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Revelations

Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

Elaine Pagels

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A startling exploration of the history of the most controversial book of the Bible, by the bestselling author of Beyond Belief.
Through the bestselling books of Elaine Pagels, thousands of readers have come to know and treasure the suppressed biblical texts known as the Gnostic Gospels. As one of the world's foremost religion scholars, she has been a pioneer in interpreting these books and illuminating their place in the early history of Christianity. Her new book, however, tackles a text that is firmly, dramatically within the New Testament canon: The Book of Revelation, the surreal apocalyptic vision of the end of the world . . . or is it?

In this startling and timely book, Pagels returns The Book of Revelation to its historical origin, written as its author John of Patmos took aim at the Roman Empire after what is now known as "the Jewish War," in 66 CE. Militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome's occupation of Judea and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple. Pagels persuasively interprets Revelation as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome. Soon after, however, a new sect known as "Christians" seized on John's text as a weapon against heresy and infidels of all kinds-Jews, even Christians who dissented from their increasingly rigid doctrines and hierarchies.

In a time when global religious violence surges, Revelations explores how often those in power throughout history have sought to force "God's enemies" to submit or be killed. It is sure to appeal to Pagels's committed readers and bring her a whole new audience who want to understand the roots of dissent, violence, and division in the world's religions, and to appreciate the lasting appeal of this extraordinary text.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 09, 2012 – Many Christians today believe that the Book of Revelation (which some mistakenly call “Revelations”) was written by the same “John” who wrote the Gospel of John, speaks to an audience of persecuted Christians, and stands in harmony with the rest of the New Testament. In this fascinating study, Pagels challenges all of those assumptions, arguing instead that the visions recorded by John of Patmos function as antiassimilationist harangue that explicitly countered Paul’s teachings that keeping Jewish law was no longer necessary. Pagels situates John of Patmos within a competitive marketplace of New Testament prophets, some of whom had similar prophetic visions that were omitted from the canon but rediscovered in the 20th century. Why did Revelation survive while other revelations were passed over or even suppressed? The answer, she says, lies in the way the prophecy was reinterpreted after Constantine’s unexpected conversion in the early fourth century; Revelation proved surprisingly adaptable even after the Roman Empire turned out not to be the whore of Babylon after all. Pagels offers a sharp, accessible, and perceptive interpretation of one of the Bible’s most divisive books.
Revelations
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Events
  • Published: Mar 06, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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