When people ask my girlfriend questions about me instead of asking me 🔥🔥 11/10
When people ask my girlfriend questions about me instead of asking me 🔥🔥 11/10
genuinely what type of mental illness
The new tumblr text editor is a non-functional abomination.
finals start tmr...
once again, bonnie bennett is screwed over for a white boy
tw gun violence and mass shootings in the tags
the little pained noise the tarnished makes whenever they are walking for like. lava or poisonous air.
yeah, that's me with every step i take.
Tulip, lavender, and picnic for Anakis and Oliver maybe :)
mac i love u so much thank u
tulip: what’s their love language?
for anakis, it's definitely quality time. especially now since they live together, whenever anakis isnt out adventuring him and oliver will do literally everything together
for oliver, physical touch. if him and anakis are in the same room then they will be cuddling/hugging/holding hands or something. always. (anakis is the big spoon btw)
lavender: do they prefer baths or showers? Do they have any fancy scents they like to use?
anakis prefers showers usually, but most times after a long adventure or fight oliver will run him a bath to help him relax
oliver is basically the same but sometimes he'll bathe with anakis. not even in a sexual way just to take care of each other and wind down after a long day
picnic: what’s their favorite way to spend time with friends, family, or their partner(s)?
they cook or bake together!!!!!!
thinking about what my grandma told me earlier. hm
I ACCIDENTALLY FUCKING UNFOLLOWED YOU TRYING TO EXCITEDLY SEND YOU AN ASK THAT I;M HABIT. AHSHJSJJHYDFJYDFH
AHAHAUAHAHA IT'S CHILLDUDE BUT YO/POS
my sister is making me angry lmao
Sorry guys but youve just been introduced to how much i Actually Talk
So dance Wednesday is becoming a regular thing, huh? We’re diving into the 90s this time so watch me do The Macarena.
Throughout the whole of this course, there were several pieces of literature that both impacted and fascinated me in equal measure. The scholarly manner in which these texts, so integral to my Protestant upbringing, were presented allowed me to interpret them in an entirely novel fashion. The further I delved into their historical conditions, the richer their narratives became. There is one book, however, that is so blatantly bizarre and idiosyncratic ( at least in comparison to the rest of the bible ) that it has enraptured me ever since I first encountered it: the book of Revelation. This written apocalypse has always been presented to me in a viscerally literal fashion – that is, every event it describes will come to pass exactly as it is portrayed, word for word. However, the bible comprises an overarching narrative, and a deeper meaning to any story is frequently best reached by viewing it through a figurative lens separate from the direct happenings that it recounts. This sentiment is applicable to most of the bible’s contents, with the book of Revelation standing as one of the starkest examples of its practicality.
To better understand the intent and circumstances of this text, its historical / social / cultural background, rhetorical devices, and ( probable ) original message will be provided. In turn, these categories will serve to illustrate why this volume benefits from a largely figurative interpretation, and how such an evaluation illuminates its central purpose.
As is an unfortunate fact with any biblical work, precise dating of the book of Revelation is near impossible. The consensus of several New Testament scholars is that it likely originates from approximately 95 – 96 CE and was penned by a prophet named John. Traditionally, authorship of the Johannine works ( the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and Revelation ) has been attributed to John the Apostle / Saint John, but there is little palpable evidence to suggest that this is the case; as such, it will be assumed that every one of these publications was produced by different individuals. A minor note, but Christianity and Judaism were not yet distinct entities during this period; for the sake of simplicity, Jewish people who believed in Jesus as the Messiah will be called “Christians” in this paper. This definition encapsulates the community that Revelation was born out of.
Within Christian communities of the time, there was a widespread belief that Jesus was soon going to return to Earth and initiate the end of the world, what modern Protestants would refer to as “the Second Coming” or “the Rapture”. This idea coincided with a legend ( Nero Redivivus ) that the late emperor Nero would also come back; this utterly horrified early Christians, as it was under Nero’s rule that the Roman government first systematically persecuted them. Nero’s reign ended with his suicide in 68 CE, but just two years later, the city of Jerusalem was decimated by the Romans. Naturally, all this targeted destruction resulted in hopelessness and terror across Christian circles ( which were already exceedingly small / feeble to begin with ) and bred a deep hatred within them of the Romans and their government.
