Whitaker – Revelation for Normal People

Robyn J. Whitaker – Revelation for Normal People - A Guide to the Strangest and Most Dangerous Book in the Bible
Hi. I’m Robyn, a minister and biblical scholar from Melbourne, Australia. This book provides a brief introduction to the last book in the Bible called the Apocalypse, or Revelation. I think of Revelation as the weird cousin in the Bible—the one you have to invite to family events but would rather not spend much time with. It is one of those biblical books that Christians either ignore or get a little bit too obsessed with (you know the people I mean).
I became curious about Revelation as a teenager when I began hanging out with evangelical Christians. They quoted this text as if its meaning were obvious and we could directly map its contents onto our contemporary world. Yet, when I read it, what they saw as obvious didn’t seem very obvious to me at all. It was strange and confusing. Nothing in my mainstream church background had prepared me to read Revelation: we didn’t really talk about it. So, when I went to seminary, I jumped at the chance to take a class on Revelation. And thus began my love-hate-love affair with this book.
A few years before I started seminary, seventy-six people tragically died after a prolonged siege at the Mount Carmel Compound in Waco, Texas. As a South-African-born Australian migrant, the events at Waco were the first thing I learned about Texas, cementing in my mind the idea that religion gets a little wacky in certain parts of America. (Sorry, Texans—I have since lived in the U.S. and now know that you have great food and some pretty cool cities!)
During the media coverage of the Waco siege much was written about the cult known as the Branch Davidians. It is tempting to dismiss this group as brainwashed extremists who were duped by their clever but troubled leader, David Koresh, but we cannot do so too quickly. It is now well established that Koresh’s main biblical focus was Revelation: he described the community as “students of the seven seals” and proclaimed himself the Lamb of God who could open the seven seals and therefore interpret the prophecy. (The idea that a human leader is Revelation’s Lamb is unique to the Davidians.) The Davidian community interpreted the book of Revelation literally and, therefore, had prepared themselves for a literal holy war in anticipation of Christ’s imminent second coming. They were highly dualistic, seeing themselves as “the righteous” and identifying US government officials as agents of the evil empire. In such a worldview, violence is normalized and necessary for the end to come, martyrdom becomes the ultimate expression of faithfulness, and marginalized groups claim the status of a righteous minority who are at war with an evil majority. Alarmingly, their apocalyptic worldview—which set them against the world—is all too common and has been found among readers of Revelation throughout history.

Robyn J. Whitaker – Revelation for Normal People - A Guide to the Strangest and Most Dangerous Book in the Bible

The Bible for Normal People Series. - 142 p.
ISBN‎ 978-1736468685

Robyn J. Whitaker – Revelation for Normal People – Contents

  • 1. Revelation from 30,000 Feet
  • 2. Messages to the Seven Communities
  • 3. Game of Thrones
  • 4. Judgment
  • 5. Here Comes the Dragon
  • 6. The Great Whore
  • 7. Hell, Heaven, & the End
So What?
Things for Normal People to Read (Or Not ... No Judgment)
About this Book


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