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Image of the title graphic for the Commentary on Revelation by Dewayne Shappley.

Chapter 1 of
"Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment"

A photograph of the title section of The meaning of the word Revelation.
A photograph of Revelation 1:1 of the Greek-English Interlinear edition, for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

The word “Revelation” in Greek lexicons.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.


Comment. The clause “relating to the consummation of the divine kingdom” added by renowned lexicographer Joseph Henry Thayer to the basic meaning revelation of future things,” is actually a perception of the book of Revelation by the lexicographer, and not necessarily a part of the basic meaning of the Greek word translated “Revelation.” The “consummation of the divine kingdom” on planet Earth is indeed revealed in Revelation, but so is the consummation of the human race itself, Earth itself, the material universe, and time itself. “When the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7. Then, the “divine kingdom,” that is, biblically speaking, “the kingdom of Christ and of God,” having been purified of all dross, will be glorified and continue forever. Matthew 13:40, 47; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 15:50; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 1:8, etc.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

αποκαλυψις “Appearing, coming, manifestation, revelation.”

The New American Standard New Testament Greek Lexicon. Based on Thayer and Smith’s Bible Dictionary.

αποκαλυψις “1. Laying bear, making naked. 2. A disclosure of truth, instruction. a. Concerning things before unknown. b. Used of events by which things or states of persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all.”

“Apocalypse” and “Apocalyptic” in modern literature,
entertainment media, and culture.

These words appear with rather amazing frequency in today’s literature and cinematographic works of different genres. "Apocalypse" rates in the top 1% of most used words in the English language according to the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary. Almost invariably in the context of catastrophic events of a phantasmagorical, mythological, evil nature; of horrendously violent, bloody fighting, of the savage, sadistic elimination of enemies, of crime and war on a vast scale, of the collapse of civilization, of the cataclysmic end of Earth and the universe. It is also used in reference to unusually terrific natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, eruptions of volcanos, extreme flooding, etc.

It seems completely logical to deduce that the present popular usage of the two words would influence secular, humanistic, atheistic, and generally indifferent people to summarily dismiss the “Apocalypse” book of the Bible as unworthy of serious consideration. And that is too bad! For those who do! For they deprive themselves of the “Eight Blessings” received by those of us who do take it seriously, study it to increase our knowledge of the gran concepts of humanity and Deity revealed in the book, and follow its powerful light as it guides through real dimensions of time and space.

Photograph of the cover of Deadman Apocalipyse, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

I was surprised and gratified to find the following entry on the evolution of the meanings and uses of the word “Apocalypse” in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, together with a relevant painting. It confirms admirably the above observations. “Bold” added to some words and phrases for emphasis and a graphic of “AE Apocalypse Earth.”

Photograph of the cover of The Rise of the Apocalypse, by Marvel, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

Ironically, for our 21st century times, hordes of teenagers, young adults, older adults, even many children, know the word “Apocalypse” as it is actually used and understood, but do not have a clue as to its original meaning, nor knowledge and understanding of the last book of the Bible commonly named “Revelation,” a translation of the Greek αποκαλυψις, literally, Apocalypse.

Photograph of the cover of The Age of Apocalyse by Marvel, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

While they might form at least some distorted notion about “the end of the world,” even that would, it is surmised, take them even farther away from God and the Bible for the event is presented in absolutely shocking scenarios devoid of the “whys, wherefores, beings, and elevated spiritual plains” of the biblical narrative.

The “Apocalypse” they know, and with which not a few may be obsessed, does not lead them, I dare say, to repentance of evil, a saner lifestyle, and obedience to the true gospel of God and Christ.

Curious and sad: a great world population that knows about “Apocalypse” according to modern entertainment and culture but does not know the Apocalypse of God and Jesus that, much more than just “an endless series of horrendous apocalyptic events,” is rich with teachings, prophetical orientations, exhortations, scenes, and, yes, warnings too, all with the noble purpose of rescuing human beings from chaos -material, mental, moral, and spiritual- and destruction so that they be transferred to a new, beautiful, perfect world where justice, peace, goodness, joy, pleasantness, harmony, and pure love are the absolute and eternal norms.



A vivid painting of warriors, horses, and victims, all in confused array, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

"'Apocalypse' initially referred to a type of writing which used symbolic imagery to foretell the end of this world.

"Mulder and Scully were outsider heroes working within a corrupt government, and their questing to expose truth and squelch the apocalypse resonated with the alt-culture vibe and premillennial angst of the 1990s." —Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly, 3 July 2015

When we hear the word apocalypse, a number of images run through our minds: fire and flood, earthquakes, tidal waves, crumbling societies, zombies. But when apocalypse came into English in the 1200s, it referred to none of these things.

Apocalypse was initially used to refer to a particular type of Jewish and Christian writing that was common between 200 BC and 150 AD and which used symbolic imagery usually to foretell the end of this world and the future to come. The best-known apocalyptic work is the Apocalypse of St. John of Patmos, more commonly called the book of Revelation.

The Greek word that gave us apocalypse means ‘to uncover’ or ‘to reveal.’ You can see how the Apocalypse of St. John came to be called Revelation, then: The apocalyptic writings were so-called because they revealed or uncovered future events.

Apocalyptic writings, and especially the Apocalypse of St. John, were often filled with cataclysmic events that heralded the end of this present age and the dawning of the age to come: fires, earthquakes, heavenly armies fighting. A few centuries after the word apocalypse entered English to name this style of literature, the word gained two additional senses: one that referred to the final battle between good and evil that is spoken about in the Apocalypse of St. John, and another to refer to any great disaster with far-reaching effects.

Photograph of the cover of AD Apocalypse Earth, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

This last meaning, so far removed from the original use that referred to a type of literature, is now the most common use of apocalypse, and has even shown up in humorous portmanteaus —most notably in snowpocalypse to refer to a sizeable snowstorm.”

Photograph of Papyrus 98 of Revelation 1:13 through 2:1, illustration for: The meaning of the word Revelation.

Dear Reader, for the correct understanding of “Apocalypse,” let us keep in mind at all times the basic meaning of the original Greek word: “An uncovering. To lay bare. The revelation of future things. A disclosure of truth; instruction concerning things before unknown.”

Right. A fragment of ancient Papyrus 98, from the 2nd century of the Christian Age, of Revelation 1:13 through 2:1.

Text and Document Composition by the author Homer Dewayne Shappley. All rights reserved. The only restrictions on the use of this document are the sale of it in any format and proper identification of its origin.

Part 3 of Chapter 1 of Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and fulfillment. The Fundamental Content of Revelation. Prophecy and Predestination. Time Range and Spatial Reach.

Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. CONTENT of this 21st Century commentary.

Este tema en ESPAÑOL.

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