Even in the face of such insurmountable opposition, many Christians did not relinquish their faith in deliverance / protection – the author of Revelation was among them. For the sake of clarity, this theoretical author will be addressed with he / him pronouns. He gathered his associates’ collective feelings of fear, anger, and all the rest, channeling them into a text that was intended to comfort the disparaged Christian outposts. The book is a product of its time, much of the meaning of which is lost on modern readers simply because of the distance between them and the rings that the literature was born from. Christianity has progressed so far beyond anything that the author or any of his comrades could have envisioned that it would be effectively unrecognizable to them. As Revelation’s unfortunate conditions are referenced, perhaps its paradoxically hopeful message and the knowledge of how Christianity developed can serve to soothe any ache that one may feel for the victimized individuals who created it.
With some relevant points of historicity established, the piece itself can finally be addressed. Revelation is classified as apocalyptic literature. This genre stems from Judeo-Christian ideology and predicts the catastrophic end of the world in narrative form; the present is portrayed as ruinous, and the events foretold are always imminent to the time of writing. Generally, this apocalypse is brought about by God and expressed to the author preemptively by a divine body, whether they are an angel or otherwise. Of course, variance exists, but in most Christian circles today, the book of Revelation is accepted as the final facet of the New Testament. It is quite fitting that the last book to be included would involve the end of the world, bringing a definitive conclusion to the narrative. Appropriately, Revelation is the sole bit of apocalyptic art to be contained in the canonical New Testament – to hold any more than one work conveying the end of the world would be contradictory and unclear. Due to its unique, solitary status, Revelation tends to be perceived as rather bizarre in comparison to the rest of the bible, which its surreal imagery and disjointed account do nothing to lessen.
Revelation can also be interpreted to belong to genres other than apocalyptic, such as epistolary or prophetic. The epistolary genre refers to a work that is conveyed through a series of letters, typically addressed to some outside party from the author. Revelation can be classed this way because of an opening line wherein it clearly states its author’s name and its intended recipients ( 1:4 ). It is made abundantly clear to readers that this passage was written by somebody named John and is meant for the “seven churches in the province of Asia”, which were all near enough to the author for him to be aware of them. This work can be classified as prophetic, as well, given that it foretells events to come by its very nature.
Apocalyptic literature tends to employ a vast number of rhetorical devices, with Revelation being no exception. Simile, metaphor, allegory, symbolism, parable, imagery, and much more are all utilized throughout, but most pertinent to a non-literal presentation of the text would certainly be its symbols. There are innumerable objects here that are meant to allude to other items / concepts, even in the book’s first chapter ( seven golden lampstands standing for the previously mentioned seven churches, seven stars representing an angel assigned to each individual church, etc. ). To recount all of them here would entail extensive generalization, so only the most relevant / meaningful images will be considered. It should be noted, however, that Revelation is absolutely saturated with symbolism; the ones amongst these that are “most important” can vary significantly based on one’s personal interpretation. Due to this subjectivity, it would be asinine to label this selection of icons as the “best” or “truest” version. They are merely the ones that strike me as most telling.
While not necessarily a symbol in and of itself, one of the most prominent and revealing aspects of Revelation is the emphasis that it places on certain numbers. The concept of hidden meanings associated with numbers is far from original to Revelation – both the Hebrew and Greek languages assign numerical values to letters, and the bible itself repeatedly utilizes a handful of special numbers ( seven, twelve, forty, etc. ). The practice of gematria ( assigning sentiments to the numerical value of a word / phrase ) was common during John’s time.
Some of the numbers seen throughout Revelation draw their impact from biblical tradition, so they will be excluded ( seven in particular ). There is one number unique to Revelation that is still widely applicable to modern readers: six hundred and sixty-six ( 666 ). Of course, this is the number of “the beast”. The beast is typically depicted as a genuine, horrific monster, but the line framing this number indicates an ulterior intention: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six” ( 13:18 ). This single line illuminates so much about both the nature of Revelation and of the beast itself. As John is referencing “a man” who he is already familiar with, then the beast must be somebody who lived before / during his time, just prior to 100 CE. The most widely accepted culprit is Nero, for reasons of gematria and numerology that cannot be succinctly articulated. However, this should be a viable answer for any reader with just a sliver of historical context – the Nero Redivivus legend was alive and well during John’s time, especially as Nero died only a few decades prior ( at most ) and the memory of his persecution was still intimately felt by early Christians. Codifying his name in this way was a method through which the author could subtly criticize Nero, made all the more useful if he did, in fact, believe in the Nero Redivivus rumor. Even if Nero were to return to Earth and decimate the world in the near future, he would ( presumably ) not be able to decipher the author’s jab, ensuring his safety. Additionally, line 18 of chapter 13 shows that Revelation is highly relevant to John and the experiences of his community through the most likely identity of the beast.
