There isn’t enough computer memory to detail the volume of anti-Catholic whoppers floating around in non-Catholic circles. So I cannot – although I would like to – refute all of them. For this article, I will just stand against one: that the Catholic Church is the Harlot of Babylon. There is much conjecture and Bible bending on this issue, and one would deduce that one of these “teachers” would – at some point – go to Mother Church and ask if what they believe is true. But we all know that this isn’t going to happen.
The only point in the Harlot of Babylon whopper that I am going to talk about is the one in Revelation 17:9 that talks about a woman sitting on seven mountains:
In Revelation , 17:9, the Bible talks about a woman who sits on seven mountains. Popular Protestant teaching says that those “mountains” are the seven hills of ancient Rome. The word that John wrote in Revelation is the Greek word, “horos.” There are sixty-five occurrences of this word “horos” in the New Testament, and, interestingly, only three are translated “hill.” The others – (62) of them – are translated as “mountain” or “mount.” Today’s Bibles are translated the same way.
“Mountains” in the Bible are common Biblical symbols that refer to entire kingdoms. The seven mountains could mean seven kingdoms with which the Harlot had something in common or maybe seven kingdoms she actually reigns over. Even if we decide to translate “horos” as “hill,” it doesn’t necessarily point us to Rome because there are over 51 other cities that sit on seven hills as well. Here are some of them: Aman, Jordan; Asuncion, Paraguay; Athens, Greece; Ceuta, Spain; Lasi, Romania; Jerusalem, Israel; San Diego, California; Turku, Finland; Yonkers, New York.
The Meaning of “Seven”:
The word “seven” in the Bible often refers to completeness. If the “seven” is indeed meant to be taken symbolically, it might mean that the harlot reigns over all the kingdoms of the world.
What if the word “Rome” actually does mean the hills of ancient Rome? Which Rome is the writer talking about? Is it Pagan Rome or Christian Rome? You could use either one.
Vatican City, the city where the Catholic Church is headquartered, is not built on seven hills. It was only built on one – which is called “Vatican Hill.” Vatican Hill was not (emphasis added) built upon any of the seven hills that Ancient Rome was built on. Ancient Rome and Vatican Hill are on opposite sides of the Tiber River. Ancient Rome was on the east side, and Vatican Hill is on the west.
Within the Harlot of Babylon pontification, there are unorthodox interpretations of “Babylon,” the reference to the Harlot being “clothed in purple and red,” the reference to ‘great wealth,” the golden cup,” the inscription on the harlot’s head, the blood of saints, and the Harlot reigning over kings – all “pointing” to the Catholic Church. It would take several volumes to cover them all.