What did John mean at the end of Revelation?


#1

What did John mean when he said at the end of Revelation, “And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”? Does the Catholic Church have any specific interpretation, or is it meant to be understood exactly as it is?
Also, what would this mean for people who took books out of the Bible? I assume if they repented, God would forgive them, right? What if someone just had difficult accepting something they thought was in the Bible but wasn’t sure, and decided it probably wasn’t in the Bible until they realized it was in the Bible and therefore needed to believe in it? Would they be accused of taking away “words from this scroll of prophecy,”?


#2

I’m not aware of any official Church teaching on Rev 22:19, but a number of Saints and commentators have penned a few lines about it as well as verse 18. See Chapter 22 at the link:

Aquinas Study Bible on Revelation

Mike


#3

When John wrote Revelation the bible didn’t exist, he was only speaking about the book of Revelation.


#4

I’m not sure about that specific line, but I am finishing up Scott Hahn’s book The Lamb’s Supper. It is a beautiful interpretation of Revelation that makes so much sense as a Catholic!


#5

The text itself answers this. “this scroll of prophecy”

Also, what would this mean for people who took books out of the Bible? I assume if they repented, God would forgive them, right? What if someone just had difficult accepting something they thought was in the Bible but wasn’t sure, and decided it probably wasn’t in the Bible until they realized it was in the Bible and therefore needed to believe in it? Would they be accused of taking away “words from this scroll of prophecy,”?

Has no application unless they tamper with Revelation. Just as similar OT passages apply only to the context in which they appear.


#6

Thank you for giving to know about this book.
These days I am listening different series of lectures of Church opponents, I mean too bold interpretations of other denominations, in some confessions the apocalyptic interpretations are becoming over-popular. so I think it’s very good that the theologians of the Church pay attention to publications on this subject.


#7

I have done what you did, living in the Chicago area for more than 15 years, I listened to Protestant and evangelical radio programs, and some spoke about Rev 22:18 in the most literal way.

Well, the first problem as someone said, is that these preachers extrapolate it over the whole Bible, and that is the Protestant Bible (Luther’s heretical bible). These same preachers I heard sooner or later would drift into interpretations of scripture that I could not agree with as a Catholic.

They would attack the Catholic Church saying that it wasn’t necessarily “the true gospel” simply because it was so old. Then, a few minutes later on that radio station, they’d say, "help us celebrate 40 years of broadcasting ‘the gospel’ on " their radio network. They rip Catholics for a long history, then turn around and magnify their own history. It speaks for itself, how THEY preach a false gospel. THEY do not practice what they preach.

There was one well-known preacher who had a live program. And, so I called in and put him on the spot. He would regularly read a verse of scripture and then ADD to it “AND THAT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE.” And, I asked him why he did that? If it was ‘scripture’ then it was true, amen. Was is any MORE true because of his rhetorical flourish? Was it true BECAUSE HE SAID SO? So, the guy who forever was browbeating people about Rev 22:18 was the worst offender of it that I ever encountered.

I point out to him that Christ said let you ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’

I continued to listen to him for a while, and he stopped those self-aggrandizing flourishes about scripture. Now, this was only turning HIS rule against him, his interpretation of Rev 22:18 against him – to use 2 Tim 3:16, to use scripture for correction.

What is the evidence of the Catholic Church. Look at Acts 15:20, which indicates that gentile converts should avoid eating blood. Well, does the Catholic Church have a commandment about not eating blood? According to that verse, it DID. And, things drifted along just fine, until, as I read a couple days ago (maybe here on these forums), that the Council of Florence came along and ruled that that prohibition was a historical necessity for converts from paganism, but was not mandatory since that Council. So, is that “taking away” from scripture? or is it just understanding it in its historical context?

And, what’s more interesting in that chapter, if only those four things from the Mosaic law and ONLY those things (idolatry, eating meat sacrificed to idols, “unlawful marriage” [NAB translation], and eating blood), then what about the prohibition against homosexuality in the old testament? Does that prohibition “go away” according to the discussion in Acts 15, as circumcision “went away”?

see next post from me


#8

I read a lot of Jewish commentaries and check out some Jewish websites. Last night, I came across a discussion about the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. the written torah is confusing and contradictory,so the modern rabbis say, that’s why G-d gave the Oral torah, to explain all the issues with the written Torah and the inevitable extensions of the written Torah (e.g. explaining contradictions and conflicting commandments, etc.)

Is that not what our Church says, that our faith rests on scripture and Tradition (equally, as the Jews say about the written and oral Torahs) and on the living magisterium of the Church?

Every religion seems to have some combination of authority of a written tradition, oral tradition, and magisterium – every religion. The Catholic Church is not unique in that, except in PROCLAIMING that truth.

Ultimately in Protestantism as in Islam, etc. every person is a pope and making their own decisions. We, Catholics, read the same scripture and profess what Christ did first in ordaining leaders of His church, and He didn’t even mention writing anything down. It was only practical to write down and capture the early faith of the Church and for the later leadership of the Church to stick to it and maintain the faith, even in changing historical and cultural circumstances.

so, Rev 22;18 is not the whole story. Our church teaches us to focus ultimately on the whole story.

Historically, “Moses” wrote and handed down the same rule about not adding or taking away from the Torah (in Deuteronomy), but look at all the other inspired writings in Jewish scripture that were added. And, later, along comes the Talmud ( Talmud Torah – “study of God’s instructions”) which the Jewish actually consider inspired and as taking precedence over the Torah itself (depending on which traditional group of Judaism you look at). And Reformed Judaism doesn’t even take the Torah as inspired and normative in our age; they’re looking for new inspiration from God, notwithstanding Moses admonition not to add or take away from his teaching. So, this Rev 22:18 stuff and its OT predecessor, have to be taken according to your conscience and faith in the Catholic Church, because everybody else, it seems, is all over the map.


closed #9

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