Re: The Apocalypse Explained - Feret, O.P.
Mike, I'm sure you'll appreciate it.
Here's a little taste.
For the moment, the Beast and his agents may appear to triump. He triumphs in this Sodom of pleasure and corruption, in this Egypt of servitude, where our Saviour also was crucified and rendered the supreme and effective testimony. It is a satanic triumph. Great rejoicing over the debris of a Church that appears to be destroyed; its destruction seems to be irreparable. The spoils are exhibited in public places; shrines are converted into museums of anti-religious art, and the inhabitants of the earth, believing that they have at last shaken off the mentors whose attentions had so troubled them, rejoice in their freedom and congratule one another.
One of the things Feret explains is the reason for much of the mysterious imagery - the need to inspire hope to the persecuted churches without adding to the fire of persecution by making it easy for the Roman Empire to identify itself in the texts which predict its destruction. So it's written in a kind of loose and rather open code, easily understood by those for whom it was written - first century Christians with a great deal of Old Testament cultural knowledge and sympathy - but not by the persecutors. This insight alone - along with the explanations of the specific meaning of the various images - is worth the price of the book. One feels as though the scales have dropped off one's eyes. I'm completely convinced that he is right in this insight. It's actually obvious
once you've read and pondered his arguments.