergence of the Apocalypse was generally used in interpretation and research. The decisive factor for this was - as Berger / Nord still state today : "Jerusalem has not yet been destroyed, [..] suggests that it originated before 70 AD. On the other hand, since Nero is known and seen as a counter-image to Jesus, a date to 68/69 AD seems plausible. "

In the standard work Critical-Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (KEK) , 6th edition 1906, Wilhelm Bousset wrote :

“All these commentators [of the 19th century] start from the decisive observation that Apk 11 speaks of the preservation of the temple [...]. Accordingly, the Apk, of whose unity one is convinced [...], must be written before the destruction of Jerusalem . One recognizes correctly that the Apk is essentially directed against Rome, one adheres to the Nero interpretation and counting the six heads either as far as Galba or by jumping over the interregnum to Vespasian . [... So] the literary unity of the Apk was established as an axiom for a long time “ Friedrich Engels also dated the revelation in 1883 to the reign of Galba (June 9, 68 to January 15, 69).

This conception of the Apocalypse as a unified work, written by a single author, was first questioned in 1820 by Bleek, who assumed “that the first part was written before the destruction, the second after it.” First “Völter - at his suggestion Lehrers Weizsäcker (1882) - (appeared) with a detailed source separation of the Apk. (1904) ".

This separation of sources and the acceptance of parts of the Revelation that arose at different times stimulated a flood of (often parallel) research work, one of which Bousset highlights: Johannes Weiss : The Revelation of Johannes , 1904, which is based primarily on Spitta's attempt, to prove a Christian Urapocalyptic in Revelation, and in addition to a "Urapocalypse [...] of the second half of the 1960s [...] a Jewish apocalypse that was written in 70 during the Roman onslaught on Jerusalem" know - united by an “editor, [...] a writer who himself has something to say; this apoc. In the last hand, the Apk turned a prophecy against the Roman Empire and the imperial cult. "

On the basis of Bousset's summary of the change in perception of authorship, which - also with regard to information from ancient authors ( Suetonius ) and church fathers (especially Irenaeus of Lyon ) - brought the reign of Domitian (81-96) into focus, today this time is preferred as the time of origin of the Revelation.

  • According to Ulrike Riemer (1998) there is “no reasonable reason to doubt the dating of Irenaeus to the time around 95 AD.” The majority of the authors adhere to this dating. Riemer names 37 European publications.
  • Also Traugott Holtz sees dating to about 95 n. Chr. "Largely be accurate accepted. [... Whereby] a dating of Rev. in its present form to the end of the 1st century, however, it does not exclude the assumption that text pieces are integrated into them by the author that were already created by himself or by others and that thereby give signals to another Carry the original situation within. "
  • Akira Satake, editor of the current edition of the Critical-Exegetical Commentary , 2008, also bases the statement on Irenaeus (“at the end of Domitian's reign”) and sees “this date [...] confirmed by a number of other Church Fathers ( Clement of Alexandria , Origen , Victorinus of Poetovio , Eusebius of Caesarea , Pseudo-Augustinus, Hieronymus ). ”[In the quotation with indication of the text passages]. Also “the legend of the returning Nero [...] presupposes the creation of the book after Nero's death. [...] Second, the naming of Rome as Babylon presupposes that, like Babylon, it has already destroyed Jerusalem; therefore the book cannot have been written before 70. "
  • Elaine Pagels , 2013, comments cautiously: "... most likely the time is around 68 AD or between 90 and 96 AD. There is no definite evidence for this, but the latter date seems more plausible to me."

The recent assumption that it was first written in the Trajan period (98–125) or even under Hadrian ("around 132 AD") is considered to be a late dating. Satake considers this argument, which is primarily based on contemporary history and the imperial cult, to be “unconvincing”.


