Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Many scholars believed the book or Revelation was written about 95 A.D. This happened to be the time during the rule of the Emperor Domitian (90-95 A.D). John is thought to have written this book to those seven churches under the Emperor?s rule. John also during this time was said to have been exiled by Roman authorities to the island of Patomos, which is an island off the coast of Asia. John was one of the eyewitnesses to the incarnate Christ, and he said he was given an vision by God for Jesus? return. He was also given a vision to the future of the final judgment and God?s ultimate triumph over evil. This was the main reason he was writing this book, but in another sense he was actually giving hope to those people under persecution, and that hope will arrive soon, and he thought amazingly he would be still alive during the second coming.

(The New Oxford Annotated Bible; Oxford University Press, New York. pp. 362-364) This book relates to the modern world in many ways. We still believe this book and what the final judgment shall be, but instead our modern society has put it in a more futuristic sense and not as if it will happen some time in the near future. Our whole culture uses this very idea to reach many people through their every day lives. This is used to keep people more faithful to God because at any moment, the end will come and they will either live in glory forever or be cast into hell for eternal damnation. This works in many ways for the social stability we need to go about our everyday lives. If we did not have something to hold us back from committing sinful acts, our society would be in utter chaos. This is the pessimistic view often taken that it is used as a trap to make the weaker follow the orders that are truly just beneficial to the very few in our society, those in control. It is not always used in the straight format through the Bible, but in different aspects for the oppressors and the oppressed. The ones that are oppressed like this idea because it means hope, and to preserve, for good things will happen to those more deserving. The oppressors use this same idea, but in a very different way. It controls those in lower classes to keep them working and to challenge them with eternal damnation if they step out of line. These are the deep roots of the mentality of people and their unexplainable power they have accumulated.

The Millennium was a very good example of Apocalypticism. Some people began to fear the end of the world and formed cults. It was a very strange thing to happen, but it was obvious that in the back of everyone?s mind they were unsure about the next day and what it would bring. Many precautions were taken from extreme to the smallest of thoughts. This was done because of our own beliefs and ideas that have been around for so long that we were simply frightened, overwhelmed, and deathly scared of the unknown.

All the ideas and descriptions of the ?Final Judgment? keep me continuously rooted in the ideas that frighten me so much. It is hard to stop apocalyptic thinking when that is all that you have known and practiced just like everyone around you. It gives our world stability as well as hope to live with ?God? and to have eternal life. The idea of coming to heaven gives people a sense of purpose and well being in society. Either they are the ones who will follow the true Christ in the second coming or they will be lead astray the Antichrist. I liked this book for multiple reasons. It gives us hope to keep going when there is nothing going for us. Many minorities who are oppressed can hold on and trust that things will get better in the future. For example, many of the African-Americans were very religious people during slavery. This was one of the few things that could not be take away from them unlike their family, homes, or freedom. They preserved through being beaten, sold, and treated like dirt in many cases only because of the hope that they felt through their religion. Stories like this are always more pronounced in time when a group is being oppressed and they must strive to keep their hopes up and live day by day. The stories may not be as pronounced but people still look to the bible to give them hope for the future.

Without these beliefs of hope that have been passed down from generation to generation today?s lives would seem meaningless. We would have no reason to keep living or to strive to become something greater. Religion would not exist and hope for the future would be non-existent. The fear of a ?Final Judgment? keeps people in line and enables them to stay closer to ?God?. The idea of eternal damnation, crashing thunder, walls of fire, and agonizing pain is enough to keep most people in line and on the ?straight and narrow?.

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