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Patmos: where the end of the world began

by Natalie K. Watson

For two millenia, the last book of the Bible has fascinated and intrigued theologians, artists, musicians, and conspiracy theorists. The striking imagery in this tale of two cities, Babylon and Jerusalem, has provided fuel for the imagination of painters from Brueghel to Blake to Kandinsky, of composers from Handel to Messiaen. The Church’s relationship with the book of Revelation has been complex. It was a late addition to the canon of the New Testament and does not appear in some early lists of the books of the Christian Bible. Martin Luther said it was neither apostolic nor prophetic, and he could not find Christ in it.

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Natalie K. Watson is a theologian, writer and
editor. She is leading the pilgrimage to
Patmos and the Dodecanese Islands, 7-16
May 2024.