The Whore of Babylon , representation from the Hortus Deliciarum the Herrad of Landsberg , 1180
  1. Foreword 1, 1–3
  2. Seven letters 1, 4–3, 22
    1. Introduction by letter - Greetings to the seven congregations 1, 4–8
    2. The commissioning vision 1: 9–20 John receives the commission
      from the heavenly Christ in a vision to write everything down.
    3. To the church in Ephesus 2: 1-7
    4. To the church in Smyrna 2, 8–11
    5. To the congregation in Pergamon 2: 12-17
    6. To the church in Thyatira 2: 18-29
    7. To the church in Sardis 3: 1-6
    8. To the Church in Philadelphia 3: 7-13
    9. To the church in Laodicea 3: 14-22
  3. Prophetic Visions 4.1-22.5
    1. Vision of God enthroned in heaven 4.1–11
      Around the throne of God, from which lightning, voices and thunder emanate, there are 24 other thrones on which the 24 elders sit. All around are seven torches and four living beings (figures) full of eyes (lion, bull, human, eagle).
    2. The book with the seven seals 5: 1–14
      The lamb receives from God a scroll sealed with seven seals
    3. The opening of the seven seals 6.1–8.1
      1. The first four seals ( the four horsemen of the apocalypse ) 6.1–8
        1. The first seal 6: 1-2
          A white horse appears, the rider (the victor) has a bow
        2. The second seal 6: 3-4
          A fiery red horse appears, the rider has a sword
        3. The third seal 6: 5–6
          A black horse appears, the rider has scales
        4. The fourth seal 6: 7–8
          A pale horse appears, the rider is called “Death” and receives power over a quarter of the earth
      2. The last three seals 6.9–8.5
        1. The Fifth Seal 6: 9–11
          The souls of the martyrs appear who demand judgment
        2. The sixth seal 6: 12–17 After earthquakes and cosmic appearances, the sky is rolled up
          like a scroll. The people hide in the mountains.
        3. The Preservation of the Church
          7.1–17 144,000 servants of God from all tribes of Israel get a seal on their foreheads. An innumerable crowd from all nations gathers with palm branches around the throne of God, and they feed the lamb.
        4. The Seventh Seal 8: 1-5
          There is half an hour of silence in heaven. Then seven angels get seven trumpets.
    4. Blowing the seven trumpets 8: 6-11,19
      1. The first four trumpets 8: 6-13
        1. The first trumpet 8: 7
          hail and fire mixed with blood fall on the land. A third of the earth is burned.
        2. The second trumpet 8: 8–9
          A burning mountain falls into the sea. A third of the creatures in the sea and a third of the ships are destroyed.
        3. Third Trumpet 8: 10-11
          A star called “wormwood” falls into rivers and springs. A third of the water becomes bitter and many people die from the water.
        4. The fourth trumpet 8: 12–13
          The sun, moon and stars lose a third of their luminosity. An eagle calls out "woe" three times.
      2. The last three trumpets (the three woes) 9: 1–11: 19
        1. The fifth trumpet 9: 1-12
          The pit of the abyss is opened. Locusts come out of it with their King Abaddon to torment people without a god seal for five months.
        2. The sixth trumpet 9: 13-21
          Four angels who were chained on the Euphrates are untied. A third of humanity is killed by fire, smoke and sulfur from the mouths of thousands and thousands of horses. Still, the rest of the people don't want to be converted.
        3. Commission of the prophecy of the endings 10.1–11.2
          An angel with a booklet comes down from heaven and gives it to John to eat. Then John gets a measuring stick to measure the temple of God.
        4. The Testimony of the Two Prophets 11: 3–14
          Two mighty prophets testify for 1,260 days. Killed by the beast, they are left on the road for three and a half days, then they are raised and go up to heaven. A tenth of the city collapses and 7,000 people are killed.
        5. Seventh Trumpet 11: 15–19
          The 24 elders praise God for taking reign. The temple of God is opened and the ark of the
          covenant becomes visible. There is a tremor and heavy hail.
    5. The fight of Satan against the people of God 12: 1–14: 5
      1. The woman and the dragon (“The Myth of the Apocalypse”) 12: 1–18
        A woman giving birth and a dragon with seven heads and ten horns appear who wants to devour the child. The woman gives birth to a son who becomes God and flees into the desert for 1260 days. In a battle in heaven, Michael and his angels defeat the dragon and his angels and bring them down to earth. The dragon cannot defeat the woman with a stream of water because the earth devours the water. The dragon decides to wage war against the descendants of the woman and goes to the beach of the sea.
      2. The two animals 13: 1–18
        An animal with ten horns and seven heads rises out of the sea. It gets power over all peoples for 42 months, blasphemes God and fights the saints. Another beast with two horns, the false prophet, comes out of the earth. It makes people worship the first beast and forces them to mark themselves with the number of its name, 666.
