The whore of Babylon


#1

I read James Akins’ articles " Hunting the Whore of Babylon catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp " and "The Whore of Babylon (catholic.com/library/whore_of_babylon.asp )"and found the arguments invalid . He presented the thesis that the Woman is either Pagan Rome or apostate Jerusalem , and has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic church .Since these articles are stamped NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR by the Vatican , I would assume that this is the official Roman Catholic view . If it can be proven that the Woman is not Pagan Rome or Apostate Jerusalem, then the labels “ NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR” are false , and the Roman Catholic church would be in error .

Akins tried to suggest that Jerusalem is the Babylon of Rev 17. The problem is , neither in the Bible nor among early Christians was Jerusalem ever known as Babylon. Only Rome is , and that is a well known fact .

Next, Akins use the “ great city” argument. He wrote , “ Revelation consistently speaks as if there were only one "great city” ” . Now what the author of Revelation did say was that there was a city which he referred to as “ the great city “ ( See Rev 16:19 ) , but he never said that there was only one great city and he never said that each time he mention that a city is a “ great city” he is referring to “ the great city “ ! There is certainly more than one great city in the world ! No doubt the Woman is a great city , and therefore she is referred to as such in the book of Revelation , but the author of Revelation did not say that the Woman is that great city which he refers to as “ the great city”.

Indeed , there is no basis to suggest that Jersusalem is Babylon . And Jerusalem does not fulfill the other criteria which Revelation 17-18 set .

  1. Jerusalem did not have dominion over the kings of the earth . Rev 17:18 says “ And the woman that you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth.” Akins reasoned that “ It could be spiritual dominion in that Jerusalem held the religion of the true God. It could be a reference to the manipulation by certain Jews and Jewish leaders of gentiles into persecuting Christians.” This point is way off the mark. Pilate may have been persuaded by the Jews to persecute Christians , but you certainly can’t call that “ dominion” . It is obvious who was in control then ; the Romans . It is laughable to suggest that Jerusalem was in dominion. By AD 90 , in which Revelation was written , Jerusalem had been overran by the Romans and their temple has been burned by the Romans , and the Romans were also persecuting Christians , not because of the influence of the Jews , but because Christians were worshipping Christ as God , whereas the Roman law demanded that people worship the Roman Emperor as God .

Akins wrote “ It could even be political, since Jerusalem was the center of political power in Canaan and, under the authority of the Romans, it ruled a considerable amount of territory and less powerful peoples. On this thesis “the kings of the earth” would be “the kings of the land” (the Greek phrase can be translated either way). Such local rulers of the land of Canaan would naturally resent Jerusalem and wish to cooperate with the Romans in its destruction—just as history records they did. Local non-Jewish peoples were used by the Romans in the capture of Jerusalem.”

Now, the destruction happened in AD 70 , and that was 20 years BEFORE Revelations was written ! And since the destruction Jerusalem did not have “ dominion “ over the kings of the earth , or even the kings of the land if you want to interpret it that way . The Angel was not telling John about the past , but the present and future ( “ …the great city which HAS dominion over the kings of the earth “ ) , so it couldn’t be Jerusalem .

  1. The association of Babylon and seven hills does not bring Jerusalem to mind . It is highly debatable as to whether Jerusalem sits on seven hills , and it was never well known in John’s context to refer to Jersusalem as Babylon .

3 ) Jerusalem’s spiritual adulteries and abdominations have never intoxicated the rest of the world . The Bible said that “ …the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries" ( Rev 17:2 ) and that the whore is "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’. This description does not fit Jerusalem. Though she is unfaithful to God, her unfaithfulness and spiritual errors only have negative effects on the Jews themselves. Very few people of other nations are “ intoxicated” by the errors of Judaism .

Next , the author tried to differentiate between Pagan Rome and Christian Rome . He wrote : “ Even if we grant that the reference is to Rome, which Rome are we talking about—pagan Rome or Christian Rome?”


