How do we know it's Pagan Rome and not Christian Rome?


#1

First off, I’m a Christian looking for answers whose basis is the Catholic Church. So I guess I’m just an ignorant Catholic. Anyways…

I posted long time ago about me talking to someone in a different forum and he said that the Catholic Church fits perfectly with what’s described in Revelation. So I go to www.catholic.com and read about the Whore of Babylon. Then I was like, no way can the Whore be Catholicism! It’s Pagan Rome or old Jerusalem just like how the site says!

But now I don’t have any more proof that it is Pagan Rome or old Jerusalem. I mean, is there historical evidence that the nine things numbered in catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp is old Jerusalem or Pagan Rome?


#2

These verses from 1 Peter may help:

12Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God Stand firm in it!
13She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.
Here Peter is referring to the city of Rome as Babylon. This is different than when John in Revelation refers to the Whore of Babylon as pagan Rome.

Thus:

Babylon = Rome
Whore of Babylon = pagan Rome

I’m not an expert but I think this is correct. Also, I know this doesn’t answer your question directly. But I think you can infer that the Apostles used Babylon in reference to Rome so they can stay hidden to some extent and avoid getting butchered by Nero.

BTW in verse 13 when Peter refers to “She”, he’s speaking of the Church in Rome.

:twocents:


#3

Jesus founded the Christian Church. There are two possibilities:

  1. Jesus left no authority on earth
    or 2) Jesus left authority on earth

#1 contradicts the mission, leadership, and preeminence of the apostles, therefore #2.

Now, either:

  1. Authority has always remained on the Earth
    or 2) Authority has left the Earth

But Jesus said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church (mt 16:19). So #2 is out (as is Mormonism)

Therefore, #1.

Now, either:

  1. There was one leader who had more authority than all others
    or 2) At least two leaders had equal authority

However, in Scripture (Mt. 16:18 and end of John) we see that Jesus specially commissions Peter and no one else. Some say that James and Peter were leaders because of James’ role at the Council of Jerusalem-but a proper reading of acts sees that James was just the leader of the Church at Jerusalem. Some say that Paul and Peter were the leaders, but Paul had more authority. Certainly, Paul had more charisma and wrote more, but that is not equivalent to authority. If Paul was the leader with the most authority, then:

  1. Jesus was wrong in singling out Peter.
    or 2) Paul was a usurper.

Both of these statements are grave errors, thus we Paul could not have been the leader with the most authority.

Scriptural evidence is against 2) and for 1). Thus we can eliminate Protestants and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Now, either:

  1. Authority passed from the Apostles to their successors
    or 2) Authority stopped with the Apostles.

We have already shown that authority did not leave the earth, so therefore #1.

Now, either:

  1. Pope Benedict XVI is the successor of Peter and hence his authority
    or 2) Pope Benedict XVI is not the successor of Peter and does not have his authority.

But history supports 1) and not 2). Therefore, unless it can be shown otherwise, 1) is the most reasonable answer. (Yes, perhaps the true Catholic Church is somewhere hidden, due to papal conflicts in the middle ages. But without evidence to support such an idea, it is most reasonable to assume #1).

Thus, until enough evidence is given to disprove one of the accepted premises, or to prove one of the rejected ones, it is most reasonable to believe that the book of Rev is referring to pagan, rather than Christian Rome.

(NB: I don’t think it is necessary that the pagan Rome strictly be 1st century pagan Rome. It is possible that, since strictly speaking, the Vatican is in Vatican City and not Rome (although the Pope is the Bishop of Rome), that the Rome is now a secular Rome that has abandoned the Church…)

(NB: I am lazy and did not proofread this post. Please forgive any errors :rolleyes: )


#4

Also, I’m not really looking for Bible verses. I’m looking for historical evidence that Pagan Rome or old Jerusalem fit more to the descriptions of the Whore of Babylon than the Catholic Church.

