from a Book of Revelation perspective

(NOTE: HIGHLIGHTS from an Egyptological perspective are given below)

Characters: Practically all characters and groups of characters mentioned in the Book of Revelation have parallels in the ancient Egyptian pantheon and religious texts. Details of the physical attributes of some of these characters and groups of characters conform so well with those found in Egyptian texts as to render them practically indistinguishable. For example, many parallel scenes contain similarly peculiar or unusual elements in both sources -- the description of Revelation’s Lamb “standing” in the midst of the throne conforms with pictures of the juvenile, sheep-headed form of the sun-god standing in the midst of his shrine.

Religious Beliefs: All beliefs outlined in the second and third chapters of Revelation can be accounted for in a variety of Egyptian religious sources, especially the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Parallel Scenes: Almost all scenes in Revelation have parallels in Egyptian religious or secular texts. Moreover, Revelation’s characters play similar roles in the two sources.

Parallel Sequences: Sequences of the appearance of most characters and groups of characters in the Book of Revelation have parallels in Egyptian texts such as the Amduat, the Book of Gates, the Book of Aker, the Books of the Heavens, the Book of Caverns and the Book of the Dead.

Series of sequences of scenes: Several series of sequences are present in Revelation which conform with series in Egyptian religious texts. The two most densely populated sequences are the Amduat Series (Rev. 5-14) and the Book of Gates Series
(Rev. 15-22). Other shorter sub-series are found in the Book of Aker (Rev. 10) and the Books of the Heavens (Rev. 11: 15-18 & Rev. 12) while still shorter, parallel sub-series are scattered throughout the Book of Revelation.

Egyptian Word Play: Descriptions of many parallel characters, groups of characters, scenes, and sequences of scenes involve sprinklings of literary puns (a common practice in Egyptian religious writing) based on similarities in the pronunciation Egyptian words. This is true even though our oldest versions of the Book of Revelation were written in Greek. 

Density of Parallels: The density of ordinary and peculiar parallels among the characters, scenes and sequences of scenes in the two sources, along with the possibility of widespread use of punning based on Egyptian words, are both dramatic and remarkable.

Tribes of Israel: Apparent references to the names of the twelve tribes of Israel appear in the Amduat and the Book of Gates. This finding is based on comparisons of descriptive names of Egyptian gods in groups of twelve with the meanings of the Hebrew names of the twelve tribes given in the Book of Revelation. Functions or activities of elements within the two groups also parallel one another. Nevertheless, inconsistencies between the respective roles of the groups in Egyptian and Jewish accounts suggest the need for more research in this area.

Structure of the Book of Revelation: The organization of most chapters and scenes in the Book of Revelation conforms quite well with the layout of parallel compositions and scenes on the walls and ceilings of the tomb of Ramesses VI, some of which are apparently unique to this tomb.

Historical Events: The Book of Revelation contains references to what might well be several significant historical events which can be identified in Egyptian texts. These include, for example, both the eruption of Santorini’s volcano in the Aegean Sea in Egypt’s early 2nd Intermediate period, the ousting of the Hyksos from Egypt during the latter part of the same period, and the military exploits of Thutmosis III in the latter part of the 15th century BCE – including Revelation’s battle of Armageddon (Megiddo).

The Book's Egyptian Origin: The great number of similarities between the Book of Revelation and ancient Egyptian texts indicates that Egyptian sources played a major role in the now lost original version of the Book of Revelation. Indeed, it is reasonable to conclude that the Book of Revelation was based primarily on ancient Egyptian beliefs and documents along with a sprinkling of secular and historical documents.

Christian Redactions: Later redactions in the text of the Book of Revelation, especially those referring to the names of Jesus, Jerusalem, and the seven communities (referred to in the letters to the seven churches in Rev. 2-3 and today believed to have been located in Asia Minor), very likely played a major role in the acceptance of the Book of Revelation by the early and current Christian churches.

Historical Events: Several such events in Egypt are similar to certain events described in Revelation.


