Merely a Remake

Merely a Remake December 29, 2015

Thom Stark wrote the following on Facebook:

The book of Revelation is just a retread of the apocalyptic portions of Daniel and Ezekiel, almost to the point of plagiarism. And it’s full of plot holes. Just goes to show the creative bankruptcy of the whole covenantal reboot. But no offense to all your zealot followers and don’t let me stand in the way of all that bank you’re making. Bible is the biggest-selling book of all time. Just pure commercialism; indicative of the moral decay of the Bible Belt.

I asked for permission to share it, since it manages to do two excellent things at once. One is to poke fun at those who complain that Star Wars Episode VII is “merely a remake” of Episode IV. The other is to highlight the way that other stories and literature are highly derivative, including in the Bible.

Sure, it is possible to simply copy what someone else has done, and so a lot depends on why that is done, and with what result. The Book of Revelation borrows imagery from throughout the Jewish Scriptures, to a much greater extent than any other work in the New Testament. Does that ruin it for you? Why or why not?

For those in the Indianapolis area, I’ve had a request to revisit the Book of Revelation and do an overview of major themes in my Sunday school class, and so we’ll be doing that in the new year i.e starting next week. If you’re not in the area, here are some links to blog posts about the subject:

Revelation 17: The Key to Interpreting the Book of Revelation?

Christian Fundamentalism Views Revelation as a Mean Joke

Lecture on the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation: How It Should Have Ended

Revelation 8-9: A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Spiritual Warfare in Revelation

Daniel Revelation Beasts

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  • Phil Ledgerwood

    Not to mention other Jewish apocalypses.

    To me, all the borrowing gives me hope, because understanding those works better help in understanding Revelation, which would otherwise be an impenetrable acid trip.