I do understand that the Church backs up its teachings. When I was in that other forum and reading Revelation, I was thinking, “the Catholic Church DOES seem to fit the description just what [name of person in forum] said. But the CC can also back it up. There’s something wrong here. Why is it that the description can fit with the CC but still back up it’s pov?”

Here is what is in the site (catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp)), and how much I understand:

  1. Seven Hills - I understand.

  2. “Babylon”—What’s in a Name? - Not really. I’ll look into it later, I don’t have that much time.

  3. Commits Fornication - I understand pagan Rome having unholy alliances. I don’t know anything about Vatican City’s alliances.

  4. Clothed in Purple and Red - Not really understanding.

Hunt ignores the liturgical meaning of purple and red in Catholic symbolism. Purple symbolizes repentance, and red honors the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs.

Why would the CC choose those colors when in the Bible is described as related to the whore? Or does the color’s meaning shown in the bible?

  1. Possesses Great Wealth - I sort of get it. I can picture pagan Rome having great wealth with the whole emperor thing and such. The site says “regardless of what it had in the past…” what if that past is what Revelation was talking about? It just so happened the CC isn’t that rich anymore.

  2. A Golden Cup - if it’s not the chalice, then what is the “Golden Cup”?

  3. The Mother of Harlots - I don’t know about this one. The site states many verses. I’ll look into it later.

  4. Sheds the Blood of Saints - I understand. One of the first things I thought about was the killing of the early Christians by pagan Rome. Saints to me referring to a typical believer (lower case “s”). Also another reason why I think this doesn’t apply to the CC is because of St. Tarcissius being killed by the Romans for not giving up the Eucharist.

  5. Reigns over Kings - I can understand. This summed it up for me

Hunt seems to understand this passage to be talking about Vatican City, since the modern city of Rome is only a very minor political force. If the reign is a literal, political one, then pagan Rome fulfills the requirement far better than Christian Rome ever did.

That’s all. It might not make sense, but that’s because I’m on a rush. I need to finish my homework! I really appreciate the help!

God Bless and Good Night!!! :slight_smile:


#5

I’ll talk about this one, and let smarter people than I address the others.

The clergy isn’t limited to purple and red. Different times of the liturgical year call for different colors (even the “purple” of Advent and Lent are to be different, much to the delight of my husband, who insists on calling the blue that our parish uses for Advent “purple”, even though it SO isn’t :rolleyes: )

We know that purple and scarlet (red) were signs of royalty in ancient, pagan Rome. That’s the whole reasoning behind the clothing of Jesus in scarlet (purple in John’s account?) during the soldier’s mockery of Him- they were mocking him as King of the Jews, thus, draping scarlet on him. In the Old Testament we see God instructing the Israelites to use purple in the Temple, particularly on the altar. So, if the use of purple equals the Whore of Babylon, then the whore didn’t start using it with the birth of Christianity, but with the Jews. And somehow I don’t think the OP is calling the ancient Jews the Whore of Babylon.

However, as color symbolism is a subjective thing, it can change with time and culture. Take, for example, the color associated with death. In Western culture, we would say it is black. However, in Eastern cultures, it is white. Or the colors we think of in conjunction with weddings. Most Americans would say, “white”, yet in other cultures, red is the nuptual color.

In ancient, pagan Rome, purple and scarlet were signs of royalty. In the Catholic Church, they are signs of penetance, sacrifice, and love. So expecting the Church to completely “throw out” two colors (and two very bold and striking colors at that) because of the baggage another time and culture brought to it is unreasonable. So is the assertation that because the Catholic Church uses those two colors it “proves” that it is the Whore of Babylon. If simply using those colors made something a candidate for the Whore, then my four year old daughter, whose favorite color is purple, would be one. :eek:

One needs to look at the context the colors are being used by the Whore. Are they being used in a penetential way that speaks of God’s love and mercy? Or are they being used as a display of earthly power? FIgure out what the colors are trying to “say”, then you can better read who’s wearing them. Going back to the colors associated with death and marriage- if you read of a weeping person, dressed in white, visiting a place of the dead, it makes more sense to identify that person as a mourner in an Eastern culture, rather than a bride in a Western one. So it is with the colors attached to the Whore of Babylon. What is she trying to convey with her clothing choices?

