Intro to The Book of Revelation
For me, it all began when I taught a course at Maple Grove Family Camp in Thamesford, Ontario. I had been asked whether I would be willing to teach a course on Prophecy & The Second Coming. This was to be held in August 1972. I had never taught or studied much in this area, but fools rush in, where angels fear to tread and wise men never go. I said “yes”, and then was informed that the textbook for the course had already been chosen and ordered. The book happened to be “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey. Since I had two months to prepare myself for the event, I went ahead and read the text. I had not taken any courses in College or Seminary that dealt with this theme in any serious way. As I read the book, I wrote my reaction at the end of each chapter. After the first chapter I wrote “Do I believe this?” At the close of the next chapter I wrote, “I don’t believe this, do I?” As I continued to read my comments changed to, “I do not believe this! So what do I believe?” The next two months were invested in exploring the New Testament looking for any biblical texts that dealt with the theme. I ignored the textbook, taught the seminar, and my audience was kind!
3 years later, in 1975 I took a course in “Inter-Testamental History & Literature” from Dr. Richard Longenecker at the U of Toronto. This course proved to me to be invaluable. It changed my way of reading the four gospels and the rest of the N.T. and particularly the book of the Revelation. Then a decade later in 1985 I took another course while at McGill University in “Apocalyptic Literature” taught by Dr. D. R. Runnalls. This further stimulated my mind as I thought about this last book of the Bible.
Over the past 30 years since then I have taught on the Book of Revelation at least a dozen different times in college and seminary courses, and in church camps and conferences. I must confess to my impudence, however. I have sub-titled my approach; “How to save the Book of the Revelation from the hands of its friends.” The book has been maligned and mangled by those who love it best. I wanted to help restore it back to what it had been intended to be: a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
In the following seven chapters I do not hope to “explain” the details of this book. My only task will be to help you read this book as the first readers read it at the close of the first Christian century. If you are interested, read on.
If you want to respond to anything I say about this book, you may respond on prodigalprof.com or at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you joy in your journey!
Prof. David N. Ashton.