      3. The Lamb and His 14: 1-5
        The Lamb stands on Mount Zion. There are 144,000 people with him who have his and his father's names on their foreheads. The 144,000 who are virgins sing a new song before the throne of God that only they could learn.
    6. The judgment 14.6–20.15
      1. Judgment Announcement 14: 6-13
        Three angels announce the Last Judgment , the fall of Babylon, and the punishment of those who worship the first beast. A voice calls out "Blessed are those who die in the Lord".
      2. Harvest and Grape Harvest 14:14–20
        Because the fruit has ripe, the Son of Man hurls a sickle onto the earth. An angel hurls a winemaker's knife to harvest grapes from the vine. The wine press of God's wrath is trodden on and blood flows from it.
      3. The seven angels with the seven last plagues 15.1
      4. The overcomers of the beast sing praises to God 15: 2-4
      5. The seven bowls of God's wrath 15: 5–16:21
        1. The handover of the bowls 15: 5-8
          The seven angels with the seven plagues receive seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God from one of the four living beings (figures).
        2. The first bowl is poured over the land 16,2
          A nasty and bad ulcer forms on the people with the mark of the animal.
        3. The second bowl is poured on the sea 16,3
          The sea becomes blood; all living things in the sea die.
        4. The third bowl is poured over the rivers and springs 16: 4-7.
          The water becomes blood.
        5. The fourth bowl is poured over the sun. 16.8–9
          People burn in the heat. Nevertheless, they do not convert.
        6. The fifth bowl is poured over the throne of the beast 16: 10–11
          Darkness comes over the realm of the beast. People get scared, but they don't let go of their goings-on.
        7. The sixth bowl is poured over the Euphrates 16: 12–16
          The water in the Euphrates dries up. Three unclean spirits from the mouth of the beast and the false prophet lead the kings to Armageddon to fight on the great day of God.
        8. The seventh bowl is poured over the air 16: 17-21
          . Lightning, thunder and a tremendous earthquake follow. The cities collapse, all islands and mountains disappear. Huge chunks of hail fall on people and people curse God.
      6. The Whore Babylon and the Beast 17: 1–18
        The mother of the whores (the goddess of Rome), drunk with the blood of the saints, sits on a scarlet beast. An angel announces the fall of the woman and the beast.
      7. The Fall of Babylon 18: 1-8
        Death, grief, hunger and fire descend upon the city. She has to trade pomp and luxury for agony and grief.
      8. The Lamentation of the Fall of Babylon 18: 9–24 The kings, the merchants and the ship owners
        weep and lament. Rejoice, you saints, God has judged the city for your sake.
      9. Rejoicing in heaven and announcement of the marriage of the Lamb 19: 1-10
      10. The rider on the white horse (Christ) triumphs over the beast and the false prophets 19: 11-21
        The rider, with the names "The faithful and truthful", "The word of God" and "King of kings and Lord of lords" , follows the army of heaven. A sharp sword comes out of the rider's mouth. The two beasts and the assembled kings of the earth are defeated and thrown into the lake of burning sulfur.
      11. The Millennial Kingdom 20: 1-6
        An angel ties the dragon (Satan) and locks him up in the abyss for a thousand years . All who, despite the danger, continued to testify to Jesus and were killed, come to life (the 1st resurrection) and rule together with Christ.
      12. The last fight and the final victory over Satan 20: 7–10
        After a thousand years, Satan is set free and gathers all nations to fight the saints. Fire falls from the sky and consumes them. Satan is thrown into the lake of burning sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are also.
      13. The Last Judgment 20: 11-15
        The earth and heaven disappear. The book of life is opened. The rest of the dead rise and are judged according to their works. Those who are not listed in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire. Death and his kingdom (underworld) are thrown into the lake of fire.
    7. The new world of God 21: 1–22: 5
      A new heaven, a new earth and the new Jerusalem, the bride of the Lamb, with twelve gates and twelve foundation stones on which the names of the twelve apostles are written. God dwells in the midst of his people. There is neither death nor suffering; also no temple, for God is the temple. From the throne of God and the Lamb goes out the water of life, by which the trees of life stand.
  4. Epilog 22: 6–21
    Blessed is he who keeps the words of this book. But whoever adds or removes something from the book will be plagued by God and will take away part of the tree of life. Come Lord Jesus (Maranatha)! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone!


