By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) – The anti-Christ. The Battle of Armageddon. The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
You don’t have to be a student of religion to recognize references from the Book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible has fascinated readers for centuries. People who don’t even follow religion are nonetheless familiar with figures and images from Revelation.
And why not? No other New Testament book reads like Revelation. The book virtually drips with blood and reeks of sulfur. At the center of this final battle between good and evil is an action-hero-like Jesus, who is in no mood to turn the other cheek.
Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.”
Pagels’ book is built around a simple question: What does Revelation mean? Her answers may disturb people who see the book as a prophecy about the end of the world.
But people have clashed over the meaning of Revelation ever since it was virtually forced into the New Testament canon over the protests of some early church leaders, Pagels says.
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“There were always debates about it,” she says. “Some people said a heretic wrote it. Some said a disciple. There were always people who loved and championed it.”
The debate persists. Pagels adds to it by challenging some of the common assumptions about Revelation.
Here are what she says are four big myths about Revelation::
1. It’s about the end of the world
Anyone who has read the popular “Left Behind” novels or listened to pastors preaching about the “rapture” might see Revelation as a blow-by-blow preview of how the world will end.
Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation was actually describing the way his own world ended.
She says the writer of Revelation may have been called John – the book is sometimes called “Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine” but he was not the disciple who accompanied Jesus. He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos, off the coast of present-day Greece.
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“He would have been a very simple man in his clothes and dress,” Pagels says. “He may have gone from church to church preaching his message. He seems more like a traveling preacher or a prophet.”
The author of Revelation had experienced a catastrophe. He wrote his book not long after 60,000 Roman soldiers had stormed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., burned down its great temple and left the city in ruins after putting down an armed Jewish revolt.
For some of the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem was incomprehensible. They had expected Jesus to return “with power” and conquer Rome before inaugurating a new age. But Rome had conquered Jesus’ homeland instead.
The author of Revelation was trying to encourage the followers of Jesus at a time when their world seemed doomed. Think of the Winston Churchill radio broadcasts delivered to the British during the darkest days of World War II.
Revelation was an anti-Roman tract and a piece of war propaganda wrapped in one. The message: God would return and destroy the Romans who had destroyed Jerusalem.
“His primary target is Rome,” Pagels says of the book’s author. “He really is deeply angry and grieved at the Jewish war and what happened to his people.”
2. The numerals 666 stand for the devil
The 1976 horror film “The Omen” scared a lot of folks. It may have scared some theologians, too, who began encountering people whose view of Revelation comes from a Hollywood movie.
“The Omen” depicted the birth and rise of the “anti-Christ,” the cunning son of Satan who would be known by “the mark of the beast,” 666, on his body.
Here’s the passage from Revelation that “The Omen” alluded to: “This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”
Good movies, though, don’t always make good theology. Most people think 666 stands for an anti-Christ-like figure that will deceive humanity and trigger a final battle between good and evil. Some people think he’s already here.
Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation didn’t really intend 666 as the devil’s digits. He was describing another incarnation of evil: The Roman emperor, Nero.
The arrogant and demented Nero was particularly despised by the earliest followers of Jesus, including the writer of Revelation. Nero was said to have burned followers of Jesus alive to illuminate his garden.
But the author of Revelation couldn’t safely name Nero, so he used the Jewish numerology system to spell out Nero’s imperial name, Pagels says.
Pagels says that John may have had in mind other meanings for the mark of the beast: the imperial stamp Romans used on official documents, tattoos authorizing people to engage in Roman business, or the images of Roman emperors on stamps and coins.
Since Revelation’s author writes in “the language of dreams and nightmares,” Pagels says it’s easy for outsiders to misconstrue the book’s original meaning.
Still, they take heart from Revelation’s larger message, she writes:
“…Countless people for thousands of years have been able to see their own conflicts, fears, and hopes reflected in his prophecies. And because he speaks from his convictions about divine justice, many readers have found reassurance in his conviction that there is meaning in history – even when he does not say exactly what that meaning is – and that there is hope.”
