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What is the role and origin of the book of Revelation?

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posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 05:06 PM
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Having recently deconverted out of Christianity, I am starting to think about things from a new perspective. One thing that has been on my mind lately is the origin and role of the book of Revelation from the Bible.

I'm no expert, and the amount of research I have done is nothing to brag about, but I have come to the conclusion that much of the Bible is a mixture of recycled stories from older writings and teachings that predate Christianity. Does that assumption also apply to Revelation and to Biblical prophesy in general?

The reason I ask is because some of the Biblical imagery as well as things that Christians today believe will happen in the time period before/during/after the time when Christ returns seems unique compared to other religions. Is that true or have I missed something in my reading? And, assuming it is indeed unique to Christianity, I am very curious to hear what your opinions are for the role of these so-called prophesies in the big picture for the religion. I mean, if the people who wrote and assembled the Bible did so knowing that they were merely rehashing older writings, then they put Revelation (and the other associated prophesy-related content) there for a reason. Is it just there to keep people roped in while they wait for Christ's return? Or do you think there is something more they had intended?

On a slightly different note, I can totally see Biblical prophesy being used today by the people who control the world from the shadows...something like self-fulfilled prophesy. The idea is not one I find to be pleasant at all.




posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 08:50 PM
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Quoted from: answers.google.com...

Oh for the love of PETE!!!! forgive my first time posting goof ups and
ignore the last 2 partial posts!!!! lets try again...

It is very important to understand the history and climate surrounding
the writing of Revelations. John was imprisoned on the Greek isle of
Patmos in a period of intense christian persecution by the Roman
goverment. The climate was one of paranoia and fear, and this was
heightened by rumors of Nero's return. The emperor Nero persecuted the
early christians with great fervor and was quite off his rocker..he
eventually commited suicide when it all came crashing down arounf 68
ad. There were a few incidental emperors and then in about 81 ad the
emperor Domitian took power..He also was quite a bugaboo when it came
to the early christians. BUT in the 90's rumors began to circulate
that Nero was not really dead, and was returning to Rome to reclaim
his emperorship and he was madder than ever!! The early christians
feared him to no end, and John's writings were a call to arms to the
christian community to not give up the fight. He sends 7 letters off
to various chruches to reinforce the need to hang with the cause,a dn
then he concludes with his wild vision of the coming battle and how
the God of the Christians would destroy the enemies ( Rome). There are
many, many names and places within Revelations that are quite symbolic
to the people to whom he was writing. Hebrew letters all have a
numerical equivalent and the number "of a man" 666 was a clear
reference to the "Kaisar Neron" or Emperor Nero... I quote "Antichrist
is presented as a Roman ruler caesar). 'Nero Caesar', written in its
seven Hebrew consonants (transliterated as 'Neron Kaisar'), give a
value of 50+200+6+50+100+60+200, which adds up to 666.

There is no reason to belive ( and I have never come across anything
that says..) that "666" ever had any previous ( pre 90-100 ad)
historical significance or symbolism.

Revelations contains some wild imagery and pretty intense language,
and that vague loose symbolism is what has allowed it to be constantly
re-interpreted and always seem to remain "just around the corner".
"The mark of the beast" was initially coins with Nero's image upon
them, but nowadays its everything from a social security number to a
barcode or microchip implanted in you....I will withhold my opinions
of all this "Left Behind" garbage and things like that...and just
encourage you to read actual historical references to the time period
in question and ask yourself what was John of Patmos trying to convey
in his writings in the time period he was writing....

