Study Guide #7, for Revelation 20–22 • July 24, 2002

1.      Read through chapters 19–22 and cite the major images or words of hope and images or words of judgment/condemnation. What is the pastoral function of these last chapters? Can you point to a specific verse or specific motif that seems to be the central pastoral idea?

2.      Is the millennium, the 1,000 years in 20:2-7, literal or symbolic? Why? What is the meaning of this 1,000 years (see Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8; Luke 11:21)? In the overall context of the book, how important is the millennium (20:1-10) in John’s view? Who takes part in the millennium, and what purpose does the millennium serve (e.g., literary, pastoral, or theological purpose)?

3.      What is the meaning of the “first resurrection” (20:5, 6) and the “second death” (2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8)? Does “first resurrection” imply a second resurrection? Why or why not?

4.      What does it mean that “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire” (20:14)?

5.      Where and when does the bliss of the New Jerusalem take place? In heaven? On earth? In Palestine? Now? In the future? Both? How does hope of the New Jerusalem impinge on your present, if at all? Can this hope help or even push one to suffer for justice in the present? Or does it more likely allow one to deny responsibility for such action? Does the promise that there will be no more mourning and crying help one to embrace mourning and crying in the present?

6.      To what does “healing of the nations” (22:2) refer?

7.      What does the reference to “kings of the earth” in 21:24 say about John’s soteriology? Is John a universalist (i.e., does he think ultimately everyone will be saved)? Evaluate Boring’s excursus on this subject on pp. 226–231.


Copyright © 2002 by Loren L. Johns and J. Nelson Kraybill. All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce, please write to or