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on one of your points. Again, I leave the discussion of other points to people smarter than I am- I’m just a big fan of color.

Hope that helps,
Cheers,
Cari


#6

Though not a Catholic anymore, here are some of the usual arguments that I have seen:

The early church almost unanimously equated Babylon to the city of Rome itself.

Also, Revelation is very clear that when the city code-named “Babylon” is judged, it will be destroyed totally, never to be repopulated again:

Rev 18:21 "So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.

And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery"

This city will be so utterly destroyed that it will not even have a light shining in it nor will it even be found anymore.

Jerusalem is also referred to by God as His Holy City in Revelation, as opposed to how He referred to the city of Babylon.

We should also keep in mind that Christ returns immediately after the city of Babylon is destroyed according to Revelation. This cannot possibly be Jerusalem because Christ is coming back to that city when He comes.

Since the city of Rome has never been destroyed to never be populated again (obviously), then Babylon also cannot be ancient Rome.

There are many theories, but I don’t think Jerusalem is the best one. It may actually be the worst one, IMO.


#7

Because taking a part of the Scriptures out of context and without proper interpretation can just about support anything.

Here is what is in the site (catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp)), and how much I understand:

  1. Seven Hills - I understand.

  2. “Babylon”—What’s in a Name? - Not really. I’ll look into it later, I don’t have that much time.

  3. Commits Fornication - I understand pagan Rome having unholy alliances. I don’t know anything about Vatican City’s alliances.

  1. Clothed in Purple and Red - Not really understanding.

Why would the CC choose those colors when in the Bible is described as related to the whore? Or does the color’s meaning shown in the bible?

Red is the color of Fire and of Blood, and thus is the color of martyrs, who witnessed for their faith with zeal even to death (it is also used in the Feast of Pentecost to symbolize the Fire of the Holy Spirit).
Cardinals wear red to signify that they swear to protect the Church even with the last drop of their blood.
Purple is of course, a royal color but is also used as a symbol of repentance in the Church.
Red and purple aren’t the only colors used by the Church,
Priests wear a black cassock (the Pope wears a white one)
And other colors used in the Liturgy according to season is White (Historically can also be substituted with gold or silver), Green, and Rose.
Blue is permitted to be used in some places for feasts of Our Lady but was widely (unauthorized) used in Advent in other places. (Before Vatican II, there was also Black vestments but after it, it became rare and had fallen out of fashion in many places.)

God also ordered Moses to use scarlet yarn and wool be used in liturgical ceremonies and ordered that the Priest’s vestments be made of purple and scarlet yarn (Ex. 28:4–8, 15, 33, 39:1–8, 24, 29).

  1. Possesses Great Wealth - I sort of get it. I can picture pagan Rome having great wealth with the whole emperor thing and such. The site says “regardless of what it had in the past…” what if that past is what Revelation was talking about? It just so happened the CC isn’t that rich anymore.

In the time that John wrote, the Church wasn’t exactly wealthy (it did have wealthy members though), is it?


#8

Thanks Cari that made a lot of sense. Atemi, I know OT, why not Catholic anymore?


#9

I am not Catholic anymore because I cannot reconcile the teachings of the modern RCC with the record of history, Holy Writ, and my conscience.

But that is off topic so that cannot be discussed here and distract from your thread.


#10

Purple and Red decorated Togas were worn by senators and the emperor of Rome. Rome and Jerusalem each have seven hills. The Babylon on the Euphrates was totally destroyed before 167 A.D. and I have no idea if it had any hills. Being in a river valley, it could have. Jerusalem and the temple were totally destroyed in 70 A.D. One needs to be very familiar with the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and the other prophets to understand Revelation. The symbolism in Revelation is so thick that to read and reread it in isolation as if it were stright out narrative is a fruitless endeavor. Almost every event described in Revelation has already happened at one time or another in the past and it is fruitless to see it as a blueprint for a future that is yet to come.