3. The writer of Revelation was a Christian
The author of Revelation hated Rome, but he also scorned another group – a group of people we would call Christians today, Pagels says.
There’s a common perception that there was a golden age of Christianity, when most Christians agreed on an uncontaminated version of the faith. Yet there was never one agreed-upon Christianity. There were always clashing visions.
Revelation reflects some of those early clashes in the church, Pagels says.
That idea isn’t new territory for Pagels. She won the National Book Award for “The Gnostic Gospels,” a 1979 book that examined a cache of newly discovered “secret” gospels of Jesus. The book, along with other work from Pagels, argues that there were other accounts of Jesus’ life that were suppressed by early church leaders because it didn’t fit with their agenda.
The author of Revelation was like an activist crusading for traditional values. In his case, he was a devout Jew who saw Jesus as the messiah. But he didn’t like the message that the apostle Paul and other followers of Jesus were preaching.
This new message insisted that gentiles could become followers of Jesus without adopting the requirements of the Torah. It accepted women leaders, and intermarriage with gentiles, Pagels says.
The new message was a lot like what we call Christianity today.
That was too much for the author of Revelation. At one point, he calls a woman leader in an early church community a “Jezebel.” He calls one of those gentile-accepting churches a “synagogue of Satan.”
John was defending a form of Christianity that would be eclipsed by the Christians he attacked, Pagels says.
“What John of Patmos preached would have looked old-fashioned – and simply wrong to Paul’s converts…,” she writes.
The author of Revelation was a follower of Jesus, but he wasn’t what some people would call a Christian today, Pagels says.
“There’s no indication that he read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or that he read the gospels or Paul’s letters,” she says. “….He doesn’t even say Jesus died for your sins.”
4. There is only one Book of Revelation
There’s no other book in the Bible quite like Revelation, but there are plenty of books like Revelation that didn’t make it into the Bible, Pagels says.
Early church leaders suppressed an “astonishing” range of books that claimed to be revelations from apostles such as Peter and James. Many of these books were read and treasured by Christians throughout the Roman Empire, she says.
There was even another “Secret Revelation of John.” In this one, Jesus wasn’t a divine warrior, but someone who first appeared to the apostle Paul as a blazing light, then as a child, an old man and, some scholars say, a woman.
So why did the revelation from John of Patmos make it into the Bible, but not the others?
Pagels traces that decision largely to Bishop Athanasius, a pugnacious church leader who championed Revelation about 360 years after the death of Jesus.
Athanasius was so fiery that during his 46 years as bishop he was deposed and exiled five times. He was primarily responsible for shaping the New Testament while excluding books he labeled as hearsay, Pagels says.
Many church leaders opposed including Revelation in the New Testament. Athanasius’s predecessor said the book was “unintelligible, irrational and false.”
Athanasius, though, saw Revelation as a useful political tool. He transformed it into an attack ad against Christians who questioned him.
Rome was no longer the enemy; those who questioned church authority were the anti-Christs in Athanasius’s reading of Revelation, Pagels says.
“Athanasius interprets Revelation’s cosmic war as a vivid picture of his own crusade against heretics and reads John’s visions as a sharp warning to Christian dissidents,” she writes. “God is about to divide the saved from the damned – which now means dividing the ‘orthodox’ from ‘heretics.’ ’’
Centuries later, Revelation still divides people. Pagels calls it the strangest and most controversial book in the Bible.
Even after writing a book about it, Pagels has hardly mastered its meaning.
“The book is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”
Reality wants to study Chinese and enrolls for a lesson on Spanish?!?!?!
I know, its like somebody who wanted to understand the bible but only read Revelations, got a skewed idea of what Christianity is, and then tried to use the rest of the bible to justify thier beliefs in Revelations.
katotohanan kung paano mo ginagawa
La tierra fue formada por Crossan
WE KNOW JUST SAYIN IS A CHRISTIAN FOR SURE,,,,HE HAS THAT READILY ACCEPTED IDEA OF IF YOU DONT BELIEVE THEN YOU SHOULD DIE A THOUGHT EVERY GOOD CHRISTIAN SEEMS TO HAVE YET THEY DONT WANTTHE WORLD TO VEIW THEM IN THAT WAY!!!!
