Question about the last book of the bible.

Even though I am Catholic, I just recently found out that Catholics don’t view Revelations the same way that Prodistants do. I learned that somewhere around the 1950’s our church stoped seeing it as a description of the end times and saw it as a message from John to the people of his time about things currently going on, but to prevent the Romans from censoring it he coded it by slightly changing small details and adding fantastic immagery. I’m very interested in finding out more about it. If anybody who knows about this can help me find resources to learn more about this (I.E. web sites, names of books to read, etc…)I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

I found this to be a fascinating website.


This is known as the “preterist” view of Biblical prophecy, which is that everything described has already happened. The Beast is Nero, the use of the number “seven” refers to the seven hills of Rome, etc. A search for “revelation and preterist” should turn up some relevant sites.

Thank you both for your help. I appreciate it.

Actually, it is more accurate to note that the idea that Revelation is supposed to be a blueprint for the last days is a fairly recent invention among a small group of Protestant groups. (They have gotten all the best publicity out of it for the last 150 years, however.)

Prior to the nineteenth century. Revelation was understood to be a “prophetic” book with a great deal of imagery, but it was not considered a point-by-point description of the final days. The imagery is so phantasmagorical, that it has had trouble even being accepted by the whole Christian church throughout its history. It was one of the last books accepted into the canon, with the Eastern Churches (who later became known as the Orthodox) not clearly accepting it as Scripture until tenth century. (Some Eastern churches accepted it much earlier, but opinions were divided until the later date.)

Martin Luther, when he set out to re-evaluate the canon that the RCC was using, initially considered throwing Revelation out, but later relented and kept all the 27 books of the New Testament, although he placed Revelation–with James, Hebrews, and Jude–at the end of his bible, separated from the “apostolic” (as he viewed them) works.

For a Catholic view of Revelation from 1907, check out this site: Catholic Encyclopedia - Book of Revelation

Thanks again. :slight_smile: