Mark on Hand or Forehead

I was reading in Revlation today, which prompted a question. I understand that many Catholic theologians are of the view that much of the prophecy in Revelation speaks of the persecution of the Church during the time of Nero. This interpretation makes a lot of sense to me, but I wonder about the reference to the mark that certain individuals who worship the Beast are said to take.

Does anyone know about the implementation some kind of a mark during this period?

Not all of Revelation is about the end of time. I have read a few books on this and read some of what the fathers had to say. Revelation can not be fully understood until it actually takes place, thus it is with all prophecy.
Revelation seems to be a life of the Church, as seen in prophetic language. I suggest you read what the earily father had to say. It is very interesting and Id have to write all day to do it justice.

The mark of the beast has been given a very literal treatment by many. I always took this to be literal as well until I saw how far out some of the modern day Protestant views of the apocalypse have gone. The entire Book of Revelation is filled with imagery that is highly symbolic. Sorting out that which is to be a literal and visible manifestation can be difficult. The mark of the beast has an interesting counterpart in Revelation 3:12. The verse reads as follows:

“He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”

No one seems to take this verse in the same literal fashion that some take the “mark of the beast.” The Church teaches that baptism leaves an indelible mark on our souls. It could be that the verses should be taken to mean literally “marked for life” or “marked for death” in terms of our spiritual life and eternity. The verses in Revelation may not mean actual physical marks placed on the head or the hand.

I hope this helps.

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to the question, but rather my own question if I may piggy back on this. I was raised as a Pentecostal and taught that the mark of the beast would be something like a computer chip inserted under the skin of your right hand or forehead because of the comments from Scripture saying that one would not be able to buy or sell without this mark and it does seem that we are making progress in providing such a chip with all of our bank information on it in order to protect us from identity theft. What would be the Church’s stance on something like this? I no longer see Revelations as I used to but on this issue, I don’t have any answers. - maranajewell

Taken symbolicly the mark on the head is surrendering your will. The mark on the hand is surrendering your service.

Although Roman soldiers and slaves were “marked” in ancient times, the opinion expressed in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, here and here, is that “the mark of the Beast” probably refers to the image of the emperor on Roman coins.

[quote=Maranajewell]Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to the question, but rather my own question if I may piggy back on this. I was raised as a Pentecostal and taught that the mark of the beast would be something like a computer chip inserted under the skin of your right hand or forehead because of the comments from Scripture saying that one would not be able to buy or sell without this mark and it does seem that we are making progress in providing such a chip with all of our bank information on it in order to protect us from identity theft. What would be the Church’s stance on something like this? I no longer see Revelations as I used to but on this issue, I don’t have any answers. - maranajewell
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As far as I know, the Church has not taken a stand on this specific piece of speculation, but her general attitude is not give credence to interpretations of prophecy that attempt to tie in to contemporary events. The landscape of history --especially in the last 200 years --is littered with these speculations–all of them wrong.

[quote=Pax]The mark of the beast has been given a very literal treatment by many. I always took this to be literal as well until I saw how far out some of the modern day Protestant views of the apocalypse have gone. The entire Book of Revelation is filled with imagery that is highly symbolic. Sorting out that which is to be a literal and visible manifestation can be difficult. The mark of the beast has an interesting counterpart in Revelation 3:12. The verse reads as follows:

“He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”

No one seems to take this verse in the same literal fashion that some take the “mark of the beast.” The Church teaches that baptism leaves an indelible mark on our souls. It could be that the verses should be taken to mean literally “marked for life” or “marked for death” in terms of our spiritual life and eternity. The verses in Revelation may not mean actual physical marks placed on the head or the hand.

I hope this helps.
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The counterpart verse to the “mark of the beast” that I was actually looking for is Rev 7:3 which says, **…“Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” ** It would seem that whatever the mark of the beast may be, that there is also a seal or mark on the forehead of the faithful. I find the mark and the seal on the forehead to be sufficiently similar that they represent spiritual marks rather than physical marks. I personally like Bauerice’s explanation as to the meaning or the mark on the hand and forehead.

This stuff is super-interesting to me, but i know we can’t really speculate on this stuff because whatever the reality, it will probably still catch almost everyone off guard. I guess we just keep following God’s laws, confessing frequently to overcome even small sins, and when the antichrist comes, hopefully we won’t buy into his lies. Or her lies. See? Could have been blindsided by that 'un!
Also, there is a priest with a book out talking about how the world wide web is the beast of revelation. Some people i consider credible have said his theory is interesting. I was just thinking about how our mouses could be the “marks” on our hands in service to the world wide web. Scary, huh? Oooooooooooooooooh! :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=dafalax]This stuff is super-interesting to me, but i know we can’t really speculate on this stuff because whatever the reality, it will probably still catch almost everyone off guard. I guess we just keep following God’s laws, confessing frequently to overcome even small sins, and when the antichrist comes, hopefully we won’t buy into his lies. Or her lies. See? Could have been blindsided by that 'un!
Also, there is a priest with a book out talking about how the world wide web is the beast of revelation. Some people i consider credible have said his theory is interesting. I was just thinking about how our mouses could be the “marks” on our hands in service to the world wide web. Scary, huh? Oooooooooooooooooh! :stuck_out_tongue:
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The way I see it is that we will all see Christ in judgment. Some of us after this earthly life, and others in His actual second coming. Regardless of which category we fit in to, we must be prepared.

