Starting a Class on Revelation – Any Suggestions

So I have finally bit the bullet and just started a class on Revelation last week. Since this is my first time teaching this book I thought maybe a few of you who have might have some words of wisdom or perspective to offer. Here are my reference books:

Am I missing anything you think critical to understanding the book? And don’t toss the Left Behind Series at me 🙂


Passing Notes in Class Goes All the Way Back to Ancient Biblical Copyists

I just love this quote from Bruce Metzger’s book The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th Edition)

Though scribes were forbidden to talk to one another in the scriptorium, the more irrepressible found devious ways to communicate with each other. One such means was to jot remarks in the margin of the page being transcribed and to show it to one’s neighbor. The margins of a ninth-century Latin manuscript of Cassiodorus’ commentary on the Psalms contain a variety of commonplace remarks written in Irish. For example: ‘It is cold today.’ ‘That is natural; it is winter.’ ‘The lamp gives a bad light.’ ‘It is time for us to begin to do some work.’ ‘Well this vellum is certainly heavy!’ ‘Well, I call this vellum thin!’ ‘I feel quite dull today; I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’

(p. 20-21).

The Two Most Important Dates You Never Heard Of

There are many dates that are etched into our memory. We hear July 4, 1776 and think indpendence, December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor, and on and on you could go. Then we have arbitrary dates that mark historical events that are difficult to date like December 25 and Christmas. But there is another date that doesn’t make the average week-at-a-glance planner. Chances are it isn’t a postal or school holiday. Even its liturgical celebration is not on a fixed day but has been placed instead on the day of the week rather than the actual calendar day. I am talking about the dates for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In Bruce Metzger’s New Testament: Background, Growth, and Content he believes the crucifixion of Jesus took place on April 7, 30, which would put his resurrection on April 9. We don’t have rock solid confirmation of this date but I think it is a pretty good guess. So there you have it, two dates that probably have the most significance in your life as a Christian that you most likely never heard the likely dates for.