Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — John the Apostle.

2. DATE. — There are two chief views: According to the uniform opinion and testimony of the early church, it was written about 94-95 A. D. The majority of modern critics think it was written about 68–69, just before the destruction of Jerusalem.

3. TO WHOM WRITTEN. — To the churches of Asia, but not restricted to them in its application.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — The precise occasion to be understood would depend upon the date accepted as correct. It was at least at a time when persecutions were rife, when there was need of giving encouragement to God's people. It was written while the apostle was on the isle of Patmos, whither he had been banished.

5. LEADING TOPIC. — After delivering the special messages to the several churches of Asia, the author gives an account of the visions he had seen, by which there was set forth the conflict between the cause of righteousness and that of wickedness, between God's people and their enemies. Difficulty has been found in interpreting the book, and different views prevail concerning its meaning.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show that there is to be recognized a broad distinction between Christians and men of the world; that there is a conflict between the two; and that Christ is to triumph over all his enemies, which involves the triumph also of those who are his.


Introductory, Ch. 1:1-8.

Part I. The seven churches, Ch.1:9-3:22.

Part II. The seven seals, Ch. 4–8:1.

Part III. The seven trumpets, Ch. 8:2 11:19.

Part IV. The seven mystic figures, Ch. 12– 14.

Part V. The seven bowls, Ch. 15, 16.

Part VI. The sevenfold judgment, Ch. 17– 19:10.

Part VII. The sevenfold triumph, Ch. 19: 11-22:5.

Conclusion, Ch. 22:6–21.

8. SPECIAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK. — Christ lives evermore, and has the power over death and the grave; those that overcome shall share in the promises made to Christ; all honor is to be paid to Christ; the kingdoms of the world are to become the kingdoms of the Lord; all are to be judged by God; those whose names are not written in the book of life to be cast into the lake of fire; there is to be a new Jerusalem for the redeemed, who are to have eternal life.

9. RELATION TO OTHER N. T. BOOKS. — This book occupies a special position. The Gospels give the life and work of Christ while on the earth; Acts depicts the growth of the church through the life giving power of the Holy Spirit; the Epistles convey instruction and exhortations to the church as the body of Christ; this book gives the triumphant issue of the conflict between Christians and the world, righteousness and wickedness, Christ and Satan.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — Early persecutions of Christians; the destruction of Jerusalem; figurative language in the Bible; the doctrine of the millennium.