The Book of Revelation has defined the Christian concept of the Apocalypse, in terms of imagery and prophecy, more than any other book included in the Bible. For nearly 2,000 years, the final book of the New Testament has inspired some of Western culture’s greatest paintings, music and poetry.
In her new book “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation,” Princeton University religious professor Elaine Pagels examines the Book of Revelation in context of the time it was written, in the first century during a Roman war against Jews, and who it was written by, a likely refugee from Jerusalem called “John of Patmos.” Pagels also investigates why the book seems so different in tone and content than the rest of the New Testament and why the Book of Revelation has been so controversial, in light of interpretations and doomsday prophecies.
What are your thoughts about the Book of Revelation? Why is its authorship and content widely disputed?
Elaine Pagels, professor of Religion, Princeton University and the author of “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation”