John the Revelator

I’ve wanted to re-read Revelation for a while now. I think as the weather gets a little more tolerable here in Phoenix, I will begin to treat myself to a cigar and a Scotch after work and return to the project.

It is a short book, for sure. So I know reading it doesn’t seem like a project. But it is so dense with symbols and psuedo-interpretations that fill you mind ahead of time, that I expect it to be a challenge.

Fun fact number one is that the book is a single Revelation to John. Unlike the collections of psalms and lamentations, and unlike letters to groups such as the Ephesians, Romans, and Galatians, the title of the book is singular. (Also, Jonah was not swallowed by a whale, and nothing tells you how many wise men there were. :))

The book has found its way into pop culture. My favorite is the blues song. (Depeche Mode did a John the Revelator wherein they seem to be accusing President Bush of being both the anti-Christ and John the Revelator.)

Here are the first three chapters. This book begins in a very pragmatic fashion. When I looked at it recently I was surprised by this. I mean, who would have thought that the book that has been the source of so many horror movies begins like a letter from the regional minister to churches.

4 replies on “John the Revelator”

My reaction was how can I make anything out of all of this code. I think starting with a recognition of how dark things looked for the author at the time he was writing is an important step to interpreting the work.

Norah, if you read on you will find that I eventually gave up on Revelation. Not just because I had a hard time wrapping my head around the symbols, but because the writer seems pretty obsessed with revenge, which is not my deal.

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