Another Query Regarding Revelation :)


#1

I’d like to know what is made of the standard scholar/academic view, that John’s Revelation was written for the people of his day, containing references to the institutions (eg babylon/Rome) of his day, thus revelation makes sense when understood in the context of his own era. Therefore revelation is not prophetic. It is only coincidence that certain passages fit with the goings on in the world today?

Thanks.


#2

Umm… which passages in Revelation are you asserting that “fit with the goings on in the world today”?


#3

Well, I watched a Vatican Catholic vid (a YouTube uploader), who interpreted Revelation as the prophesy which fits today’s end times.
He references both the EU, mass apostasy and second Vatican council, among other things in his assessment. Whether I agree, or we both disagree, I’m simply looking for a refutation on the claims non believer scholars make - that revelation was intended for John’s era, and that what we regard as prophesy - is in fact symbolic of the times and institutions of his day, because he, like much of the early church, believed Christ’s return was imminent…?


#4

VaticanCatholic – that is, Most Holy Family Monastery – is not an organization in union with the Catholic Church. Rather, it’s a sedevacantist organization (meaning that it claims that there hasn’t been a valid pope since Vatican II).

As such, that means that they’re at odds with the Catholic Church – and therefore, it’s no surprise that they make Scriptural claims that the Church does not make.

I’m simply looking for a refutation on the claims non believer scholars make - that revelation was intended for John’s era

The Book of Revelation is in the genre of ‘apocalyptic’ literature. It was meant to speak to the problems being faced by the people of the time. (Of course, Scripture is multi-valent – as inspired writings, it speaks to people of all times and all places. That doesn’t mean, however, that all the things written about in Revelation are yet to be fulfilled.)

he [John], like much of the early church, believed Christ’s return was imminent…?

The fact that Jesus’ return is imminent doesn’t mean that it’s something that must happen ‘soon’…


#5

As Gorgias says ,my understanding is that the Catholic church regards prophecy as applying first to circumstances at the time, as the prophecy of a young woman giving birth applied to the child born to a king at that time; but also to future time – the same prophecy was speaking of Christ’s birth to a virgin.
Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple that happened in A.D, 70 – and because of his words, the Jewish Christians living there were able to flee the city in time and escape with their lives. He was also speaking of the end times.

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#6

Well yes, that’s my point. Prophesy is just that, a prediction of future events, and I’m sure we all view revelation as prophesy. If John’s word is that of God, the only whore of babylon today would be Vatican ll. However I’m not here to start that argument.
So does Vatican ll view revelation as prophesy, and how seriously are we supposed to take it?


#7

Well, of course Revelation has always been regarded as a book of prophecy. The question is how to apply the prophecy.

The whole structure of the Book of Revelation is designed to show that “history repeats itself” in the history of the Church, including in the history of the Jewish people. That’s why the book is constantly describing events, stopping, and going back to the beginning and describing them over again. This is called “recapitulation,” and there’s nowhere else in the Bible that you get as much of it. That’s also why Revelation is full of quotes and references to Ezekiel, Daniel, Habakkuk, and many other Biblical texts, as well as stuff in John’s Gospel and letters. In some ways, you’ve heard all this stuff already.

And yes, the Book of Revelation was directly addressed to a bunch of Christians in Asia Minor, a long time ago. But yes, the stuff that is talked about is stuff that tends to happen over and over again in the history of the Church. As John says in his letters, there are tons of Antichrists in the world. As described in the Revelation letters to the seven churches, there are also tons of Laodiceans and Jezabels and so forth, always and everywhere. It is endlessly relevant, until the end of the world.

(Pretending that each letter to each church represents an age of history is silly, though. Obviously all those churches really existed and had really quite different personalities all at one time, so why claim that the same thing is not true of all sorts of parishes and dioceses and individuals today? Some early Christians like Augustine did believe in “seven ages of history,” but they placed all of them except number seven in the OT times! So no, that wasn’t how they interpreted the seven church letters. Some people have tried to connect the seven letters to Paul’s letters, but that doesn’t work either, except as John referencing Paul by writing letters to churches. Still pretty farfetched, though, since bishops did write letters to churches, and John was a bishop so he wrote letters. Using them in a book as a literary frame was what was different.)

However, it’s also true that the Book of Revelation does also talk about what will happen at the very end of time, in the very last and worst persecution of all the persecutions the Church has to suffer throughout history. It’s just that most of it is also applicable to lesser persecutions and smaller troubles.

The point is to stay watchful and ready, because we will never know the day or the hour, and Jesus has already warned us that He will come like a thief in the night. It’s a lot easier, and more sensible, to do what He says: stay ready, spread His Word, and do good without fear.

And finally, the other point is that in the end God wins, and that we can also win and live forever in glory, if we persevere and do His will. That should make us all happy; and that’s why Revelation is full of praise and singing and music.