Revelation altar by Otto Flath in the Anchark Church (Neumünster) with around 250 motifs from the Revelation of John

The Apocalypse is a coherent allegorical composition that makes use of the contemporary but not necessarily biblical symbolic values ​​of animals, colors and numbers. The author makes extensive use of Old Testament prophecy (especially the prophets Isaiah , Ezekiel and Daniel ) and their imagery. Early Jewish apocalyptic motifs are also present in many places.

The interpretation of the individual images or stories is often controversial. For example, the following references would be possible:

  • the 4 stands for a cosmic whole
  • the 7 stands for perfection. Accordingly, the seven churches addressed can also be understood as representatives of all of Christianity.
  • 3.5 stands for the second half of the last week of the year (see Daniel 11 and 12)
  • the 12 (a dozen) was the basis of the common counting system in antiquity , to which the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve disciples of Jesus can be traced back
  • the 42 months in which the beast is said to have power over the earth represent half of a seven- year sabbatical year cycle
  • 666 is the numerical value that encodes the name of the beast ( Rev 13 : 17-18  EU )
  • the dragon stands for satan
  • the animal from the sea can be related to the “totalitarian end-time state power”
  • the animal from the country can be understood as the “personification of the political propaganda apparatus”.


Revelation was very controversial in the ancient Church, especially in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire . However, it was recognized as canonical by most of the Church Fathers .

The statements of Gaius about Kerinth that Eusebius reports, however, do not refer to Revelation.

Only with the 39th Easter letter of Athanasius (367) was the Apocalypse recognized by almost all Christians in the West at that time as a valid part of the Bible canon. In contemporary Eastern Churches , Revelation is the only New Testament scripture that is never read out in worship . Since the liturgy as a whole is understood as revelation, this means that the revelation does not have a fully canonical status in practice. The Syriac Orthodox Church does not recognize the revelation of John at all and does not print it in its Bibles either.

Text lore and style

Perhaps because of the discussion about its canonicity, Revelation was copied less often than the other books of the New Testament. Of the 320 preserved uncials , only a dozen or so texts from Revelation and only very few of them offer the entire text.

The Greek of Revelation is mixed with semitisms and often deviates from the usual grammar of Koiné . There are also differences in style and choice of words from all other books of the New Testament. In addition, because of the difficult-to-interpret statements when copying, interventions in the text transmission were more frequent than usual; accordingly, there are strong deviations in the surviving texts. Of all the books of the New Testament, it is the book with the greatest text-critical problems. In contrast to the other parts of the New Testament, the Codex Alexandrinus is the most important textual witness even before the Codex Sinaiticus , while the Codex Vaticanus lost the ending and the text of the Revelation is therefore not preserved.

Reception and impact history

“The leaping lamb of God with the seven eyes, surrounded by two angels”, fresco by Herbert Boeckl , north wall of the angel chapel, Seckau basilica

The expressions have entered the general vocabulary:

  • Book with seven seals , cf. Rev 5
  • The alpha and omega relates to Rev 22:13: "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
  • Lamb of God : Christ as the Lamb of God is invoked in the liturgy and has become a frequent pictorial motif in art. The motif is also used by the Gospel of John ( Joh 1.29  EU , Joh 1.36  EU ) and most likely refers to prophecies from the book of Isaiah ( Isa 53.7  EU ).
  • The "number of the beast (also: beast)", 666 , is very well known and popular nowadays, especially in connection with Satanism and depictions of demonism.

In exegesis , the view that the animal with the number 666 can be identified with Emperor Nero has found the most widespread use. If you add up the numerical values ​​of the Hebrew letters of his name ( נרון קסר neron kesar ), you get 666. However, an allegorical argument for early dating was only necessary and useful as long as Nero was still alive. As the only Roman emperor, Nero alone has survived several number puzzles.

In the Eastern Church little attention was paid to the Apocalypse, in the Western Church the view of Scripture was more positive. Nevertheless, theology discusses the significance of the Revelation of John to this day. Even Martin Luther knew her to start little: "My mind does not want to send in this book."

In various groups, the concept of the millennial kingdom ( Rev 20.4  EU ) played a special role, which was even politically reinterpreted under National Socialism . Today, revelation is particularly taken into account in the understanding of the faith of chiliastic groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses , the Christadelphians and the Adventists .

In addition to Daniel, Ezekiel, the eschatological discourses of Jesus in the synoptic gospels and Paul's first and second letters to Thessalonians , the Revelation of John had the greatest influence on the development of eschatology .

