Band on the Run,
Oh dear! I'm so sorry Band on the Run, I was complimenting you! I only meant as much as to note that there's a difference in formulating a personal thesis, and being prepared to share one, and since you mentioned all the references, as well as not having gotten yet to Elaine's "second point" I was eager to hear your thoughts once you were to that point!
I wouldn't want to compare hours or books read, I recognize some students never study and yet pass through courses with top marks, while others put long and hard hours into applying themselves to the material to achieve the same. Not that this compares you and I, I wouldn't even know nor dare! :)
I would offer that I share similar passion. I've never had a fear of the book, but then again I was raised with the WT's Revelation book making everything bad about everyone else. I'm passionate about the book because one day I a strong desire to know the Christ more personally. I pray "through" him, and only knew of him from the "good news" books written about his life of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At a loss as to what I thought I could do to become more personally acquainted with him, it suddenly dawned on me—Revelation. It's his book, his only book. His personal book. It's the Word of God in the word of God.
I considered his book like movie, and tried to let scenes play out in my mind as I read, understanding he's telling a story, and we're the ones who've jumbled it up. I took the whole text and put it into one removing the chapter breaks to read it as it would have been written (I think I left in the verse markers, I can't recall, I'd have to go back and look). I did not go back to read the Revelation Book from the WT again, because I recognized that Matthew 24 parallels the four horsemen, yet vividly recall the rider on the white horse being depicted as Christ, while Matthew 24 if an indeed parallel of the events of the four horsemen, portrays the looks-like-Christ guy as the false Christ's who go out and conquer well meaning Christians seeking His return. (That and many other things—like my mind gets into an angry heap when I look at their trumpets explanation which isn't even in the proper order of events!)
I have read papers written by historical theologians, and I understand the events of Rome in the first century, and the affect of the book on the congregation.
Here's where I wonder about talking to you personally about your personal thoughts. I don't mean to compete. I am a member of another forum where it's all about academic smack-down and frankly that's why I'm here. I needed a break from whose brain more stuffed. I care a lot about people—I'm motivated by love, and want to know what people, especially discerning people think. You seem to be just that sort! I wanted to hear more and talk to you, specifically!
Since you've been decades doing stuff, you probably have age on me. I'm only 'decades' old, three score and three times and a season.
Since it seems we're both passionate about the book of Revelation, I hope that you'll accept my apology. I didn't mean to start your morning out with an offense! When you drink your next cup of Joe, I hope you'll think of that warm and brightening feeling in association with me. :)
I've got to get dressed and go catch my shuttle to work, but I'll be looking back as soon as I get online hoping to see your response, or to continue now to share my thoughts, my reply to what you said. I also feel like I didn't respond to the original question asked last night so much as offer points to others posts. Its hard to navigate the site via only iPhone!