#2

Now , the separation of Rome into Pagan and Christian is entirely Akin’s and not the Bible’s. The Bible did not separate the woman’s history into pre-Christian and Christian. All it mention is this woman , this city on 7 hills known as Babylon , who ill-treated the apostles and prophets in John’s day, who would one day be a spiritual adulteress associated with the ultimate Antichrist ( the beast ) . It is therefore predicting the entire history of Rome, from Pagan to “Christian” all the way to the last days of the Beast with whom she would be associated .

If we limit the woman to refer to Pagan Rome only, the Rome which exist from the 1st to the 4th century before it was Christianized , we can see that it doesn’t fit all the description in Revelation 17-18.

  1. Pagan Rome cannot be accused of spiritual adultery . Akin’s point that “ Ancient, pagan Rome also fits the description, since through the cult of emperor worship it also committed spiritual fornication with “the kings of the earth” (those nations it conquered)” is not valid , since Pagan Rome is Pagan by definition and therefore does not have a relationship with Christ to began with and therefore cannot be justly accused of being unfaithful to Christ .

Akin’s definition of spiritual fornication :“ symbol of false religion—lack of fidelity to the God who created heaven and earth…” is incomplete . It must be emphasized that it is lack of fidelity BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE VOWED TO BE GOD”S PEOPLE, WHO ARE “ MARRIED” TO CHRIST IN A SPIRITUAL SENSE who can be justly accused of commiting spiritual adultery. Otherwise the metaphor wouldn’t make sense . In that sense , Pagan Rome alone does not fulfil the definition of spiritual fornication , since she was never married to Christ

In the Bible, the imagery of a people or city committing adultery, or being labeled a harlot, is CONSISTENTLY a reference to COVENANT UNFAITHFULNESS.A multitude of passages in various prophetic books use the harlotry theme to condemn Israel for her sin. ( cf. Ezek 16:15, 17, 28, 35, 41; 23:1–21, 44; Isa 1:21; 57:3; Jer 2:20; 3:1; 13:27; Hos 2:2–5; 4:12, 15, 18; 5:4; 9:1; Mic 1:7) In fact, of the many passages that illustrate this constant theme, the only two exceptions to Israel being the referent are two prophecies against Tyre and Nineveh, both of which had formerly been in covenant with Yahweh.

Chilton elaborates: “It is noteworthy that Tyre and Nineveh—the only two cities outside of Israel that are accused of harlotry—had both been in covenant with God. The kingdom of Tyre in David and Solomon’s time was converted to the worship of the true God, and her king contracted a covenant with Solomon and assisted in the building of the Temple (1 Kings 5:1–12; 9:13; Amos 1:9); Nineveh was converted under the ministry of Jonah (Jon 3:5–10). The later apostasy of these two cities could rightly be considered harlotry” (Chilton, Days of Vengeance, 424, n. 2).

The Biblical usage of spiritual harlotry is too consistent to be overlooked: It always implies covenant unfaithfulness . Therefore, Pagan Rome cannot be accused of spiritual adultery since she never had a covenant with God .

The unfaithfulness of the Pope to Christ and his abdominations has been well documented eg Pope John Paul II gathering of the heathen to pray “ to the same God ” and replacing the Cross with the Buddha in Assis ,1986 .

  1. The Rome which exist from the 1st to the 4th century was never utterly thrown down in one hour with violence , famine and fire to such an extent that she “shall be found no more at all “ , which Rev 18:8-21 described. In fact , what happened was that it was Christianized in around 300-400 AD . It was not ended with violence , famine and fire . Therefore what Rev 18:8-21 described must be yet future and cannot merely be referring to the Rome of the 1st to 4th century ; indeed , it refers to what the present , “ Christian” Rome , the Rome who is called the bride to Christ and yet who is unfaithful to Christ ,shall go through when God comes to judge her on Christ’s Second Coming !

  2. The Rome which exist from the 1st to the 4th century was obviously never associated with THE ultimate Antichrist ( the Beast of Revelation 17, who is the same as the Beast in Revelation 13 ) , who has yet to appear ! Yet we see that the Woman in Rev 17 is associated with that Antichrist .

