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Extended Audio Sample Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, by Elaine Pagels Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (586 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elaine Pagels Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Elaine Pagels explores the surprising history of the most controversial book of the Bible.
In the waning days of the Roman Empire, militant Jews in Jerusalem had waged an
all-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea, and their defeat resulted in the desecration
of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. In the aftermath of that war, John of Patmos, a Jewish
prophet and follower of Jesus, wrote the Book of Revelation, prophesying God’s judgment
on the pagan empire that devastated and dominated his people. Soon after, Christians fearing
arrest and execution championed John’s prophecies as offering hope for deliverance from
evil. Others seized on the Book of Revelation as a weapon against heretics and infidels
of all kinds.

Even after John’s prophecies seemed disproven—instead of being destroyed, Rome
became a Christian empire—those who loved John’s visions refused to discard them and
instead reinterpreted them—as Christians have done for two thousand years. Brilliantly
weaving scholarship with a deep understanding of the human needs to which religion speaks,
Pagels has written what may be the masterwork in her unique career.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ryan Haczynski | 2/16/2014

    " Another great read from Pagels. Rife with copious notes, her scholarship is impressive yet delivered in an accessible and interesting way. This short treatise goes well beyond the Book of Revelation attributed to John of Patmos, delving into Pagels' main area of speciality, formative Christianity. I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in early Christian history, the formation of the church, the creed, or the canon. Her book, _The Origin of Satan_, is also excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shannon Black | 2/9/2014

    " It was a really good read, but I also felt like she just blew through a lot of stuff. It was fairly short and just went by too fast. I couldn't tell if she was trying to just write for other religious scholars who she assumed already knew most of it or was oversimplifying it for everyone. I still really enjoyed it - but it definitely could be another hundred pages or so. I really enjoyed how she gave tons of historical details to the time period when the books were written. She just seemed to skip over a lot of what would be awesome controversies and stories if only she fleshed them out a bit more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Genie | 2/6/2014

    " Important book for the layperson trying to understand eithef the construction of the Bible or that part of our religious and daily culture that focused on images and concepts from Revelations. I found Pagels' interpretation compelling and convincing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lyle West | 1/30/2014

    " This work is interesting and stimulating. I have no expertise to check Pagels' facts, but she writes clearly and convincingly. Theology always has many viewpoints. Other writers probably would interpret the evidence differently, but Pagels view adds a great deal to my understanding of the early development of Christianity. "

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