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Gos
January 28th, 2011, 04:20 PM
My personal view on this is that as long as the text progresses, there is an exponential increase in the number of years related to events. Perhaps the first chapters correlate with a magnitude of decades, the following with centuries, and the last chapters correspond to millions of years.



CDM,

I've moved the discussion of Biblical prophecy to a new thread, to avoid derailing Steve's thread about the pitfalls of scientific dissidence.

I'd take it a step further, and say that Revelation is not a prophecy of things that were to come, but a symbolization of recurring events in human history that have been going on since the Dawn of Man.

Take, for example, the fall of Babylon, 'prophesied' in Revelation, chapters 14, 16, 17, and 18.

Babylon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon) fell in the Third Century B.C. How did John 'prophecy' something that happened centuries before his own birth?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are another example of something that is said to symbolize a specific chain of events, where I am more prone to infer that they symbolize recurring events.

According to Revelation, the white horse symbolizes conquest, the red horse, war. The black horse symbolizes famine, and the pale horse represents death.

This exact series of conditions have repeated throughout human history. It always begins with conquest, which leads to war, which in turn causes famine (since war always destroys and/or wastes resources while producing nothing to replace them,) and famine is followed by (you guessed it) death. Then the survivors rebuild until they've produced enough for their neighbors to want to invade and take it from them, and the cycle of conquest/war/famine/death begins all over again.

John did NOT need to be a fortune-teller to figure this out.

Much of Revelation is like this, if you really read it. It's not a prophecy of the future at all, but of Man's ongoing history. It's not so much a prophesy as an epiphany.

And if one deals with Revelation as a symbolization of epiphany rather than as prophecy, it begins to make a lot more sense and becomes something that we can learn from (rather than the popular Christian usage, which is to use it to scare the shit out of people and get them to cough up cash.)


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cdm
January 28th, 2011, 04:54 PM
Bravo Gos

Very good thoughts indeed. The only thing I must object is that John was not an historian analyst, Brewzinski type, but he was a visioner. He recorded his visions and the interpretation is for the generations who came or to come. Of course I can not preclude the possibility he recorded wrongly some of his visions. It is like us when we record a dream. We can not recall every detail of it.

And another idea, about the Absinth period. Perhaps Absinth is a general mark of our era of multiple causes of pollution, in which the most prevailing is the pollution of water. ...
But you will not disagree that we are living in a very curious and strange era. After 19th century all is changing in a rather fast way. Changes used to come upon earth much more slowly the previous centuries.

Gos
January 28th, 2011, 05:19 PM
The only thing I must object is that John was not an historian analyst, Brewzinski type, but he was a visioner. He recorded his visions and the interpretation is for the generations who came or to come.


Who has claimed that John of Patmos was a visionary, or that his visions were of the future?

The author of Revelations himself makes no such claim. In fact, in three different verses (including the very first verse of the book, no less), he either implies or baldly states that the prophecies of Revelation were not for "generations to come", but for his own time.

It is only since then that Christians have twisted the book into an "end-time prophecy" which is always to be fulfilled in their own lifetime, be they of the 7th Century or the 21st, or at least in their immediate future. To do so, they completely ignore Revelation 1:1, 22:6, and 22:10, which all state plainly otherwise.


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cdm
January 28th, 2011, 10:46 PM
Gos

I guess that we all live in a time-space frame that limits our perception of the real time and the real space. What is "today"'s time? What is "time" and what is "day"?
When I was in high school a certain excellent theologian referred to the measure of the time of God. He told us a fascinating -to me- example.
He said that there is a certain rocky mountain on which top a bird comes once in a thousand years and strikes with its beck the rock of the mount once. This bird comes again after a thousand years to hit again the rock. When this bird manages to humble down the mount then this will denote the passing of one moment in God's measurement of time.
Origenes was I think the first theologian saying that the "days" of creation, referred in the book of Genesis, are extremely long periods and not the days as we mean it. There are several similar teachings in Hindu doctrines.
Einstein opened our horizons in exploring the relativity of time.
In this regard John, or even better he who inspired him, probably meant the real dimension of the word "today" or "nowadays". Your explanation of the recycling of human experience, with the 4 horses, is better in discriminating this huge and inexplorable truth: "Now" is much bigger than we may imagine.