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 Romes 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 Gods judgment on the pagan empire that devastated and dominated his people. Soon after, Christians fearing arrest and execution championed Johns 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 Johns prophecies seemed disproven – instead of being destroyed, Rome became a Christian empire – those who loved Johns 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.
Narrator: Lorna Raver
Duration: 6 hours 27 minutes
Released: 12 Jun 2003
Publisher: Random House Audio