Over the weekend I gave a series of Bible studies at the Black Stump Festival entitled Beauty and the Beast: Empire in the Book of Revelation. In these studies I attempted to set out a fairly cursory overview of some themes in the Bible’s most misunderstood book by zooming in on three key characters—the Beast, the Prostitute and the Lamb—and applying the resulting interpretation to empire today.
I have been asked by quite a number of people for a copy of my notes. While my originals would have been quite indecipherable to anyone but me, I have attempted here to provide a rough version of my study in prose form. I don’t intend these to be highly detailed, much less scholarly, since they were given as a Bible study for all ages. Still, I hope they help out some of my readers.
Before getting into the notes I want to recommend a series of posts entitled Reading Revelation that my friend Josh Dowton has started writing over on his blog. Josh is doing his PhD in Revelation, and is far more knowledgeable on the subject than am I. His posts will no doubt be very helpful for those wanting to understand more about Revelation (and it happens to be great timing that he is currently in the middle of writing them!) In truth my many conversations with Josh have been a big influence on my own understanding of Revelation.
My original study was in three parts, but I will split these next posts into four:
Part 1: Revelation in Context Read the rest of this entry
Warning: Bible nerd alert.
Well it has been a while since I blogged. Good to get some thoughts down again.
This will also be my first time in a while writing on biblical studies, and it feels good to be back talking about a discipline I feel at home in…
So I have been writing a series of lectures on the Gospel of Matthew, and over the last two weeks have written on the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25, a section I have broadly referred to as Jesus’ Apocalypse. This section of Jesus’ teaching is thought by most people to be about the so-called ‘End Times’, with the vast majority of biblical commentators claiming at least most of the discourse is related to that event.
More specifically, Matthew 24:30 has been taken by most as referring to the Second Coming:
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
However I have taken a different view. Keep Reading…