The Whore of Babylon: Pimping the Body of Christ to the highest political bidder

Burgkmair_whore_babylon_color

Hans Burgkmar 1523 woodcut used for Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament

Christian biblical exegesis has historically associated the “whore of Babylon” with the Antichrist of Revelation. The term “whore” has less to do with any sexual transgression and more on act of idolatry — specifically, “whoring” the church to serve the political interests of rulers. Not surprisingly, much speculation swirled around who this “whore” signified. Biblical scholars have mostly interpreted Babylon to be the Roman Empire of the time which was engaged (until 313 CE) in sporadic persecution of Christians throughout sectors of the empire. An interpretative clue is found in verse 9, where the “whore” sits on “seven mountains,” a possible reference to the seven hills of Rome, where she rules over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18).

During the Medieval Age, reformers and critics within the Catholic Church (some who eventually were elevated to sainthood) equated the papacy with the whore of Babylon, specifically for its internal corruption, practice of simony, and most importantly, its political maneuvering to enhance its earthly powers and dominions. Leaders of the Protestant movement (i.e., Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Wesley), strengthened this association by generalizing the entire Church as corrupt, rather than a more complex analysis that would criticize specific periods and/or popes. The pope as Antichrist, leading the Catholic Church as whore into apostasy, was not only a mainstream interpretation during the rise of Protestantism, but has remained a popular interpretation, especially among many fundamentalists, dispensationalists and right-leaning evangelicals today.

TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE – PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s