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The Book Of Revelation


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It's amazing how a good dose of reasoning, logic and proper perspective can open your eyes, huh? Well long gone are the days when I thought the book of Revelation was some great prophetic vision of our present age, documented nearly 2,000 years ago. It is just amazing how much liberty Christian scholars have taken with this particular book, ESPECIALLY end time fanatics. In fact, the book has provided some with a means to great wealth, like Hal Lindsay who wrote the wildly popular book, The Late Great Planet Earth. Today, much of what he wrote in 1975 can be written off as a total joke, but he laughed all the way to the bank.

 

Anyway, it is clear from the contents of the book itself that the messages of that book was meant for an audience in the author's day, a CLEAR fact overlooked by many Christians because of the false premise that Jesus is YET to return and since he has not returned (and never will), the "prophecies" in the book are still being fulfilled. The writer states on two or three occasions (one being in the very first verse) that he was writing about things that in his warped mind, were SHORTLY to take place. In fact, he has Jesus stating on a few occasions that "behold I come quickly." It is very clear the book was a heavily coded and symbolic work designed to do five things:

 

1. Stir up the church to vigilance and condemn those within it not keeping in line

 

2. Encourage the church during a time of persecution

 

3. Condemn Babylon (code name for Rome)

 

4. Foretell her doom on the heels of a great period of universal distress on the earth

 

5. Show that Jesus and good would in the end triumph over evil and the devil and rule forever more.

 

 

The author clearly did not have 100, 500, 1000, much less 2,000 years in the future mind. He, like many others in his day, thought they were living in the "last days" and believed their Jesus was soon to return. Some even believe radical Christians started the fire in Rome to aid in bringing on the end. The writer wanted to scandalize Rome which to Jews of that time was a modern version of the hated Babylonian Empire from 700 years earlier. Rome, in his mind, was the seat of Satan, ruled by an anti-Christ and a beast of a system designed to destroy the people of God and his holy city, Jerusalem. The alleged prophetic contents of the book was thus written for that era and that era only. All the other wild claims and opinions are based on nothing more than wishful thinking simply because folks are still waiting around for some guy to crack the skies.

 

BUT there is Revelation 12. Scour as you may the internet, all you will find are Christian apologists and end time fanatics taking about the chapter speaking of an ancient time despite the fact the author spoke as though it was an event yet to unfold or unfolding before his very eyes in the heavens. I have yet to hear (back in my church days to now) one sane explanation to this chapter. I've even tried to find a historical answer to place it in a historical perspective and cannot find that either. Obviously by the author's time, the myth that Satan was cast out heaven was already part of Jewish myth, a myth that came about not from well back in antiquity, but during the intertestamental period when the identity of Satan was getting a makeover to become who he is today in Christian and Islamic lore. What exactly was the writer talking about? Personally I think he was high on some good shit when he wrote the book, but does anyone here have an alternate explanation?

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It's amazing how a good dose of reasoning, logic and proper perspective can open your eyes, huh? Well long gone are the days when I thought the book of Revelation was some great prophetic vision of our present age, documented nearly 2,000 years ago. It is just amazing how much liberty Christian scholars have taken with this particular book, ESPECIALLY end time fanatics. In fact, the book has provided some with a means to great wealth, like Hal Lindsay who wrote the wildly popular book, The Late Great Planet Earth. Today, much of what he wrote in 1975 can be written off as a total joke, but he laughed all the way to the bank.

 

Anyway, it is clear from the contents of the book itself that the messages of that book was meant for an audience in the author's day, a CLEAR fact overlooked by many Christians because of the false premise that Jesus is YET to return and since he has not returned (and never will), the "prophecies" in the book are still being fulfilled. The writer states on two or three occasions (one being in the very first verse) that he was writing about things that in his warped mind, were SHORTLY to take place. In fact, he has Jesus stating on a few occasions that "behold I come quickly." It is very clear the book was a heavily coded and symbolic work designed to do five things:

 

1. Stir up the church to vigilance and condemn those within it not keeping in line

 

2. Encourage the church during a time of persecution

 

