Sample Religious Studies Paper on Controversies Surrounding the Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation is the last book in the Christian bible. As Esposito, Fasching and
Lewis explain, the book is believed to have been written by a man identified as John (136).
Christians believe that John wrote the book after he received visions while at the Island of
Patmos. Despite being written out of visions, the book of revelation provokes controversy
among Christians as there is no consensus on how it should be read or applied in Christianity.
Over the years, the book of revelation has provoked both fear and hope among the Christian
faithful as they try to understand its complex symbolic visions.
While most part of the New Testament focus on birth, suffering, death and resurrection of
Jesus, the book of Revelation talks about the second coming of the lord. According to Esposito et
al., Revelation predicts that the end time is coming, a time when Jesus will come back (136). The
book details that the first 1000 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus were to be marked
by peace on earth. However, this period was to be followed with a period of fierce battle between
the forces of God and the forces of the Satan. The battle would lead to the defeat of the satanic
forces after which a New Jerusalem will come to the earth. This is the moment when Jesus Christ
will come back to the earth, raise the dead, and end all the sufferings.

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The controversy surrounding the book of Revelation did not just start with the modern
Christianity as even the ancient churches questioned its genuineness. As Esposito et al.
elaborates, many communities in the ancient Eastern Greek-speaking Christianity had rejected
the book. The early Christians did not think that the book was a true revelation. However, the
Latin churches of the European Christianity later accepted the book as part of the Christian bible
but some Christians across the world still continued to doubt the book. In as late as the sixteenth
century, the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther still expressed reservation about the
book f Revelation.
Among the controversies in the book of Revelation is in its possible interpretation, given
that the book is written in symbolism. Esposito et al. notes that Christians are not sure on
whether the book is supposed to be read literally or symbolically (137). The book uses
mysterious symbols to relate and describe scenarios. Some symbols are, however, scaring and
provokes fear among the readers.
In addition to questioning the possible meaning of the indirect imagery and symbols used
in the book of Revelation, some Christians have also challenged the authenticity of the message
communicated by the book. Notably, some themes advanced in the book of revelation such as
the prediction of the second coming of Jesus Christ contrasts the ideas developed by the other
books in the new Testament. Esposito et al. cites an example of Jesus’ own sentiments in
Mathew 24: 36 where he allegedly said that no one knows when he will come back (137).
According to the author of Mathew, even Jesus himself did not have an idea about his second
coming, only God himself knows. Yet, the author of Revelation gives the people signs to watch
out to know the end time is approaching. Based on Revelation, many generations of Christians
have believed that Jesus was about to come based on what they observe in their own time.

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However, it remains uncertain on whether the predictions given in the book of Revelation are
anything to believe in or whether to believe in the book of Mathew that no one can really know
the time when Jesus will come back.
In conclusion, the book of Revelation is the last of the 27 books in the New Testaments.
While most of the other books in the new testament focus on the life and gospel of Jesus Christ,
the book of Revelation reveals what will be expected just before and during the second coming
of Jesus. The book is written using symbolism, provoking questions in whether Christians are
supposed to take its literal meaning or should attempt to interpret the symbols. Historically,
Christians have questioned the sincerity of the book of Revelation, with some Christian groups
rejecting the book all together. However, other readers have been convinced by the book and
tend to think that they were living in the end time as predicted in Revelation.

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Work Cited

Esposito, John, Darrell Fasching, and Todd Lewis. Word Religions Today. 2018. Oxford