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How to Answer Protestants Forum: What the True Church Teaches; The Book of Revelations

by Catherine Frakas 20 Jul 2002

What the True Church Teaches; The Book of Revelations QUESTION from Mrs. Wendy Kakos on January 8, 2003 I need some quick info on what the Catholic church teaches concerning the book of Revelations. A former mixed denominational ladies biblestudy has decided to do an 8 week study by whom I don't know? I think possibly Ann Graham Lots? Not sure, anyhow I do not want to participate knowing the person who is leading it is an Evangelical and don't know her motives for picking this. I have told the group I don't want to be a part because I know the Church Teachings vary from Protestant teachings. They have asked me to come and defend my position basically, YIKES although I do not want to go and seem combative I keep feeling a calling to go, there are several Good Catholic women there whom I could see being lead astray.
I have ordered Scott Hahn's book about the Mass ect. and see his tapes by EWTN online is this legit or an idea and can anyone help me out I have little time to prepare so an online tape series would be nice. I don't even have the book to know what I am up against.
Thanks so much.. I know someone out there can point me in the Right direction.
Blessings and Pax
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on January 26, 2003 Dear Wendy:
You are certainly right to look for substantial and orthodox teachings on the Book of Revelations. This book, taken out of context by the majority of Protestants (especially Fundamentalists), can be a sign of confusion and fear rather than the sign of hope that it was meant to be.
Why do I say that Protestants take it out of context? Because most do not have access to the context of the Liturgy of the Mass: a Liturgy filled with readings, antiphons, responsorial psalms, incense, Glorias, Hosannas, and ending with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Unfortunately, most Catholics have been lead to believe that they cannot come close to understanding the imagery used in this Book.
Fortunately, in recent years a number of new Catholic Bible studies have been written(primarily reminding Catholics what the Church taught in ages past). I have used the Revelations study at Catholic Scripture Studies from Catholic Exchange for group study. It was written by Dr. Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins and provides indepth analysis of the text, historical context, traditional Church teachings, and application to life today. This site also has a number of studies on various Books. Current studies are free and published online one lesson each week. Archive studies (like Revelations) are available either in print or by e-mail for a reasonable donation. They promise to send the e-mail version within 48 hours of receiving your request.
Another excellent resource is the Navarre Bible Study on Revelations. There are quite a few studies in this series and all (at least the ones that I have read) are excellent. The English translation is side by side with the Latin Vulgate (the official text of the Church) along with cross references, historical & cultural background, and commentary.
There have also been a couple books by Fr. Alfred McBride, though I have not read them yet. The book you mention by Scott Hahn, The Lamb's Supper is an excellent starting point.
The important thing is not to allow those who reject the teaching authority of the Church to convince you that the Bible (any portion of it) contradicts what She teaches. Many of the End Times interpretations are intentionally anti-Catholic. [In the Left Behind series, only those Catholics who reject the teachings of the Church are raptured.]
One last note: The word Revelation, or Apocalypse in the original Greek, refers to the lifting of the bridal veil at the consumation of the wedding. The book of Revelations ends with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb -- the final and everlasting of the Church with Her Bridegroom, Christ. Coincidence -- I think not!
Pax Christi, Troy
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