The Seven Seals: The Book of Revelation, Part 2, by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, June 23, 2020

New Testament Series: Previous: Apocalypse Now: The Book of Revelation, Part 1

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.


Returning from a brief vacation, I find myself faced with St. John’s visions of the warfare between earth and heaven which characterizes the time remaining before Christ returns in glory. The Book of Revelation describes this in eschatological language—language which is symbolic of the battle between good and evil, God and Satan which fulfills and concludes our history. John is lifted up to heaven in a second vision, and he begins to learn of these things through the opening of seven seals which conceal the secrets of the times which lead up to the end. More visions follow, but here I will discuss the vision which introduces the seven seals themselves, as recounted in chapters 4 through 11.

Before we begin, let me offer an important caution. When interpreting the Book of Revelation, it is essential to keep St. Peter’s advice firmly in mind:

[D]o not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. [2 Pet 3:8-9] …

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