The soteriology of Revelation

by Doug Mason 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    My Draft chapters on the Book of Revelation is available at:

    I am seriously seeking corrections, criticisms, and advice.



  • Confusedalot

    I like what you have done, but I must admit that I was hoping to see more about the symbolism.

    You say much of Revelation is influenced by the OT, and you say that many things in Revelation are symbolic. My personal study involves how this implies that some OT books we take literally may have had symbolic meaning to NT writers, and that we miss some spiritual insight because of this. Especially the books that are seen as less prophetic and more literal like Genesis. Early chapters of Genesis and Revelation 12 for example; where we see all the same actors: sun, moon stars, woman, snake/dragon etc.

    Any plan on addressing the symbolism and its meaning and resulting impact on the rest of the bible? If that is not the scope of the project that's fine, its just of personal interest. Other than that I'm not a writer, so I could not offer much advice, sorry!

  • venus

    Interestingly, Bible itself says God would not speak/write in symbols: "Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle?" (1 Cor 14:8)

  • Hanged Man
    Hanged Man

    All of the symbolism can be explained astrologically's all the zodiac.

    It's the cycle of one of the ages of the "great year" coming to its end....and the birth of the new cycle/age. (we even have new age movements today)

    There are 3 cycles...1/the daily cycle (which is like a small year.)

    2/the yearly cycle containing the 12 months/four seasons.

    And 3/ the great year caused by axial precession.

    It's the third cycle that is coming to the end of one of its aeons/age/system of things that is being explained....the end of Pisces the two fish......It has to make way for the age of Aquarius the water bearer.....follow him into his house (houses are used in astrology).

    Luke 22:10

    It's called "precession" because unlike the daily and yearly cycles......the third cycle does not proceed like those moves backwards through the zodiac.

    Taurus,Aries,Pisces and Aquarius.....rather than the usual cycle we are used to....Aquarius,Pisces,Aries and Taurus.

    The bible tells us about the end of the age of Taurus in the story of Moses.

    While he is up the mountain getting the new laws for the new age.....the people are clinging on to the old age of Taurus (those bitter clingers)....they were down and partying with the golden calf.....(the golden calf is the age of Taurus).....however Moses tells is over.....the new age of Aries the ram/lamb/sheep has blow the shofar horn and welcome the age of all astrologers know that Aries is ruled by Mars (the god of war) its off to constant war Israelites....obey your God Mars......and also they are now concerned with Shepherd kings/soldiers....i.e David......because Aries is the ram/sheep/lamb after all.

    Notice the end of every age....there is a culling of those who cling to the old the Taurean worshippers are now killed off....they had their chance to change....but no!

    After Aries (going backwards through the zodiac).....we next come to the sign of Pisces.....the two fish......and lo and behold...(what a coincidence guv'nor) we have Jesus connected to fishing and fish.....he even feeds people with two fish.......of course he does....he is the Piscean Messiah.

    Look at pics of old places of worship....and just happen to have two fish there.

    All because the big clock of is connected to the sign of Pisces.

    And for those who have ever asked the question.....why is the god of the old testament a warlord and the new testament god a beneficent/kindly god?

    Here is the answer.....Aries is ruled by mars....(warlord).

    Pisces is ruled by Jupiter....the Jovial god....and Jovial comes from Jupiter(Jew Peter)/Jove/Thor/Jehovah/Zeus (Je- Zeus).

    However.....the next age after Pisces (again going backwards) is Aquarius....the water we should expect water symbolism in revelation....and sure enough it is being poured out,as waters of life,coming from the urn of Aquarius.

    Christians today still have the fish of Pisces on the back of their cars......however in the centuries to come.....people will have a little water urn of Aquarius on the back of their hover cars : )

  • slimboyfat

    Two key issues I tried to understand in Revelation. What did the author mean by the "Lord's day" in Rev 1:10? Some, like JWs, believe it referred to a vision of the apocalypse. Others think that John simply had a vision on a Sunday. Which sets up the whole thing rather differently. I didn't see this discussed in the essay.

    Another is Rev 3:9. Who is John referring to as Jews here? Ethnic Jews or Christians as "spiritual Jews"? Does Revelation view the Jewish people as part of God's plan or as superseded by the Christian community of "spiritual" Jews?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Thanks for your comments. Please give me more.

    I am developing a Study that focuses on the history of Judaeo/Christian soteriology, and my material on Revelation is part of that focus.

    To date, the Study has grown and the ongoing Draft is available at:

    I update it each time I complete a Draft chapter.

    Right now, I am developing material on the various soteriologies of the early Israelites. In other words I am exploring their polytheistic foundation and the late emergence of monotheism by a literate minority.

    It is my hope that people will read the books I quote. There is a vast amount of material and I touch on only a sample indicative amount. My hope is that people will be inspired to dig and to dig deeply.

