VI. The Role of The Revelation

What role does the Revelation play in doing NT theology?

Though this final canonical book is distinct when compared to other NT genres, the Revelation still continues much of the central theological concerns of the NT. It testifies of the same Christ promised in the OT, revealed in the Gospels, and explained in the epistles (e.g. Rev 1:7 [Dan 7:13; Matt 24:30; 26:64; Acts 1:9-11; Phil 2]; Rev 5:5 [Gen 49:9-10; Isa 11:1-10; Matt 1:1; Rom 15:12; Heb 7:14]; Rev 5:9-10 [Dan 7:18; Isa 53; Mark 10:45; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 2:4-10]; Rev 7:17[Ezek 34:11-31; John 10:1-18]; Rev 20-22[Isa 65-66; 1 Cor 15:20-28]). Yet, it does something more that all of them do not; that is, it brings all of their Gospel-testimony, theological argumentation, and practical application to their appropriate climax in Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It gives the final declaration that the sovereign Lord of history directs all reality of the present age and will bring all things to their proper place under the feet of the slain-though-standing Lamb (Rev 5:6). Whatever major themes one may find the NT carrying on at this point (e.g. Salvation History, New Exodus, Kingdom of God, End of Exile; etc.) the Revelation proves are only means to an end, namely, to magnify the Christ of all of Scripture, not shove him to the peripherals of one’s reconstruction. In a word, such themes become merely episodes in the grand Christocentric narrative of the whole Bible as the Revelation places God in Christ on the throne front-and-center, to whom the universe bows. Therefore, Revelation plays the unique role of wrapping up the NT canon and bringing its theological agenda to its expected consummation.


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