The American theologian Charles C. Ryrie identified four different interpretative traditions: the preterist, the historical, the idealistic, and the futuristic or literal interpretation. The preterism assume that the statements of Revelation have already met in the first Christian centuries. The historical interpretation, however, relates to the entire history of the Church up to the end of time. For the idealistic interpretation, the revelation is a pictorial representation that shows spiritual principles. In the futuristic interpretation, the book is interpreted from Chapter 4 as a report of events that have not yet occurred today.

The composer Joachim Raff created the oratorio World End - Judgment - New World , which premiered in Weimar in 1882 - the text spans the whole of Revelation. The Austrian composer Franz Schmidt set parts of the apocalyptic text in the work The Book with Seven Seals . The oratorio premiered in Vienna in 1938. The verse “The lamb that has been strangled” (5.12 EU ) appears as the final chorus in the Bach cantata I was very worried . The same verse is also used by George Frideric Handel at the end of his Messiah and by Louis Spohr in his oratorio The Last Things .

Critique of the Revelation of John

Non-theological interpretations

Over the centuries, the imagery of Revelation has not only stimulated church fathers and theologians from various churches and sects, but also secular writers and artists to look for interpretations. The scope of interpretation is very broad based on the assumption that a scientific explanation cannot do justice to pure prophecy anyway.

According to Friedrich Engels , Christianity, like any other great revolutionary movement created by the masses, seized the masses just like modern socialism: in the form of diverse sects and even more so through contradicting individual opinions. The book of Revelation is not the darkest and most mysterious, but the simplest and clearest book in the whole of the New Testament: not only the only one of which the date is really fixed, but also the oldest. What Christianity looked like in 68 can be seen in it as in a mirror. It is true that the book's prophecies “have now lost all meaning, except for simple-minded persons who may still try to figure out the day of the last judgment. However, as an authentic picture of an almost primitive Christianity, drawn by one of theirs, the book is worth more than all the other books of the New Testament put together. "


After "the Apocalypse between 120 and 150 had spread over almost the entire Church" - according to Heinrich Kraft, 1974, a circumstance because "it was viewed as the work of the Apostle John", it got into the dispute over the "new prophecy" ( Montanism ) in criticism because the "opponents of the Apocalypses (including the Revelation of Peter ) did not believe the books the apostolic composition." Also the later conflict, after the realization that the evangelist and apocalyptic were different people, had enforced and so the apocalypse was to be rejected, fizzled out: "When the Middle Ages entered, all criticism of the apocalypse fell silent, only to come back to life in the Reformation period." In contrast to these dogmatic arguments, the concept of God stands today Focus.

Jesus as a nonviolent savior

Georg Baudler sees the Apocalypse as a relapse from the existence and work of Jesus : Redemption from the bull god : “The 'son', the revelation of God as love. In terms of cultural and religious history, there is a fundamental change in the symbolic value of human history. [...] Jesus is [...] the nonviolent redeemer, who no longer wages war against the wilderness god in ursupatory self-exaggeration in order to destroy him. Rather, he [...] does not fight "against", but "with" God [...] like Jacob ( Gen 32.27  EU : 'I will not let go of you until you bless me.') Until the The sun rises on Easter morning, in the light of which it is shown that the graves are empty, that is, death and the power to kill are a mere projection of human fear, loved out of God by Jesus, wrung out and revealed as a pro-fanum as not belonging to God. "

Relapse of the Revelation of John

“The Secret Revelation has dissolved this characteristic of the work of Jesus again in the old images of the chaos battle between the hero of the light and the woman against the god of the wilderness. [...] The I-am-there-God or even the Abba Jesus is nowhere to be felt. There is only the obsolete dualistic struggle. In the end, the devil, their seducer, is thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast (the dragon) and the false prophet are also, they are tormented there day and night - for all eternity. (Rev 20:10). [...] In all these places those old layers of the Old Testament emerge, where the demonic is still a dimension of God. "

The redemption

In this respect, the Revelation of John - like the cross that Emperor Constantine had painted on the helmets and shields of his soldiers (p. 130) - is one of the “relapses in the history of the impact of the Jesuan revelation of God” (chapter heading in Baudler, “Stiergott ", P. 123.).

“Only an interpretation of the gospel” - so Baudler - “which is no longer oriented towards the idea of ​​sacrifice [and“ the punishment of evil ”, p. 129] can release and bring to bear the power of liberation and redemption that lies in it . ”(P. 131).

