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4 big myths of Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation has terrified and confused readers for centuries. Few agree on its meaning, but many have opinions.
March 31st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

4 big myths of Book of Revelation

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.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Devil • End times • Faith • History • Jerusalem

soundoff (8,460 Responses)
  1. Rainer Braendlein

    The intergalactic war

    Revelation 1, 1-8:

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    The great topic of the Bible beside salvation is the suffering of the Christian Church, which she has to bear in an antichristian world. A man, who remains in his redeemer Christ, will face hostility in this godless world.

    However, Jesus Christ, who has suffered like no one before him and after him, has overcome the demonic world. Christ had a free human will and a divine will (two wills). Despite cross, rejection and suffering Jesus remained "in God". The great merit of Jesus was it that he remained in God, although he had to bear superhuman sufferings. Christ has rolled back the Fall of Adam.

    Adam abandoned God voluntarily, although he was made in a blissful state. Jesus remained "in God" despite infinite sufferings. Hence, Jesus is a "new Adam" or the first born of a "NEW MANKIND", a mankind, which has returned to its Creator and loves him on every condition, even if she has to suffer. Jesus is the beginning of a new creation, a creation in God.

    Jesus Christ is yet in the "Future of the Lord". Jesus has overcome the profane world by the Holy Spirit and God has honored him and confirmed him with the resurrection from the death and has made him ruler of the universe. The meek and humble Jesus, who sweat blood in the garden Gethsemane, because of endless trouble and horror, is ruler of the universe right now and his dominion can manifest very soon.

    "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

    God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for the sake of our sins. He raised him from the dead for our justification. Everybody, who believes that and gets sacramentally baptized, becomes righteous: His sins are forgiven and he lives a life of practical righteousness. Despite the attacks of the godless world, the believer remains within his saviour and does works of righteousness. The meek and humble people on earth living in righteousness, will finally manifest as kings and priests of the Most High. God will reward them with very high ranks, because they kept the faith on a hostile, godless earth.

    The majority of the mankind will never believe in Christ, at least not in the true Christ. The majority will believe in the false Christ or Antichrist (The Wicked, Mohammed, the popes and others).

    The revelation is nothing else than an account of the intergalactic war, which blusters on earth between the true Christian Church and the profane world (secular society, churches, which have turned apostate, false religions like Islam, cults like Mormons).

    God tells the true believers through the Revelation: "Don't become worldly again, but remain faithful; I have overcome the world and will come soon and raise you to glory!"

    April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Stan

      Someone let Whiner out of his straitjacket at the asylum again. Quick, someone give Whiner a sedative.

      April 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  2. Katfish

    The book sounds like an interesting read. As for the Obama video, I'm trying to match up the consonants for the 'yes we can' because I'm no longer so trusting of anything I see or hear from any news source. I'd rather draw my own conclusions from a variety of sources.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  3. drivenbyambition

    My thoughts? Why does a major news corporation feel the need to dissuade the belief of what the bible says? Looking around, I see more and more that the majority of people are starting to go against Christianity, just like the bible said people would. I see the world shifting to a one world order like the bible said it would. I see the mark of the beast being supported by CNN and other media networks. I laugh at this article, you will not break my faith sir!

    April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      oh please, there are enough factions of christianity because of their interpretations of the bible, they cant even agree amongst themselves. Any why do you think th author of this article isnt a christian as well?

      April 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • impartial_observer

      What you "believe" is your call, but it doesnt really matter. The article is not an endorsment by CNN of anything, pro or con re. your particular faith. The author is relating the work of a SCHOLAR who is investigating the historical FACTS behind writings that some people (like you) take literally and un-critically. You choose to gloss-over recorded history and consdierations from multiple sources of evidence (such as a historian would do) and instead make shallow one-liner statements that make you feel warm and fuzzy. The article refers to objective inquiry and avoids personal feelings and thus should not be seen as bashing anything. It's excellent journalism on the topic about the work of a SCHOLAR on a very relevant historical topic.

      It's not surprising that the people who cling to unquestioned faith don't want to really know where their fairytales ACTUALLY came from. It must be painful to have to challenge yourself and think outside of your box-like simplicity. This is not my opinion; I just defer to a critical view of HISTORY over an anti-intellectual/ignorant/simpleton world-view of so called "believers" like you.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  4. carl

    "A man is a fool that does not believe in God" this is your day John ! The word rapture is not in the bible and there is no such thing ! The Gentiles are the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Everyone believes (in) there is a Devil, soo why is it so hard to believe in God and his son. There is no such thing as the star of David . All of the royalty practice sorcery , they believe in Lucifer... and you..what do you believe ?