Count me out on the every good christian wants you to die. The Bible says we are to help every one find the way the truth and the life.
The bible says, the bible says, the bible says....
Please, use your own minds. You sound like zombies.
Yes. He calls all other views closed minded while refusing to consider them and reamaining....well....closed minded.
The Bible is the main source of revelation regarding God. Why don't you use the dictionary to teach a calculas class?
your initial comment was about being good, not about god.
People like you look to the bible for everything. Admit it! You don't think for yourselves.
Ok, some stuff in the Bible seems confusing to someone that does not know Hebrew, Greek and the various cultural influences that affected the writers of the Bible. I need to rely on someone to explain these points and initially I always fall for the Christian side of the explanation. When time provides I also compare other non Christian explanations. I understand the talking serpent and where skeptics like Dr. John Crossan (who reality like to quote) are coming take their views from. I was not a believer until much later in life and also know how foolish the Bible looks to anyone raised in the public school system.
If you want to see secular indoctrination go see the movie The Lorax which targets young children and you will get a good picture of how teachers like Crossan are twisting the minds of the young.
The insanity of Revelation only mirrors the other insanities of Christianity.
ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:–––>>
JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")
Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.
Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.
Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.
Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!
So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?
THAT SIR MAKES A TON OF SENSE
Yes, Reality why after 2000 years do we care? Could it be that He is the son of God!!!!
Excellent breakdown, sir. Kudos.
Jesus had great wisdom and knowledge, even as little child he was seen talking to temple leaders about scriptures and everyone around him were amazed at his wisdom.
Now, if you are going know about Jesus you cannot find that on cnn.You may want to change that handle to skeptic until such time you have discovered the real reality.
Robert: It could be that he was a loudmouth that pi$$ed off the Romans. Hardly the first, nor the last.
Post by Robert Brown is a form of the ad populum fallacy.
So Reality, what you are saying is that the "ONLY" part of the Bible that is true is the part where Jesus is considered insane, that Jesus only imagined all of the miracles that hundreds witnessed, and that his Disciples all gave up lucrative careers to become a part of a conspiracy that ultimately led to torture and death? I noticed you mentioned "L" which I assume you mean Luke. He was not one of the twelve, he happened to be a Doctor and Historian of his day, in which his Gospel is all based on eyewitness interviews with people who were there and saw what happened. It is a scientific fact that more than one person cannot have the same hallucination at the same time.
NT scholars you refer to also conclude most of the important writings of Saul of Tarsus (Paul) a well educated Roman were authentic. This well educated man in 55AD or there about confirmed much of what you call made up stuff. Paul did not physically witness the miracles but spoke with many actual witnesses. Now, you need to claim that all those witnesses were confused or liars in some fashion. You also need to claim that Peter was made up or Paul was liar as to the things of said of Peter. The Gospel of Jesus was corrupted much latter in the second century and thereafter. Stick with the authenticated works of Paul then go back and see the how he verified the important foundations of the faith. Go to the Dead Sea Scrolls and see how the Old Testament was authentic if you do not believe todays foundation. You choose writers that lived 1800 years after the event to discredit writers that lived during the time of Christ.
These are all myths embelished from stories that might have had inconsequential kernals of truth, like locations, leaders names, etc...
Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/
From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.
From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:
"Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.
Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.
Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.
The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.
Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "
"In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.
With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:
An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
"Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
p.168. by Ted Peters:
Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "
So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.
THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD (AS DOES THE BOOK OF REVELATION)
Joe Smith had his Moroni.
"Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."
Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;
Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).
Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.
The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
Some added references to "tink-erbells".
"The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:
"TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:
"In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
"The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "
"The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "
For added information see the review at:
@BFF You need to get away from the Liberal Lie that saying something over and over again is going to make it true. This is not a myth – this is people trying to sell their book.
"...miracles that hundreds witnessed,"
- who, exactly, were they and how is there 'testimony' verified?