If you get a chance try to rent/watch/record the series "Mysteries of
the Bible" on A&E the show about the book of Revelations is
absolutely excellent.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:13 PM
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That pretty well covers it.. historically.

here is an example of misinterpretation:

the numbers 666 and 144,000 ect where more advanced symbols than commonly thought. see a dictionary of symbols by j.e.cirlot...for the long explanation on the ancient theory of numbers. just look under numbers in the book. here is a summary. people of that time used numbers like we do exponents in math.. to shorten things. each number has specific meanings then when applied in sequence to another number expands the meaning. an educated person could read a number and get a paragraphs worth of information.. basically 666 as a sequence is simply a summery of everything in that section the long description of the various evils. after that john did not have to respecify all that data every time it came up just add 666.. its true off the other numbers as well.

the book doesn't read the same at all to us as it did to the actual intended recipients.

whether it has info for our time people will debate till Americans stop eating cows. hopefully not in my life time. is the bible a bad or misleading book?
i would venture no. most of it simply was written for other peoples..and it s our own misunderstandings and egos that lead us astray.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 07:32 AM
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PLease research the sybilline Oracles.


that is the origin of the book of revelations, there is nothing new under the sun, just recycled stories. The organized church hunted down and killed scribes and scholars that translated many of the original works.
It is easy to claim ownership with truth is murdered.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 08:19 AM
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Thanks for the responses! Excellent insight! I really appreciate the info. Now I have somewhere from which to start looking more deeply into this topic.

I find it amusing that this stuff has been altered so much over time, and yet Christians don't think to question that.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 02:30 AM
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If you look at the Bible from another angle you might look at Revelations differently. I am one of those who believe the "God" and the "angels" in the Bible are aliens, as I've stated in this topic. I believe that Iehovah and Lucifer (or whatever their names were) were either opposing starship captains or planetary leaders or something to that effect. Some actually believe that Lucifer was the good guy and Iehovah was the bad guy. If you look at all the terrible things "God" did in the Bible I can easily believe that.

[edit on 19-9-2007 by Lannock]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 02:38 AM
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Revelations is a tough place to start reading, I have found the bible tells me what I need to know when I need to know it.

I personally like the book of John and the words of Jesus Christ.

End times prophesies require knowledge of other books like Daniel and Ezekial. If it was just one story it would not be called the living bible, it changes with where you are in life and the guidence of the holy spirit.

It is not just the words it is how the spirit of God helps you understand them.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 03:13 AM
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Originally posted by John_Q_Llama
Having recently deconverted out of Christianity, I am starting to think about things from a new perspective. One thing that has been on my mind lately is the origin and role of the book of Revelation from the Bible.
The reason I ask is because some of the Biblical imagery as well as things that Christians today believe will happen in the time period before/during/after the time when Christ returns seems unique compared to other religions.
I mean, if the people who wrote and assembled the Bible did so knowing that they were merely rehashing older writings, then they put Revelation (and the other associated prophesy-related content) there for a reason. Is it just there to keep people roped in while they wait for Christ's return? Or do you think there is something more they had intended?


I've copied this answer from another thread I posted in, Hopefully it will give you some of the answers to above questions. And yes, I believe Revelations was for our time period. Read the following, and you will see why.
For those who are interested in 'End Time Prophecy,' the Bible is an excellent place to start. You don't have to be particularly religious or Christian to read it. (but it helps, because then you have spiritual guidance). For starters, the book of Daniel in the OT and the book of Revelations in the NT.
At one time, it was thought that revelations was just a book of codes and symbols that wasn't meant to be taken literally, because the things mentioned, had not come into existence yet.
For example: Revelations 11:9 And they the people and kindred of and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
At one time, we could not imagine how all the people on earth could view the bodies of three men at one time. Today we can. We have satellite TV!

There is also another ref that I don't have time to look up, but you can, it's in Rev. Where a description is being given of things in the sky that resemble giant locusts, with the faces, hair and teeth of men. There was a time that man could not envision such a horrible creature! Today we know what that is. It is a helicopter with the view of the pilot inside.

You have to realize that 2000 years ago, in 'John the Revelator's' time period, he had never seen helicopters, so he had to use descriptions that were contemporary with his era. So I would guess that locusts would be as close as he could come.