 HIGHLIGHTS from an Egyptological perspective

(NOTE: HIGHLIGHTS from a Book of "Revelation perspective"
are given above)


Book of the Dead: The well-known scene showing Osiris seated on his throne in the Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead bears a remarkable resemblance to the throne scene described Rev. 1 and elsewhere. These include his long, ankle-length robe, his radiance, metallic flesh, the power of his spoken word, and even the water beneath his throne.

The four son’s of Osiris: Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef and Qebehsenuef, typically shown before the throne of Osiris have basically the same appearance and function as the four creatures before Revelation’s throne of God.

Amduat, 4th Div.: This part of the Amduat is quite remarkable in that it contains parallels to the arrival in Rev. 13 of the two beasts, the “first” and the “second beasts.” The characteristics of the first beast identify it as the adulterated Hyksos version of Egypt's god Seth during Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Those of the second beast describe one of the Hyksos kings. Similarly, Amduat's “shape created by Horus,” conforms with Revelation’s "image of the 1st beast" (Seth) created by a Hyksos king. Also, the apparent marking of Egypt's subjugated people (Seth’s followers) with a hieroglyphic symbol  or an abbreviated version of it, was at times pronounced the same as the name of Seth. Furthermore, the tripling of this symbol can be readily interpreted as meaning “666” (the now infamous “mark of the beast”) if one assumes an interpretational error of the author or an attempt at a pun by him; the former seems more likely if the author was not Egyptian but rather a native of a certain area of the Levant. Finally, events involving the various gods described or drawn in the 4th Division follow the same sequence as their parallels in Rev. 13.

Amduat, 5th Div.: Many elements in this division of the Amduat are consistent with the scene of the presentation and consumption of a “little scroll” in Rev. 10. For example, the Amduat shows the god Sokaris holding one of two door panels, the Egyptian word for which is ārt --  the same word as was used for “scroll.” Also, Sokaris holds the smaller of the two such panels, so we may say that a visual pun is present in this scene where  Revelation's “little scroll” is in one of Sokaris’ stylized hands. A nearby serpent called “The Taster” implies that the stylized scroll on which it sits should be eaten -- as in Rev. 10. Furthermore, the double-headed lion-god Aker which forms a part of the knot at the top of a stylized scroll suggests the name of the scroll is the Book of Aker, a book which contain parallels to  practically the entire next chapter of Revelation, Rev. 11. (See paragraph on Book of Aker below)

Amduat & Book of Gates - A: The juvenile form of the ram-headed, sun-god Re can be legitimately described as the “Lamb of Re,” a phrase corresponding to Revelation’s “Lamb of God,” a character which has the same function in many parts of the Book of Revelation as does Re in the Amduat and the Book of Gates.

Amduat's groups of twelve:
The thirty-four groups of 12 deities in the Amduat and 10 in the Book of Gates, when considered as a single group, have the same physical characteristics as recorded for the 12 tribes of Israel in Rev. 12 and elsewhere. One particular grouping of gods contains a statistically significant (p = .0001) number of names with Egyptian meanings similar to the meanings of the Hebrew names of the tribes of Israel.

Book of Gates, 2nd Div.:
The scene in this upper register of the Book of Gates shows twelve deities standing by a lake of fire. This conforms in several important ways with the scene in Rev. 15 where singers stand by a lake of fire singing “the song of Moses.” Also, there are a number of remarkable similarities between a segment of the text in the Victory Hymn of Thutmosis III and the wording of the song of Moses sung by the group in Revelation.

Book of Gates, 3rd Div.:
This part of the Book of Gates illustrates and describes a dried-up river bed and a giant serpent from which emerges enemies of the sun-god. This scene is consistent with the one in Rev. 16 describing the drying up of a river and a dragon from which emerge evil entities to gather for battle against the forces of “God the Almighty” at Armageddon. Furthermore, significant parts of Thutmosis III’s famous battle of Megiddo (= Revelation’s Armageddon) described in the Annals of Thutmosis III conform with Rev. 16's battle of Armageddon, including the many nations involved and the idea of God’s army “coming like a thief” upon the enemy.