" his Disciples all gave up lucrative careers to become a part of a conspiracy that ultimately led to torture and death?"
- The fates (and even the ident'ities of said "disciples" is unverified. Legends about them abound, however.
"his Gospel is all based on eyewitness interviews with people who were there and saw what happened."
- again, who were they, and what is the verified evidence of their claims?
Seven people were in my backyard last Wednesday evening and all saw little green men from outer space dancing on the roof. It is written.
You put yourself in a position against all NT scholars that recognize the works of Paul. If you like reality want to claim the apostles lied and the people Paul spoke with all lied or were delusional you need to get real.
Of course these people lied, or embelished! It's human nature. It's millions, I mean MILLIONs of times more likely than the supernatural stories that are in there.
@Reality – blah, blah, blah... here's some news for you – most Christians don't care what the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, the Catholics or even the Pope has to say. Most Christians don't even consider any of them to be real Christians. A Christian is a Believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Oh and by the way, the cute little story about the Disciples stealing the body – how would they do that with armed Roman guards at the tomb? Seeing as how if a Roman guard failed at his duty it cost him his life.
You can write a billion pages of that hoooeeee! and it will not change the Truth.
For the "reading challenged" (less than 100 words to read):
SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.
SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.
SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.
Added details upon request.
AND JHON OF PATMOS WAS NOT A DAMN APOSTLE WHY DO YALL KEEP SAYING THAT......JESUS WAS ALREADY DEAD A WHILE WHEN THIS GUY CAME ALONG.......DAMN AT LEAST KNOW WHAT YOU BELIVE IN!!!!!
obviously you are the kind of person that believes everything you see on the internet
Because if Revelations has no credibility then Evangelical Christianity has no credibility – so it must be written by a disciple that was with Jesus. Because who really cares what some guy named John exiled to a deserted island really thinks.
You are directly attacking Evangelicals by saying that. This is why they are getting so angry.
For a thorough review of the authorship of the Book of Revelation, see the Father/Professor Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 802-804. Said book was approved by the RCC.
Some excerpts: "That John (the author of Revelation) was an apostle is highly implausible..............."
"Consequently, in the view of the majority of scholars, one does not have justification for speaking of the author of Rev as a member of the Johannie School of writers who wrote the body of the Gospel, the Epistles and redacted the Gospel. "
"Revelations has no credibility ... Evangelical Christianity has no credibility"
Yes to both.
The three best places for atheists
1. In a grave, self inflicted and before they influence innocent children
2. In a maximum security prison preferably in solitary confinement so as not to corrupt honest criminals
3. In a hospital for the criminally insane, restrained and gagged
You time is limited. Your God is dying.
Your whole belief structure is obsolete.
One only needs to read about the numerous atrocities committed in the name of God to get a grasp on who really needs to be detained. Religion is a fairy tale and you believe in it. You are certifiably delusional and have no defense other than scripture(which is the subject being scrutinized)as your evidence. It is the weakest argument ever presented.
In rebuttal, a prayer:
ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:
The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(References used are available upon request.)
Your Jesus sure did teach you tolerance. Glad you can mount a solid argument for your views though. Way to be.
Ahhh the love of Christians is so heart warming.
But lets break down your comments: 1) You say in a coffin and self inflicted. Why self inflicted? Oh so they go to hell. But if they are non-believers anyway dont they automatically go to hell? I guess the self inflicted is just to be sure. But you should know suicide wasnt deemed a sin worth going to hell for for quite some time. It was due to the MANY that killed themselves in pursuit of martyrdom that the church FINALLY declared it a sin. So yet again we have an example of the CHURCH dictating to you what god is supposedly preaching. Funny how it always changes with the times politics.
2) "honest criminals" thats funny all by itself
3) in with the criminally insane... like the ones that are in there now saying god is talking to them? Restrained and gagged, becasue HEY who wants to hear an opposing view even if it makes sense. Just follow blindly huh? MORON
Why don't you just quit eating? In about 4 weeks time you can have your golden mansion and pie in the sky, even sooner if you refuse water. Bye....
