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Revelations Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

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 2,000 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.

©2012 Elaine Pagels (P)2012 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (298 )
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  •  
    Chris arnold, MO, United States 05-04-12
    Chris arnold, MO, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Grandma?!?"

    The narrator sounds like someones 75 year old grandmother who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day for the past 50 years, . Never could get used to her narration and the narrator seem to me to have read the book with a sort of disdain or contempt for Christianity, which I don't believe the author intended. It was in a sort of sarcastic tone. Hard to explain.

    The book however, is very enlightening on the history of Christianity. I have learned a great deal about early Christians and the initial movement. Loved the descriptions of the early monastic life of many christian sects, very moving.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 04-04-12
    Jeff 04-04-12
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    "I wanted more on the modern history of the book"
    Would you try another book from Elaine Pagels and/or Lorna Raver?

    I got this book because I have always been fascinated at people's interpretations to the book of Revelations. This book does a thorough job of detailing the history of the book to the point of it's inclusion in the bible. But what I was looking for was what has happened since then. The description of the book seemed to hint that this would be discussed but sadly it was not. If you looking for an examination of Revelations and some of the early history this will definitely fit the bill.


    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allen A. Watson 03-10-17
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    "Great summary of early church history."

    I was really struck by the importance of Athanasius and Constantine in the developing history of early Christianity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 01-02-17
    William 01-02-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Expanded my Horizon"

    Im a Christian with a lot of questions and most have to do with Revelation. Thank you Elaine for helping me to put into perspective what i hope the Lord has been trying to tell me on a personal level. Youve enlightened me. Happy New Year and God Bless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dewey 12-28-16
    Dewey 12-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "great history and very well written"

    as a devote christ follower I enjoyed this book. it dives deep in biblical history specifically surrounding the final book of the new testimate. it get a little long in the tooth but I enjoy the in depth research and background surrounding the bible and the context in which it was written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg 09-06-16
    greg 09-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book"

    Great book however I would not agree with her conclusions. Very insightful. A must for serious bible students.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Ritchey CHICO, CA, US 08-11-16
    Kyle Ritchey CHICO, CA, US 08-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "good intel"

    I enjoyed the broader view and historical account of the book of Revelation. Understanding the origins of the modern Bible is something all Christians should pursue as part of developing their relationship with Christ.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dbernelle 03-31-16
    dbernelle 03-31-16
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    "Elaine Pagels does it again!"

    I always enjoy professor Pegel's books and audiobooks. This book and also the accompanying audiobook is historically detailed and provides very concise background regarding John of Parmos' Book of Revelation, providing social details of that period of human history, and also other religious works from the same time period. It was very interesting to learn the background of what and why we have what we do as the accepted Old and New Testament. The power struggle among the early church leaders explains a lot about how the Roman government stole a religion, how the formation of the early Roman Catholic Church assured women lost their place in early Christianity, and also how a strong-willed clergy can take over nations and gain vast amounts of wealth.

    I don't want to seem to throw negative insinuations toward any religion, but the knowledge and comparisons are there to understand and make for yourself. After all, one should remember that the most important thing about Christianity is Christ!

    I think it behooves each person truly interested in knowing and understanding the totality of Christianity should study the deeper aspects of Christianity, especially it's early teachings, not just the teachings that someone approximately 1700 years ago decided that you should know about and study.

    The full God, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit are very much alive in this day and age, as they always have been, and always will be. Thank you for reading this review and my views regarding this work by Elaine Pagels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretchen Hunter Greenfield, IN United States 01-10-16
    Gretchen Hunter Greenfield, IN United States 01-10-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Too Much"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Revelation is not an easy book to write about, but it is not boring. I was bored.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    isa1983 USA 09-28-15
    isa1983 USA 09-28-15 Member Since 2012

    Isa

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    "Less about the book of Revelations, more about time period politics"

    I was looking for a book that could potentially explain Revelations, so I was a little disappointed, yet curious, when I realized this book was more about the political context related to the writing and inclusion of Revelations in the bible. Still, it is very interesting stuff, especially the part about "secret books" of the bible. Will certainly be looking up the gnostic gospels in the future. Worth a listen for context sake.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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