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            Revelation as a whole is often viewed as a very hard book to understand. However, if taken in small sections and really studied closely, the meaning of the text can come through. The first step to understand the book is to understand when it was written and the occasion and purpose for which it was written. .
             Revelation was written at a point when Christians were under great persecution by Rome. Most scholars believe it was written somewhere around A.D. 95 by the apostle John. The book was written to encourage the new Christians at the seven churches to hold fast and not give in the emperor worship that was beginning to be enforced. John had already been exiled to the island of Patmos (1:9) and others were coming under great persecution. John writes this letter to encourage the believers that Christ's return is imminent and that they should not be dispirited by the persecution they are going through now. Instead, he echoes Matthew 5:10, that "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." .
             There are many interesting things about Revelation 1. The first verse itself is somewhat interesting. It reads, "The revelation of Jesus Christ- This is intriguing in that we"re not quite sure what is meant by a revelation of Jesus. The Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis, which means "used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all." (Strongs Concordance) The strange thing about the use of this word is that in the context of the verse, it is not made clear whether John means that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, or about Jesus Christ, or both.
             As we move on in the chapter, we come to verse 3, where it is written, "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy." This verse is worthy of note because of it is the first beatitude of the seven that are contained in Revelation.

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