Your god is a impotent creep.
If this is just a trolling effort, I hope you find a better way to spend your time.
If this is not just trolling and you are serious, I hope you find a better way to live your life.
Ahhh...feel the Christian love. Thank you for so succinctly demonstrating why Christianity, along virtually every other religion, is such a blight on the world.
lol@ people who bank on this book...all the things he speaks of in this book havebeen happening for ages mothers n daughers not getting along fathers and sons wars and rumors of wars yada yada......folk act like bad didnt exist until reently lol religion makes the path to retardeness that much more clear!!!
Cats sleeping with dogs!
First and foremost, did this woman ever read the whole bible? I don't believe she has because if she did she would know:
1 – John the writer is indeed John the beloved (devine) who was with Jesus.
2 – The writer is not who called those names to the churches, it was Jesus himself.
3 – Jesus said about the temple in Jerusalem, that soon not one stone would be left upon another...it was going to be ruined.
4- There are many books in the bible that fortell of what Revelations is explaining...Daniel was the foreteller of Revelations.
Look at Ezekial.
5 – The book of Revelations is the answer to the rest of the bible, it is the climax.
6 – The number of his name or number of the beast is 666, and no one (that means on the Earth) can buy or sell without this mark. Hasn't happened....yet.
7 – God would not allow His word to be defiled, because Jesus is the living word.
8 – The end of Revelations says:
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things [h]for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
10 cc's of Thorazine stat!, we are losing this one!
Jesus was illiterate and never read nor wrote anything. The gospels were written 3 to 4 decades after his death by men who never knew or met him, if he even existed.
I love the spelling of the word "devine" as well, it shows just how highly educated the bible nutters are...
39:3. Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah (the GOD) only. And those who take protectors and helpers besides Him (say): "We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah." Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.
39:4. Had Allah willed to take a son (or offspring or children), He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! (He is above such things). He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.
39:5. He has created the heavens and the earth with truth. He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.
39:6. He created you (all) from a single person (Adam); then made from him his wife [Hawwa' (Eve)]. And He has sent down for you of cattle eight pairs (of the sheep, two, male and female; of the goats, two, male and female; of the oxen, two, male and female; and of the camels, two, male and female). He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three veils of darkness, such is Allah your Lord. His is the kingdom, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). How then are you turned away?
39:7. If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, so He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that which is in your heart.
Allah (the God) is the creator of heaven and Earth and all that in between. Allah is the king of kings, owner of the final day and all things. Allah is free of all needs and Allah doesn’t need us grow HIS kingdom. But it is a mercy of Allah that he created us and guided us through prophets so that we could submit to Allah through sincere obedience and peace.
Imagine your neighbor came to you today and claimed that previous night Angel Gabriel came to him and told him that he has been chosen by Allah to guide his community to Allah’s obedience. Not only you will not believe him but also you will ridicule him. But if he displays some miracle beyond magic you will believe him. Allah helped all the prophets will miracle to guide his community. For all the prophets their message and miracle was two separate things. But when Allah decided to seal the prophethood and chose Muhammad (peace be upon him) Allah made his message as miracle as well. So Quran is message and Quran is the Miracle as well. Arab’s in the 14th Century are considered the best in Arabic language could not challenge uniqueness of the language and many non Muslim scholars has concluded that Quran can’t be created by human. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was just a warner same as previous prophets like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus (peach be upon them all). Problem is we so called intellect people give our own interpretation to the Scripture. Scripture has to be understood as the prophet understood it.
I hear Mohamed thinks Jeebus is cute?
Does the Koran cover that?
Demuth-You just earned a FART-WA
The only people offended by this article are REVELATIONIST not Christians. The author is essentially reiterating the description of Revelations in most Bibles.
However, most Revelationists, who often like to be called Evangelical Christians, actually put all of their religious belief in Revelations as a prophetic telling of the second coming of Jesus – even to the point to where they openly discredit the actual words spoken by Jesus, because, they conflict with their "conservative" Revelationist lifestyle.
