(This is Day 22 of our 30-day breakdown of the book of Revelation.)
“Actually there is a remarkable parallel between the beginning of the Bible and the end. In Genesis 3 we see Adam and Eve in paradise – before the fall. Then in the last chapter of Revelation, the last chapter of the whole Bible, we see paradise restored. We see the tree of life (from Genesis 3) now flourishing beside the water of life that flows through the centre of the new Jerusalem. The end is a return to the beginning, but it is much more than that. There’s no city of Jerusalem in Genesis 3. At the end paradise is restored, but with added value. The end exceeds the beginning.”
— Richard Bauckham, eminent scholar on the Book of Revelation, in a sermon
Dr. Richard Bauckham, one of the most acclaimed of Revelation scholars, gives a concise overview of the Bible’s strangest book in this sit-down with United Methodist theologian Ben Witherington Jr.
Bauckham agrees with Witherington that the book is a call to martyrdom, not a call to take up arms. Revelation is what Witherington describes as “a farewell to arms.”
The two agree that the judgment aspect is about leaving judgment to God.
It’s worth eight minutes of your time to hear this conversation between these two biblical scholars.
Today’s takeaway is:
22. The aspects of judgment and gloom and doom are far outweighed, Dr. Bauckham notes, by the author John of Patmos’s call to simply follow the way of Jesus and to stay grounded in hope and expectation of God’s good creation restored and, in fact, improved up.