Edit to add: I've also noticed that multitudes of people have misunderstood the 666 prophecy. First, it is said, that it is the number of the name of the beast. Then it goes on to say, he who WAS, who IS NOT, and who IS YET to come. In other words, at the time of John's writing, the antichrist referred to was someone who had lived, who was not alive at the moment, but would come back to life at a later date. Many bible scholars believe it to be one of the Caesars. Of course, no one knows for sure.


[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 04:18 AM
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Originally posted by John_Q_Llama
Thanks for the responses! Excellent insight! I really appreciate the info. Now I have somewhere from which to start looking more deeply into this topic.
I find it amusing that this stuff has been altered so much over time, and yet Christians don't think to question that.


This is taken fron wikipaedia:
The oldest of the surviving Sibylline oracles seem to be books 3-5, which were composed partly by Jews in Alexandria. The third oracle seems to have been composed in the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor. Books 1-2 may have been written by Christians, though again there may have been a Jewish original that was adapted to Christian purposes.

All the oracles seem to have undergone later revision, enrichment, and adaptation by editors and authors of different religions, who added similar texts, all in the interests of their respective religions. The Sibylline oracles are therefore a pastiche of Greek and Roman pagan mythology, employing motifs of Homer and Hesiod; Judeo-Christian legends such as the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Tower of Babel; Gnostic and early Christian homilies and eschatological writings; and thinly veiled references to historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, and there are many allusions to the events of the later Roman Empire, often portraying Rome in a negative light.

So, what am I missing here? Seems that Christians were as much involved in these writings as anyone else. What's your point?



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by Hallberg Rassy
PLease research the sybilline Oracles.
that is the origin of the book of revelations, there is nothing new under the sun, just recycled stories. The organized church hunted down and killed scribes and scholars that translated many of the original works.
It is easy to claim ownership with truth is murdered.


Personally, I haven't read the syblline Oracles, but have just finished studying ref's about them in comparison to John's Revelations. There is another bible 'end-time prophecy' author who pre-dates the syblline Oracle. His name is Daniel! He is a contemporary of 600BC, while the syblline Oracles were written in the 300 BC range. So maybe they were stolen from Daniel! I've always thought that John's revelations, closely resembled those of Daniel.
From an external source: God inspired Daniel to write a very profound book. The book of Daniel contains many revelations (prophecies) which the human mind could not invent. Only God knows what will happen in the future. Yet the prophet Daniel wrote about the history of many nations of the world-and he wrote their history before those nations even existed! For example, Daniel wrote how the kingdoms of Persia, and Greece and Rome would come into existence and what their kings would do. And he wrote it hundreds of years before most of these nations even existed!

[Also, in reference to your quote about Christians burning up these works, when did Caesar Augustus become a christian? Read the following:]
The books were kept in the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol and shared the destruction of the temple by fire in 83. After the restoration of the temple the senate sent ambassadors in 76 to Erythrae to collect the oracles afresh and they brought back about 1000 verses; others were collected in Ilium, Samos, Sicily, Italy and Africa. In the year 12 B.C. Augustus sought out and burned a great many spurious oracles and subjected the Sibylline books to a critical revision; they were then placed by him in the temple of Apollo Patrotis on the Palatine, where we hear of them still existing in A.D. 363. They seem to have been burned by Stilicho shortly after 400.



[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 08:29 AM
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There are large differences between the books of daniel and the books of revelations

There are almost identical copying, word for word, from the sibyl books, to the books of revelations. Revelations was lifted from the long history of sibyl cults that existed in greece.


My issue with the Bible is people treat it as a spiritual destination, something it was never intended to be. It is more like a primer, intended to lead to further truths. Christ never wrote anything down, never over saw construction of churches..People become stuck on worshiping objects, instead of following the truth. The bible is no different, it is an Object people tend to become fixated on.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Hallberg Rassy
 



My issue with the Bible is people treat it as a spiritual destination, something it was never intended to be. It is more like a primer, intended to lead to further truths. Christ never wrote anything down, never over saw construction of churches..People become stuck on worshiping objects, instead of following the truth. The bible is no different, it is an Object people tend to become fixated on.