3. Condemn Babylon (code name for Rome)

 

4. Foretell her doom on the heels of a great period of universal distress on the earth

 

5. Show that Jesus and good would in the end triumph over evil and the devil and rule forever more.

 

 

The author clearly did not have 100, 500, 1000, much less 2,000 years in the future mind. He, like many others in his day, thought they were living in the "last days" and believed their Jesus was soon to return. Some even believe radical Christians started the fire in Rome to aid in bringing on the end. The writer wanted to scandalize Rome which to Jews of that time was a modern version of the hated Babylonian Empire from 700 years earlier. Rome, in his mind, was the seat of Satan, ruled by an anti-Christ and a beast of a system designed to destroy the people of God and his holy city, Jerusalem. The alleged prophetic contents of the book was thus written for that era and that era only. All the other wild claims and opinions are based on nothing more than wishful thinking simply because folks are still waiting around for some guy to crack the skies.

 

BUT there is Revelation 12. Scour as you may the internet, all you will find are Christian apologists and end time fanatics taking about the chapter speaking of an ancient time despite the fact the author spoke as though it was an event yet to unfold or unfolding before his very eyes in the heavens. I have yet to hear (back in my church days to now) one sane explanation to this chapter. I've even tried to find a historical answer to place it in a historical perspective and cannot find that either. Obviously by the author's time, the myth that Satan was cast out heaven was already part of Jewish myth, a myth that came about not from well back in antiquity, but during the intertestamental period when the identity of Satan was getting a makeover to become who he is today in Christian and Islamic lore. What exactly was the writer talking about? Personally I think he was high on some good shit when he wrote the book, but does anyone here have an alternate explanation?

 

 

Sorry. I meant REVELATION CHAPTER 12.

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Hi Tyson,

 

I too had a hard time finding anything until I remembered that maybe, just maybe what the RCC complied and implicated is probably only what they wanted people to believe. This lead me back to the bloodline of Jesus and his brother James, the Desposyni, and I wanted to look at it from this perspective. Yes, it may seem far fetched, but the Church was known for destroying anything and anyone that disagreed with it, so I find it possible that James and family went on.

 

Anyway, I got a book from the library that goes back all the way to ancient Egypt tracing a line of believers in a 'secret' society and the Holy Grail. I now have it on my wish list at Amazon.

 

Here is what one site says about Revelation:

 

From the earliest times, through the medieval era, to the great Renaissance, Mary's [Magdalene] flight was portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and great artworks alike. Her life and work in France, especially in Provence and the Languedoc region, appeared not only in works of European history but also in the Roman Church liturgy - until her story was suppressed by the Vatican.

 

Mary Magdalene's exile is related in the book of The Revelation, which describes that she was pregnant at the time. It tells also of how the Roman authorities subsequently persecuted Mary, her son and his heirs: 'And she, being with child, cried and pained to be delivered. And behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and seven crowns stood before the woman for to devour her child. And she brought forth a man-child. And the woman fled into the wilderness. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war forever with the remnant of her seed - which have the testimony of Jesus Christ'.

 

It was to Gaul that Mary was said to have carried the Sangreal (the Blood Royal: the Holy Grail), and it was in Gaul that the famous line of Jesus and Mary's immediate descendant heirs, the Fisher Kings, flourished for 300 years. The eternal motto of the Fisher Kings was 'In Strength' - inspired by the name of their ancestor, Boaz (the great-grandfather of King David), whose name similarly meant 'In Strength'. When translated into Latin, this became In Fortis, which was subsequently corrupted to Anfortas, the name of the key Fisher King in Grail romance.

link

 

I really don't know, but I don't know how many answers we can find by trying to look at the history that was created by the ones wanting to mislead. Right now, I'm trying to look outside of that and get other information no matter how far-fetched it seems. We know that the Church did what they did by successfully repressing other people. What were they suppressing, is my question. :shrug:

 

Oh, here is that book from Amazon: Custodians of Truth

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Hi Tyson,

 

I too had a hard time finding anything until I remembered that maybe, just maybe what the RCC complied and implicated is probably only what they wanted people to believe. This lead me back to the bloodline of Jesus and his brother James, the Desposyni, and I wanted to look at it from this perspective. Yes, it may seem far fetched, but the Church was known for destroying anything and anyone that disagreed with it, so I find it possible that James and family went on.

