Blessed Is the One Who Reads and Those Who Hear the Words of Prophecy
Fraatz, Charles Thomas. “Blessed Is the One Who Reads and Those Who Hear the Words of Prophecy”, Boston College, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107708.
The recognition of Rome in the ciphered images of Revelation 13 and 17–18 is a hallmark of historical criticism on the Revelation to John (John’s Apocalypse). This dissertation examines Revelation’s use of scripture to characterize the Roman Empire like the nations God has already defeated. The prophet-seer John spurred his audience, the churches of Asia Minor, to abandon pagan practices of eating meat sacrificed to idols and participation in emperor worship, practices seemingly tolerated by John’s opponents, Jezebel and the Nicolaitans. Unlike the majority of contemporary Jewish and Christian apocalypses, Revelation uses neither ex eventu prophecy nor pseudepigraphic narration to authorize its message to “come out” of Rome. Instead, Revelation alludes to scripture hundreds, if not a thousand, times. When describing Rome in Revelation 13 and 17–18, John alludes some six dozen times to the defeated Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the nations of Babylon, Tyre, Nineveh, and Edom, and the justly punished Judah and Samaria. God showed his servants the prophets the downfall of these powers, and they all fell. Likewise, he has shown John the vision of Rome’s desolation and the things which will happen to it soon.