Flesh and blood

Tyconius adopts a relentlessly ecclesiocentric reading of Revelation. Every positive symbol, it seems, is just one more way of describing the church. Heaven, angels, stars, mountains, and everything else, it seems, means “one and the same thing,” one of his favorite phrases.

It creates some odd interpretations, to say the least. The birds that devour the kings of the earth at the end if chapter 19 are the saints who drink the blood of the wicked brothers who have been slain by the sword from the mouth of Jesus. In all times the church eats the flesh of their enemies, just as their enemies have devoured them. At the end, though, the saints will be fully avenged and visible birds will devour the wicked once and for all.

It is difficult to know what Tyconius is up to here, though perhaps there is a hint of Eucharist: In eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood, the church is perhaps also devouring her enemies.

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