What is the real source of these ideas that so many people attribute to the book of Revelation? Whoever wrote it sheltered in a cave on the Greek island of Patmos, probably a refugee from Roman occupied Palestine. He is also likely to have consumed the local hallucinogenic magic mushrooms. So rather than taking these bizarre visions literally, it might make more sense to try to understand them in their historical context.
There are some 40 apocalyptic books from this era but this was the only one that made it into the Bible. If the author was writing about the hated Roman Empire, it could be that the seven heads of the beast meant the seven emperors.
The mark of the beast could be the head of the emperor on the coins. The dreaded 666 very likely represented three letters indicating the Emperor Nero – representing letters by numbers was, and is, common in Hebrew. If so, instead of being a description of a world in chaos, it could be seen as a book of morality, optimism and faith.
Let's hope the End Timers start to see it like that before their actions really do bring about the end of the world.
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