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Download Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation Audiobook, 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: March 2012 ISBN: 9780307988270
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alida | 1/21/2014

    " I guess I expected more in depth analysis of previous apocalypses and then a comparison with the book of revelation. But it was interesting to find out how it was used by the church "fathers" to demonize others that don't agree with your viewpoint and plans of conquest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 1/18/2014

    " I expected this to be more about the actual Revelations. It was actually about how the book ended up as part of the New Testament, which was interesting enough. Pagels presents the history without apparent bias, but I couldn't help but wish there was some way to know which of the historical figures was actually a representative of Christ's true church. I believe that sometime before the formation of the Catholic Church there was a general apostasy, but when you look at all the sources it can be difficult to say where the falling away actually occurred. This is not Pagels' fault; she is a faithful historian, and there's really no way other than prophetic revelation to know this information. Pagels also addresses what revelation is and how it was taught by various figures, which is interesting but pretty academic until the very end of the conclusion. I was interested by the new knowledge to be gained by the findings at Nag Hammadi, but there's no way to know which of these writings was actually authorized by God. Again, it requires prophetic revelation by one in authority. I do believe in modern prophets and ongoing revelation, but I believe it is perhaps best that they are silent on these writings. What Pagels presents is interesting, and knowledge is always good, but I did have a hard time getting into it. Fortunately the book is only half as long as it looks, unless you choose to read the extensive notes that took up about half the page count. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Wills | 1/18/2014

    " Pagels sections which dealt with the ways church leaders have used the Book of Revelation for political gain were my favorites. I found her discourse on Athanasius to be very interesting. It was a good review of Church History! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jordan | 1/6/2014

    " Literalists be crazy. How on earth can you believe that any of this is going to happen? Oy... I need to stop reading books about the bible - they just get my dander up. I did enjoy this book, in the same way that I enjoy watching hoarders. Crazy people are fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Maerten-Moore | 12/17/2013

    " Interesting. Much more about the history surrounding Revelations than the book of Revelations itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hanscom | 12/11/2013

    " Excellent book, which analyzes not only the Apocalypse of John but others as well, and gives background and history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cary | 8/30/2013

    " Very, very interesting and informative. A must read for any professed Christian. Even though they won't read it, because it might make them think for themselves. Should be read along with "The Origin of Satan", by the same author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 6/27/2013

    " Pagels is a first-rate scholar but this felt like a book rushed together for a deadline (the Easter season) and was not up to her usual excellence. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil | 6/15/2013

    " While it is a concise overview of the history of the Church's love/hate relationship with Revelation, Pagels doesn't really bring anything new to the table. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve Goble | 6/11/2013

    " I really enjoyed "The Gnostic Gospels" by the same author, and there is some interesting history in this volume. But it was a bit of a dry read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cjeight | 5/1/2013

    " I was looking for a non-biased academic type approach. This one isn't it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan Divack | 3/24/2013

    " I found her take on the Jewish Christian origin of Revelation to be fascinating but the sections on the Nag Hammadi manuscripts to be unnecessary and repetitive of her earlier work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 3/5/2013

    " even though i'm an atheist i love reading about the bible "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mark | 12/17/2012

    " This author isn't what she's cracked up to be. Other reviewers gush about her scholarship, but she ignores obvious stuff and capitalizes on obscure stuff. She loves baloney. C'mon, before you buy her baloney, read some stuff that she doesn't agree with. "

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About the Author
Author Elaine PagelsElaine Pagels earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in classical studies at Stanford, and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; The Origin of Satan; and The Gnostic Gospels, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award. She is currently the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, and she lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and children.
About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and fifrteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. An experienced stage actress, she has also guest-starred on many top television series and starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell. Her numerous audiobook credits include The Age of Innocence, Up from Orchard Street, The Lodger, Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker, and Diamond Ruby.