Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, And Politics In The Book Of Revelation

Paperback | February 26, 2013

byElaine Pagels

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A profound exploration of the Bible's most controversial book—from the author of Beyond Belief and The Gnostic Gospels

The strangest book of the New Testament, filled with visions of the Rapture, the whore of Babylon, and apocalyptic writing of the end of times, the Book of Revelation has fascinated readers for more than two thousand years, but where did it come from? And what are the meanings of its surreal images of dragons, monsters, angels, and cosmic war?

            Elaine Pagels, New York Times bestselling author and "the preeminent voice of biblical scholarship to the American public" (The Philadelphia Inquirer), elucidates the true history of this controversial book, uncovering its origins and the roots of dissent, violence, and division in the world's religions. Brilliantly weaving scholarship with a deep understanding of the human needs to which religion speaks, Pagels has written what may be the masterwork of her unique career.

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From the Publisher

A profound exploration of the Bible's most controversial book—from the author of Beyond Belief and The Gnostic GospelsThe strangest book of the New Testament, filled with visions of the Rapture, the whore of Babylon, and apocalyptic writing of the end of times, the Book of Revelation has fascinated readers for more than two thousand ye...

Elaine Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship best known for her studies and writing on the Gnostic Gospels. Pagels graduated from Stanford University receiving a B.A. in 1964 and an M.A. in 1965. She received a Ph.D in religion from Harvard Uni...

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The Gnostic Gospels
The Gnostic Gospels

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Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
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Reading Judas: The Gospel Of Judas And The Shaping Of Christianity
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see all books by Elaine Pagels
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.6 inPublished:February 26, 2013Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143121634

ISBN - 13:9780143121633

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Customer Reviews of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, And Politics In The Book Of Revelation

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from revelations about revelation i ordered this book because i thought at the price it was a bargain , i thoroughly enjoyed it and will look at other books from this author Elaine Pagels
Date published: 2014-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very appropriate Remarkably, the book of Revelation still remains an attention-grabbing literary work. Some have wondered who wrote this final NT book, was it the Apostle John or was it another John? Others (myself included) have wondered where John got his mushrooms from. It was noted early on in Church history that the book of Revelation departed significantly from the Apostle John’s other material, so much so that it was one of the seven NT books that were disputed in the early Church. Jerome (347-420 C.E.), commissioned by Constantine to assemble accepted Christian writings, relegated it to second class status. Even the well-known reformer Martin Luther was puzzled by this book. It turns out that tying the authorship of this apocalypse to the Apostle John aided in the case for its canonical inclusion. Author Elaine Pagels provides compelling rationale for attributing the authorship to a “John of Patmos” who was likely a second generation Jewish Christian, and not to the Apostle John. She suggests logical motives behind John’s message. Dr. Pagels then takes the reader on a journey of this apocalyptic book as it made its way into the canon, highlighting the efforts of Athanasius who put the final stamp on its canonicity. As an added bonus, Dr. Pagels book transverses a lot of pre-Nicaean and Nicaean era history along with background on other books of revelation found buried at Nag Hammadi that did not receive a passing grade. The author provides valuable insight into second through fourth century politics surrounding the promotion of the book of Revelation as orthodox. Revelations may not sit well with dispensationalists who employ the vivid imagery of the book of Revelation to promote the fear of a soon coming end time. I on the other hand, found this book to be an excellent, easy to read historical reference book (usually an oxymoron) and appreciated the inclusion of a significant number of references. I highly recommend this work to anyone who is interested not only in the final book of the NT, but also in an overview of early Church history. Still the one drawback is that Revelations never addresses the more pressing question, that being the secret gnosis of where John got his mushrooms from.
Date published: 2012-07-19

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Editorial Reviews

"Revelations is a slim book that packs in dense layers of scholarship and meaning . . . One of [Elaine Pagels's] great gifts is much in abundance: her ability to ask, and answer, the plainest questions about her material without speaking down to her audience . . . She must be a fiendishly good lecturer." — The New York Times"One of the significant benefits of Pagels's book is its demonstration of the unpredictability of apocalyptic politics . . . The meaning of the Apocalypse is ever malleable and ready to hand for whatever crisis one confronts. That is one lesson of Pagels's book. Another is that we all should be vigilant to keep some of us from using the vision for violence against others." — The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)"Pagels is an absorbing, intelligent, and eye-opening companion. Calming and broad-minded here, as in her earlier works, she applies a sympathetic and humane eye to texts that are neither subtle nor sympathetically humane but lit instead by fury." — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker"Any book in the Bible that can be cited simultaneously by deeply conservative end-of-times Christians who see the Apocalypse around the corner and by Marxist-friendly Christians looking forward to justice at the End of History must have a compelling back story. That back story is told well and concisely by Elaine Pagels in her new book, Revelations." — The Boston Globe