Therefore it is false to limit the prophecy of Rev 17-19 to merely the Rome which exist from the 1st to the 4th century before it was Christianized . The separation into “ pre-Christian “ and “ Christian ” Rome is entirely Akins own device to avoid the obvious conclusion that the Woman was the Rome of John’s day who would one day transform herself into a spiritual adulteress through the Roman Catholic church and intoxicate the people of the earth . Thus Akin’s other arguments based on his separation of the history of Rome into pre-Christian and Christian viz :

“ If five of these kings had fallen in John’s day and one of them was still in existence, then the Whore must have existed in John’s day. Yet Christian Rome and Vatican City did not”

and

“ Since the Whore persecuted apostles and prophets, the Whore must have existed in the first century. This totally demolishes the claim that Christian Rome or Vatican City is the Whore. Rome was not a Christian city at that time, and Vatican City did not even exist”

are not valid .


#3

Long Post and I am still working my way through it. I would like to point out that the Vatican is not ROme. The Vatican is too small to sit on seven hills.


#4

Another Protestant attempt to prove that the Catholic church is in error. I doubt that anyone can fully understand all the symbolism contained in this book and all such attempts at explaining it are either exercises in futility or demonstrations of intellectual pride. Most Biblical scholars, Catholic and Protestant, agree that the symbolism was used to convey a message to the faithful while keeping it from the Roman oppressors. That’s probably all I need to know about it because the message of salvation is contained elsewhere in the Bible in in the sacred Tradition of the Church, and that’s what is important to me.


#5

AndrewL << Since these articles are stamped NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR by the Vatican , I would assume that this is the official Roman Catholic view . If it can be proven that the Woman is not Pagan Rome or Apostate Jerusalem, then the labels “ NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR” are false , and the Roman Catholic church would be in error. >>

The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are not granted directly by the Vatican, but as I understand by a local bishop or censor with the power to do so.

There is no “official” position on just how to go about interpreting all the symbolism and language of the book of Revelation. But Jimmy Akin’s tracts as I understand do present the prevalent two views: apostate Jerusalem, or pagan Rome. It would not follow that if you could show a good case for misinterpretation in the tract that “the Roman Catholic church would be in error.” It would just mean maybe Jimmy Akin blew it, but reading your post I don’t think he did.

Here is a Protestant critique of the “apostate Jerusalem” interpretation of Scott Hahn’s tape series.

AndrewL << Now, the destruction happened in AD 70 , and that was 20 years BEFORE Revelations was written ! >>

Depends of course when you date Revelation. The tome Before Jerusalem Fell is a large exegetical and historical defense by a Reformed scholar of a pre-AD 70 date. He is a “preterist” and not a “dispensationalist” which explains his position.

But thanks for the post, I will read some more…just don’t go quoting Dave Hunt whatever you do. :rolleyes:

Phil P


#6

[quote=AndrewL].

The Biblical usage of spiritual harlotry is too consistent to be overlooked: It always implies covenant unfaithfulness . Therefore, Pagan Rome cannot be accused of spiritual adultery since she never had a covenant with God .

The unfaithfulness of the Pope to Christ and his abdominations has been well documented eg Pope John Paul II gathering of the heathen to pray “ to the same God ” and replacing the Cross with the Buddha in Assis ,1986 .

.
[/quote]

For people that don’t have time to read all of AndrewL’s post, I thought that I would highlight some of the more anti Catholic sentiments…

Further reading in Revelations chapter 17 shows verse six which says. And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witness to Jesus.

I just have to ask…are Christians being killed by the vatican? Because I missed the news report detailing the Church’s involvement in mass murder. It is not normally in my nature to be sarcastic, but it is so ridiculus to consider The Church as the Whore of Babylon.


