Revelation 1:1-3 "The Revelation of Y'shua HaMashiach
(Jesus Christ), which G-d gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things
which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel
unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of G-d, and of the testimony
of Y'shua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ), and of all things that he saw. Blessed
is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep
those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." (KJV)
The book of Revelation was written about 95 or 96 A.D. It was given to John by an angel of G-d. John was on the "Island of Patmos" at this time.
There is some symbolism involved later in the book and some consider the book a complete mystery. One rule about symbolism is one should take the Word of G-d literally unless it is absurd to do so. It is also good to note that G-d promises a blessing to those that study it and play close attention to it.
This is the ONLY book of the Bible with a blessing to those who read it and believe its message
The book comes with a warning to the reader not to add to or take away from the book. I think this warning really extends to the entire Bible and not just to the book of Revelation.
Revelation 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that
heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto
these things, G-d shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this
book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, G-d shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out
of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
It is the only prophetic book of the B'rit Hadashah (New Testament). There are 17 prophetic books in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
It is interesting to notice the difference between G-d's time and man's time.
In verse 1 we are told, "these things which must shortly come to pass" and "the time is at hand" That was almost 2000 years ago! Now by man's time that is a long time but to our eternal G-d it is as almost 2 days. We are certainly much closer than John was 2000 years ago and we believe the things in this book will truly come to pass in our day.
2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this
one thing, that one day is with the L-rd as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day." (KJV)