The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible, and the most controversial. Instead of stories and moral teaching, it offers only visions – dreams and nightmares, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, earthquakes, plagues and war.
For nearly 2,000 years, most people assumed that the only sources of tradition about Jesus and his disciples were the four gospels in the New Testament.
We don’t actually know if the person who wrote the Gospel of John had a written copy of Thomas because we don’t know exactly when it was written.
I got to thinking about the Book of Revelation that was written by a Jewish prophet who was also a follower of Jesus who hated the Roman Empire. I realized that the Book of Revelation could be a way to reflect on the issue of religion’s relationship to politics.
What is clear is that the Gospel of Judas has joined the other spectacular discoveries that are exploding the myth of a monolithic Christianity and showing how diverse and fascinating the early Christian movement really was.
I realized that conventional views of Christian faith that I’d heard when I was growing up were simply made up – and I realized that many parts of the story of the early Christian movement had been left out.
The Book of Revelation is all about the conflict, the contest between the forces of Good and Evil.
Really, I don’t like to do any household chores. There was a time when I loved to cook, but that was when I wasn’t writing books.
People who study the way religions develop have shown that if you have a charismatic teacher, and you don’t have an institution develop around that teacher within about a generation to transmit succession within the group, the movement just dies.
Throughout the ages, Christians have adapted John of Patmos’s visions to changing times, reading their own social, political and religious conflicts into the cosmic war he so powerfully evokes. Yet his Book of Revelation appeals not only to fear and desires for vengeance but also to hope.