#7

AndrewL << The unfaithfulness of the Pope to Christ and his abominations has been well documented eg Pope John Paul II gathering of the heathen to pray “to the same God” and replacing the Cross with the Buddha in Assisi, 1986 . >>

Sounds like something out of the Dave Hunt playbook. Here’s a clever reply in the style of Screwtape Letters. John Paul preached this at Assisi:

"…I profess here anew my conviction, shared by all Christians, that in Jesus Christ, as Savior of all, true peace is to be found, ‘peace to those who are far off and peace to those who are near’ " (Cf. Eph 2.17).

and

“His birth was greeted by the angels’ song: Glory to God in the highest and peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Cf. Lk 2:14). He preached love among all, even among foes, proclaimed blessed those who work for peace (Cf. Mt 5:9), and through His death and resurrection He brought about reconciliation between heaven and earth (Cf. Col.1:20). To use an expression of Paul the Apostle, ‘He is our peace.’ " (Eph.2:14).

You’re saying the book of Revelation was predicting some event that happened in 1986? Amazing. What about the Popes, the bishops of Rome, martyred for their faith in the first 300 years of Christianity? Does Revelation have anything to say about them?

Phil P


#8

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Such wild accusations backed up with scholarly replies like the following:
"…that is a well known fact ." - no references cited.
"…just as history records they did." **- no references cited.
**"…not valid ." **- no argument given.
“The association of Babylon and seven hills does not bring Jerusalem to mind . It is highly debatable as to whether Jerusalem sits on seven hills , and it was never well known in John’s context to refer to Jersusalem as Babylon .” **- debatable to whome? The people who live on the seven hills of Jerusalem? Perhaps you should write Kaduri Elementary School in Israel and tell them their geography is wrong (www2.yarden.ac.il/bloss/pro2000/menorah/tigeo.htm scroll down to “Jerusalem”). :thumbsup:
**“Pagan Rome is Pagan by definition and therefore does not have a relationship with Christ…” **- Just so I know - you’re the authority to say who does and does not have a relationship with Christ? Not knowing him does not necessitate no relationship - if it did, billions of babies and mentally impaired would be completely hosed…
**"…[Rome] was Christianized in around 300-400 AD ." - Say, could you please show us some writings of Christianized Rome around 300-400AD? I’m sure it looks like what you practice now, so could you show us some of your favorite Nicene era authors?

And so you know:
“had been overran” is not proper English. It’s like saying, “had done swum.” Next time, try one of the following: “has overran” or “had overrun”.

Finally,
You speak a lot about Rome breaking a covenant relationship with God and adultry. Could you please elaborate on that? Could you please tell us why, if Rome is the Church married to Jesus (which you have said is the case or the charge of adultry and breaking covenant relationships won’t stick), faithfully or not on Rome’s part, and Jesus is not polygamous…WHY AREN’T YOU MARRIED TO JESUS?!? Why aren’t you a member of the Bride of Christ, as He has called you to be?!?

Peace,
RyanL


#9

AndrewL << to avoid the obvious conclusion that the Woman was the Rome of John’s day who would one day transform herself into a spiritual adulteress through the Roman Catholic church and intoxicate the people of the earth >>

OK, I’ll bite. When do you think this happened? You aren’t saying the Roman Catholic Church existed when the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation are you? (e.g. whether 70 AD or 95 AD).

If not, then you seem to be saying the book of Revelation is predicting a “future time” when the “true church” (centered at Rome?) transforms herself into the “spiritual adulteress” of the (Roman) Catholic Church. Can you give me an approximate date when you think this happened, and a little documentation for that?

I see no discontinuity between the universal church started by Jesus with His apostles, to the “Catholic Church” referred to by the Fathers, Bishops, and Saints such as Ignatius of Antioch, to Irenaeus, to Augustine, forward. This was the same one true visible universal or Catholic Church.

OK, let’s say Jimmy Akin totally blew it. The “Whore” is not apostate Jerusalem, nor pagan Rome, but is “Christian Rome” or more precisely the Church “centered in Rome.” When did this “prophecy” of the book of Revelation of the original “true church” becoming the “Whore” start becoming fulfilled, in your opinion?

