Old Book
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CONCLUSION (Armageddon book)

Seeing the word conclusion as my topic makes me feel intimidated. How can I conclude anything about an effort to understand the book of Revelation? Revelation is open-ended. How I feel about it can’t be settled once and for all. The book changes with the times.

Yet it seems good to reach some conclusion about why I wanted to teach a class about Revelation at all. First, it was the book in the Bible that made me afraid that my God isn’t good. I didn’t like that feeling so I needed to try to understand the book.

During the seventeen years, I have been teaching the Bible as Cultural Literature, I have learned a lot. I stopped blaming the God of the universe for the problems of the world. Discussion topics promoting honest self-examination left everyone free to question their beliefs without fear. It was clear the Spirit of Love is not injured when humanity questions its goodness—or even its very existence. We all know honest questioning is an honorable act.

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CONCLUSION (REBUILDING THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM)

I reached the conclusion after preparing lectures for Rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem that Israel is a vibrant country today, at least in part because of the ancient Persian Empire’s involvement in the restoration of the country.

For more than one hundred years after Cyrus the Great decreed the Jews could return from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, various Persian kings had to take responsibility for the details of rebuilding efforts, or the Jews would not have been successful. Unfriendly exiles who had made a home for themselves among the ruins of Judah—after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple—did not welcome returning Jews hoping to reclaim their land. They opposed rebuilding efforts at every stage of reconstruction. Only with the help of various kings of the Persian Empire were they able to complete the restoration.