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Revelations- Symbolism?

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posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 03:51 PM
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Hi all!
I am not really well-acquainted with the Bible, but I picked one up today and read revelations, since it has been mentioned here recently so much.
I'm not sure HOW to read a Bible, whether I should take it literally (dragons?) or symbolically.

My questions are:
Why don't people try and identify the locations of the angels? They seem more important than the four horsemen, but I never had heard of them before.

It also sounded like it mentioned sunflares at one point, is that right?

I understand that the dragon with the 7 heads and 10 horns is the devil, right? But then the 10 horns turned into men... can somebody explain that part?

Why are the horsemen focused on more than other parts of the book?

Also, it said Jerusalem would be divided in three.
It also said that there would be all these plagues and catastrophes within days of each other- are these supposed to be literal days or figurative days?

And back to the horsemen again, they rode weird mutated horses, right? What do the horses symbolize?

And does Babylon maybe signify America? The world? The middle east? I don't really understand.

If you could clear this stuff up, I would appreciate it, as I have never studied the Bible myself. I wasn't sure if this went in Conspiracies in Religions or Faith/Spirituality, but since I'm kind of alluding to the posts where all this is supposedly going on right now, I figured I'd post it here.

Thanks guys!

The version I read was the Revised Standard Version... 1952 copy.

[edit on 1/15/2009 by ravenshadow13]




posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 04:15 PM
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babylon is the symbolised by false religiodulcebase



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
I am not really well-acquainted with the Bible, but I picked one up today and read revelations, since it has been mentioned here recently so much.
I'm not sure HOW to read a Bible, whether I should take it literally (dragons?) or symbolically.


I'll respond a bit generally...no offense, I'm just short on time.

The first aspect of interpreting the Book of Revelations is figuring out if it's writing about the past (before it was written), the present (the time it was written), or the future. Lots of people try to use the book as predictive, but I tend to side with researchers that describe it as code written to descibe events that were happening during the time the author was alive. There's quite a bit of research on that...such as Nero being the Beast (the 'number of the beast' deciphers into his name), the Roman Empire being the dragon, etc. Many times the title of the book includes the word "Apocalypse" but this is really a reference to the original greek, which didn't mean the 'end of the world' but rather 'an unveiling/revealing'.

As for how to read it (symbolically versus literally) it's traditionally connected to four levels of reading: the historical/literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical. Those were the standard levels for reading it, anyway.

Happy hunting.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Vault-D
 


Thanks for the start, Vault! When I read it, it sounded like John was telling it as a prophecy of the future. I guess it was written after Christ but before now, obviously.

If it was supposed to be about Nero and the Roman Empire, that makes sense a bit. It seems more predictable, you know, and would make Revelations less of a guessing type thing. I was trying to apply it to now or the future... I don't know if it worked, yet.

Yeah I was surprised to learn about the word Armageddon referring to a place, not a time.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
If you could clear this stuff up, I would appreciate it, as I have never studied the Bible myself.


It doesn't matter. There are a few symbols in Revelation that some people agree on. But you gotta understand that this book was written by some lunatic holed up in a cave on a Greek island. So there's a lot of it that is just the wild rantings of this kook.

Fortunately for present day kooks, the book is so vague and cryptic they get to read a lot of their own kookiness into it, which makes everybody happy, I guess. For instance, some people read in there that the righteous will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But one of the few things it makes very clear is that the only people being spared will be 1,200 Jewish male virgins from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel (144,000). So if you ain't one of those, you ain't going anywhere. But try to tell that to some people who are convinced they are so holy that it applies to them. Wishful thinkers.

The result of it all is that people are going to pick and choose what they want to believe from the book, just like they do the rest of the Bible, and interpret it in a way that favors themselves. People are that way. Self-righteous and self-absorbed, I mean.


[edit on 15-1-2009 by Nohup]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Nohup
 


I kind of thought that was weird too, about the supposed selectiveness. And how like, you can survive the first catastrophe and the second and then you can just be knocked off in the third, or you can make it all the way to the eighth and still not make it.

Yeah, the whole fornication is forbidden thing seems odd... do people just not die in the after-world or whatever, so they don't need to reproduce? I guess they can't, anyway, because they're all men.

And at one point I thought Jesus was getting married, but then I think maybe he married Babylon? I really don't know. I know some people do take this seriously, I wondered what their explanation might be. I was relating it to a lot of current events, myself, but I didn't know what the accepted interpretation was, if there was one.



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