This video begins to look at the shape and structure of the book. It is apocalyptic and focuses on the resistance to the coming of the kingdom of God to the earth.
I suggest it has meaning for us because it first had meaning to the hearers. It cannot be a book that had no significance – other than predicting the future – for some 1900 years!
There are two ways of understanding ‘near’ or ‘close’: chronologically or ‘kairotically’.
Assuming a team’s goal is to win their league, and they were runners up in the year 2000, then in subsequent years did not do too well, but eventually won the league in 2005. We can ask when were they closest to their goal?
There are two ways of answering that: chronologically the year before – 2004. Yet if they had an exceptionally bad year that year and just avoided relegation we could also say they were the furthest away. They were not ‘close’ at all.
Kairotically we could say they were closest to the goal in 2000 when they almost made it (runners up).
I opt for a late date for the letter. the focus is not on Jerusalem and its fall, but on Rome (what it represents) and its judgement and fall.
Is the book progressive or recapitulative? In measure both. It moves forward – the intensity develops, but there is also some backtracking:
like all good stories being told there are flashbacks (e.g. Rev. 12, the son being born to the woman) and foreshadowings (e.g. Rev. 7, the multitude that cannot be numbered).
Here then is the video: password of revelation.