Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation by Elaine Pagels.

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The final book of the Bible is a strange and violent tour de force of apocalyptic imagery. Full of dragons and angels, blood and war, Revelation presents the prophecies of divine judgment on the enemies of God. Who wrote this volume? Why? What do the visions mean? What is revelation? In this slim, well-written and researched volume, Pagels, a scholar of ancient Near Eastern religious literature (check out her award-winning Gnostic Gospels), patiently guides us through the provenance of this 2000 old year example of “wartime literature.” Revelation condemns pagan Rome. But its author, John of Patmos, also has an axe to grind with followers of Jesus living in towns in what is now western Turkey who have strayed dangerously close to heresy. Pagels surveys other “revelations” and explores the reasons why John’s book found its place in the canon. Wide-ranging and stimulating. Check our catalog.

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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