Mother of Gods, Mother of Harlots: The Image of the Mother Goddess Behind the Depiction of the "Whore of Babylon" in Revelation 17

One of the primary interpretive challenges in the study of Revelation 17 has been to ascertain the identity of an historical personage or entity evoked by the description “Whore of Babylon.” This paper explores a previously neglected figure, Cybele the “Great Mother” Goddess. Through an examination...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Novum Testamentum
Main Author: Schedtler, Justin Jeffcoat 1977-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Brill 2017
In: Novum Testamentum
Further subjects:B Revelation 17 Whore of Babylon Mother Goddess anti-Imperial rhetoric
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Parallel Edition:Non-electronic
Description
Summary:One of the primary interpretive challenges in the study of Revelation 17 has been to ascertain the identity of an historical personage or entity evoked by the description “Whore of Babylon.” This paper explores a previously neglected figure, Cybele the “Great Mother” Goddess. Through an examination of the artistic, archaeological, and literary evidence relating to the Mother Goddess during the time of her greatest flourishing in the Roman periods, several elements of the description of the Harlot in Rev 17 can be understood to evoke Cybele. Insofar as the Mother Goddess was closely associated with Roman socio-political-religious systems, this scene constitutes an attack on the Roman Imperial apparatus.
ISSN:1568-5365
Contains:In: Novum Testamentum
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1163/15685365-12341556