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September 25, 2007

Escatology anyone?

The Book of Revelation is most emphatically not my favourite read. It is disturbing, it is sometimes contradictory and it frequently seems to be dualistic, if not downright Gnostic. It would be true to say that it made it into the Bible as we have it today by a very narrow margin. Even in Nicea in 350AD there were doubts as to its provinence - doubts expressed from even earlier weighed heavily with the assembly when deciding the canon of what would become the Vulgate as translated into Latin by St Jerome.

While on my sojourn in Surrey, I have with me a paper we will be discussing at our regular theological forum on Thursday evening. Reading the paper has made my head hurt, reading Revelations so I can check the background had me wondering what St John of Patmos was taking at the time. Reading the commentaries I have with me makes me wonder what trhe authors of those actually believe. So, I revert to my favourite Saint and an 8th Century version of his famous "Breastplate" -

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight,
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might,
Be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower,
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

High King of Heaven, thou heaven's bright son,
O grant me its joys after vict'ry is won,
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Posted by The Gray Monk at September 25, 2007 02:39 PM

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Those are my favorite verses of that hymn, and our church's hymnal leaves out the top one and and changed the second to "Ruler of Heaven." I hate that.

Posted by: Tom at September 25, 2007 04:05 PM

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