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Throughout the centuries for Revelation: garnering reverence from some, outright ridicule from

Martin Luther, for instance, felt that the letter “to the seven churches that are in Asia” should have been returned to sender. He found Christ neither taught nor acknowledged in its gaudy imagery and surreal symbolism. Zwingli’s assessment was just as blunt, and for that matter, equally harsh. He saw no need to be concerned with the Apocalypse, because, in his words, “it is not a biblical book.” John Calvin didn’t even deem it worthy of comment. He wrote extensively on every portion of the New Testament — with the conspicuous exception of this one. Even today, John’s rather extravagant vision from the prison island of Patmos is regarded by many as little more than a playground for religious eccentrics and placard-carrying prophets of doom.