Monthly Archives: April 2014

Revelation Allusion in Dexter

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Earlier this semester, my boyfriend started my addiction to Netflix. My first addiction was Dexter. Aside from Dexter (Michael C. Hall) being insanely attractive, the storylines are unique. I don’t know many shows that focus on a “good-guy” serial killer whose sister is a homicide detective.This allusion contains a massive amount of spoilers; so, if you have any inclination of watching Dexter, don’t read this. 

Dexter was orphaned at the age of three. Dexter was adopted by Harry Morgan, a policeman, who recognized his homicidal tendencies and taught him to channel his  passion for human dissection in a “constructive” way. Dexter only kills criminals who have slipped through the  cracks in the justice system. Dexter works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. Both Dexter’s wife was killed by a serial killer. 

In season 6, religion is addressed in a very unsubtle way. The two main antagonist in season 6 are the not so subtle allusion to Revelation. The Doomsday Killers (DDK) are Professor James Gellar  and his student Travis Marshall. These two want to bring about the end of the world through killings based on Revelation.

 

There are many allusions throughout the season.

In episode 1, the DDK are seen looking for a pregnant water snake. The need seven live water snake babies. This alludes to Revelation 12 where a woman gives birth to a dragon with seven heads. The DDK murder a man at a fruit stand and place the seven snakes into his belly forming the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. This is an allusion to Revelation 1:8.

At the end of  episode 3,  there are four horse with horribly disfigured bodies riding them. This is an allusion to Revelation 6:1-8.

Episode 4 begins with Dexter fascinated with the four horses. The four horse have been painted with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. This is the episode where the police start putting together the pieces that the DDK are using Revelation as inspiration. The police learn that Geller, half of the DDK, was fired from his university job for stealing a sword that belonged to John the Revelator. A victim is hung in a greenhouse. When the police find her, she is still alive. An officer trips a wire and the woman falls to her death. She lands as if she has wings like an angel. Dexter hears a buzzing sound and finds the cause: a closet door full of locust. The locust are an allusion to Revelation 9.

Episode 5 is where the DDK begins looking for the whore of Babylon. This is an allusion to Revelation 17. However, in Episode 6, they let the “whore” go.

In episode 8,  a different Whore of Babylon is found dead sitting on a crocodile seat and seven heads. This is an allusion to Revelation 17 and her fall in Revelation 18.

In episode 9, The words “BRING THE FALSE PROPHET TO THE CHURCH”  are written in blood on a mirror. The false prophet is an allusion to most of the New Testament as well as Revelation. Up until this episode, everyone believes that the DDK are two people. This is changed during this episode.

In episode 10, DDK paints a picture of Wormwood and the poisoning of mankind. This is an allusion to Revelation 8:11. Episode 11 is when Dexter saves the entire police department by stopping the DDK accomplice from setting off the Wormwood poison gas.

Episode 12 is entitled “This is the Way the World Ends”. During this episode, a solar eclipse is scheduled to happen. DDK has painted a massive mural of Dexter as the Beast in the Lake of Fire. Minus the Dexter aspect, this is an allusion to Revelation 20. Dexter has a son, Harrison, who attends a Catholic preschool.  Harrison has a preschool pageant of Noah’s Ark. Harrison is dressed as a lamb, the symbol of innocence. DDK kidnaps Harrison and takes him to the rooftop of a building where there is an altar built. DDK considers Dexter the beast but considers Harrison innocent. Kind of ironic.

This season of Dexter has very obvious allusions to Revelation. Even though these are obvious allusions, without knowledge of the Bible and Revelation, the audience would not understand the significance of the references. Since I was exposed to Revelation, I understood from the beginning of the season Revelation would play a major role. This season might have been my favorite.

 

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What is the Importance of the 7 Churches?

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To me, Revelation is one of the most confusing books of the Bible. I read Revelation at the beginning of the week, but I put off writing my blog so that I could soak up all of the imagery and symbolism. Even though I had all week to think about Revelation, I was really just stuck on the Seven Churches. Who are the Seven Churches? Why are they important? Why those specific churches?

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet  saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’ ” -Revelation 1:10-11

Seven Churches of Asia

These churches are called multiple things: the Seven Churches of Revelation, the Seven Churches of Asia, and the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse.  Even though they are called different names, each name is referring to the same seven churches. As we have learned, a church is a community not just a meeting house or building. These churches are all located in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey. (www.rmsbibleengineering.com)

Each church is written a letter within Revelation. Each church has a specific characteristic that makes it stand out from the others.

Ephesus (2:1-7) – the loveless church

  • Ephesus was an ancient city known for the Temple of Artemis. Paul lived here and helped found this church. Paul also wrote to the Church in Ephesus (Ephesians) from prison.

Smyrna (2:8-11) – the persecuted church 

  • Smyrna was located 40 miles north of Ephesus. This city had many temples and statues to Roman and Greek gods.

Pergamum (2:12-17) – the compromising church 

  • Pergamum was the Roman capital of the province. It was located 5o miles north of Smyrna. There was a temple to Caesar and many pagan gods/goddesses.

Thyatira (2:18-29) – the corrupt church

  • Paul and Silas may have visited this church.  It is about 50 miles from the Mediterranean. It was the center of the indigo trade.

Sardis (3:1-6) – the dead church

  • Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, and the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire. The Sardis Synagogue is located here.

Philadelphia (3:7-13) – the faithful church

  • Philadelphia was in the administrative district of Sardis. There is nothing but praise during the book of Revelation about Philadelphia. It means “city of brotherly love.”

Laodicea (3:14-22) – the lukewarm church

  • There was a prominent Jewish community here. Laodicea is mentioned in Colossians. First Timothy may have been written here according to some translations.

 

The Churches chosen were representations of the “spiritual condition” that was going on at the time. (www.discoverrevelation.com) All of these cities were near the island of Patmos where John was exiled. John would have been familiar with these churches and their strengths and weaknesses.

The importance of these specific churches depends on which interpretation is viewed.

According to the Historicist, they believe that each church represents a time period within the Church’s past and future.

  1. “The age of Ephesus is the apostolic age.
  2. The age of Smyrna is the persecution of the Church through A.D. 313.
  3. The age of Pergamum is the compromised Church lasting until A.D. 500.
  4. The age of Thyatira is the rise of the papacy to the Reformation.
  5. The age of Sardis is the age of the Reformation.
  6. The age of Philadelphia is the age of evangelism.
  7. The age of Laodicea represents liberal churches in a “present day” context.”  (www.bluemountainmission.com)

According to the Preterist, all of the prophecies have been completed and were completed during the 1st Century. (preterismmatters.webs.com). The Seven Churches were defined by their characteristics at the time, but are not defined by them now.

Futurist  believe  that  the Revelation prophesies’ events will take place in the future. The Seven Churches were defined by their characteristics and will probably be defined by those same characteristics during the Great Tribulation.

The Idealist view says that Revelation describes  the battle throughout the ages between God and Satan and good against evil. This is described by using symbolic language. (www.probe.org). The Seven Churches were described in symbolic language and may or may not have actually been defined by those characteristics.