Just to get some “interesting” debate going… :thumbsup: :smiley:

Phil P


#10

Prior to my conversion, I got involved in the fundamental view point of Christianity. I was raised southern Baptist, I got involved in the Jack Chick anti catholic stuff and I was sold that it was my mission in life to save everyone from hell.

In that process God won, I had a Paul like experience and decided to take those very first scarry steps into the Catholic Church. Even durring that process I made it clear that I could not join a Church, that would tell me that my Baptist background was not Christian, that my Baptism did not count. To my surprise I entered the RCIA program with open arms and love. The director told me how great my background was and wanted to know why I wanted to start my conversion in the Catholic Church. The first part of the RCIA was very open and some who would finish and others from different faiths that was just there to learn and explore the Catholic teachings.

Like I said I originally said I would not join a Church that would say my Baptism was null and void. Because I knew I had a real relationship with Jesus Christ. But something changed, I now wanted to not only be confirmed into the Church but I wanted a new Baptism, but because there is only one, my Baptist Church gets credit for that and they are mentioned on my official confirmation document from the Church.

I have one thing and one thing only to say to Andrew.

Jesus taught us that the greatest comandment is to love.
And to love even your enemy because was reward would there be in hating. I know you have deep love for all of us, and that you feel like you need to save us from the fires of hell, but it is just your job to share your faith, the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Andrew my question to you as a former fundamentalist and now Catholic, do you believe in God and the ability of the Holy Spirit? I am closer than ever to God and His Church.

I believe that God hardens our hearts is an unknown grace given to us, because as I know that the Catholic Church and her teachings are infallibly true as of today you do not see that and God in his own miraculous way is protecting you. Didn’t paul write that each of our works on the last day will be tested by fire, and only the good will stand.

And Jesus also said “if they do not listen, brush the dust off your feet as you leave”


#11

First of all, the Nihil Obstat and Impratur was not assigned by the Vatican itself… it usually isn’t), but by individual bishops or church administrators. Read the Nihil Obstat and Impratur:

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL***, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego***, August 10, 2004

Both indiviuals are from the diocese of San Diego, and represent that diocese – not the Vatican.


#12

[quote=adventistnomore]First of all, the Nihil Obstat and Impratur was not assigned by the Vatican itself… it usually isn’t), but by individual bishops or church administrators. Read the Nihil Obstat and Impratur:

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL***, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego***, August 10, 2004

Both indiviuals are from the diocese of San Diego, and represent that diocese – not the Vatican.
[/quote]

These also do not say that the writing represents the official teaching of the Church. It simply says that it doesn’t conflict with Church teaching.


#13

[Begin Brief Hi-jack]

Invariably, it seems, anyone who criticizes another person’s grammar or spelling ends up with incorrect grammar and spelling himself. To wit:

[quote=RyanL]And so you know:
“had been overran” is not proper English. It’s like saying, “had done swum.” Next time, try one of the following: “has overran” or “had overrun”.
[/quote]

Overrun is an irregular transitive verb. Its principal parts are as follows:

Present tense: overrun
Present participle: overrunning
Past tense: overran
Past participle: overrun

The OP wrote (in part): “Jerusalem had been overran by the Romans…” The correct form that the OP should have used is “Jerusalem had been overrun by the Romans…”

Neither “has overran” (which is grammatically incorrect regardless) nor “had overrun” would fit this sentence. By way of demonstration:

“Jerusalem has overran by the Romans…” Obviously this is not correct, and, has been alluded to, the helping verb “has” cannot be used with the main verb “overrun.”

“Jerusalem had overrun by the Romans…” This is also obviously not correct, although it does have the limited virtue of at least using the correct form of “overrun” with the helping verb “had.”

[End Brief Hi-jack]

– Mark L. Chance.


#14

I asked my grandmother a life long Southern Baptist if it was ever taught that the Roman Catholic Church was whore of Babylon and she said with concern heavens no.

