By Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
I believe that Revelation deals with Christ’s judgment-coming against Israel for crucifying Christ. This view is known as the preterist approach to Revelation. More specifically, I distinguish it as “redemptive-historical preterism,” in that it focuses on redemptive history rather than secular history. Redemptive-historical preterism looks at John’s prophecy as having mostly occurred (“preterist” is based on the Latin “passed by”) — just as John states in his introduction (1:1, 3) and conclusion (22:6, 10).
John gives his theme in Rev 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.” Which being paraprahsed says: “Behold, Christ is coming in judgment, and every eye will see him, that is those who crucified Him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn because of Him.”
This is why in the seven letters (or seven proclamations) Jesus speaks of first-century Jews as engaged in a “synagogue of Satan” (2:9; 3:9) rather than the “synagogue of the Lord” (see the Septuagint: Num 16:3, 20).
Later John states of the two prophets: “Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (11:8). Jesus was slain in Jerusalem, which is here called “the great city,” which later appears as “Babylon the great” (14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10).
Thus, Revelation’s main character is the slain Lamb (5:6, 12; 12:11; 13:8; cp. 5:8, 13; 6:1; 7:9, 14, 17; 14:1, 4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, 14, 22; 22:1, 3).
However, this is view is not widely held in contemporary discussion. Consequently, you may need some bibliography to help you discover the information necessary for discerning “Jerusalem as Babylon.” Below are some references you might like to get through your local library’s inter-library loan department. Some of the biblographic sources are helpful only on this one question: I would not accept much of their other positions. But they are, nevertheless, helpful. I recommend you check out some of these; you will be impressed by how much evidence points to Jerusaelm as Babylon in Revelation.
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Book of Revelation Made Easy (Powder Springs, Geo.: American Vision, 2008).
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues (2d. Ed.: Fountain Inn, S.C.: GoodBirth Ministries, 2010).
David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Fort Worth: Dominion, 1987).
Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988 ). Half of this book offers an excellent commentary on Revelation.
Sebastian R. Smolarz, Covenant and the Metaphor of Divine Marriage in Biblical Thought: A Study with Special Reference to the Book of Revelation (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2011). Reformed, conservative, very valuable resource.
Alan James Beagley, The “Sitz im Leben” of the Apocalypse with Particular Reference to the Role of the Church’s Enemies (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1987). A must-have work.
J. E. Leonard, Come Out of Her, My People: A Study of the Revelation to John (Chicago: Laudemont, 1991). Conservative, very helpful.
Edmondo F. Lupieri, A Commentary on the Apocalypse of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999). This is Roman Catholic and a late-date perspective.
Bruce J. Malina and John J. Pilch, Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Revelation (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000). This sees Revelation using astrological images, but is helpful on our topic.
Philip Carrington, The Meaning of the Revelation (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2007 (rep. 1931). He has some liberal views, but is extremely helpful on our topic.
Cornelis Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, vol. 10 (St. Catherines, Ont.: Paideia, 1979). Amillennial, Reformed.
Eugenio Corsini, The Apocalypse: The Perennial Revelation of Jesus Christ, trans. and ed., (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1983). Roman Catholic with some odd views, but helpful on our topic.
Lawrence Michaels, Revelation In Its Original Meaning (San Diego: Bovee, 1999). Episcopalian with some bad parts, but helpful to our topic.