Interesting analysis on the Book of Revelations from the New Yorker. I don’t know enough to judge this take, but I bet some readers here do. Longish excerpt below:
(New Yorker) – Revelation has every element that Michael Bay could want: dragons, seven-headed sea beasts, double-horned land beasts, huge C.G.I.-style battles involving hundreds of thousands of angels and demons, and even, in Jezebel the temptress, a part for Megan Fox.
Revelation, far from being meant as a hallucinatory prophecy, is actually a coded account of events that were happening at the time John was writing. It’s essentially a political cartoon about the crisis in the Jesus movement in the late first century, with Jerusalem fallen and the Temple destroyed and the Saviour, despite his promises, still not back. All the imagery of the rapt and the raptured and the rest that the “Left Behind” books have made a staple for fundamentalist Christians represents contemporary people and events, and was well understood in those terms by the original audience. Revelation is really like one of those old-fashioned editorial drawings where Labor is a pair of overalls and a hammer, and Capital a bag of money in a tuxedo and top hat, and Economic Justice a woman in flowing robes, with a worried look.
That sure makes more sense than cramming obscure and vague passages into the latest details of a crises in the Middle East or attributes of a dictator/madman du jure (And then conclucing only tax cuts for billionaires will save us!). At the age of 50 I’m old enough to have witnessed some half-dozen to a dozen world figures labeled the anti-christ or whatever the term is these days.