    If we are to understand Revelation, as with any other Biblical document, we have to read it as if we were living at the time a document was produced. None of them was writing to us. In every instance, the writer was completely focused on his immediate community, with the intention to influence them. None of them was writing to any later community. They were not writing to us.

    In Revelation, John was telling the followers of Jesus that they had to "overcome" and he portrayed their opponents -- Rome on earth and Satan in the heavenly realm -- in various guises, using dramatic symbols that had meaning to his immediate ekklesias (not "churches").

    The other canonised purely apocalyptic writing is Daniel, and it too employs mythical beasts. The key there is that the Book of Daniel was written 400 years after the events being portrayed. The 2nd century BCE writers of Daniel were giving coded messages to their own Jewish community while they were being persecuted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The authors used the beasts to symbolize the past and also their contemporary tormentors. That would have gone unnoticed by the Jews' oppressors.

    Even though Mathew 24 was written as a prophecy, it was created 15 years after Jerusalem had been destroyed. We must not try to impress our 21st century Western thinking on to them. Their "histories" are not literal. Their histories were written purely for religious purposes.

    I understand that the communities at the time that Revelation was written were not using the term "Christians". That term did not come into commonplace use until more than 100 years later. There were "Jews" (including Paul, Jesus, John, etc) and there were "Gentiles". Indeed, the writer of Revelation is obviously a Jew through and through. His imagery, his language, is completely full of Jewish idioms and scriptures. Nothing about the life and times of Jesus.

    I have not thought through what John meant by "Lord's Day". My gut feel is that he was talking about the divine intervention, which would be manifested by Jesus "coming soon" and the descent of the New Jerusalem. Those first century followers of Jesus expected these events were imminent. Imagine their heightened speculation.

    Long after Paul had died someone had to cool their ardour, writing what we now know as 2 Thessalonians. Almost 100 years later, it became clear that their expectations were not being met, so someone wrote those word in 2 Peter to soften the blow.

    Let me make my own position very clear: I am writing a history. I am not saying that I believe any of it or whether I agree with anything that any of them said. I am an objective documenter. I am not trying to prove, attack, or defend.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    None of Genesis is literal in the sense that we would understand. Their histories and stories were written for a religious purpose by several groups.

    There are two Creation stories, one written about a God named EL and a very different account by a group that used the name YHWH from the very start of their account

    Let me illustrate by looking at the YHWH Creation story which starts at Genesis 2:4b.

    The authors, who were a literate minority, belonged to the "YHWH-only" movement. The vast bulk of the nation were polytheists, both at the family level and in the royal household. Not only did they worship YHWH as a major God but they had other Gods, including the Goddess Asherah. She had been EL's wife but the masses assigned her to be YHWH's consort (wife). She or her symbols are mentioned (grudgingly, no doubt) about 40 times in the OT.

    Asherah's symbol was a tree. So we have people believing they would get their needs met by this goddess who was symbolised by a tree. It takes little thought to see the "Tree of Life" symbolism in Eden. So we have a woman and a tree of life deceiving Man.

    The snake also had positive symbolism. Consider how Moses' snakes were more powerful than Pharaoh's or the positive effect when Moses elevated a snake. It is even used to symbolize Jesus.

    And Satan had not developed the image it received during Europe's "Dark Ages".

    Thus we have this situation where the 'YHWH-only" writers created a story that attacked every element they hated within their community.

    If you want to discover more about the way they created history (historiography) study the Deuteronomic History and the context of the time it was written. Someone in the Persian Era (Ezra??) did not agree with the slant taken by the Deuteronomists, so he wrote the writings we call 1 and 2 Chronicles.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Further on the Yahwist creation story (Gen 2:4b ff):

    Jewish tradition says that Adam's first wife Lilith was formed from the earth in the same way that Adam was formed.

    However, being his equal, she refused literally to lie beneath him. So she was cast out. I think she became a demon or a goddess. You will need to check online resources.

    Eve was created out of Adam, and hence got her life through him. We can see the misogynist attitude of those male writers (8th to 6th century BCE). An attitude that continues to permeate most Eastern and Western societies. The intention of those writers was focused on destroying the nation's allegiances to goddesses, especially Asherah.

    The name "Eve" appears to be a reference to the Canaanite word for "snake". Remembering that the snake was held in high regard, especially in regards to rebirth (its shedding of its skin) and to fertility. Women were said to menstruate because Eve (and Adam) had sex with the snake.

    If that all sounds fanciful, and it is, keep it all in mind when reading and interpreting all of these Jewish mythologies. They are not literal accounts. They are morality tales, told for the purpose of influencing the people living among them.


  • peacefulpete

    The book of Revelation is one example of a popular genre of literature. peacefulpete

    Apocalypse of Abraham/Revelation comparison.


    Apocalypse of Abraham/Revelation comparison.


    4 ezra and revelation.

    BTW the author of Revelation is John of Presbyter not any John from the Gospels. It was sloppy tradition that confused the two.

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