This work is an exegesis of every verse in the book of Revelation, relating its key images to other passages in Scripture. It focuses on what Swedenborg saw as the fall of the Christianity of his time (the eighteenth century) and the predicted eventual rise of a new Christianity thereafter. Although argued in a rather terse style, its central reading is spiritual—unlike many if not most other views of the book of Revelation, which relate the text merely to world events, whether long past, present, or still to come. It is the first of Swedenborg’s works to include at the end of every chapter lengthy narrative accounts (or “memorable occurrences”) of the author’s spiritual experiences. These accounts often include his blunt declarations of the fate of various kinds of Christians (including lofty church officials) in the afterlife.

Volume 2: Covers the second half of Revelation, chapters 14–22, and explains the events there as symbolizing various stages in the coming Judgment in the spiritual world and the creation of a new church. After the Judgment is complete, the resplendent Jerusalem descends and God promises to come again. This final vision depicts the arrival of a new church in which individuals will be able to receive enlightenment from God in a new way. Swedenborg ends the accounts of his spiritual experiences, and the volume, with a description of angels and spirits in conversation about the true nature of God.

About the Author

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him the position of overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was given a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ which resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.

The Redesigned Standard Edition is a thirty-volume collection of the only complete edition of Swedenborg’s theological writings currently available from the Swedenborg Foundation. Originally translated and published in the early 1900s, the RSE casebound set was redesigned and printed in a more readable format under the direction of William R. Woofenden.

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Emanuel Swedenborg






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