See also

Apocalyptic lamb on the book with seven seals, Johann Heinrich Rohr, around 1775


Ancient exegetical commentaries
Recent exegetical commentaries
  • David Edward Aune: Revelation . 3 volumes. Word Books, Dallas 1997; Nelson, Nashville 1998 (detailed scientific commentary)
  • William Barclay : Revelation of John, Series Interpretation of the New Testament, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1970, ISBN 3-7615-4517-7 .
  • Gregory K. Beale: The Book of Revelation. A Commentary on the Greek Text . The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 1999, ISBN 0-8028-2174-X .
  • Klaus Berger : Apocalypse of Johannes: Commentary. Herder publishing house, Freiburg / Br. 2017. ISBN 978-3-451-34779-5 .
  • Jacques Ellul : Apocalypse. The Revelation of John - Revelation of Reality , Neukirchen-Vluyn 1981
  • Heinz Giesen: The Revelation of John . Regensburg New Testament. Pustet, Regensburg 1997, ISBN 3-7917-1520-8 .
  • Traugott Holtz: The Revelation of Johannes . (NTD) Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-51387-3 .
  • Walter Klaiber : The Revelation of John, The Message of the New Testament , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-788-73391-9 .
  • Bruce J. Malina : The Revelation of John. Star visions and heavenly journeys . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-17-014241-0 (cultural anthropological exegesis).
  • Bruce J. Malina, John J. Pilch: Social Science Commentary on the Book of Revelation . Fortress, Minneapolis 2000, ISBN 0-8006-3227-3 (socio-historical exegesis).
  • Robert H. Mounce: The Book of Revelation . The new international commentary on the New Testament. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 1998, ISBN 0-8028-2537-0 .
  • Adolf Pohl The Revelation of Johannes. R. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1989, ISBN 3-417-25146-X .
  • Pierre Prigent: Commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2001
  • Rainer Riesner , Heinz-Werner Neudorfer , Eckhard J. Schnabel and Gerhard Maier : The Revelation of John Part 1: Chapters 1 - 11 , Historically Theological Interpretation Volume 5, SCM R.Brockhaus, Witten 2009 and 2019, ISBN 978-3-417 -29727-0 ; The Revelation of John Part 2: Chapters 12-22 , Historical Theological Interpretation, SCM R.Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2012 and 2018, ISBN 978-3-417-29728-7 .
  • Hubert Ritt : The Revelation of John . The New Real Bible 21. Real, Würzburg 1986 (2000 4 )
  • Jürgen Roloff : The Revelation of John . Zurich Bible Commentaries. TVZ, Zurich 2001 3
  • Akira Satake: The Revelation of John . Critical Exegetical Commentary 16. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-51616-4 .
  • Ben Witherington III : Revelation . New Cambridge Bible Commentary. University Press, Cambridge 2003; ISBN 0-521-00068-8 .
  • Klaus Wengst : "How much longer ?" Crying for justice and justice - an interpretation of the Apocalypse of John . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2010
Reception history
  • Beda Venerabilis : Opera , Volume 2.5: Expositio apocalypseos . Edited by Roger Gryson. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 121, A. 2001; ISBN 2-503-01213-2 .
  • Jürgen Brokoff: The apocalypse in the Weimar Republic . Fink, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7705-3603-7 .
