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

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Read Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation Online Free - A startling exploration of the history of the most controversial book of the Bible, by the bestselling author of Beyond Belief. Through the bestselling books of Elaine Pagels, thousands of readers have come to know and treasure the suppressed biblical texts known as the Gnostic Gospels. As one of the world's foremost religion scholars, she has been a pioneer in interpreting these books and illuminating their place in the early history of Christianity. Her new book, however, tackles a text that is firmly, dramatically within the New Testament canon: The Book of Revelation, the surreal apocalyptic vision of the end of the world . . . or is it?

In this startling and timely book, Pagels returns The Book of Revelation to its historical origin, written as its author John of Patmos took aim at the Roman Empire after what is now known as "the Jewish War," in 66 CE. Militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome's occupation of Judea and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple. Pagels persuasively interprets Revelation as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome. Soon after, however, a new sect known as "Christians" seized on John's text as a weapon against heresy and infidels of all kinds-Jews, even Christians who dissented from their increasingly rigid doctrines and hierarchies.

In a time when global religious violence surges, Revelations explores how often those in power throughout history have sought to force "God's enemies" to submit or be killed. It is sure to appeal to Pagels's committed readers and bring her a whole new audience who want to understand the roots of dissent, violence, and division in the world's religions, and to appreciate the lasting appeal of this extraordinary text.

Title : Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0670023345
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 246 pages


Mark rated it ★★★★★

April 16, 2012

I gave Revelations five stars, not only because it is a good book, but because it is an important book. No other book in the Bible has as much impact on our way of life as the Book of Revelation. It influences our nation's religion, worldview and foreign policy in a way that the gospels do not, a...

Lee rated it ★★★★★

March 17, 2012

Look. If Pagels writes a book, go buy it. You don't need a review, you just need a reminder that it's ready for purchase. But then I'd feel like I wasn't doing my job, so ... I’ve been looking forward to Pagel's new book, hoping I would read her views on how to interpret Revelation, but this wasn'...

Rebecca rated it ★★★★☆

August 07, 2012

I suspect a hardcore "everything in the Bible is literally true and divinely related" Christian would consider pretty much everything in this book to be heresy. If you've got a somewhat more open mindset regarding the political jostling that created the modern Bible, this is a fascinating read. P...

William1 rated it ★★★☆☆

April 02, 2012

Author Elaine Pagels includes here discussion of not only John of Patmos's Book of Revelations, so well-known from the New Testament, but also discussion of the numerous revelation texts found at Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt in 1945. These are the so-called gnostic or apocryphal texts expunged by o...

Erik rated it ★★★★☆

September 30, 2016

Having had Pagels for a course in seminary and knowing her and her husband socially during that period while my girlfriend studied under her at Barnard I make a point of picking up her publications as they come to hand. I wasn't expecting much from this popular study of apocalyptic literature exc...

Jason rated it ★★★★☆

March 08, 2014

Don't know much about the Book of Revelation? Convinced that we'll never figure out all of its mysteries? I recommend first reading the Book of Revelation and as you read, try to cleanse your mind of all the futuristic implications you learned from films, video games, literature, and your wide-ey...

Clif rated it ★★★★☆

April 24, 2012

Whenever I refer to the Book of Revelations in the presence of my wife, she corrects me by reminding me that it's a singular revelation, not plural. As usual she is correct. But I don't appreciate being corrected, so I was glad to see, at first glance, what appeared to be Elaine Pagels agreeing w...

John rated it ★★★☆☆

January 18, 2017

I thought this a well written and an interesting book, yet I can't say I am on board with everything she wrote. For example, Pagels made a speculative case that John of Patmos despised the apostle Paul and his disciples, who she thinks was being referred to when John wrote to a church in Ephesus...

Steven rated it ★★★★★

April 08, 2012

I have read Elaine Pagels' work before (Gnostic Gospels) and have admired her work. I am not an expert in this aspect of history, but her works read well and she shows much knowledge of the material. She also places the issues addressed in an historical context. Here, she explores the Book of Reve...

Steve rated it ★★★★★

March 10, 2016

Elaine Pagels continues several themes here that she introduced in her earlier Gnostic books, with particular emphasis on the Jewish apostles and followers of Christ and their reaction to the new gentile Christians Paul has managed to convert with his preaching. This confrontation between law-obs...

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