Book of the Month

Elaine Pagels on the Book of Revelation

By Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, March 5, 2012

Gopnik reviews biblical scholar Pagels' new book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation,” which makes a strong case that the Book of Revelation was mostly political,

that Revelation is essentially an anti-Christian polemic. That is, it was written by an expatriate follower of Jesus who wanted the movement to remain within an entirely Jewish context, as opposed to the “Christianity” just then being invented by St. Paul, who welcomed uncircumcised and trayf-eating Gentiles into the sect. At a time when no one quite called himself “Christian,” in the modern sense, John is prophesying what would happen if people did. That’s the forward-looking worry in the book....

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