Those who may have seen my study leave photo on Facebook will know that I have over thirty commentaries on Revelation, and a myriad of other books. Some of these are introductory, and some are on specialist subjects. There are more on the way! I have yet to find two of them that agree on an overall structure to the book – there seem to be as many structures as readers, yet all working with the same material nineteen centuries or so old. One might have thought that by this time we would have reached consensus, but no.
Occasionally, one finds people who think that the book shows signs of editorial work, being published in more than one edition, although I’m not aware of any textual evidence for that. In getting more acquainted with the text itself (in Greek and English), and becoming more aware of what some people have written about it as a complete entity, I have become more convinced that Revelation is a unity. I can see how what some think of as Interludes, even interruptions to the flow of the story, are actually integral to the way in which the book works, simply because it is a book to be heard.
Searching online for illustrations of the variety of structures around, I came across this picture, put together by Rob Turnbull of Australia, who calls himself The Backyard Bard. I share this with you both for the pleasure of seeing his creativity, and in the hope of us learning how important the public reading of Scripture, especially this Scripture, is. You’ll find a link to Rob’s website below.