As a whole, Revelation is conveyed through a series of sevens: the seven churches of Asia, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven figures, and the seven bowls. Each entry is extremely necessary to the text, but to cover them all would be implausible. As such, the instigating factors of John’s apocalypse will be addressed with priority, constituting yet more known iconography: the four horsemen.
Once the first seal is opened, John perceives “a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” ( 6:2 ). These seals are being opened by the “Lamb of God”, which is usually said to be Jesus; this consequently prevents Jesus from fulfilling the role of any horseman or adjacent body ( mostly for simplicity’s sake ). Most of the horsemen are not named, this rider among them. Nothing about this figure paints him as inherently evil, but the rest of the horsemen are explicitly harmful, so it would be natural to assume that this one is, as well – there is some evidence to suggest otherwise, though. For most of Christian history, this horseman was received positively. Traditionally, the color white holds pure and innocent connotations, and the presence of a crown suggests that this rider is victorious in some important matter. Even though he is conquering the world, he is not said to be bringing any sort of harm to anyone, in stark contrast to the rest of the horsemen. To John, this character may have served as a stand-in for the gospel, which would soon spread all over the world and “conquer” it. This speculation works nicely, as it also contributes to the strange hopefulness of John’s message; its position as the first to be unleashed implies that it is highly significant.
With the opening of the second seal, John conveys: “there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” ( 6:4 ). This horseman is immediately portrayed as red, a color which has stood as violent, fiery, and the like for as long as humans have lived – it is the color of blood, after all. Not only that, but this horseman destroys peace, carries a huge sword, and encourages murder. This imagery points to violent death and even war, as this horseman rescinds peace between people just as war tends to. If the context of John’s era is to be considered, then the red horseman could represent war or perhaps, more directly, the persecution of Christians – either way, it is not beneficial or ideal.
The third seal is broken, and John sees “a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand… A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” ( 6:5 – 6 ). The second portion of this line refers to what John hears spoken, though not from the rider himself. Traditionally, the color black invokes negative connotations – it alludes to darkness, the unknown, etc. These unfavorable implications would have been even more visceral to John, given the absence of any sort of artificial lighting. The statement further cements the rider’s nefarious nature, as he is directly referencing severe overinflation; this would be most probable to come about as a result of famine, hence why this rider is often associated with it. The presence of weighing scales, too, is telling – frequently in times of famine, an allotted ration would be distributed based on how much it weighed. Just as with the other horsemen, this one, too, can be said to correspond to a happening in the period in which John lived, specifically the prioritized cultivation of luxury goods for the wealthy over the staples necessary for the survival of all. This sentiment can be gleaned from the voice’s insistence that “oil and wine” are to be left alone; both of these goods were far beyond the reach of any average person during John’s time. As such, they served as symbols for the exploitative elite class.
Finally, the fourth seal is broken and perhaps the most terrible rider of all is freed. John relays “a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” ( 6:8 ). This rider is the only one to be clearly named, the only one to be lacking a tangible weapon, the only one to be allotted a division of the Earth, and the only one to possess a companion ( aside from his horse ) – these singularities suggest his immense significance. As he is named, what he stands for is also transparent: he is death, the devourer of everything organic or otherwise. The clarity of his purpose allows him to separate somewhat from Revelation’s historical surroundings, as death has been a constant feature in the world since it began. The lack of weapon can be attributed to the fact that death does not have to be introduced via destruction – it will eventually overtake all regardless of what one attempts to do to stop it. Simply put, death does not require an instrument with which to threaten, as it is entirely unavoidable. It is quite fitting for this entity to acquire a section of the planet, as any apocalypse will always heavily feature a mass amount of people dying. In tandem, the reasoning for this horseman’s prevalence is exposed by the passage itself: Death uses every method to kill that the other horsemen do, and more. This should be logical, given the nature of death itself. The last category that makes Death distinct is his partner, excluding the horse. Trailing behind him is seemingly Hell itself, which should also stand as reasonable – in Christian literature, especially in antiquated instances such as this, it appears that most of humanity is disgraced and sent to Hell. To have it following behind Death is practical. Really, this horseman does not require much in terms of an explanation, but the imagery bestowed onto him is nonetheless haunting.
