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Word Count: 1,123
The Book of Revelation is an account of things that take place beyond the earth where Jesus of Nazareth lived and died as well as where Johns community was living It is a vision of events in the heavens or the sky If we do not assume that all the details about the sky and those who live in the sky were immediately and supernaturally revealed to John then John and his readers could have become familiar with these details from two types of persons in the Mediterranean society who devoted themselves to knowledge of the sky One type of person was those called the wise men the learned the scholars These people were in awe of the sky and insisted that no one could really grasp the greatness and magnificence of the celestial spheres The best posture was to stand in awe of the creator They thought that as far as celestial phenomena were concerned one need only pay attention to traditional lore about weather farming sailing and the like On the other hand there was the type that believed one could surely get to understand what impact the sky and celestial beings had on human societies This group included Babylonian Greek Roman Egyptian and Israelite astronomers astrologers prophets and or seers This group sought information about their human groups from and concerning those living beings that controlled the skies Of course their perception of the sky and their descriptions of those perceptions followed from their ethnic stories and ideologies But for Israelites in the Hellenistic period there would be God and a whole range of living sky beings good and evil never labeled as deities even if they performed the functions of deities For the others there were God gods lesser deities and demons Everyone who read and experienced sky phenomena perceived the various servants of God and the range of celestial forces as well as thunder lightning earthquakes sky rumblings hail rain
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