#11

ANyone else?


#12
  1. Clothed in Purple and Red - Not really understanding.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hunting the Whore of Babylon
    Hunt states, “She [the Whore] is clothed in ‘purple and scarlet’ (verse 4), the colors of the Catholic clergy.”

Quote:
Hunt ignores the liturgical meaning of purple and red in Catholic symbolism. Purple symbolizes repentance, and red honors the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs.
Why would the CC choose those colors when in the Bible is described as related to the whore? Or does the color’s meaning shown in the bible?

Well…yes, the colors are in the Bible. You might look into the design God gave to Moses for the Tabernacle: Red, purple, & blue.

Furthermore–and this comes up enough for :slight_smile: the Friendly Neighbnorhood Methodist to know this stuff-- The actual papal colors are yellow (or gold) & white.( You may have noticed the pope wears white…)

  1. Commits Fornication - I understand pagan Rome having unholy alliances. I don’t know anything about Vatican City’s alliances.

Oh, good gravy, there was more than that to pagan Rome. There was stuff you couldn’t talk about on this site. How does the fact that there was an emperor who married his sister (& murdered her), & another who married his niece (who murdered him)–How does that sound? Fornication was the least of it.
It was more than metaphorical, my friend; it was actual.


#13

Also, Revelation is very clear that when the city code-named “Babylon” is judged, it will be destroyed totally, never to be repopulated again:

Rev 18:21 "So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.

And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery"This city will be so utterly destroyed that it will not even have a light shining in it nor will it even be found anymore.

Yes. And when was the last time you saw a Roman legion practicing manoeuvres??
Where are the Caesars, who proclaimed themselves “gods” & demanded worship? What is the poem? “My name is Ozymandias, kings of kings; look on my works, ye mighty & despair” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias }…All those old kingdoms dead & gone. Their dynasties gone with the wind. Someone said once, some 50 years ago, " In 50 years there will be no royalty left in the world, except the queen of England, & the kings in a pack of cards"…And you know, she too, will pass away. And there will be that pack of cards…and the sands of the desert…
And, of course, the Kingdom Of Christ!!

Jerusalem is also referred to by God as His Holy City in Revelation, as opposed to how He referred to the city of Babylon.

It was the Holy City; it is also the city which watched our Lord’s vicious slaughter by a pack of ruffians calling themselves “Roman soldiers”.
I do not say of necessity that Jerusalem is the great whore. (I personally think that San Francisco is a more likely choice; but I digress…). Only, that to call Jerusalem “holy” requires no small mental gymnastics.

We should also keep in mind that Christ returns immediately after the city of Babylon is destroyed according to Revelation. This cannot possibly be Jerusalem because Christ is coming back to that city when He comes.

Now, now…this is a theory. It has as many flaws as any other…

Since the city of Rome has never been destroyed to never be populated again (obviously), then Babylon also cannot be ancient Rome.

The Roman Empire, laddie; the Roman Empire. Not the houses & the streets; the whole rotten system that was the Empire of Rome…That is gone, buried in the sands of time. It was, like the Babylonian Empire, “weighed in the balances and found wanting”…
You might find a coin, a bit of broken pottery, a shred of paper, a ruined column. But the Roman Empire is gone, & the Reign of the true “King of kings and Lord of lords” has commenced. To us, it was 2 millennia ago; to :gopray2: **Him:gopray: :gopray: **, it was as a “watch in the night”…


#14

This kind of thing can’t be proved either way - one has to work out which interpretation of the details of the text is most nearly adequate, or, at least, poses fewest problems.

All I can say is that to me it does not sound like Papal Rome. I think it’s Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish War of 66-73. John was not providing a long-distance forecast of future evils - he was writing for churches in Asia Minor in his own time. The identification has its share of difficulties; but I think it has fewer than most. ##


#15

[/FONT]Caligula (12-37-41)

& another who married his niece (who murdered him)

Claudius (10 BC - 41 AD - 54 AD ), who was succeeded by Nero.

