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.
I realize that I cannot live without a spiritual dimension in my life.
The Romans weren’t trying to kill all the Jews, but they did destroy Jewish resistance to Roman rule. Jerusalem was turned into a Roman army camp, and it was a total devastation.
What survived as orthodox Christianity did so by suppressing and forcibly eliminating a lot of other material.
The Antichrist is often identified with the second beast in the Book of Revelation that arises from the land, the beast that tries to make everyone worship the power of evil.
The Secret Revelation of John opens, again, in crisis. The disciple John, grieving Jesus’ death, is walking toward the temple when he meets a Pharisee who mocks him for having been deceived by a false messiah. These taunts echoed John’s own fear and doubt.
There are some kinds of Christianity that insist you have to believe literally in doctrine. The Gnostic gospels open out the complexity and multiplicity of approaches to this. If you think the story of the virgin birth is mistranslated, for instance, it doesn’t mean you have to throw out the whole thing.