Many people read the Book of Revelation in a way similar to how one might read Nostradamus. They comb its phrases and images for details about the events leading up to Jesus’ second coming assuming it is full of end time secrets. In my mind this is faulty for more than one reason. For one thing, why would God give a message that was dark and incomprehensible to His people who were struggling with persecution that they could not possibly understand since it was about events that would unfold over 2000 years later? The answer is He didn’t. He communicated a message through John that the people who first received it understood. It meant something for them and it means something for us. The better we understand what it meant for them the better we will understand what it means for us. This message is a discussion of several background issues and provides a fair amount of historical details. Like the title says, it is an introduction to the Book of Revelation.