Despite misinformed Protestantism or thing say like Aliester Crowley… what are some Catholic interpretations of the Harlot and Mystery Babylon in the book of Revelation? I think a lot of this parallels the challenge of Elijah and Jezebel on the mountain as I think it is a similar message but I dunno she is drunk on the blood of the saints and martyrs and what not. Sure we have common figuring of Nero as the Antichrist… but I was just curious if anyone can shed some further light on the Apocalypse and these characters. As i get older I feel more in touch with an allegorical apocalypse as a general spiritual reality rather than an end of days doom and gloom though there is some validity to that. Just wanted to know what others have to say.
The early Church Fathers called pagan Rome Babylon. In Revelation the Whore can be apostate Jerusalem.
Because in the prophesy of St. John there are seven kings with five fallen and the other to come, the Whore must have existed in St. John’s day. Christian Rome and Vatican City did not exist in the day of St. John.
In the Preterist interpretation of Revelation, the harlot is Jerusalem. She is drunk with the blood of prophets and saints, having killed both. She is destroyed by the wrath of God in 70 AD. The last bowl is poured and giant hailstones fall on earth. You can almost see the large boulders thrown by Roman catapults that destroyed the walls and let the Romans into the city to complete its destruction. So from that interpretation, we are living in the period of the thousand years with Christ.
. . . except it has been twice a thousand years, and Satan is definitely not confined to the Pit.
THE WHORE OF BABYLON - REVELATION-
This Article is based on what Scott Hahn, PhD teachs
By selective quotes, partial sentences, etc. your post can give a very false picture of von Balthasar’s position of the Church. It is very important to read the text of “Casta Meretrix” to understand the sense in which Hans Urs von Balthasar puts forth the sense of how the Church can be harlot/prostitute/whore. It refers to the sinners in the Church. Here is the English text of “Casta Meretrix”.
[quote=“ACrosSticks, post:6, topic:507407, full:true”]
Here is a more complete quote of Jacques Servais’ words about von Balthasar’s works.
"…While the first explains the sense in which the Church can call herself at once “harlot” and “chaste” before her Lord, the second grounds this because she is a subject who is really distinct from her Bridegroom. These two essays doubtless share a certain affinity of spirit with an important statement in Lumen Gentium …
While Christ, holy, innocent and undefiled(81) knew nothing of sin,(82) but came to expiate only the sins of the people,(83) the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal.
Lumen Gentium I
I would say that in context, John is most likely referring to Imperial Rome which was then executing a widespread persecution of Christians under Domitian. However, given some of the later persecutions such as that under Decius, it appears that one could find a repetitive fulfillment of this prophecy throughout history.
Giving the sense in which von Balthasar says the Church can be called whore would have been a better and far less misleading post.
[quote=“ACrosSticks, post:14, topic:507407, full:true”]
Half sentences again.
Poster #1 (Dan_Defender, right?) “So from that interpretation, we are living in the period of the thousand years with Christ.”
Poster #2 (DaveBj): “. . . except it has been twice a thousand years, and Satan is definitely not confined to the Pit.”
I’ve heard many versions, from literal to symbolic to poetic to mixed. Some would say this detail is literalistic.
What is “literalistic”? See for example Psalm 50:10, which declares that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. To many people, the most plausible explanation is that “a thousand” means “all of it.” Two possible literalistic alternative explanations are that 1) there really are only 1,000 hills; or, 2) God does not own the cattle on Hill #1001.
See also The Left Behind series which really does adhere to literal details to the point that its critics have called it literalistic. (And not all of those critics disagree with its general theology. I grew up with Hal Lindsey, who argued that “scorpion locusts” would be attack helicopters mowing down the fleeing masses. But LaHaye (author of L.B.) makes them actual locusts with scorpion-like stings, women’s hair, and they’re about 5 inches long. Lindsey’s followers would have called that literalistic since no such creatures are known to exist outside of Sci-Fi.)
As to the thousand years with Christ, the non-Rapture/Dispensation interpretation I’ve heard is that “a thousand years” is the time that the saints reign with Christ on this earth, but that that is now. Why would they say that when the earth is still full of enemies? Well, say such teachers, dealing with enemies is part of ruling.
As to where Satan is, they compare it to a dangerous dog on a chain. It can still injure you if you get too close, but it’s not as dangerous as it was before it was caught. That is, Christ’s death and Resurrection have limited some evil in this world, but there are people who still wander too close to it.
So we’re better off than we were when Jesus had to chase down the demons and rebuke them, but we’re not as well off as we will be when they are gone for good.
[notices this is slightly off topic ]
Anyhow, back to Babylon. For those who care enough to read this far, L.B. solves the problem of where is Babylon by utilizing all of the candidates. The Big Bad builds a massive modern city on top of the old physical ruins of Babylon, in the desert. He makes alliance with an evil pope, Peter the Second, whose headquarters is in Rome. And he helps to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem – (which, since the Antichrist helped build it, it was created condemned) – and defiles it in a garish fashion. If there were a fourth candidate for Babylon, he probably would have done something icky there as well.
Anyhow, there is one last theory of interpretation called Idealism. This theory is that (except for the end of the world and the Last Judgment, and the advent of Eternity) the story of Revelation comes true in every generation. Thus, Babylon is the center of evil in any given generation.
Some believe that Babylon is Jerusalem and post Christian Judaism.
