By Marshall Brain

Does God exist? utilizing an intellectually rigorous, clinical procedure, Marshall Brain—the founding father of and writer of the How Stuff Works series—sets out to solve the everlasting debate as soon as and for all. With a compelling experience of interest, he breaks down mankind's look for the next strength, tackling such quandaries as: Who is God? What are his attributes? what's God doing and why? How does God have interaction with humanity? And eventually, how can people comprehend with simple task even if God is genuine or imaginary? How God Works is an enlightening trip in serious pondering that demanding situations readers to boldly procedure the topic of private religion and set aside instinct in desire of objectivity and good judgment.

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22 Tertullian thus underscores the involuntary nature of John’s time on Patmos. John did not seek Patmos out, either as a place of reflection or escape, but was exiled there by Roman authorities. Second, despite the choice of the verb relegatur, Tertullian clearly knows the form of the legend (common in later lives of John) whereby the Emperor Domitian had John plunged into boiling oil outside the Latin Gate in Rome, before banishing him to Patmos. 23 The fact that he does not expand on it suggests that it was a well-known tradition among Latin Christians, alongside that of Peter’s crucifixion and Paul’s beheading.

Doubts about the apostolic identity of John of Patmos were expressed, for example, by Dionysius of Alexandria and Eusebius. Neither Justin nor Dionysius refers specifically to Patmos, however. 2 Culpepper 2000. 3 Allenbach et al. 1975–1982; Gumerlock 2003. 5 An additional explanation lies in the essentially theological interests of those patristic authors whose interpretations of Revelation have survived, leading them to focus less on the narrative setting of John’s visions than on the content of the visions themselves, and prioritizing certain of these visions to the detriment of others.

Moreover, unlike modern historical critics, they recount this broader narrative for didactic and even imitative purposes. They are as concerned to invite reader participation as to recount the historia of the apostle. Within this early literal-biographical interpretation of Patmos, two strands emerge fairly consistently. The first interprets ‘on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus’ at Rev. 1:9 in terms of John’s exile to the island, normally though not universally attributed to a decree of the Emperor Domitian.

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