Caligula’s the really interesting one - he seems to have been not wholly sane; at any rate, he had the remarkable idea of making his horse Incitatus, whom he kept in a golden stable, a consul. ##

–How does that sound? Fornication was the least of it.
It was more than metaphorical, my friend; it was actual.


#16

Iraq is notably flat - it is ( and was) bordered by mountains, but Babylon was not built on any.

The god Enlil (who preceded Marduk as Lord of the gods of Mesopotamia) was called “Great Mountain” - cf. Shaddai (= He of the mountain ?) as an epithet for the God of Israel in the OT ##

Jerusalem and the temple were totally destroyed in 70 A.D. One needs to be very familiar with the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and the other prophets to understand Revelation. The symbolism in Revelation is so thick that to read and reread it in isolation as if it were stright out narrative is a fruitless endeavor. Almost every event described in Revelation has already happened at one time or another in the past and it is fruitless to see it as a blueprint for a future that is yet to come.

:thumbsup:


#17

VERY QUICK WAY TO REFUTE CHURCH AS WHORE:

First, it is important to know that when dealing with Protestants, specifically SDA’s, who believe that the Church is the whore, quoting the Bible is one of the only ways to give theological evidence in their eyes, unless your other evidence is rock solid.

Here’s my tidbit to add to the thread:

  1. Ask if they believe everything the Bible teaches. They will undoubtedly say yes. Then remind them of St. John’s words: “‘Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and APOSTLES and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you’. . . . In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth”
    (Rev 18:20, 24). Notice the word “APOSTLES”

What does Corinthians say an Apostle is?
“I am an apostle, God’s messenger, responsible to no mere man. I AM ONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY SEEN JESUS our Lord with my own eyes.” (Corinthians 9:1)

Then ask, did the Catholic Church persecute those “who actually [have] seen Jesus?” In any other case they’d probably say that the Church wasn’t even formed till around 360 AD, so it couldn’t. But who presecuted the Apostles (i.e. St. Stephen in Acts 6)? The Pagan Romans.

  1. Then you can point out Rev. 13:7-8. Ask the person what a “saint” is. In SDA understanding a saint is any Christian who does their best to immitate Christ, so they will likely say something along these lines. Then remind them of verse 7 (the beast “makes war against the saints,” or a believer in Christ). Point out that Catholics can thus also fall into this category. Verse 8 states that “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life.” By verse 8, if you worship to beast (Catholic Church), you are therefore not in the book of life.

Therefore, not only would verse 8 say that Catholics can’t get into heaven, it would contradict verse 7 which states that Catholics can be saints (in SDA view of a saint), and can thus go to heaven. I don’t think St. John would make such a mistake in back-to-back verses. Who persecuted Christians relentlessly during John’s time? Pagan Rome.

Hope this adds a little something. :shrug:
I like it. For an extensive explanation of the 42 months, visist diesdomini.com/Papers/Q_Prophecy_Rev11.pdf

-Patrick :thumbsup:


#18

Thanks for the reply even though this thread was created a long time ago lol. I think I got the idea now. In another forum something similar to this came up, about the CC and the Roman Empire worked together to kill the Christians. This was my reply, what do you think?:

[quote=poster]This is actually an interesting statistic but the Roman Catholic church through the Roman government killed more Christians following Constantine’s conversion than before it. You were burnt at the stake, hung or even crucified for preaching any doctrine that contradicted official Roman Catholic dogma.
[/quote]

[quote=my reply]Back then the Catholic Church was just called the Christian Church. The Roman Empire slaughtered the Early Christians. The Roman Empire that time were pagans. Thus Constantine was in between Paganism and Christianity and he only legalized Christianity, not making it the official religion. Indeed people were killed, or crucified like St. Peter who said wasn’t worthy enough to be crucified like Jesus hence the upside down cross, or Petrine Cross.
[/quote]


#19

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