A History of the End of the World: How the Most by Jonathan Kirsch

By Jonathan Kirsch

"[The e-book of] Revelation has served as a "language arsenal" in a very good the various social, cultural, and political conflicts in Western heritage. many times, Revelation has stirred a few harmful women and men to behave out their very own deepest apocalypses. specifically, the ethical calculus of Revelation—the demonization of one's enemies, the sanctification of revenge taking, and the thought that heritage needs to result in catastrophe—can be detected in a number of the worst atrocities and excesses of all ages, together with our personal. For all of those purposes, the remainder of us forget about the e-book of Revelation basically at our impoverishment and, extra to the purpose, at our personal peril."

The mysterious writer of the e-book of Revelation (or the Apocalypse, because the final ebook of the recent testomony is additionally identified) by no means thought of that his sermon at the imminent finish occasions might final past his personal existence. in reality, he envisioned that the destruction of the earth will be witnessed by way of his contemporaries. but Revelation not just outlived its writer; this bright and violent revenge fable has performed an important position within the march of Western civilization.

Ever because Revelation used to be first preached because the published observe of Jesus Christ, it has haunted and encouraged hearers and readers alike. The mark of the beast, the Antichrist, 666, the Whore of Babylon, Armageddon, and the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse are only some of the photos, words, and codes that experience burned their means into the material of our tradition. The questions raised cross immediately to the center of the human worry of dying and obsession with the afterlife. do we, separately or jointly, trip off to glory, or do we drown in hellfire for all eternity? As those that most sensible manage this darkish imaginative and prescient realized, which aspect we fall on is usually a subject of lifestyles or loss of life. Honed right into a weapon within the ongoing tradition wars among states, religions, and citizenry, Revelation has considerably altered the process background.

Kirsch, whom the Washington Post calls "a superb storyteller with an inherent ability for rendering old stories suitable and beautiful to trendy audiences," grants a far-ranging, unique, and surprising historical past of this scandalous publication, which was once approximately lower from the hot testomony. From the autumn of the Roman Empire to the Black dying, the Inquisition to the Protestant Reformation, the recent international to the increase of the spiritual correct, this chronicle of the use and abuse of the publication of Revelation tells the story of the unfolding of historical past and the hopes, fears, goals, and nightmares of all humanity.

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Additional resources for A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization

Sample text

This verse is freely quoted by Clemens Alex. in Eclog. , ed. Sylburg, p. —4. Cf. note on 7:6. 9. Surjan and Urjan are Suriel and Uriel, four of the highest angels. ) know of Michael and Gabriel, but Suriel and especially Uriel are well known in later rabbinical theology as HTR; cf. g. Talm. Babyl. Berachoth, fol. 51ª. Generally, however, these four are Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael; cf. Buxtorf, Lex. p. 27; and Syncellus gives this passage twice with these last names, and undoubtedly correctly.

11. And the spirits of the giants, who cast themselves upon the clouds, will be destroyed and fall, and will battle and cause destruction on the earth, and do evil; they will take no kind of food, nor will they become thirsty, and they will be invisible. 12. ) rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. In the days of murder and destruction. C HAP. —and of the death of the giants, when the spirits have proceeded from the bodies, their flesh shall decay without judgment; thus they shall be destroyed till that day when the great judgment over all the great world shall be completed over the watchers and the impious.

7. ” 8. And the vision appeared to me thus: behold, clouds in the vision invited me and a fog invited me; and the course of the stars and lightning drove and pressed me, and the winds in the vision gave me wings and drove me. 9. And they lifted me up into heaven, and I went till I approached near a wall which was built of crystals and a tongue of fire surrounded it; and it began to cause me to fear. 10. And I went into the tongue of fire and approached near to a large house, which was built of crystals, and the walls of this house were like a floor inlaid with crystals, and the groundwork was of crystals.

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