    April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  5. Joshua

    There actually was a once agreed upon version of Christianity – when Christ himself lived upon the Earth.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. SkipJunkman

    And if the only reason you do good is to avoid hell, I have news for you. You have no morals.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  7. Cedar rapids

    Didnt they find a very early version of the bible some years back that had the number of the beast being 696, or something, instead of 666? so how does that tally with the whole Nero thing?

    April 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  8. Bill

    Even non religious people agree that the John of Revelation was the same John that wrote other books of the bible. Go look it up. This person describes him as just a Jew and a mystic. What? Never heard that before.

    Because of the style of writing most historians ( religious or not ) date the writing of Revelation to before the fall of the city.

    John wrote this to rebel against the writings and beliefs of Paul and other writers of the bible. What? Revelation is not only prophetic writing but it is a letter to the seven churches that almost entirely follows the writing of other apostles.

    Funny that you people just go ahead and attack. Face it, you are scared of the possibility there may be a God. If I live a good life based on a lie I just die in the end but I lived a good life while here. So what? If there is a God and you are wrong. Wow! Tough luck for you

    April 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • bloat

      Sounds like Pascal's wager. Look that up.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      ah the old, if i am wrong so what but if you are wrong then uh oh argument.

      heres the third option peope like you always always always ignore.......there is a god but it isnt the one you are worshipping, then you are just as s crewed as the rest of us. You had better worship them all just in case.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Your mother

      "Tough luck four you?" How very uncompassionate and unchristian of you.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      "Even non religious people agree that the John of Revelation was the same John that wrote other books of the bible. Go look it up. "

      actually you should take your own advice and look it up, there are even some religious scholars who believe there were 3 different Johns involved in writing parts of the bible.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • impartial_observer

      The discussion is not about God or Theism, but about the FACTS vs MYTHS behind a writing made by men to control/influence other men. It's about where a certain religion's dogma came from and not a more general discussion about faith. That's a whole other realm of discussion. The FACTS are that Revelations are misrepresented in practice in order to be used a s"propaganda" by certain "sects" within Christianity. The fact that there is actual emprirical scholarship questioning the sources and origins of certain "sacred" writings will discomfort only those with no curiosity who are will to surrender all REASON for the sake of comfort and solace. Lies sometimes act as a social lubricant, and the Bible is appropriated uncritically and shamelesly by the purveyors of your brand of Existential KY lubricant.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  9. PABLO

    People listen to this:

    April 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • sybaris

      Pablo, you're in trouble

      April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  10. DHOLLY

    The Book of Revelations is very symbolic. It was written by the Apostle John. He was shown many things in a vision. He had to describe those things based on the things that were familiar to him. The Book of Revelation is more clear than what most people think. God, our Heavenly Father, lives! The commandments He gives us are for our benefit and blessing. Keep the commandments, in this there is safety and peace. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Follow His example and teachings and return to live again with God.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • sybaris

      Which god?

      You do realize christianity does not corner the market on end times scenarios and that the concept predates the writing of Revelations.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  11. ptknight

    Just goes to show anyone can write a book. From my 4 decades of studying Revelation, ironically it seems that the Adventists have the best understanding of the book. It's not a mystifying as people think because the rest of scripture explains most of its symbolisms. Understanding the book of Daniel is key to understanding Revelation, also Ezekiel is helpful. The writer of this book does not appear to be a Spirit-led Christian, which is the only means of understanding prophetic book.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Diogenes

      OK, so explain how the other 'visions' of John of Patmos never made it into the bible.

      Simple explanation: an early church leader made the decision. See that wasn't so hard to explain, was it?

      Politics. Pure and simple.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • sybaris

      So you have to be a "true christian" to understand it correctly?

      Do you have to be a "true mathematician" to understand 2+2=4?

      April 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  12. † In God We Trust †

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • seyedibar

      believing everything you read is obviously part of the problem LOL.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • SkipJunkman

      Troll or idiot?

      April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Diogenes

      My goodness, it took you a long time to write all that drivel.

      Sadly, it is just that...drivel.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Gaunt

      Is your head really so far up your own sphincter that you actually believe this contradictory pile of laughably incorrect and absurdist tripe?