[quote=petra]I was reading in Revlation today, which prompted a question. I understand that many Catholic theologians are of the view that much of the prophecy in Revelation speaks of the persecution of the Church during the time of Nero. This interpretation makes a lot of sense to me, but I wonder about the reference to the mark that certain individuals who worship the Beast are said to take.

Does anyone know about the implementation some kind of a mark during this period?
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Roman citizens who traveled a lot were often tattooed (or branded) on their forehead or hand to identify their citizenship of the Roman empire.

Also, when reading the book of Revelation, read it as though you were reading the missalette at Mass and it will make a lot more sense. Revelation is the documentation of mass in heaven… as Scott Hahn & St Augustine put it.

[quote=petra]I was reading in Revlation today, which prompted a question. I understand that many Catholic theologians are of the view that much of the prophecy in Revelation speaks of the persecution of the Church during the time of Nero. This interpretation makes a lot of sense to me, but I wonder about the reference to the mark that certain individuals who worship the Beast are said to take.

Does anyone know about the implementation some kind of a mark during this period?
[/quote]

Nero and the emperors who followed him encouraged the worship of themselves as the embodiment of the “spirit of Rome”. Those who offered incense to the idol of the emperor were given a certificate indicating that they had done their duty as a faithful citizen. This, of course, is not something in which a man or woman, already marked with the sign of Baptism, could in good conscience participate. The Christians’ refusal to do so would have been seen as a treasonous action, one worthy of death.

The Roman custom was to mark slaves and soldiers (the soldiers on the hand, the slaves on the forehead.) Both soldiers and slaves (household slaves, not mining or brute labor slaves) eventually became Roman citizens – the soldiers at the completion of their term of service, the slaves when manumitted.

The marks served two purposes – to keep soldiers and slaves from running away, and to identify their right to citizenship later. Much of Greece had been depopulated in wars prior to the time of Christ, and soldiers especially were given land at the end of their service. Roman colonies were established in many areas. These Roman citizens had special priviliges in regard to trade, taxes, civil rights, and so on.

Non-citizens considered this unfair - - as you might expect.

originally posted by bauerice
Taken symbolicly the mark on the head is surrendering your will. The mark on the hand is surrendering your service.

Yes, this is how to best refute the “computer chip” folks since they don’t want to believe in the historical content and meaning of the book of Revelation.

This topic intrests me alot. I think it could be many things around us. There is a book called ‘The Barcode Tatoo.’ its a book that just makes you think about it. Its a really quick read. Its a book for teens but it does reallt make you think about it. I think you’ll know in your head and heart (forhead) and shoeing it with the work you do (hands its an expression but hey it makes sence)

-Katie

[quote=catsrus]Yes, this is how to best refute the “computer chip” folks since they don’t want to believe in the historical content and meaning of the book of Revelation.
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There is some wierd compulsion to forget Revelation was written about two thousand years ago, and related to the world as it was then. Reminds me of the supermarket tabloids saying, “Bible predicts huge storms for 2006.”

I can just see it, Moses and Luke and the boys sitting around the kitchen table when I walk in and say, “What are you boys working so hard on?”

And they say, "A weather prediction."http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

[quote=vern humphrey]There is some wierd compulsion to forget Revelation was written about two thousand years ago, and related to the world as it was then. Reminds me of the supermarket tabloids saying, “Bible predicts huge storms for 2006.”

I can just see it, Moses and Luke and the boys sitting around the kitchen table when I walk in and say, “What are you boys working so hard on?”

And they say, "A weather prediction."http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif
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:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

vern,

Revelation is a writing reflecting a divinely given vision. Much of it applied to the time it was written and much of it applies to a much later era when the world enters the last days.

There is an excellent book that has a Catholic approach to the “left behind” series.
carl-olson.com/book%20reviews/rapture_trap.html

[quote=TPJCatholic]vern,

Revelation is a writing reflecting a divinely given vision. Much of it applied to the time it was written and much of it applies to a much later era when the world enters the last days.
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The problem is, most people who seek answers in Revelation forget the first part (the part that applied to the world as it was then) and seek to make it all apply to the present and future.

Remember also, the Church considers many of the things in Revelation to be outside of time – it is actually a heresy to attempt to impose a historical interpretation on those things.

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