Book of Gates, 10th & 11th Div.:  Practically all aspects of the capture of Apophis in these two parts of Book of Gates conform with the first part of Rev. 20. Parallels include the goddess Selkit (Revelation’s “angel”) who holds a “great chain” (size determined by the relative size of the hand in the illustration) used to bind the ancient serpent Apophis as well as the incarceration of Apophis deep in the earth. Also, in both sources the serpent apparently escapes while both the Book of Gates and Revelation describe its recapture and subsequent destruction.

Books of the Heavens: Events in both the Book of Night and the Book of Day follow the same sequence as the second last verse of Rev. 11 and most of Revelation’s 12th chapter.

Book of Night: Egypt’s judgment scene spans almost the entire length of the Book of Night and has all the elements of a similar scene described in the second part of Rev. 20, including the great white throne, resurrection of both the believers (with special attention to those who had drowned) and the sun-god’s enemies (Seth and his followers), separation of Revelation’s “the great and the small,” the opening of the books” (again, doors act as visual puns for books/scrolls) and the judgment of the believers (with special treatment for those who had drowned).

Book of Day: The First Hour of the Book of Day contains an illustration of Egypt’s Yaru Fields, the celestial dwelling place of those who triumph in the final judgment. These fields conform with important aspects of the Holy City described in Rev. 22; the shape, size and other characteristics of Egypt’s celestial city are practically identical with those of Revelation’s City of God.

Book of Aker:
A significant portion of the scenes depicted in the Book of Aker have counterparts in Rev. 11 which tells a story of two “witnesses” (“guardians” in the Egyptian text). Parallels include the description of the temple of God (of Osiris), two mourners (Isis and Nephthys), two lampstands (uraeus serpents), the death of the two witnesses and their resurrection and ascension into the sky, a great earthquake and the death of 7,000 people. Furthermore, the set of scenes which form the lower register of Part A of the Book of Aker, and which is believed by Egyptologists to summarize the entire book, follow the same sequence as parallel scenes in Rev. 11.

Apocalyptic Events:
Much of the imagery in three chapters in the Book of the Dead, a portion of the Book of Aker, the Prophesy of Neferrohu and the Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage reveal a variety of different apocalyptic events similar to those described in many parts of the Book of Revelation. A systematic de-mythologization of all seemingly unrelated apocalyptic texts in Revelation clearly shows they conform with the range of events normally associated with a major catastrophic eruption of a island volcano; they also conform with many apparently unlinked, similar events mentioned in the Egyptian sources. Moreover, they conform with the ancient Greek writings of Plato and modern vulcanologists who have found evidence of a catastrophic eruption of the volcanic island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea during Egypt’s 2nd Intermediate Period — an eruption which had dramatic impacts on Egypt’s delta region of the Nile -- and upon it later religious texts (such as the Book of Aker).

Parallel Series of Events: Except for apocalyptic events and other parallels in the Book of the Dead, Book of Aker, Book of Caverns, Books of the Heavens, and a few minor Egyptian sources, all the above mentioned parallels — and numerous others besides — fall into two major series: the Amduat Series and the Book of Gates Series of events.

The Schutzbild Scene: The  contains This scene, known only from the
Tomb of Ramesses VI, shows four serpents holding back four “enemies” and contains all the elements of the scene in Rev. 7:1-3 which describe the holding back of the four “winds.” This suggests a link between this tomb and this part of Revelation.

Parallel layout in the Tomb of Ramesses IV:
Remarkably, and despite their origins in disparate Egyptian texts, practically all the observed parallels found in Revelation in this study follow the same sequences and series of sequences — including minor variations in a few parallel sequences  — as similar illustrations and texts painted on the walls and ceilings of the Tomb of Ramesses VI. This supports the suggestion that the overall structure of the Book of Revelation is is based on the content and arrangement of the various texts and drawings on the walls and ceilings of this tomb. And this raises the possibility that the now-lost original version of the Book of Revelation was composed in this tomb.


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