The Book of Revelation: An Unveiling of Hope
Understanding the meaning of the apocalyptic book of Revelation.
Revelation is a book not easily categorized. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis), which means "unveiling". Written in the 1st century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, the book was circulated amongst the hidden, suffering Christian churches in Asia Minor. It is an unveiling of hope for a suffering people who are learning to walk a different path than the Empire they lived in— urging them to remain steadfast.
The book’s chaotic, vivid, and poetic language reflects on two paths of life. The first path involves being complicit in the evils of the empire, straying away from the will of God. The second path follows the way of Jesus—a life of sacrifice, defying imperialism, and staying faithful.
Revelation charges fervently, "Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer...if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life." (Rev 2:10). In John’s vision, there’s a war between these two paths. The book urges the people of God to be faithful in resisting the Empire—and instead, choose to worship God/the Lamb.
For a suffering people, he shares a vision that gives hope in a world where they are experiencing the evils of persecution. “’Look, God’s home is now among his people!…He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever’” (Rev 21:3-4).
At Alabaster, we were excited to integrate visual imagery and thoughtful design within The Book of Revelation. Throughout Alabaster | Revelation we navigate these themes with several motifs. Warm tones capture the active, vivid, and awakening movements of the text. We explore the subject matter and scenes of an opening or “unveiling” nature. And we depict light and shadows as contrasting subject matter, capturing the differing paths of life in John’s vision.
As we read this vivid book, may we reflect on holding fast to the way of the Lamb—it is worth it. Amen.
Words: Tyler Zak and Darrin Mckenna
Photos: Samuel Han, Heidi Parra, Brian Wu, and Isaiah Im