In his work, the apocalyptist develops the concept of a dualistic cosmology: the existing κόσµος shaped by the Roman Empire and its leading representatives is coming to an end. Soon it will be replaced by a new κόσµος, in which a new sphere of salvation and a new time of salvation will be prepared for the faithful Christians, which differ diametrically from the present cosmological reality as the actually worthwhile goal of the Christian’s own life of faith. With this conception, the cosmology of the fourth gospel, which is shaped by the idea of a coexistence of light and darkness, of salvation and disaster, is expanded by the aspect of a futuric-eschatological soteriological completion of the κόσµος realizing itself in a new creation, i.e., temporalized and thus ultimately eschatologically completed.
In this article, the question is discussed if at least some passages of the apocalyptic main part of Revelation, which is full of metaphorical imagery, conveys content that referred to contemporary history. The analysis of chosen passages of early Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic literature shows that it is principally conceivable that apocalyptic texts informed by metaphorical imagery can make reference to facts of contemporary history. The interpretation of Rev 13:18 and 17:9a lead to the conclusion that the text Rev 13–17 as a whole, but also the texts Rev 11:1–14 and Rev 17:7–9a, 9b–14 directly reflect persons, events and circumstances of the time of the composition of Revelation.