 

Anyway, I got a book from the library that goes back all the way to ancient Egypt tracing a line of believers in a 'secret' society and the Holy Grail. I now have it on my wish list at Amazon.

 

Here is what one site says about Revelation:

 

From the earliest times, through the medieval era, to the great Renaissance, Mary's [Magdalene] flight was portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and great artworks alike. Her life and work in France, especially in Provence and the Languedoc region, appeared not only in works of European history but also in the Roman Church liturgy - until her story was suppressed by the Vatican.

 

Mary Magdalene's exile is related in the book of The Revelation, which describes that she was pregnant at the time. It tells also of how the Roman authorities subsequently persecuted Mary, her son and his heirs: 'And she, being with child, cried and pained to be delivered. And behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and seven crowns stood before the woman for to devour her child. And she brought forth a man-child. And the woman fled into the wilderness. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war forever with the remnant of her seed - which have the testimony of Jesus Christ'.

 

It was to Gaul that Mary was said to have carried the Sangreal (the Blood Royal: the Holy Grail), and it was in Gaul that the famous line of Jesus and Mary's immediate descendant heirs, the Fisher Kings, flourished for 300 years. The eternal motto of the Fisher Kings was 'In Strength' - inspired by the name of their ancestor, Boaz (the great-grandfather of King David), whose name similarly meant 'In Strength'. When translated into Latin, this became In Fortis, which was subsequently corrupted to Anfortas, the name of the key Fisher King in Grail romance.

link

 

I really don't know, but I don't know how many answers we can find by trying to look at the history that was created by the ones wanting to mislead. Right now, I'm trying to look outside of that and get other information no matter how far-fetched it seems. We know that the Church did what they did by successfully repressing other people. What were they suppressing, is my question. :shrug:

 

Oh, here is that book from Amazon: Custodians of Truth

 

 

Interesting twist, NBTL. Thanks. Have to look into this a little more.

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The problem with the Book of Revelation is that it has been altered quite a bit so not only was it probably rather confusing to begin with but now it's really confusing (all the blatant xian stuff just mucks it all up). :)

 

In my opinion the chapter you refer to has a couple of meanings but in short it is originally meant to explain the fall of the temple in 70CE. Some people I've read just see the whole of it all as a basic mythology and don't so much see the items in the text as much more than a story telling device (ie. heaven is just that and so on) but I tend to think that there might be a dual meaning to this (heaven means something else in addition to heaven...like heaven was perhaps the temple mount itself or something but I've never bothered to work it all out).

 

I see the woman as symbolic for Judea as she has the 12 stars above her which normally represent the 12 tribes. She gives birth to a messiah like figure but he's taken away (so it can't be jesus as it's a baby). The "devil" attacks her other "seed" which, if Mary, would make her not a perpetual virgin. ;) This would be the Jews stuck in Jerusalem for the Roman siege (a horrible place to be...especially once the siege wall was built and no one could escape...but the text could be written before it got that far but it was edited after that so who knows what all the authors had in their collective minds in all the various imagery).

 

Anyhow, parts are borrowed from Daniel and some other books for whatever reason (possibly to give it additional weight since depending on the time frame the author had in mind the length of the whole war could be stretched to about 3 and a half years but that's really pushing it...we'd need to include things that shouldn't really be included for this to happen...like the "lead up" stuff and all that which normally don't get included in these counts).

 

Oh well, I hope this is slightly less convoluted than Revelation itself. :) I can probably do better if I sat down a really read the chapter over and comparing it to Josephus rather than just giving it a quick scan and hoping my memory is right (it's probably pretty close). :HaHa:

 

mwc

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I've discovered an interesting note by reading George Ricker Berry's "Interlinear Greek-English New Testament" (orig. published 1897, since republished in various formats). Berry reviewed all the major manuscripts available at the time, published the Greek text from one of them with English interlineared just below, and notations to sections at the bottom of the page noting the variations between the manuscripts.

