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As a work of prophesy, of course, Revelation is wholly and self-evidently wrong."How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" demands the the biblical author, quoting the souls of the dead martyrs, and he answers his own question by attributing an unambiguous promise to Jesus Christ: "Behold, I am coming soon." Those words were first reduced to writing nearly two thousand years ago, but the readers of Revelation are still waiting for the day of revenge that is predicted with such clarity and confidence in ancient text.
The author of Revelation is not the only figure in Christian scriptures whose prediction of the end times was mistaken. Jesus, according to some awkward sayings attributed to him in the Gospels, assures his followers that at least some of them will see the end of the world with their own eyes. The apostle Paul, in turn, offered the same assurance to his generation of Christians. Both Jesus and Paul were gone by the time the author of Revelation set down his vision of "things which must shortly come to pass." All of them turned out to be dead wrong, and the world is still here.
The utter, obvious, and persistent failure of the world to come to "end on time," as one contemporary Bible scholar wryly puts it, has compelled Christianity to consider how life ought to be lived in the here and now, no less in late antiquity than today.
It never was accepted as, or ever claimed to be, literal. History has nothing to do with it. It strikes me as a cheap trick on the part of the author. It's like making the assertion that history has finally proved that Dragons and Dinosaurs didn't exist during the Roman Empire.
The author informs us in no uncertain terms that history has proven any literal meaning of Revelation wrong:
Kirsch calls that "unambiguous???" How can I take him seriously after that statement?
by attributing an unambiguous promise to Jesus Christ: "Behold, I am coming soon."
Above all else, the author of Revelation is a good hater, and he embraces the simple principle that anyone who is not for him is against him. He rails against his rival preachers, condemning them as fornicators and false prophets. He heaps abuse on those of his fellow Christians whom he regards as insufficiently zealous for the Lamb of God. He offers the ultimate insult to Jews who do not embrace Jesus as a Messiah by insisting that Christians are the only authentic Jews. He reserves special contempt for anyone who indulges in carnal pleasure and, especially, the getting of goods. And, in a gesture of rhetorical overkill that is the hallmark of Revelation, he condemns his adversaries as not merely wrong, not merely sinful or criminal, but wholly corrupted by the "deep things of Satan".
Here we find particularly heartless theology of exclusion: the saints and martyrs will be granted eternal life, as the author of Revelation sees it, and the rest of humanity will burn in hell. Indeed, the book of Revelation fairly sizzles with the deferred pleasure of revenge".
You should see how we've come along. Every state has at least two libraries. There are even some cities that have their own schools. We're doing just great here.
I got the book from my local library, and it cost me nothing.
I assume there are libraries in the USA?
I see Jonathon Kirsch's claim that the word "soon" is unambiguous to be silly. Of course, "soon" is ambiguous. "Man appeared soon after the dinosaurs." "The hot spices in the stew soon had him sweating profusely." "Mommy, will we be there soon?"
So I'm not sure of your point.
You see the Bible as ambiguous?
"How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" demands the the biblical author, quoting the souls of the dead martyrs, and he answers his own question by attributing an unambiguous promise to Jesus Christ: "Behold, I am coming soon." Those words were first reduced to writing nearly two thousand years ago, but the readers of Revelation are still waiting for the day of revenge that is predicted with such clarity and confidence in ancient text.
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
Jesus, according to some awkward sayings attributed to him in the Gospels, assures his followers that at least some of them will see the end of the world with their own eyes.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.
Originally posted by halfoldman
Just recently in SA I had to hear how gays have the "character of the anti-Christ".
People have said that to my face.
What on earth does that even mean?
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Originally posted by satron
Would it be considered wrong if people wanted to see to it that it happens?
I don't believe in the literal end of the world as the Bible predicts, certainly a natural occurrence of catastrophic proportions could happen, but foreseen by the people that wrote the Bible? Nah.
But I do believe there is a group of people that would like to see the end take place.
Would the Bible be right, if someone hijacked the notion of the end times?edit on 25-1-2012 by satron because: (no reason given)