God speaks in the Bible. He tells us where we came from, where we're going and how to get there. He answers questions and explains mysteries. It isn't a bad thing to be fixated on as the well-being of our soul depends on the information it holds.



..............Whirlwind



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 03:16 PM
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The bible is the ONLY book that claims to be directly authored by a supreme being to my knowledge, that is known by the world. Inspired by God and written by man. So in essence, the men who wrote the bible were under inspiration to write what it says.

This being the case, the bible would have to be flawless in it's accuracy of history, science and prophecy. It would also have to have the answers to mankinds problems of the who, what, where, when and why...

Here are just a few interesting facts about the bible.

1. It took over 1600 years to be completed from start to finish, yet the same theme is found throughout the book.
2. 40 Different men took part in the writing of the 66 different books or letters assembled as one whole writing. The consistency of the different books over such a long period of time gives evidence of a single author. ie...imagine starting a book right now 2007 and knowing that it would take 40 men till the year 3600 to complete. Now imagine each one that wrote it would carry the same theme throughout. From a start to a finish.
3. Every prophecy has occured that was supposed to occur, and more are soon to be fulfilled.
4. The fact that it was authored by God, would not the answers to the problems we face be in the bible. They are. Nobody wants to listen though.
5. Scientifically speaking, it is completely accurate even centuries before evidence of claims could be proved.

I could go on but bottom line is you have to research and make it your own.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by DIRTMASTER
That pretty well covers it.. historically.

here is an example of misinterpretation:

the numbers 666 and 144,000 ect where more advanced symbols than commonly thought. see a dictionary of symbols by j.e.cirlot...for the long explanation on the ancient theory of numbers. just look under numbers in the book. here is a summary. people of that time used numbers like we do exponents in math.. to shorten things. each number has specific meanings then when applied in sequence to another number expands the meaning. an educated person could read a number and get a paragraphs worth of information.. basically 666 as a sequence is simply a summery of everything in that section the long description of the various evils. after that john did not have to respecify all that data every time it came up just add 666.. its true off the other numbers as well.

the book doesn't read the same at all to us as it did to the actual intended recipients.

whether it has info for our time people will debate till Americans stop eating cows. hopefully not in my life time. is the bible a bad or misleading book?
i would venture no. most of it simply was written for other peoples..and it s our own misunderstandings and egos that lead us astray.


I've seen explanations of the gematria of 666 meaning Nero, even Ronald Regan. It is much deeper than that.

In Revelation John tells us about 7 trumps, 7 vials and 7 seals. That is when this age culiminates and Christ arrives at His 2nd Advent. The #7 means spiritual perfection and is associated with Christ.

The #6 is the number of a man, the number of imperfection, a man destitute without God, without Christ. The serpent was shown in Genesis on the 6th day, the descendants of Cain are only given to the 6th generation. The number six is associated with Satan.

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

This is when Satan comes to earth pretending to be Christ, even copying the signs of the coming of Jesus. He will deceive many.

Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, Who liveth forever and ever.

16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.
16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.


The sixth angel is Satan himself. This vial was poured out at the 6th trump.

Rev. 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, (a trumpet), and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14.Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, "Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates." (the border between Babylon and Israel)
15.And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour and a day, and a month and a year, for to slay the third part of men.


The hour is of God's choosing. Satan will slay their souls with deceit.

17.And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
18.By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19.For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails; for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads; and with them they do hurt.


Their power to hurt is in their mouth, meaning their lies will lead many to Satan and away from the true Christ. They will claim to be a Christian army.

So.....God warns us that Satan comes at the 6th trump, 6th vial and 6th seal = #666. We must know that and wait for the true Christ.


