What Type of Literature is the Book of Revelation? 

While it could basically be classified as apocalyptic literature, scholars have proposed that the book of revelation cuts across three literary genres: prophetic and epistolary alongside apocalyptic literature. And by this, they haven’t made a mistake. 

Why is the Book of Revelation Primarily Apocalyptic? 

First, understanding the word Revelation itself will go a long way here. The word has been said to have its origin in the Church Latin word apocalypsis, but originally from the Greek word apokalyptein, which literally translates “reveal” or “disclose”. 

As a corollary, revelation is equal to apocalypse (or apocalyptic) in meaning. Therefore in the most basic form, an apocalyptic literature is any literature that reveals the hidden, unknown or untold. 

And as is evident in the book, Revelation presents to us visions of the future received by John of Patmos aka John the Elder. 

Be that as it may, it follows to reason that Revelation and Apocalypse both will converge largely in scope. 

Conversely, not only should we not judge a book by its cover, but also not by its title. In as much as we have seen The Joys of Motherhood and The Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People turn out as the opposite of the impression they give; our primary focus should be on content. 

Well, one shouldn’t be in doubt that the book of Revelation is apocalyptic because its content says it all; it encompasses all that apocalyptic literature is expected to contain coupled with the fact that Wikipedia has confirmed the work to be the only book of Apocalyptic work in the New Testament of the Bible

Read Also: Is the Bible fiction or nonfiction? 

The Book of Revelation as Prophetic and Epistolary Literature 

The Book of Revelation is Prophetic. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy…” says Revelation 1:3, KJV. Can a book define its content better?  

While they are two separate genres, it is quite rare to separate apocalyptic literature from prophetic literature; not for the point that prognostications are usually prophetic!

Much less with regards to the book of revelation where prophesy is profound. 

The Book of Revelation is Epistolary. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia…” Revelation 1:4, KJV. 

Since epistolary here has to do with the involvement of letter writing in a literary work, we say that the book of Revelation is also partly this genre. 

In the opening of the book (as cited above), we saw John writing to the churches of Asia.

The Main Message of the Book of Revelation

What type of Literature is the Book of Revelation
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The main message of the book is a vision of what the end time looks like and a prophecy on what shall become of different people. 

By learning about the catastrophe that would befall the unrighteous side-by-side with the rewards that the righteous shall be entitled to, the book of Revelation encourages believers to unflinchingly remain in Christ. 

Read Also: Christ Figure in Literature

Paradise and say—eternal life as the most profound rewards for being righteous are the biggest motivation Revelation gave Christians.  

The reason this message is shared in the book of Revelation is to help rekindle the faith of believers in the race of making it on to the final day. 

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