  • Richard K. Emmerson (Ed.): The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages . Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1992, ISBN 0-8014-9550-4 .
  • Douglas W. Lumsden: And Then the End Will Come: Early Latin Christian Interpretations of the Opening of the Seven Seals . Studies in Medieval History and Culture 1. Garland, New York 2001, ISBN 0-415-92961-X .
  • Oecumenius: Commentarius in Apocalypsin . Edited by Marc De Groote. Traditio exegetica Graeca 8. Peeters, Leuven 1999, ISBN 90-429-0236-1 .
  • Werner Thiede: The Johannes apocalypse in the interpretation of Christian sects . EZW texts Information 130. Evangelical Central Office for Weltanschauung questions, Stuttgart 1996
Other scientific literature
  • David E. Aune, Arwed Arnulf: Article John Apocalypse / John Revelation . In: RGG 4 , Vol. 4, ISBN 3-16-146944-5 , pp. 540-549 (with further literature).
  • Thomas Johann Bauer: The millennial messiah kingdom of the Revelation of John. A literary-critical study on Rev 19.11 - 21.8 . de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017689-0 .
  • David L. Barr (Ed.): Reading the Book of Revelation. A Resource for Students . SBL Resources for Biblical study 44. Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta 2003, ISBN 1-58983-056-3 .
  • Otto Böcher: The Johannes apocalypse . Income from research 41st Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1988 (1998 4 ); ISBN 3-534-04905-5 (summarizing the research up to 1988).
  • Hermann Braun: A letter about the revelation of John . In: The Little Prophetess - Church Leadership. FS Gerrit Noltensmeier . Edited by Martin Böttcher, Arno Schilberg, Andreas-Christian Tübler. Wuppertal 2005, pp. 37-46.
  • Bernie L. Calaway: Revealing the Revelation. A Guide to the Literature of the Apocalypse . International Scholars Publisher, San Francisco 1998, ISBN 1-57309-155-3 .
  • Klaus Gamber: The secret of the seven stars. On the symbolism of the apocalypse . Pustet, Regensburg 1987, ISBN 3-7917-1140-7 .
  • Wilfrid J. Harrington: Sacra Pagina: Revelation. Michael Glazier 1993, ISBN 978-0-8146-5818-5 .
  • Heinrich Kraft: The pictures of the Revelation of John . Lang, Frankfurt a. M.-Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-631-47290-0 .
  • Robert L. Muse: The Book of Revelation. An Annotated Bibliography . Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 1387. Garland, New York-London 1996, ISBN 0-8240-7394-0 (Bibliography 1940–1990).
  • Mathias Rissi: The Whore Babylon and the seduction of the saints. A study on the Apocalypse of John [Contributions to the science of the Old and New Testament, volume 136 = volume 7, volume 16]. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-17-012988-0 .
  • Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza : The Book of Revelation. Vision of a just world . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-17-012489-7 .
  • Benedikt Schwank : The Apocalypse Concept of Time . In: Erbe und Einsatz, Vol. 43 (1967), pp. 279–293.
  • Hartmut Sommer: The throne in heaven. The cave of the Apocalypse of John on Patmos in the Aegean Sea. In: The great mystics . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-534-20098-6 .
  • Martin Stowasser (ed.): The image of God in the Revelation of John . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-16-153449-2 .
Philological translations

