In case you have never heard the term "chiasmus" or "chiasm," here is a little background. I have more links about the topic which I will post later.
What is below was prompted by research I was doing on another project (here), combined with this thread on the woman of Rev 12. When I saw the two topics together, as well as the topic of chiasmus, well, I began wondering.
To me, Rev chap 12 looks a whole lot like the entire story of the Bible, condensed of course, and with a slant towards a Christian perspective. So, like I said, I began wondering 'what if . . . what if chapter 12 were to serve as the pivot point in a chiasm of the whole book of Revelation? So I grabbed some 11x17 paper they use at work for engineering drawings and for several days began working from the two ends of the book of Revelation to see if they would meet in the middle at chapter 12. And . . . voila, this chiasm came out! (Kind of like Aaron with the golden calf. (Ex 32:24; )
Just as an aside, while driving home from work, after I had finished, it occurred to me, 'how many "steps" are there on each side?' I pulled the paper out, and, sure enough, there are seven steps for each side of the chiasm. If you notice, sevens appear to predominate within Revelation.
Any how, here it is:
Chiasm of Revelation . . . . Explanatory Asides
A Rev 1:1-8
..B Rev 1:9-3:22
....C Rev 4:1-11
......D Rev 5:1-14
........E Rev 6:1-8:1. . . . . . Rev 7:1-8 & Rev 17:9-17
..........F Rev 8:2-11:19. . . .Rev 11:1-13
............G Rev 12:1-17
..........F^ Rev 13:1-14:5. . .Rev 14:6-20
........E^ Rev 15:1-16:21. . .Rev 17:1-18 & Rev 18:1-19:5
......D^ Rev 19:6-20:15
....C^ Rev 21:1-8
..B^ Rev 21:9-22:5
A^ Rev 22:6-21
What follows below is a brief explanation of each parallel part:
A Rev 1:1-8 Prologue or Introduction
A^ Rev 22:6-21 Epilogue or Conclusion
Nothing special here as you would expect this from any compiled work. The introduction could have gone to the end of chapter one and the next 'step' started at chapter two. It's six of one and half a dozen of the other.
B Rev 1:9-3:22 Letters to the Seven Churches (Lamb's Wife Imperfect)
B^ Rev 21:9-22:5 The Lamb's Wife (Lamb's Wife Perfected)
The "seven" congregations appear to signify or stand for the whole. The various problems and trials complement the 'perfection' on the other side.
C Rev 4:1-11 God in Heaven, Created All Things
C^ Rev 21:1-8 God Tenting With Mankind, Making All Things New
D Rev 5:1-14 Lamb worthy to Rule, Gathers co-rulers
D^ Rev 19:6-20:15 Lamb begins universal rule along with co-rulers
E Rev 6:1-8:1 The Seven Seals
E^ Rev 15:1-16:21 The Seven Bowls
Two Part Explanatory Aside: Rev 7:1-8 & 7:9-14 Expands on 2 questions raised in chap. 6
Rev 6:9-11 = Rev 7:1-8 Number to be killed
Rev 6:17 = Rev 7:9-17 Who will survive great tribulation
Two Part Explanatory Aside: Rev 17:1-18 & Rev 18:1-19:5
Rev 17:1-18 Describes judgment of Babylon the Great referred to in Rev 16:19c
Rev 18:1-19:5 Describes who BtG is and how Christians should react to it
F Rev 8:2-11:19 Seven Trumpets
F^ Rev 13:1-14:5 Seven Headed Wild Beast
Explanatory Aside: Rev 11:1-13 Measuring of Temple & Two Witnesses
Explanatory Aside: Rev 14:6-20 Good News Preached & Effect on People
G Rev 12:1-17 Pivot Point: General Outline of Bible From Start to Finish
This represents the 'pivot point' of the chiasm. In a way, it presents the whole of the story with each descending 'step' displaying a part.
What's it all mean? To be honest, I'm still mulling that over. There is a definite symmetry within the arrangement of the various parts. Even among the parts I have described as "explanatory asides" there is a sort of symmetry. If John was being honest in the way he explains the order in which he received the various visions in the book, then, the symmetry of the chiasm provides definite evidence of a higher intelligence behind the whole of the Revelation.
I accept that some/many may not 'see' things as I do. Your comments are welcome also. Or if you 'see' something I am missing I'll be happy to hear you out also.
I've seen other attempts at diagramming Revelation in a chiasm, but the efforts were missing something (to me). This effort came about as a result of that dissatisfaction as well as the points I mentioned in the opening comments above.
Edited to add: See this post on page 2 of this thread for a revised version ("new and improved") of the above chiasmus.