We were talking about me confessing to a priest my sins and she was taught as a young Baptist to first seek forgiveness from the person who you did wrong, if you cannot find that person or they do not forgive you, then you must go to the church, and confess, she said that is very biblical.

It seems that tradtional baptist are very close to our own beliefs but today these new fundamental groups have spun even farther away from the Catholic teaching than the earliest reformers did.

a few points to ponder about being saved
Assurance of Salvation?
Mt 7:21 - not everyone saying “Lord, Lord” will inherit
Mt 24:13 - those who persevere to the end will be saved
Rom 11:22 - remain in his kindness or you will be cut off
Phil 2:12 - work out your salvation in fear and trembling
1Cor 9:27 - drive body for fear of being disqualified
1Cor 10:11-12 - those thinking they are secure may fall
Gal 5:4 - separated from Christ, you’ve fallen from grace
2Tim 2:11-13 - must hold out to the end to reign with Christ
Hb 6:4-6 - describes sharers in Holy Spirit who then fall away
Heb 10:26-27 - if sin after receiving truth, judgment remains


#15

[quote=AndrewL]Since these articles are stamped NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR by the Vatican , I would assume that this is the official Roman Catholic view. If it can be proven that the Woman is not Pagan Rome or Apostate Jerusalem, then the labels “ NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR” are false , and the Roman Catholic church would be in error .
[/quote]

http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/ani/yawn.gif One would do well to know what one is talking about before one writes.

Nihil obstat = nothing stands in the way

Imprimatur = It may be printed.

*Nihil obstat *is a negative protection; it means only that nothing written is contrary to Catholic teaching. These designations are made at the diocesan level, not from the Vatican.


#16

This is one of the many examples of where people like Andrew are getting their information from.

chick.com/catalog/books/excerpts/1252/1252ex1.asp


#17

[quote=mlchance][Begin Brief Hi-jack]

Invariably, it seems, anyone who criticizes another person’s grammar or spelling ends up with incorrect grammar and spelling himself…

[End Brief Hi-jack]

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!
:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

I should indeed know better by now!

RyanL


#18

The city of Rome sits on 7 hills.
The Vatican is not in the city of Rome and does not sit on 7 hills, nor does it sit on any one of the 7 hills in the city of Rome.

Vatican City is located across the Tiber River on a separate hill.

Vatican City is not the whore. :rolleyes:


#19

Even the resident Methodist knows that the imprimitur & nihil obstat are issued :nope: not by Rome, but by an :yup: individual bishop.
Interestingly enough, when I was growing up, my mother (yeah, Methodist) often checked for the nihil obstat in religious books when she didn’t know the author. She said that at least somebody was checking to be sure that someone wasn’t spouting :eek: errant nonsense…meaning, in 2005 terms, :eek: “New Age claptrap”.
It does not mean that this is official. It means that the author hasn’t written anything that is contrary to orthodox Christian understanding.
(The Latin has all ready been translated & explained very nicely; I won’t have to :Ddig out Mom’s Latin textbooks to do it).


#20

Andrew, first, welcome to the forum. I understand these are your first posts so let me make a recommendation, your posts are way, way, way too long to address. I understand your desire to address all of the pertenant points, but, it is impossible to address them all in one post. It is a common protestor strategy to give the scattergun or shotgun attack, knowing that all of the pellets can’t be covered. That’s fine if you’re hunting, but, if, as I hope, you are actually seeking the truth, try breaking down your questions or statements into single thoughts. In that way they can be addressed adequately.
As far as your statement about the “If it can be proven that the Woman is not Pagan Rome or Apostate Jerusalem, then the labels “ NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR” are false , and the Roman Catholic church would be in error ” if James Akin wrote errors, no, sorry, it would simply mean James Akin was wrong, he is not the Catholic Church. For a brief explaination please see: cin.org/mateo/mat93008.html
Just an article, again it could be wrong, it’s only written by a priest, there’s no infallibility associated with an individual priest either.
May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you
Tom


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