Book of Revelation Reading Revelation: Term Paper

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This choice has to do with the free will God gave all humankind at the beginning, as written in Genesis 1-4: since the days of Adam and Eve. Inherently, we may wish to do good with our free will, just as Eve wished not to eat from the Tree of Life. But like Eve and Adam, we must struggle within ourselves against doing evil instead. Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise within Genesis underscores (and foreshadows) humankind's vulnerability to temptation and sin and our need to remain vigilant and fight hard against it, a key motif of Revelation, and Revelation 12-13 in particular.

The appearance of the two beasts of Revelation 13, the seabeast and the beast of the earth, is preceded, within Revelation 12, by the appearance of the dragon, representing Satan fallen to earth. Michael and his angels have fought hard against it in Heaven, but have not succeeded in vanquishing the dragon - only in displacing it. On earth, the dragon continues evil and destructive quest to vanquish goodness, faith, and virtue. But God gives "the woman who had given birth to the male child" (Revelation 12:13), whom the dragon now energetically pursues, wings to escape the rapacious dragon:

13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert... 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring -- those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12: 13-17)

In this essay, I have focused mostly on Revelation 12-13, because, although all the chapters speak to me in one way or another, these two chapters are, for me, the most powerful, and resonate most personally.
Overall, I read the Book of Revelation as more of a symbolic prophesy of an ongoing struggle between good and evil that will result, after much sacrifice and struggle, in the ultimate triumph of good over evil on earth. I read Revelations metaphorically, but also as a very real representation of the struggle between good and evil that we all face, individually and collectively, and that will in the future most definitely determine the fate of humankind here on earth. To me, Revelation means hope, victory, and the triumph of good over evil forces in the world, but not without many trials, struggles, disappointments, challenges, and sacrifices. In that respect, Revelation evokes a feeling of hopefulness within me, but also some anxiety. Will we be up to the task of fighting long and hard against evil, or will too many of us tire of the task before our goal is accomplished? To me, Revelation is prophesy, but prophesy springs from history: without the first, the second cannot exist, since it would have no relevancy except as a counterpoint to the past (and the present). Revelation could be fantasy or fiction, but as the saying goes "truth is stranger than fiction"; and, indeed, Revelation presents us with an extremely strange text. All in all, Revelation moves me a great deal, and neither saddens nor angers me. That is because, above all else, I read Revelation as a symbolically allegorical text about the strength of the human spirit, past, present, and future, and of humankind's capacity to endure, and ultimately to vanquish, destruction and evil here on earth.

Works Cited

Book of Revelation." Wikipedia. Retrieved October 11, 2005, from: http://en.


Bratcher, Dennis. "Interpreting the Book of Revelation." The Voice. Retrieved October 11, 2005, from:

Genesis 1-2. The Old Testament. In The Norton Anthology of World Literature,

Beginnings to A.D. 100, Vol. A (Pkg. 1).

Sarah Lawall et al. (Ed.). New York:

Norton, 2002.….....

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