How do Catholics interpret the Book of Revelation?

Home Forums All Things Catholic How do Catholics interpret the Book of Revelation?

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #1785

    What is the Catholic position on the Book of Revelation? I know that the Book is highly symbolic, but is the book about the “end times”? Will there be a literal Antichrist that will rule for seven years at the end (The Tribulation) (Rev 13) I want to the know the Catholic View on the End times in light of Scriptures and Tradition.

    What does the Catholic Church teach about the Antichrist? Will there be a literal war with Satan and God at the end of time (Rev 20:7-9, )?


    The Church has never held the Raputre, Anti-Christ theories that have become popular among the Evangelical and Pentecostal movements in Protestantism over the past two centuries.

    The book is taken as allegorical, and symbolic of the fight between Good and Evil. While most Catholic Biblical Scholars see infrences between some of the Roman Emperors who at the time where persecuting the Church, and the Pagan world at the time. The Church has always held that the symbolism from age to age remains the battle between God and His Church againts Satan and the rejection of the message.

    For more information look at the Catholic Encycopedia article

    "weather":3s40gb8k wrote:
    What is the Catholic position on the Book of Revelation? I know that the Book is highly symbolic, but is the book about the “end times”? Will there be a literal Antichrist that will rule for seven years at the end (The Tribulation) (Rev 13) I want to the know the Catholic View on the End times in light of Scriptures and Tradition.

    What does the Catholic Church teach about the Antichrist? Will there be a literal war with Satan and God at the end of time (Rev 20:7-9, )?[/quote:3s40gb8k]
    The Church has two doctrines about the End Times which are shown below with Biblical references:

    1)The present world will be destroyed on the Last Day. (Doctrine)

    “In the beginning, O Lord, thou foundedst the earth: and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish but thou remainest: and all of them shall grow old like a garment: And as a vesture thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed.” Ps 102:26

    “Lift up your eyes to heaven, and look down to the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall be worn away like a garment, and the inhabitants thereof shall perish in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my justice shall not fail.” Isa 51:6

    “But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence and the elements shall be melted with heat and the earth and the works which are in it shall be burnt up.” 2Pe 3:10

    “And I saw a great white throne and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away: and there was no place found for them” Rev 20:11

    2)The present world will be restored on the last day (Doctrine)

    “For behold I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the former things shall not be in remembrance, and they shall not come upon the heart”. Isa 65:17

    “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavensbeing on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat? But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth” . Pe 3:12-13

    “I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone: and the sea is now no more;;;And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more. Nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new” Rev 21:1 & 21:4-5


    1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its
    fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for
    ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul.
    The universe itself will be renewed:
    The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory
    of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all
    things. At that time, together with the human race, the
    universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which
    attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established
    in Christ.

    1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will
    transform humanity and the world, “new heavens and a new
    earth.”It will be the definitive realization of God’s plan to
    bring under a single head “all things in [Christ], things in
    heaven and things on earth.”

    1044 In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will
    have his dwelling among men.”He will wipe away every tear
    from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be
    mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have
    passed away.”

    1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of
    the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and
    of which the pilgrim Church has been “in the nature of sacrament.”
    Those who are united with Christ will form the community
    of the redeemed, “the holy city” of God, “the Bride, the wife
    of the Lamb.” She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains,
    self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community.638 The
    beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way
    to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness,
    peace, and mutual communion.

    1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common
    destiny of the material world and man:
    For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing
    of the sons of God . . . in hope because the creation itself will
    be set free from its bondage to decay. . . . We know that the
    whole creation has been groaning in travail together until
    now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have
    the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for
    adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    1047 The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed,
    “so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing
    no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just,” sharing
    their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.

    1048 “We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth
    and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed.
    The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we
    are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth
    in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and
    surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men.”[/i:3s40gb8k]
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church

    As for the Antichrist, the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:


    The deceitful one referred to in the New Testament, associated with the mystery of iniquity which will precede the second coming of Christ, through which people will be led away from the truth to follow a false messianism, by which man glorifies himself and human achievement in place of God and his Messiah come in the flesh, in whom the kingdom will be fulfilled (675-677).[/i:3s40gb8k]

    The Fathers of the Church believed in the Antichrist. Here are some quotes:

    [i:3s40gb8k]155. At the same time He showed that the oneness of the Divine Name must be taught, not the difference, since Christ came in the oneness of the Name, but Antichrist will come in his own name, as it is written: “I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye did not receive Me, if another shall come in his own name, ye will receive him.[/i:3s40gb8k]
    Saint Ambrose on the Holy Spirit, Bk I Chap XIII
    For when he (Antichrist) is come, and of his own accord concentrates in his own person the apostasy, and accomplishes whatever he shall do according to his own will and choice, sitting also in the temple of God, so that his dupes may adore him as the Christ; wherefore also shall he deservedly “be cast into the lake of fire:”[this will happen according to divine appointment], God by His prescience foreseeing all this, and at the proper time sending such a man, “that they may believe a lie, that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but consented to unrighteousness;” whose coming John has thus described in the Apocalypse: “And the beast which I had seen was like unto a leopard, and his feet as of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon conferred his own power upon him, and his throne,……..[/i:3s40gb8k]
    St Irenaeus of Lyons Against Heresies

    This last persecution by Antichrist shall last for three years and six months, as we have already said, and as is affirmed both in the book of Revelation and by Daniel the prophet[/i:3s40gb8k]St. Augustine, City of God, Bk XX Chap 12-13


    Weather — FYI,

    [b:5aw9lc2t]Catholic Tradition

    Certain Fathers of the Church on the Antichrist:[/b:5aw9lc2t]

    “Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing, put him also on his guard, lest he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. I fear these wars of the nations; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard.”

    St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Father of the Church; Lecture XV

    “But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near. There shall rise up together ten kings of the Romans, reigning in different parts perhaps, but all about the same time; and after these an eleventh, the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power; and of the kings who reigned before him, three he shall humble, and the remaining seven he shall keep in subjection to himself. At first indeed he will put on a show of mildness (as though he were a learned and discreet person), and of soberness and benevolence: and by the lying signs and wonders of his magical deceit a having beguiled the Jews, as though he were the expected Christ, he shall afterwards be characterized by all kinds of crimes of inhumanity and lawlessness, so as to outdo all unrighteous and ungodly men who have gone before him displaying against all men, but especially against us Christians, a spirit murderous and most cruel, merciless and crafty. And after perpetrating such things for three years and six months only, he shall be destroyed by the glorious second advent from heaven of the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus, the true Christ, who shall slay Antichrist with the breath of His mouth, and shall deliver him over to the fire of hell.”. (St. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem and Father of the Church; Lecture XV; 315-386 A.D.).

    “Antichrist is, therefore, as we said, the offspring of fornication and is nurtured in secret, and on a sudden he rises up and rebels and assumes rule. And in the beginning of his rule, or rather tyranny, he assumes the role of sanctity. But when he becomes master he persecutes the Church of God and displays all his wickedness. But he will come with signs and lying wonders, fictitious and not real, and he will deceive and lead away from the living God those whose mind rests on an unsound and unstable foundation, so that even the elect shall, if it be possible, be made to stumble.” . (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church; An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith IV Ch. XXVI; Born 676 A.D.).

    Additional information can be found at:


    See the[b:5aw9lc2t] LINKS[/b:5aw9lc2t] section of:

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.