In his time Ezekiel writes that God calls Jerusalem the whore of Babylon.
History tends to repeat itself.
When Christ mentions the synagogue of Satan in the Book of Revelations he’s talking about an actual synagogue.
Before Christ returns the Jews will accept Jesus as their Messiah but a portion of them will not or will later reject him and accept the Antichrist who will enthrone himself in the rebuilt temple.
That’s at least one interpretation that I have heard.
I’d say the sixth king already came and fell. We are in the age of the seventh
The Church is called Meretrix because she will let anybody join the Body.
Come on, people It is paradox fun, not a condemnation.
And no, not for pay.
Thanks all. I’m also particularly interested in how Crowley identifies her as a specific person or entity that was part of his failed great rite. That guy was pretty out there. I was also just curious as if maybe somebody had heard of her in a more non metaphorical sense in the context of church teaching as if she was an actual demonic entity and not just a metaphor for some institution or city.
Lately I’ve been wanting more information from the Church than I’ve been getting.
I’ve read most of the popular Marian apparitions for some time now and I don’t know. I just want more information on what is to come in general. I know we were promised an era of peace but that was nearly more than a hundred years ago. I don’t want to lean with protestants on doom and gloom but I have been thinking about the Apocalypse a lot lately. My rosary has been dry. I am tired. I don’t want to burn out waiting for something new to happen. It has been a while since I have had some consolation from God and I often wonder if we are currently experiencing some kind of chastisement. I am grateful. But I often times find myself tired.
Most people think of cities or cultures when the whore as a biblical symbol is referenced. The book of Revelation also reveals her as an archetype that originates from an individual person.
She is the mother of all harlots and all the blood ever shed on earth is on her hands. Jesus pointed our minds to her when He mentions Abel. When Abel’s blood was shed his blood was all the blood ever shed on earth. So Cain’s hands aren’t the only hands with blood on them in that event. Eve is complicit in that first martyrs death. Who else could it possibly be? Also what comes from her mouth points to Eve and the hidden past of the original humans. The whore mother say’s " in this passage;
As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so give her a like measure of torment and grief. Since in her heart she says, ‘I rule as a queen ; I am no widow, and I will never see grief,’
She is proud about the reversed order of the family in this passage. She is head of the family she has a husband and never seeing grief means she will never be childless.
This reveals the state of Adam and eve’s relationship in the beginning after the eating of the forbidden fruit.
. 17 And to the man[b] he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
To listen to a voice symbolizes acceptance of authority.
She say’s when Cain is born.
4 Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced[a] a man with the help of the Lord.”
First, notice Adam is referred to as the man and Eve is named. Then notice that she claims to have produced a ‘man’ and God is her helper. She was the helpmeet before sin. Remember what Our Blessed Mother say’s when she is to be mother of Jesus. Mary calls herself the helpmeet of the Lord. Eve’s disposition reverses the order of God. Not to worry, Adam and Eve were woken to this disorder and I think Adam wouldn’t have another child until the maternal evironmenmt of human life could make this be.
5 Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed[e] for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.
Notice this time Adam is the one named and Eve is now his wife. Her disposityion is reversed. God grants her another ‘offspring’. Her disposition towards God and her child is proper now. Then in the next chapter the crown of their repentance.
5 This is the list of the descendants of Adam. When God created humankind,[a] he made them[b] in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them “Humankind”[c]when they were created.
3 When Adam had lived one hundred thirty years, he became the father of a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.
In this we see the one person who is the origin and healing of the Mother of all harlots who’s hands were bloodied and cleansed of all the blood ever shed on earth.
This adulterous woman/virgin theme is an undercurrent in the OT that culminates in the trial that tested Joseph as husband of the new Eve Mary.
The sin of the first family that is fully expressed in the shedding of innocent blood by the first born son of the mother of harlots, both guilty of the sin is reversed by Mary Virgin Mother by the merits of her Son Our Lord.
This was a very deep comparison on detail. Thank you.
Indeed. Sometimes I think even if people knew they would not be ready.
I wish I could talk more about this topic but it raises my pride to dangerous levels…
Jerusalem Babylon Many Waters
“Then one of the seven angels … said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters … and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations’ ”
Why does John use the metaphor “many waters?” What does it mean ?
It is a common mistake to read into the Book of Revelation modern perceptions. To see what John meant we need to look at it from John’s perspective, a first century Jewish Christian. Another mistake is to look at this book from a worldly perspective, a book about power, military and political might. John is more concerned about spiritual truths than worldly ideas. It is a book more about spiritual holiness and its opposite sin, than about worldly power, dominance, and subjection. John is a spiritual not worldly writer. He is an evangelist who is more concerned about the things of God, than about worldly things.
The many waters represents all the nations. The Jews rightly understood themselves as God’s chosen people. It is through them, through Jerusalem, the mother city, that God’s graces flow out to all mankind. All the nations were dependent on God’s chosen people.
“On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.
And the Lord will become king over all the earth”
Jerusalem, from a Jewish perspective, was called to spread the wisdom and graces that came from God. The Israelites were chosen by God to bring the good news to the world, that Yahweh is the One True God.
The area around Jerusalem was just as arid as any desert. On a daily basis the Israelites realized their dependence on God and water. So, water is associated with blessings and life from God all through the Old Testament.