The Book of Revelation​—What Does It Mean?

The Book of Revelation​—What Does It Mean?

The Bible’s answer

 The Greek name of the Bible book of Revelation, A·po·kaʹly·psis (apocalypse), means “Uncovering” or “Disclosure.” This name indicates the meaning of Revelation​—it uncovers matters that had been hidden and discloses events that would happen long after it was written. Many of its prophecies are yet to be fulfilled.

Overview of the book of Revelation

Keys to understanding the book of Revelation

  1.   Its meaning is positive, not fearful or terrifying to those who serve God. While many associate the word “apocalypse” with great disaster, the book of Revelation begins and ends by saying that those who read, understand, and apply its message would be happy for doing so.​—Revelation 1:3; 22:7.

  2.   Revelation uses many “signs,” or symbols, that are not to be understood literally.​—Revelation 1:1.

  3.   Many major entities and symbols in the book of Revelation are introduced earlier in the Bible:

  4.   The visions apply to “the Lord’s day,” which began when God’s Kingdom was set up in 1914 and Jesus began ruling as King. (Revelation 1:​10) We can therefore expect the main fulfillment of Revelation to be in our time.

  5.   To understand the book of Revelation, we need the same things that help us to understand the rest of the Bible, including wisdom from God and assistance from those who already understand it.​—Acts 8:​26-​39; James 1:5.