My comments on the Book of Revelation
The main reason I read and reinterpreted the Book of Revelation was because nut-wing Republicans were claiming Obama is the Anti-Christ as foretold by the Book of Revelation (now they claim Hillary Clinton is). I wanted to see if there was any support at all for their claim.
Well, it turns out there is not one mention of the Anti-Christ in the Book of Revelation. If you want info about the Anti-Christ, you've got to look elsewhere.
I don't view the Book of Revelation as an accurate foretelling of the future. I think this Book was written and preserved for political reasons, as propaganda for the young and struggling Christian church. Christianity was, in the beginning, a combination reincarnation cult and political resistance to the Roman Empire. A lot of the symbolism in the Book of Revelation would've been understood by the people of its time in the context of their political and religious struggles, in a culture with little or no appreciation for the separation of church and state that we in the US know today.
What surprises me most when I sit down and read the Bible is how egomaniacally God acts. He insists that everybody worship him, and destroys those who don't. He doesn't give people a lot of second chances. But neither does he expect that everybody will follow him. He seems to expect only a small minority, a chosen few, to live as he prescribes. Christianity was not expected to become a large, dominant religion in which all souls are saved.
Also, I think early Christians expected the end-of-world, second-Coming-type stuff portrayed in the Book of Revelation to occur during their lifetimes. I don't think they expected that two-thousand years later we'd still be reading this stuff and thinking about when, if ever, the Lamb would return. In retrospect, Christians have become rather tolerant and patient since the Bible was written.
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