The Problem With Book Of RevelationBismillah Hir Rehman Ir Raheem
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The Problem With Book Of Revelation
The Book of revelation often known as Revelation is usually been criticised because of its content and different from all books.
The book of revelation describes Jesus as not the one of Gospel but gives entirely different image of him.
1- Is this end of 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 hisown 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. 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.
2- History, context and writer of Book
We should remember that “Revelation” was always doubted in Eastern Christianity and not generally accepted into the New Testament until AD 508. Some ancient Christian branches still do not include it in their Bibles. So, we know discussion and criticism of “Revelation” is not new and is not a disrespectful activity. The Greek literary styles of John Patmos and John Apostle were examined in very early Christianity to prove these are two different writers. Eighteen hundred years ago, Dionysius (Bishop of the Patriarchy of Alexandria) stated that “Revelation” was not written by the same person who wrote John’s Gospel and Letters, (Eusebius’ History of the Church, 7.25).
It is generally believed John of Patmos recorded his hallucination around AD 90-95. The Apostles John and Paul believed the authentic scriptures were completed during their life times. John (8:31-32; 17:20) and Paul (Eph. 3:20) wrote those opinions at least thirty years before John of Patmos wrote. Based on this alone, "Revelation" is post Apostolic literature. Obviously it was not written by the Apostle John because of its death curse at chapter 22:18-19. John wrote of God's never ending love and did not put such an abomination in his Gospel or his letters. The fact is Book of Revelation was written in 60 C.E after so many years of Jesus departure.
Eusebius in his detailed history of the Christian Church (AD 324; see his comments on "Revelation" at Eusebius 3.25) listed uncertain books of the New Testament and included "Revelation" as one of those. So "Revelation" was doubted in the church very early. Looking at Patmos' beliefs can explain Paul's peevishness against such beliefs that caused him to finally say to them,“Trouble me no more” (Galatians 6:17)
3- How many books were there?
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. 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.
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. Many church leaders opposed including Revelation in the New Testament. Athanasius’s predecessor said the book was “unintelligible, irrational and false.”
So why did the revelation from John of Patmos make it into the Bible, but not the others?
4- More Criticism
Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll called Revelation "the insanest of all books."[Robert Green Ingersoll. "The Devil". Retrieved 2007-11-30]
Thomas Jefferson omitted it, along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time he considered it as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."[Bergh: Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol.16]
Friedrich Engels claimed that the Book of Revelation was primarily a political and anti-Roman work.["The Book of Revelation"]
Martin Luther changed his perspective on Revelation over time. In the preface to the German translation of Revelation that he composed in 1522, he said that he did not consider the book prophetic or apostolic, since "Christ is neither taught nor known in it." But in the completely new preface that he composed in 1530, he reversed his position and concluded that Christ was central to the book. He concluded, "As we see here in this book, that through and beyond all plagues, beasts, and evil angels, Christ is nonetheless with the saints and wins the final victory."
[ For the preface of 1522 see Luther's Works volume 35 pp. 398–399. For the quotation of the preface from 1530 see the same volume, p. 411.]
5- Some Observations and Contradictions
A- Why does John Patmos call Jesus the "Bright and Morning Star"? (Revelations 22:16)
That is how Isaiah describes Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14).
B- Does the strange description of Jesus (Revelations 1: 12-16) match up with the Jesus of the Gospels? Does that match your opinion of humble and humane Jesus?
C- Group judgment starts with Ephesus, at Revelation 2: 1. Patmos’ Jesus says salvation of the whole Ephesus groupdepends on them loving him more (Revelations 2:4).
Here again “Revelation” contradicts Apostle John’s Gospel that teachessalvation depends only on belief in Jesus (John 11: 25-26).
D- Christians should know they are not going to live eternally in Hell if they do not accept every word in Patmos’ “Revelation.” (Revelation 22: 18-19)
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