All of these negative & angry posts about the author prove one thing true in the bible – many will be led astray.
Ahh... but what if these so-called Revelationists are right?
Well, I think I will take my chances with helping the sick, needy, and the poor, as Jesus says to do – instead of using my “conservative” beliefs as an excuse to turn my back on them. Then, if I end up in a fiery pit gnashing my teeth for not believing in Revelations as taught by Evangelical Christians, I will by happy with my choice.
Or just help the needy because you think it is right to do so and skip all the Jesus stuff.
Well said – I felt it was the right thing to do before I knew about Jesus and still feel it is the right thing to do after. After all that is what draws most people to Jesus – he speaks about doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, some are then led astray by churches only invested in prophesy (revelations) – not in doing the right things we all know we should do, which are simply pointed out by Jesus.
After all, who is God going to accept, and, who is going to accept God after they die?
1. The atheist who has always done the right thing but never believed in God till he met him face to face after he died.
2. The Revelationist (evangelical Christian) who has lived their conservative lifestyle not helping anyone in need only telling people they are going to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their lord and savior.
CNN relies on crossan,pagels ,dan brown and the like as scholars on Biblical doctrine?
That's because they made lots of money selling their foolish books. They must know what they are talking about, right?
People buy what they want to hear, but the bible is God's word and only those who faithfully seek him will be saved from eternal damnation. These scholars will have a rude awakening if God doesn't open their eyes.
Talk about proving your own point.... Re-read what you just wrote:
"People buy what they want to hear, but the bible is God's word and only those who faithfully seek him will be saved from eternal damnation."
Yes, only those that want to hear the stuff in the bible faithfully seek it.
Some of the top guns in the field of historic Jesus studies:
A sampling as presented at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html
How some of these scholars classify Jesus:
:Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
G. A. Wells
Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
Jesus the Revolutionary
Jesus the Wisdom Sage
John Dominic Crossan
Stephen J. Patterson
Jesus the Man of the Spirit
Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
John P. Meier
E. P. Sanders
Jesus the Savior
Luke Timothy Johnson
Robert H. Stein
N. T. Wright
One should also include Father/Professor Raymond Brown and Professor Pagels.
I would like to see one article that picks apart a passage of the Quran and exposes what experts say are misconceptions. Just one.
Go ahead and write one. If it makes sense, I'll be behind it.
If, however, your point is that christianity is somehow always singled out, always the prosecuted belief, and somehow should be left alone and respected more – then you lost me.
The Quran was borrowed from both Christian and Jewish tales of the Gospels and Koran. Whatever you can pick apart in the earlier texts in turn makes the Quran fall as well. Man-made gibberish. All of it.
Mom said not to pick on the slow kids so I leave the camel jockeys to stew in their own filth.
How many have you killed in the name of Jeebus?
Go ahead, Sember. Write it and get it published.
Read The Satanic Verses by Salman Rusdie
Luk 12: 54-56
He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, 'A shower is coming.' And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat,' and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
These post would be so much more interesting if they had a point.
Too bad god isn't as discoverable as the weather forecast.
@William – you're so much smarter than us, you should be able to figure it out.
"Wow, you mean you can calculate the orbit of all the planets in the solar system, but you can't figure out how that impacts your destiny... shocking." ~ Astrologer
Luke 12:51-56 ESV
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, 'A shower is coming.' And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat,' and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Why would God want to divide man against man? Sounds awfully sinister to me. I'll pass on your God. He sounds like a jerk.
Kent – The mere fact that he came results in division because he knew some would accept him and others would reject him as is on full display on this blog.
Yep! The Cultural Revolution to stamp out other religions( aka the Chinese Atheist Inquisition) by the Atheist Communist Party set them back by years. The Atheist Berlin Wall kept half of Europe in squalor too. Stupid religion Atheism is.
This is a work of fiction. I would challenge CNN to take liberties with the religion of peace and come up with an article like this on the Koran.
So now any belief is a religion?
Lepers try to imply others are just as dirty, yet the distinction is obvious.