      April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • pockaleelee

      Note to readers: None of the things in the post above are facts.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • child

      atheists don't cowtow to childish beliefs. Don't forget that one.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      I will assume the writer of this isnt a christian because of course they are commanded not to lie.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • reality

      Just because you wrote it down, dosn't make it true.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Zack

      ...Congrats. You've officially ruined the quality of the responses on this page. Your post is full of uneducated, inadequately supported statements that are borderline offensive to most, let alone the fact that they make you look foolish.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  13. no God

    THE BOOK OF DANIEL is 100 % FACT and REAL HISTORICAL EVENT......

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • The Bible is a book of badly written fairy tales

      Um, wrong.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  14. Diogenes

    OOH! Another Imaginary Friend story! I love those!

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  15. Concerned Cizizen

    Isn't it all myth?

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  16. C W Steinle

    Where to begin – The selection of most of the Bible's books was determined by their usage in the early churches. The Oxyrhynchus, Egypt papyri verify that most of the New Testament was being mass produced in Alexandria to supply the growing churches by the first part of the 2nd Century. The prophets of the Bible didn't write because of their own bad hair day – they wrote what the Spirit wanted spoken to God's people. But if you would like to depart from the Left Behind theory check out "Come Out of Her, My People" – CW Steinle

    April 1, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  17. Mother

    What's pitiful is that mainstream "christians" are the beast the bible refers to. They have warped Christ into a marauding lunatic, traveling the world on bloody horses, slaughtering children, bringing plagues, casting the world into darkness and misery. And what's more, they WANT this Jesus. They pray for him. All while ignoring the commands of the Christ to love and do good to their enemies, cast away their possessions, rebuke war and killing, fear not those who can harm the body but only God who can destroy the spirit. These "christians" who follow the church are the fools Christ referred to, and the church is the bride of evil.

    Don't believe it? Look at what they manifest in the world. These "christians" have manifested a society based almost wholly in amassing worldly treasure – based on the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable among us. They defend their wealth and gain more through wide-scale violence and the murder of innocent children. They glorify the soldier, the wealty. They mock "hippies" for their love of nature – God's own creation. None of this should be a surprise, really. They created the most brutal system of slavery ever seen on the planet. They took their nations through genocide. If you are a "christian" who is following mainstream western values and the mainstream "christian" church, you are a fool and a blasphemer. And you cannot understand Revelations because your spiritual discernment is dead. WAKE UP.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • NClaw441

      No Christians I know fit the description you provide. Most are loving, considerate, compassionate people who believe in God and don't judge those who don't believe as they do. Perhaps we live in different worlds. I am sure that there are people such as you describe who call themselves Christians, but I don't see them, and I am confident that they are not most Christians.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Cynthia

      Amen!

      April 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • jimg45

      The "church" Christ refers to his people. According to protestant denominations people who do not follow their way are doomed to hell. If that is true then everyone that lived prior to the protestant revolution of the 1600s are in hell as I write this. Thank you "IN GOD WE TRUST" for highlighting my point!

      The Catholic church, at least that big one over in Rome, has never been short of cash and items made of silver and gold. I suppose that is their ticket in.

      I wonder too how most all of the religions carry the same basic story line but with different characters, storylines, and events. One question I have had for many years is; If the story of Adam and Eve is literal and true does that not make us all inbred??

      God, for whomever and whatever we each hold him (or her) to be does have a sense of humor. We are all the most obvious proof of that!

      April 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Cynthia

      I am a Christian, however, no longer choose to identify myself as that due to the word "Christian" in America is no longer synonymous with "follower of Christ/Christ like/Christ ways"! Many Facebook Friends publicly profess, and push, their holier than tho beliefs in post then in another make fun of belittle our President, complain about taxes, brag about getting drunk/partying, support death penalty, show anger when our government (we the people) care for the poor & hungry, are infuriated by the thought of everyone having health insurance because it might cost them a little more money, corporate & congress greed,.... When asked, I say I believe in & strive to follow the teaching & actions of Jesus Christ. Isn't that what a Christian is suppose to do?!

      April 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  18. joshua

    dana see dr owour and tb joshua

    April 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  19. god

    hello this is god,
    give me your woman
    give me your beer
    give me your life
    forgive me, so i can do it again tommorow.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  20. kAY

    Actually, it seems more like *your* conclusions are mere speculation. I mean...someone actually writes a book, then another person writes *about* the book...and *you* are going to criticize the scholarship of the book without ever having read the book??? Simply based on that other person's article *about* the book???

    READ THE BOOK!!! For all you know, she *does* talk about your "link" between Revelation and Daniel. Or she *does* give more examples than simply "Jezebel". The fact is that you're being judgmental about the book simply because a brief article about some of the main points in it, written by a third party, does not meet your preconceived notions. I think you need to check your *own* views about proper scholarship.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.