Each symbol established by John is masterful and fascinating in its own right. The purpose of enmeshing the figures of the horsemen with their historical context, however, was to display just how much Revelation is a product of its time. Apocalyptic literature almost always shares a vision for the near future, not the distant one. Whether the cognition behind obscuring certain facets was to subtly ridicule a deceased emperor or to highlight the shortcomings of a society, their concealment most often does not indicate any relevance to contemporary times, much less entail a literal interpretation. The era that this book came from was tumultuous at best and the community that made it had recently suffered unspeakable hardships. These facts in combination with the typical nature of the apocalyptic genre set Revelation up to be, absurdly enough, a form of comfort letter for early Christians. When its figurative language is deconstructed, it frequently alludes to real circumstances of the time, and the bizarre imagery within only aid that notion.
For Revelation to evoke any feelings outside of fear and stupefaction may initially seem dubious. Contemporary readers, certainly, would identify “comfort” as one of the last emotions to be gleaned from it. Yet again, the intrinsic nature of Revelation serves as a sufficient reference to support this juxtaposed claim. Recall that it is a letter, one addressed to the seven churches of Asia from a man calling himself John ( in actuality there is one letter for each church, but for the sake of simplicity, merely keep in mind that it exists in the form of letters ). Undoubtedly, John was what would now be considered a Christian, and the seven churches were as well; perhaps an expanded definition of a “church” would be prudent. In this context, every “church” could be said to refer to the collective groups of Christians residing in each city ( a synecdoche in and of itself ). Given the recent reign of Nero and the ongoing persecution of early Christians by the Roman government, what motivation could John possibly have for terrorizing those just like him any more than what they all already faced in daily life? Furthermore, John claims to be writing from the island of Patmos ( 1:9 ), a Greek island situated a decent distance away from any of the seven churches ( located in what is now Turkey ); it is widely believed that he was put into exile there by the Romans. If this was indeed the case, why would John not only horrify himself with these cataclysmic visions, but also proclaim that those who partake in his account are blessed?
Directly, he explains: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” ( 1:3 ). Perhaps more than anything else, this evidence cements the status of Revelation as a beacon of hope rather than one of despair. John is describing all of these horrific events that will occur very soon to the time of Revelation’s writing because he believes that all of the signs are in place to have the Romans ( and any other associated evil ) be completely obliterated by God, who will then free His people ( the early Christians ) from their reign of terror. Through coded language, John is inspiring hope in his fellow Christians, detailing the fall of their collective enemies that is going to come very soon. As long as the “churches” pay heed to the commands of the Holy Spirit and persevere, then Christ will surely deliver and reward them. Basically, John is attempting to assure his comrades all of their suffering will not be for naught.
In times of intense strife, it is often essential to find some sort of silver lining in order to survive. Even the strongest individuals can only hopelessly struggle without any gain for so long until they simply submit to their tormentor, utterly devoid of any will to fight – it becomes learned helplessness. For John, this silver lining was divine revenge and deliverance. The complicated, interwoven language of Revelation is likely much more bizarre to modern readers than it would be to John’s contemporaries, who would have been versed in the same ideology / concepts that he was. The coding of John’s intended messages seems to have been born from a desire to conceal them from the Romans, and as John himself was probably exiled to a remote island by the Roman government, his need to resort to such tactics is readily understandable. A combination of Revelation’s context, structure, and apparent message all point to the superiority of a figurative interpretation, revealing the image of a common man clinging to hope in any way that he could while simultaneously encouraging his associates to do the same.
Lerner, Robert E. "apocalyptic literature". Encyclopedia Britannica, Invalid Date, https://www.britannica.com/art/apocalyptic-literature. Accessed 9 May 2022.
Biguzzi, G. “A Figurative and Narrative Language Grammar of Revelation.” Novum Testamentum, vol. 45, no. 4, 2003, pp. 382–402, https://www.jstor.org/stable/1561106. Accessed 10 May 2022.
Ice, Thomas D., "The Date of the Book of Revelation" (2009). Article Archives. 75. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/pretrib_arch/75
Richard D. Draper, “Understanding Images and Symbols in the Book of Revelation,” Shedding Light on the New Testament: Acts–Revelation, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Frank F. Judd Jr., and David M. Whitchurch (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 271–89.
FOUND AN ANIMATIC TO DEAR GOT BY XTC I AM FUCKING SCREAMING
i need the thoughts TO STOP. ALL OF THEM !!!!!
✨🕯Manifesting that Taylor is going to use the boost system for her next tour✨🕯