Of course there's minor differences between all the manuscripts, but for the book that I presume in it's original form clearly warns

Rev 22:18-19 KJVA

(18) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

(19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

has the most variations between manuscripts!

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Y'all might find this interesting: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/revelation.html

 

This page basically talks about the idea that Revelation was written as a polemic against Rome.

 

 

As an aside for FYI, the book of Revelation is an apocalyptic book. Contrary to the opinion of many in the xtian camp, apocalyptic books are not concerned with a distant future. They were written during times of distress and in the case of the Jews, during the trials of living under foreign domination. Authors of such writings were concerned with "god's people," their present plight and visions of a glorious future. It then should come as no surprise that apocalyptic writings cropped up at the latter end of the Babylonian captivity all the way to destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans, a period of 600 plus years. You will be hard pressed to find any apocalyptic books prior to the Baylonian captivity and definitely none after the Roman destruction of the Jewish temple.

 

Other than during the times of the Persians, whom the Jews enjoyed a rather amicable relationship with, apocalyptic writings appeared on the heels of the hated Babylonians, the hated Greeks and the hated Romans. Such books would be books like the second half of Isaiah (Deutero-Isaiah), Zechariah, Daniel, Book Of Enoch, Book of Jubilees, Book of Esdras, Mark, Matthew, Luke and of course, the Book of Revelation, all writing along that 600 year time line where every generation of Jews that came along thought the world was coming to an end due to all the "wars and rumors of [world] wars" during that volatile period in that region.

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Y'all might find this interesting: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/revelation.html

 

This page basically talks about the idea that Revelation was written as a polemic against Rome.

 

 

As an aside for FYI, the book of Revelation is an apocalyptic book. Contrary to the opinion of many in the xtian camp, apocalyptic books are not concerned with a distant future. They were written during times of distress and in the case of the Jews, during the trials of living under foreign domination...

 

As another aside, that understanding is something that yanked the literalist rug out from under me when I was a believer. It got me thinking along the lines of, "If my Christian Bible study teachers got that wrong, what else did they mess up?" Believing that Revelation was a prophetic book prediciting the end times was a major component of my upbringing.

 

The top two factors in my deconversion were:

 

1. Reading the Bible from front to back.

2. Cursory study of how the Bible was put together.

 

But I digress and de-rail.

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BUT there is Revelation 12....

 

What exactly was the writer talking about? Personally I think he was high on some good shit when he wrote the book, but does anyone here have an alternate explanation?

 

As best I can tell, Revelation is actually an astrotheological message appealing back to Daniel, as well as to the books of Enoch, and building off the events of the first century related to the Jewish wars and the destruction of the temple in 70 CE.

 

Chapter 12 (possibly there is significance that this is all in chapter 12) starts right off explaining that the author is referring to a sign in the sky - i.e., an astronomical event with mystical overtones (astrology in modern terms).

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It's amazing how a good dose of reasoning, logic and proper perspective can open your eyes, huh? Well long gone are the days when I thought the book of Revelation was some great prophetic vision of our present age, documented nearly 2,000 years ago. It is just amazing how much liberty Christian scholars have taken with this particular book, ESPECIALLY end time fanatics. In fact, the book has provided some with a means to great wealth, like Hal Lindsay who wrote the wildly popular book, The Late Great Planet Earth. Today, much of what he wrote in 1975 can be written off as a total joke, but he laughed all the way to the bank.

 

I protest that these people are NOT scholars.

 

Yesterday I heard a lecture about Revelation from a real scholar. He put Hal Lindsay and Tim LaHaye under the bottom rung of the ladder. THEY ARE NOT SCHOLARS.

 

I don't know their level of edcuation but education does not a scholar make.

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Ruby,

 

I understand that you are working towards a degree in theology. I'd like your opinion on a couple of websites, if you don't mind. If you do mind, that's ok. It's just these are two sites where I get a most of my information and do what limited study I can do. They are:

 

www.earlychristianwritings.com and www.earlyjewishwritings.com

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