The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation while exiled on the island of Patmos by the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96). John wrote the book of Revelation to seven churches that resided in Asia (modern day Turkey). These churches are listed in Revelation chapters 2-3. Concerning the date of writing, Thomas Constable states, “Some of the early church fathers (Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, Irenaeus, and Victorinus) wrote that the Apostle John experienced exile on the island of Patmos during Domitian’s reign.” Accepting their testimony helps to date the book around A.D. 95-96.
Concerning a hermetical approach, this author will follow a normal, grammatical, historical approach to the book of Revelation. This approach considers words and phrases within their context, and reads them according to their normal meaning, unless something within a passage indicates it should be interpreted otherwise. There are symbols used throughout the book of Revelation; however, many of those symbols are either interpreted within the passage itself, or can be interpreted by similar passages that provide understanding. For example, the seven stars are angels (Rev 1:20), the great dragon is Satan (Rev 12:9), and the leopard, bear, and lion (Rev 13:2) resemble the animals mentioned in Daniel (Dan 7:4-6). A plain reading of Scripture protects the reader from fanciful interpretations. Charles Ryrie states, “If one does not use the plain, normal, or literal method of interpretation, all objectivity is lost.”
When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, and literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, clearly indicate otherwise.
The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1-20), His authority over the church (Rev 2-3) and the world (Rev 6-18). After His Second Coming (Rev 3:3, 11; 16:15; 19:11-16; 22:7, 12, 20), He will establish His kingdom on earth and will reign forever (Rev 11:15; 12:10; Rev 20:1-6).
Dr. Steven R. Cook
Introduction to Revelation
Revelation 1:9-20 – Part 1
Revelation 1:9-20 – Part 2
When God Opens a Door of Ministry
A Brief Study on the Discipline of the Lord
The Doctrine of Idolatry
Angels, Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare
Contrasting Good and Bad Leaders
The Wrath of God
Revelation 17:1 – Babylonianism
Revelation 19 and The Second Coming of Jesus
Revelation 20 and The Millennial Kingdom
 Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Jud 25.
 Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago, Ill. Moody Press, 1995), 82.
 David L. Cooper, The God of Israel (Los Angeles: Biblical Research Society, 1945), iii.