Frankly I am saddened that the purges of the past had such limited success, but I am hopeful that with a proper application of technology, genocide might yet be feasible.
We just need to identify the defective gene, and breed a virus to attack those who carry it, leaving them sterile.
Humanity unleashed from the burden of religion. We can only hope, and continue to review the genome.
The Communists have always been backed by their respected churches. Do some reading before you associate "Communist" with "Atheist."
Myths? You can't declare something a myth if it is predicted as future and has not happened yet.
1. It's about the end of the world. It does talk about the end – so, how is that a myth?
2. The numerals 666 stand for the Devil. It does talk about six hundred three-score and six being the number of the name of the beast, anti-christ, devil. So, how is that a myth?
3. The writer of Revelation was a Christian. It is The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the writer was John, one of Jesus' Disciples which it is obvious in the book that he is a Believer. A Christian is a Believer in Jesus Christ as Lord so, he would be a Christian. How is that a myth?
4. There is only one Book of Revelation. Well, if you are talking about the only one found in the Bible, then yes you are talking about only one book. How is that a myth?
Amen! These "myths" are nothing more than myths in and of themselves.
Perhaps the article was beyond your ken as it already dealt with your questions.
@Momo – again, as always, you missed the point. The point is – you can't delare something that is predicted as future events to be a myth, even if you don't believe it. Especially, by trying to use, "nonsense" from past arguments as proof. For example, if I said, "I WILL have $2 million in my bank account in 2 years." Is that a myth? By the reasoning in this article they could say, "You've never had $2 million before." Or, "Noone else with your name has ever had $2 million dollars." Or they could even say, "you said 5 years ago you would have $100,000 and you didn't." See – nonsense. Now, what if you come back in 2 years and I have $2 million in my account?
You see, $ actually exist. If you say that in 2 years you will have 2 million golden leprechaun coins or 2 million abosderhthers in your account, we will be real skeptical...
Perhaps myth is the wrong word but the esential fact is that the predictions are made based on the completely unproven god / jesus myth. They are not based on any verifiable evidence or formula that has been demonstrated to be accurate.
Yes, the event (such as the end of the world according to The Babble) *might* happen (0.000000...1% probability – can't be ruled out definitively) but the prediction has low credibility because it's based on crap.
@Get Real and OG – See – I can accept that, because you are saying it is based on a Jesus/God that you do not believe in but, I do. So to me it is based on a reality and is still to come. These so-called "experts" are just trying to discredit portions, individuals, or events. In other words – why would you attempt to write an article on the Myths of Neverland without ever proclaiming that Peter Pan didn't exist. I would rather they just say they don't believe any of it than try to just disprove a portion.
Prayer changes things ..
Prayer works about 50% of the time. Just like flipping a coin.
Jack I think you are simply confused because my prayers work a 100% and so it does for a lot of spiritual people. Whether bird-brained or not I think you can understand can't you.
You know way too little about what prayer is to make an intelligent comment leave it alone.
Atheism isn't really interested in prayer. What he really wants you to see is his clever name, based on the old anti-war slogan from the 1960's, modified to insult those people that he can't understand.
Your post is very condescending! And it also sounds like it is coming from an uneducated oaf.
And here, once again, we have "just sayin" trying to shut down the opposition instead of having an intelligent conversation about the topic. This is why I respect you so much buddy. You are open minded and willing to discuss. My hero.
@Jackdraw: 76.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
BFF condescending? I think you need non-partisan eyes. Your rose-coloured glasses don't help either.
You say your prayers work 100%? There are studies out there that show that prayer is statistically useless. Somehow you are special? God's chosen person here on earth?
OK, proove it, if you are ballsey enough to make a statement like that!
They have done studies. 60% of the time it works all the time.
Who would want to understand lying ,murderous, thieves?
BFF I do like your brazen use of profanity. What shud I prove to you? That I obey Jesus' words to love my neighbor as myself so that our relationship will be strong? That a strong relationship with God gives you access to Him in communication. Look if you want proof do as I did. There is your sign.
