Revelation 12–14 (A Woman, Dragon, Two Beasts, 144 000 Men, Three Angels) with Olivia Stewart Lester

Dr. Olivia Stewart Lester (Loyola University Chicago) guides us through Revelation 12–14 (A Woman, Dragon, Two Beasts, 144 000 Men, Three Angels) . We discuss:

  • The woman who gives birth and is chased by the dragon (12:1–6, 13–16)
  • The conflict between the woman’s child and the dragon as a combat myth and how Revelation critiques the Apollo-Python combat myth
  • The two wings of the great eagle that the woman receives, and her escape to the wilderness (12:14)
  • The beast who receives its authority from the dragon, the beast’s mortal wound (13:1–8), and how Daniel 7 helps us understand the beast
  • The prophetic warning and call to endurance in 13:9–10.
  • The second beast that marks people’s foreheads with the number 666 (13:11–18)
  • The 144,000 who have the name of the lamb and of the Father on their foreheads and their masculine-virginal description (14:1–5)
  • The mysterious song that John hears (14:3)
  • The three angels who speak and deliver messages of God’s judgment (14:6–12)
  • Whether the description that “the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever” indicates a never-ending conscious punishment (14:11); and how to understand the depiction of God’s violence (14:10–11)
  • The Son of Man, the angels, and their sickles for harvest (i.e., judgment; 14:14–20)

Works by Olivia Stewart Lester

  • “Revealed History as Prophetic Rivalry: John’s Apocalypse, the Sibylline Oracles, and the Prophecy of Apollo,” Early Christianity 10 (2019): 461–480
  • Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4–5. WUNT 2/466. Mohr Siebeck, 2018.

Olivia Stewart Lester Recommends

  • The TV show,The Bear

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This episode is co-sponsored by Samford University and the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this episode do not necessarily represent those of the Alabama Humanities Alliance, the National Endowment for the Humanities or Samford University.