The identity of both the political power and the
harlot in Revelation 17:1-19:6 is, more often
than not, associated with “Rome” --- viewing matters as
“a revived Roman Empire” forming the political power,
and “the Roman Catholic Church” forming a religious
power within the political. However, neither
identity-view is correct.
The Church has never departed from ideology coming out
of the Reformation concerning the interpretation of this
part of the book of Revelation. Almost five
hundred years ago the Reformers generally saw everything
as “Roman” in these three chapters — a Roman
political power and a Roman Catholic religious
power, often viewing the Pope as the Antichrist.
And, aside from viewing the Papacy in this manner
(though some Christians still do today), this whole
interpretative ideology has remained essentially
unchanged since the time of the Reformation.
Suffice it to say, ideology associating either the
political power or the harlot with “Rome” was
wrong at the time of the Reformation, and it remains
just as wrong today. In short, that part of Christendom
following either or both parts of this interpretation
has been wrong for almost five hundred years concerning
that which is taught in these three chapters in the book
The book of Revelation, as any other part of
Scripture, must be understood and interpreted in the
light of Scripture. Material in this book must
be understood and interpreted contextually, and the
entire book rests upon that which is previously
revealed in the Old Testament.
Seeking to identify the political power as a revived
Roman Empire has absolutely no basis in Scripture.
The book of Daniel is usually referenced, but
this book identifies this final form of Gentile world
power as other than Roman.
And seeking to associate the harlot with the Church of
Rome, as well, has absolutely no basis in these three
chapters, or elsewhere in the book, or in
other Scripture. In fact, the book of
Revelation clearly identifies the harlot, and
this identification is completely in line with and rests
upon that which is previously revealed in the Old