Syria and the End Times

Hemant Mehta shared some interesting statistics and infographics about what Americans think about Syria, and how events there may be leading up to the “end times.”

These statistics also give us in the process a good sense of how many Americans have never consulted a scholarly commentary on the Book of Revelation…

  • Jimmy Doyle

    I don’t think it has anything to do with the number of people consulting a scholarly commentary. My guess is it has to do with general understandings of the Bible and whether or not it relates to current events at all.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Plenty of people who read scholarly commentaries think the text is relevant to them and to our time. They are just unlikely to mistakenly think the text is about us in a way that ignores all the relevant contextual data we have about the meaning of Revelation for the time in which it was written.

      • Jimmy Doyle

        Certainly. I would consider myself one of them. I wasn’t clear on my first comment. My assumption is that most people don’t consult scholarly commentaries, no matter what their conclusions; and in that vein of thinking, my guess is that the percentage comparison of people in the NE versus the South consulting those commentaries is negligible.

        My other assumption is that fewer people in the NE generally interpret the Bible differently than those who do so in manner that sees it as a step-by-step end-time manual (which is pretty common in the South).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          That’s a fair point, and my quip about consulting scholarly commentaries was simply a jab and not an attempt to analyse the main cause of this view being held as widely as it is!

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    In other words Christian capitalists want to have fun with their money on this side of the grave and hope the end won’t be too soon.

    Am I correct in my assessment? :=)

    The main problem with militant atheists is their utter willingness to recognize the positive aspects of the beliefs of liberal and progressive religious believers.

    They prefer to propagate the meme that religious liberalism must also be utterly destroyed because they legitimate fundamentalism.

    In that respect the blog of Mehta has been a huge disappointment for me.

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • Rick Hubbard

    Maybe it would be be more accurate to speculate that these data indicate how many people have consulted a NON-scholarly commentary/study of the ApJn

  • arcseconds

    Fred had an interesting post recently where he compares ‘Books and Culture’ to a faculty lounge, where the teaching staff get to express themselves without having to keep up any kind of ‘face’ for the students.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/09/10/donors-rescue-the-faculty-lounge-of-evangelicalism/

    He says that even very conservative evangelical scholars have beliefs that much of the evangelical rank-and-file would consider ‘liberal’ and heretical.

  • guest

    Maybe if scholarly commentaries were available free with Gideon’s bibles, more people would read them? Seems like the people who are ignorant are the ones who can’t afford books.
    Of course they could always go to a library…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I would love to see more scholarly sources freely available, and am pleased that some such projects are underway and more and more discussions are taking place. Getting such materials placed in hotel rooms may not prove possible, however…

  • William T.

    Are there any statistics as to how often those with a household income of less than $25,000 or those in the south read their bibles.

    There seems to be an unspoken implication contained the bit about ‘ scholarly commentary’ that those with less household income or those in the south fail to understand their bible when compared to northerners or those with more income. Is this evidence of arrogance?

    Its not clear such this presupposition has foundation. Perhaps, if this belief is correct (whether or not it is warranted) these statistics instead show how the ‘wise’ (meaning scholars) have become foolish and the foolish wise.

    Unless one can measure correctness of belief about current events against the intended meaning of biblical prophecy – it’s hard to know who’s the fool and who’s the sage.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I sincerely doubt that people in the Northeast typically read more Biblical scholarship. My quip was aimed at the fact that the end-times approach to the Bible’s apocalyptic literature shows a lack of awareness of Biblical scholarship, and not to suggest that those who don’t hold such views are primarily those who do read scholarly books, as opposed to consisting also of those who are simply uninterested in dispensationalism’s futurist scenarios for any number of reasons.


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