How to Teach the Book of Revelation to Teens

The Book of Revelation is among the most mysterious religious texts.

The Book of Revelation is the last book of the New Testament. Because the book seems cryptic in nature, it has become a source of great controversy. While it is nearly impossible to teach the Book of Revelation to teens on the same level of sophistication as you would a university-level theology course, you still need to cover most, if not all, topics of the book.

Introduce your students to the book of Revelation. Start by describing the circumstances in which the book was written. The author of the book is believed to be the apostle John. The book was intended to be an open letter, which John addressed to seven churches located in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis, Pergamos, Philadelphia and Laodicea. John wrote the book during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian, who lived in A.D. 81 to 96.

Ask the teens to read Revelation. The text is not too long, and it shouldn't take longer than a few hours to read. After your students read the text, or at least some portions of it, proceed to discussing and analyzing this book.

Teach the students the symbolic meaning of the Book of Revelation. For example, Babylon is believed to stand for Rome, the four creatures—a lion, ox, human being and an eagle (4:6-9)—appear to refer to the four Evangelists and the Dragon most likely represents Satan.

Teach the students the historical, futuristic and preterist interpretations of Revelation. Those who believe in the historic interpretation of Revelation think that the book describes the chronological sequences of historical events and that references to Babylon and the Beast should represent the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. Futurists interpret Revelation as a prophecy of things to come. The preterist theory states that the book applies specifically to the problems and persecutions of the early Christians at the time of writing and the events described in the book actually represent, in allegories, the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. When discussing different interpretation of Revelation, ask students which interpretation seems to be correct and why in their opinion.