Prayer changes nothing. I laugh when people treat their God like a genie in a bottle. Why would God answer one person's prayers over another? Prayer is self-absorbed nonsense.
Kent your post shows you know absolutely nothing about prayer.
Just what I thought. A charlatan that can't back up what he says.
@ just sayin – keep telling everybody that mounts a logical argument against you that they dont know anything. You will win a lot of arguments that way.
~Still spreading your lies. No it doesn't. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!
@just sayin. One's lack of belief in something for which no evidence has been presented, does not cause one to lie, cheat or murder. Or should we start listing bad atheists, countered by listing bad Christians, ad infinitum? I'm a bit tired of that exercise, aren't you?
"They have done studies. 60% of the time it works all the time."
Only if you cherry-pick the studies that confirm your position. Metastudies of all prayer studies show no effect at all. Some studies of prayer with hospital patients of various sorts show a slight percentage improve; some show no result; some seem to show negative results.
And "60% of the time it works all the time?" What the heck does that mean? It doesn't even make sense.
I just dont understand why we are bickering about this stuff after humanity has come so far in so many ways. I have noticed that whenver we are moving backwards, religion tends to be the reason.
Because religion is like smallpox.
It needs to be purged from society for the greater good.
Isolate and eradicate the infection without mercy.
@William – that is what Revelations talks about in the end times – see, not a myth.
Willie Demented(ghetto translation) how do you propose to use secular atheists who are a tiny proportion of atheists who are an even tinier portion of non-believers to attack and kill the billions of religious. Serial killer in the making.
But some of us do not need an imaginary sky fairy to do our killing for us.
We are quite comfortable with blood on our own hands.
By voting republican of course.
Then the Jeebus freaks all go to Iran and slaughter the towel heads.
Just like in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Just empower the right, and the slaughter will continue.
Plus its safer than bringing the Jeebus freaks with PTSD stateside.
@William – I think you were the one in a post earlier accusing Christians of being Nazi's, yet you seem to be the one acting like a Nazi now wanting to kill people because of their beliefs.
Religion tends to be the reason we move backwards? Oh, really?
No. I just want to prevent you from reproducing.
But in the iterim, if you thiests kill each other, I will be greatly pleased.
Perhaps we can send the disciples of Jeebus into Tehran next?
Yes, it halts progress and rewards ignorance. Whatever your video is, as I cannot see it, is irrelevant to me (I’ll assume it’s clip from Rush Limbaugh talking about how Liberals are evil) until the Vatican builds a linier accelerator or contributes to the European Space Program.
Indeed Kent, it is hard to understand why the underground house churches of China support Communism? Or why there is an official Chinese Catholic and Protestant Churches which are state-controlled? Not all Communist governments are atheist now but the Atheist ones are brutal to other religions.
Romans 1:28 ESV
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
so THAT"S why I overcooked my steak. Dang it.
Avengers # 8
Cahpter 2, line 6
HULK WILL SMASH!!!
Now I know its stupid to base your life on a comic book, but what I can't understand is why you don't?
It seems he does though....
Wilbushel(ghetto translation of course) I don't think Crank is as dumb as you are. Just sayin'
@Debra – Yes, you didn't ask to be born. But God in His infinite wisdom still gave you the gift of life, and now through His son Jesus Christ, He is offering you the gift of "eternal life." But you have to accept the gift. You can do so or "spit on His face" and reject it. The choice is yours.
I pray you choose wisely.
I would stick to presenting the gospels. Period.
Why use words that makes no sense whatsoever?!?!
I'll spit right in his face for claiming the audacity to have died for all of mankind's "sins." Just because he died on a cross then murderers are forgiven? Tell that to the families of the deceased. Jesus was an insane and delusional man.
We shall know when we know. I, for one, am staking my life on Jesus.
"If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." – Mark 8:34-38
No one cares.
But if you are interested in a bridge, I might have one in Brooklyn you might like.
The sooner He comes the better, in my opinion. =>
I have some magic beans that will go well with that bridge.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.