Revelation, The Book Of Revelation Essay

1751 Words Dec 6th, 2016 8 Pages
When thinking about the mysterious Book of Revelation, the last installment in the New Testament, the first images that might come to mind are those of horsemen, the Antichrist, and a final judgment day. Some do not understand the Book of Revelation, and others have attempted to use Revelation to predict the end of the world. Elaine Pagels, professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation, attempts to demystify the Book of Revelation, interpreting the book in the historical context of the time of its assumed author, John of Patmos. She emphasizes that Revelation is wartime literature, written as anti-Roman propaganda, and she asserts that apocalyptic literature has many interpretations. However, while Pagels clearly explains her argument through her careful analysis of her selected sources, her overreliance on John’s feelings and her failure to address contrasting arguments limit her careful and informational reading of the Book of Revelation.
Pagels begins by providing readers with context surrounding the lives of Jesus followers during the time Revelation was written, and she specifically focuses on the author of Revelation: John of Patmos. When the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., just as Jesus had predicted in his lifetime, many followers of Christ believed that Jesus would return soon. The disciples of Jesus, as well as some of Jesus’ other followers, wanted to spread Jesus’…

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