As for what Vatican II said about it, “Dei verbum” doesn’t make direct pronouncements about particular books of Scripture; that was the Council of Trent, which specifically confirmed the Canon that was in use by the Catholic Church. Chapter 5, section 20 of “Dei verbum” does say:

"Besides the four Gospels, the canon of the New Testament also contains the epistles of St. Paul and other apostolic writings, composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by which, according to the wise plan of God, those matters which concern Christ the Lord are confirmed, His true teaching is more and more fully stated, the saving power of the divine work of Christ is preached, the story is told of the beginnings of the Church and its marvelous growth, and its glorious fulfillment is foretold.

“For the Lord Jesus was with His apostles as He had promised (see Matt. 28:20) and sent them the advocate Spirit who would lead them into the fullness of truth (see John 16:13).”


#8

Revelation, perhaps more than my other document is one that really highlights the multiple ways scripture may be read, as so many apply at once. There is the historical context. It’s also an example of the heavenly worship and John’s participation in the mass. And yes, there are prophetic, eschatological ways it should be read, too. However, in regards to eschatology, be wary of reading too much into it.


#9

That would have to be one big coincidence if all the events in revelations are not referring to modern times, even if they applied to biblical times as well, its utterly amazing how accurate some of those verses are when it comes to modern society imo.


#10

The preterist view does not discount that it could also speak to modern times. Scripture does indeed speak to us whenever and wherever we are. There is a danger though reading it and thinking it’s a literal description of an account and that we should fearfully look around, watching everything for literal people doing literal actions in literal places. Rather it should be taken as apocalyptic literature. That means it is supposed to bring hope. God is going to win. Even though times look bleak now. God triumphs. That’s why it is written.

For me though, I don’t read revelation anymore looking for the boogy man. I did as a protestant. I watched the news, I tried to make events fit. I would sit and read these websites that had all of these conspiracy type theories of who was this person, who was this country, etc. Then I read Scott Hahn’s the Lamb’s Supper and it dawned on me that I was missing the most beautiful part of the book. It’s a liturgical book… it tells us how worship is conducted in Heaven… it gives us a glimpse into the infinite, behind the veil. The value of that should never be overlooked!


#11

Sigh. How a Catholic can get that from Revelation without going to an anti-Catholic or heterodox site flummoxes me. Even if it were true today, there are a million different places it could point and Vatican II is not one of them.


#12

I definitely think revelation is a prophesy, and therefore points to a series of events within a specific time and place. The whore of babylon - if we are to take babylon as Rome, can only point to two possibilities - the Rome of John’s day, which would negate prophesy, or the Rome of today, which controversially points to a Vatican - post second council. Personally I really don’t know. But I see revelation as much more than creative, myopic literature. Jesus wasn’t unknown to prophesy. And can we say our Lord would not bestow to Saint John the events and processes by which brings about the end times?


#13

Why would it be the Vatican? The gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church. We know that.


#14

Well I suppose Vatican ll plays a part in that. Revelation and jesus claimed the end times would see a corruption of His word, and subsequently a great falling away. Vatican ll fits into that picture, in my opinion.


#15

What else can babylon mean? Peter himself referred to Rome as babylon. And the church in Rome was in its infancy when John claimed to see a vision of babylon in end times. Therefore ‘whore’ does not relate to the babylon of John’s day.


#16

First, why can’t it both apply to John’s day and the end times?

Babylon was Babylon first. Jerusalem’s been referred to it, too (some people believe John referred to Jerusalem, not Rome, in Revelation). So has Rome. But why must it refer to Rome of the present day, or in particular the Church of Rome? That is both not necessary and contradictory with what we know of the Church from Scripture and Tradition?

And why then do you assume it must mean post-Vatican II? What does that have to do with it? This is just silly.


#17

Because John talks about the Whore of Babylon being in league with God’s Holy People, the bridegroom of Christ, playing a significant role in the bringer of corruption and malfeasance during those end times. A sort of enemy within. Babylon in John’s day was still a pagan entity, with a small, growing Christian presence. And the Angel who shows John the image points to an event, featuring the Whore of Babylon, yet to be witnessed:

12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”


#18

Just to add, if we are to view only the original Roman Empire as the Whore of Babylon, then we must concede Revelation has failed in its prophesy, because the Roman Empire (Whore of Babylon) died 476 AD, (discounting the Eastern side). Yet the world continues in pain, agony, corruption and ungodliness. With no sign of our Lords return.


#19

Sounds like John is referring to Rome (the Beast) sacking Jerusalem (the prostitute) and the Temple in 70AD as a manner of justice for persecutions in Jerusalem of Jesus, the saints, and martyrs. The destruction of the temple is itself a prophetic type for the end of all creation, the cosmos as a temple.


#20

Really? How do you arrive at that conclusion? Jesus had already prophecied the destruction of the second temple, so would the Holy Spirit bestow upon John a further image of an event that had not only already taken place, but was already referred to by the Lord? Revelation seems like an overkill of something unneeded in the first place, if that is the case.

‘The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages’. That doesn’t sound like Jerusalem to me.


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