.............Whirlwind



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 05:06 PM
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The most interesting thing for me about Revelations is how in the world it got included in the Bible to begn with. The rantings and ravings of John of Patmos (which far too many Christians seem to believe is the same person as John the Baptist (aka St. John) is really revelatory - they don't know their own religion very well) but, John of Patmos is widely believed to be a hermit and strong suggestions have been made that he was under the influence of halucinigens from mushrooms and was quite possibly mad as a hatter to begin with...well, you see the problem.

It is likely that he had read some version of Daniel and the other prophets and was, of course, heavily oppressed by one or more governmental forces so, he kinda sounds like Rush Limbaugh during his drug addiction phase. To put it into perspective, imagine a serious student of the Old Testament who had hit the bong a few times too many.

I think it's all mostly just garbage though I can give credence to the theory that it was all some kind of code to incite the masses to rise up against some contemporary (of his time; not ours) oppressive authorities.

Very sad that so many Christians of today give any credence to these writings as they are likely to be either totally lunacy and/or well past any time period of application.

Good on you for taking the time to consider this in a more unbiased light.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 05:39 PM
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I had made a decision sometime back to stay out of these discussions, because sooner or later it always leads to Christian bashing or re-nailing Christ to the cross. But for some reason, I thought the OP of this thread truly wanted informed answers. But the way it looks to me, he is only open to that which discredits anything to do with the Bible and it's authors. So, I think anything further that the Christian arena could say here, would fall on deaf ears or be held up to scorn. I see I have wasted my efforts here.

Edit to add to OP: I don't know you my friend, but when I read that you turned away from Christianity, I became concerned for you as a human being. I stayed up all night researching this subject, so that I might be of help to you. The least you could do, is consider my findings.

[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 06:15 PM
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Jana,

Your first point is both valid and invalid, as odd as that sounds. While I am not against hearing something from a Christian perspective, I am more interested in non-biased information. In other words, anything that is not going to be for or against Christianity (or religion in general). Unfortunately I have found it to be very, very challenging to find such a source. Typically information seems to be from one side or the other, rather than from a purely objective and intellectual point of view. So, to address your point, don't feel discouraged from adding something, regardless of your belief system. I am not here to bash any beliefs.

Believe me, my decision to deconvert was not an easy one. I was a Christian for about 13 years before I started to sense the cracks in the foundation. Now, after making the change, I understand why many Christians are told that they shouldn't dig a little deeper into the questions they have about the religion. I got to the point where the questions were piling up and couldn't turn away the temptation of looking for answers.

Thank you for your concern, however, and I would appreciate reading what your findings are. Please, don't feel as though I am out to get anyone and what they believe to be true. I still have many questions and am in no position to put my foot down and claim, with 100% confidence, anything specific to be absolutely true or false. Just because I don't adhere to the Christian belief system does not mean I no longer respect it.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by John_Q_Llama
 


John, I have a question for you that might make all the difference. Did you ever have the born-again experience as a Christian? I have a reason for asking. Without this spiritual transformation, it is impossible to understand the things of God.
Since I had the experience, it's no longer a question or doubt of God's existence. He communicates with my spirit. I have met Him in my spirit. God is a Spirit and we have to deal with Him in spirit.

[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by janasstar
reply to post by John_Q_Llama
 


John, I have a question for you that might make all the difference. Did you ever have the born-again experience as a Christian? I have a reason for asking. Without this spiritual transformation, it is impossible to understand the things of God.
Since I had the experience, it's no longer a question or doubt of God's existence. He communicates with my spirit. I have met Him in my spirit. God is a Spirit and we have to deal with Him in spirit.

[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]


have you ever tried the U2U feature? It works really great for having this kind of personal conversation.



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by Al Davison
 


I bet you feel much better having said that! But although I personally addressed John, the contents had merit for all who might care to read it. If it offended you, then just move along. That's what I have to do when I read these cutting anti-christian and anti-bible remarks.

[edit on 9/19/2007 by janasstar]



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