In the book of Revelation, Armageddon is the site of the battle of the "great day of God." (Rev. 16:15-16). It is widely identified with the ancient biblical city of Megiddo (mentioned in Judges 4-5 and II Kings 9), currently the site of archaeological digs from King Solomon's days. In conservative Christian circles, including Protestant Evangelicals, Armageddon is the site of the final battle between the forces of good and evil at the end of the temporal order as we know it.
   The literal interpretation of Armageddon as the site of actual future events has gained impetus since World War II, as mass destruction through modern weaponry appears to be a realistic possibility. Those who approach the book more alle-gorically have suggested that Armageddon should be seen as a symbol of the continual battles between good and evil into which humanity has been drawn in the modern era. In countries with a strong Christian tradition, the word Armageddon has been secularized to refer to any imaginable worldwide catastrophe, whether of astronomic, environmental, or other cause.
   The literature about Armageddon that circulates as apocalyptism spread within the Protestant community tends to view the coming battle as a literal event, often focused around the state of Israel as a new Jewish nation in the old Holy Land.
   See also premillennialism.
   Further reading:
   ■ Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 1992)
   ■ Edgar C. James, Armageddon and The New World Order, rev. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981)
   ■ Grant R. Jeffrey, Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny (New York: Bantam Books, 1988)
   ■ Walvoord, Armageddon, Oil and The Middle East Crisis, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1990).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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