thebookofrevelationfordummiesWritten by: John the Apostle (attributed), 1st Century A.D.

Instrument of the Apocalypse: Nothing less than the second coming of Christ.

Summary: Considered the ur-Text of the End Times, the Book of Revelation – the final book in the New Testament – is full of vivid symbolism and nightmarish imagery. All your old favorites are here: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Seven Seals, the Lake of Fire, the Whore of Babylon, the Number of the Beast, and of course the Antichrist. Some scholars interpret the text literally and believe that it specifically prophesies the End Times; many more find it largely symbolic; a few (including Thomas Jefferson, interestingly) have considered it the output of a disordered mind (I believe “ravings of a maniac” may have been Jefferson’s exact words); pretty much no one really knows for sure what it all means. The book’s influence, however, is undeniable.

On Screen: Not specifically, but it has directly or indirectly inspired all sorts of art and literature.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
— King James Bible: Rev. 12: 1-6

About the author

KATE NAGY

Kate Nagy is Editor at Large of Geek Speak Magazine, meaning that like the Maidenform Woman (80s reference WHOA), you never know where she'll turn up next. Likes: home repair, thunderstorms, 80s references, and the Lost finale. Dislikes: home repair, big crowds, bad music, and the Joker in any incarnation. Yeah, she's a little weird. How weird? Visit her blog, Kate Holds Court, to find out.