Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: The Beast the Dragon and the Woman

Title: The Beast the Dragon and the Woman 

Author: Joe Crews

Date: 1967

Publisher: Amazing Facts

ISBN: none

Length: 42 pages

Quote: "The most fearful warning of punishment found anywhere in the Bible...points clearly to a time when God's mercy will be withheld."

That's how this jolly little tract's as close as Seventh-Day Adventist preachers, of whom Crews was one, got to old-style hellfire preaching. Without much introduction, Crews plunges into his exposition of "the sin which provokes God's strange act of fiery punishment...allegiance to the beast power." The Beast, the Dragon, and the Woman are all symbols of the powers of darkness in the book of Revelation.

It bears mention that actually the book of Revelation uses two very different women as symbols. In many schools of prophetic interpretation, "woman" is thought to represent a religious group. In Revelation, a good woman, "clothed with the sun...and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" and carrying an infant son, is persecuted by an evil woman, dressed in scarlet and riding on a dragon that "stood before the devour her child." Crews, like many scholars who take these prophecies seriously, understands these ladies to represent true believers (Christians and Messianic Jews) and antichrist powers (Herod, the Sanhedrin except for Joseph and Nicodemus, Pagan Rome, the corrupt Popes, et al.) respectively.

If you're familiar with this school of thought, what Crews has wrought here is a good clear concise summary of the Seventh-Day Adventist interpretation of Revelation, and although some printings came out clearer than others (the one I physically own has just barely legible pages that slipped in the press) this book deserves the collectors' prices that have been placed on vintage editions. (An apparently better quality copy that has the same cover as the book I physically own has a much higher price than the one shown above, which has a slightly different cover--mine was printed with amber instead of red ink.)

If you're not familiar with "inerrantist" studies of Revelation, you might be excused for sputtering that this book makes no sense to you. Crews was aware of the trendier school of "Bible scholarship" that begins with the assumption that nothing in books like Revelation could possibly be true, but he didn't bother to address readers who took that kind of ideas seriously.

In theory I get a small commission if you choose to buy the copy photographed for that Amazon link above from the seller who photographed it. If you want to support this web site, you can buy a copy from me for $10 per book + $5 per package. It's a small book, and you could fit anywhere from two to twelve other books into the package, so this price may work out to be quite competitive. In real life, the copy I physically own will be considerably cheaper.