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....
Former Iraqi military officers and Baathists exploit Jihad, and control ISIS across Iraq and Syria. The shadowy figures send foreign fighters out to die while they run the terrorist organization with utmost secrecy. The blanket exclusion of the Baath from power they were accustomed to by the US and Shiite government, and firing of the Army by order of Paul Bremer and GW Bush, led to the formation of ISIS.
Yesterday Calbuco Volcano erupted for the first time in about 50 years. During the night it sent off a second round of lava and ash. This article was the best one I could find that covers the event with detail, pictures and video. Calbuco is in Southern Chile and is part of the ring of fire. Chile has the largest amount of these volcanoes in this chain. The main worry is that the ash column will collapse and send a pyroclastic flow over the area for several hundred miles that could destroy everything. The volcano was covered with ice and snow before it erupted so there is a watch for flooding of ash and water in the streams.