Web links

Commons : Apocalypse  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Revelation of John  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Bible text



  1. At the time mentioned, we have learned that Cerinth, the leader of another heresy, was alive. Gaius, whom we have already quoted above, writes about him in his investigation: 'And Cerinth gives us strange accounts in revelations which make it appear as if they were written by a great apostle, which he falsely claims to be his given by angels. For he says that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be on earth and that the bodies will live in Jerusalem and again indulge in passions and pleasures. And in contradiction to the scriptures of God and with seductive intent, he declares that a period of a thousand years will flow into joyous wedding celebration. ' Church history 3.28
  2. Revelation does not claim to have been given by angels, nor does it contain 1000 years of devotion to "passions and pleasures."
  3. "Through inconceivably long times and deeply impressing themselves in the early childhood of the human race, people experienced God as a bull-like wilderness force and a terrifying power to kill, even if through obedience and submission." (Baudler, 125).
  4. According to Baudler (for example in Judaism in primal experience) the “I-am-there-God” is “the God who came to expression in the historical event of the liberation from Egypt”. (P. 37). "In the event of Jesus' life, death and life beyond death, this I-am-there-God reveals himself as the 'Abba', the father and mother of all people" (p. 35).

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Roloff: Introduction to the New Testament . Reclam: Stuttgart, 2003, p. 248.
  2. Dialogue with Tryphon , 8,1,4.
  3. Jürgen Roloff: The Revelation of John (Zurich Bible Commentaries), 3rd edition Zurich 2001. p. 16.
  4. ^ William Barclay: Revelation of John 1 , Neukirchen-Vluyn 1970, p. 20.
  5. Jürgen Roloff : Introduction to the New Testament , Stuttgart 2003, p. 247 f. For the biblical reference see also: Rev 1,9 EU .
  6. ^ Theodor Mommsen: Das Römische Imperium der Caesaren , Safari-Verlag Carl Boldt, unabridged text edition, Berlin 1941, p. 306.
  7. Michael Bachmann: The Revelation of John. In: Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr (Hrsg.): Basic information New Testament: a biblical-theological introduction , Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht: Göttingen 2000, pp. 347–348.
  8. Extensive account of the positions of the last 200 years in Kenneth L. Gentry: Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation , Victorious Hope Publishing 2010, ISBN 978-0-9826206-0-1 .
  9. ^ Klaus Berger / Christiane Nord: The New Testament and Early Christian Writings , Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig 1999, p. 360. ISBN 3-458-16970-9 . Also Thomas Schirrmacher : Reasons for the early dating of the Revelation before 70 AD , p. 7 (PDF).
  10. Augustus , Tiberius , Caligula , Claudius , Nero, Galba
  11. ^ Wilhelm Bousset : s: The Revelation Johannis / The initiation of the correct understanding of the Apk , p. 105.
  12. ^ Wilhelm Bousset : s: The Revelation Johannis / The literary-critical method , p. 109.
  13. a b c Friedrich Engels: The book of revelation . In: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: Works . Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, 5 1975; Vol. 21, pp. 9-15. Originally in George William Foote 's Progress. A monthly magazine of advanced thought . Vol. II London 1883, p. 112-116. (English), (translated from English).
    See also Friedrich Engels: Zur Geschichte des Urchristentums (1894)
  14. Bleek: Contribution to the criticism and interpretation of the Revelation of Johannes , Berl. Theol. Ztschr. ||, 1820, p. 240 ff.
  15. ^ Wilhelm Bousset : s: The Revelation Johannis / The literary-critical method # Völter , p. 109.
  16. ^ Wilhelm Bousset : s: The Revelation of Johannis / The literary-critical method # J. White , p. 116 f.
  17. Ulrike Riemer: The beast on the imperial throne? An investigation into the revelation of John as a historical source , BG Teubner, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-519-07663-2 . P. 11
  18. Riemer, p. 8 ff.
  19. Traugott Holtz: The Revelation of Johannes , Das Neue Testament Deutsch (Ed .: Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr), Volume 11, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, p. 9 f. ISBN 978-3-525-51387-3 .
  20. Akira Satake: Critical-exegetical commentary on the New Testament (KEK): The Revelation of John , Volume 16, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, p. 52. ISBN 978-3-525-51616-4 .
  21. Satake, p. 53
  22. Elaine Pagels: Apocalypse , from the English by Rita Seuss. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2013. PT129 fn.14. Original: Revelations. Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Relevation , Viking Penguin, 2012.
  23. J. Frey: Considerations on the relationship of the Johannes apocalypse to the other writings of the Corpus Johanneum in: M. Hengel: Die johanneische question , WUNT 67, Tübingen 1993, 326-429.
    similar to A. Heinze: Johannes apocalypse and Johannine writings . Research and
    historical studies, BWANT 142, Stuttgart 1998, and Thomas Witulski: The Revelation of
    John and Kaiser Hadrian , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007. ISBN 978-3-525-53085-6 .
  24. Satake, p. 54
  25. Jürgen Roloff: The Revelation of John ; Zurich Bible Commentaries; Zurich: TVZ, 2001 3 ; P. 123.
  26. Here after H. Ritt, Art. Revelation of John , in: LThK 3, p. 997.
  27. Michael Bachmann: The Revelation of John , in: Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr (Hrsg.): Basic information New Testament: a biblical-theological introduction , Göttingen 2000, p. 347.
  28. a b Ritt, lc
  29. In Suetonius : Nero , 39.2 and in the Sibylline Oraklen : 5.28 to 31. John AT Robinson therefore considered Rev 13:18 to be “the Christian version of a well-known game”. ( When was the New Testament written?, P. 246).
  30. Charles C. Ryrie: Understanding the Revelation. Perspective and clarity about the most fascinating book in the Bible. Christliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Dillenburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-89436-875-3 , pp. 8-10; Original: Revelation- Everyman's Bible Commentary . Chicago 1996. p.6
  31. Quotations in: Handbuch zum New Testament, 16a: Heinrich Kraft: The Revelation of Johannes , JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Tübingen 1974, p. 7 ff. ISBN 3-16-135682-9 .
  32. Georg Baudler: Redemption from the bull god. Christian experience of God in dialogue with myths and religions , Kösel-Verlag, Munich and Calwer-Verlag, Stuttgart 1989, p. 86 f.
  33. Baudler: Redemption from the Bull God , pp. 82 and 87.