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The theology of Edgar Allan Poe

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  • The theology of Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his writing in several different fields. He is well known as an author of horror stories. He is famous as poet. He wrote detective stories that have had such an influence that the Mystery Writers of America honors him by calling its award for best mystery writer the Edgar. But I doubt if anyone associates him with religion or theology.

    I recently came across a review he wrote of Incidents Of Travel In Egypt, Arabia Petræa, And The Holy Land by John Lloyd Stephens. You can read the review here:

    Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tales - Review of Stephens' Arabia Petraea (reprint)

    In this review he expressed his opinions about Bible prophecy.

    During two thousand years prior to these predictions Egypt had never been without a prince of its own; and how oppressive was its tyranny over Judea and the neighboring nations! It, however, was distinctly foretold that this country of kings should no longer have one of its own — that it should be laid waste by the hand of strangers — that it should be a base kingdom, the basest of the base — that it should never again exalt itself among the nations — that it should be a desolation surrounded by desolation. Two thousand years have now afforded their testimony to the infallibility of the Divine word, and the evidence is still accumulative.
    He believed that the Bible was inspired by God and that its prophecies will all be fulfilled. If he were still alive today he wouldn’t be wouldn’t be surprised by the existence of the nation of Israel because he knew the Bible foretells the return of the Jews to their homeland.

    However base and degraded it might be throughout many generations, it would, notwithstanding, have strength sufficient to be looked to for aid or protection, even at the time of the restoration of the Jews to Judea, who will seek “to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and trust in the shadow of Egypt.”
    He believed the Bible was true and he studied it but otherwise we know almost nothing about his beliefs. Two major questions are unanswered; did Poe understand the Bible’s message that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and did he repent and trust in Christ to receive that salvation? His lifestyle doesn’t appear to be that of a born again Christian but only God knows for sure what was in his heart. We will never know the answer until we get to Heaven and find out whether or not he is there. I don’t expect to meet Poe when I get to Heaven but I won’t be surprised if it turns out that he is there.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

  • #2
    It makes sense that one of the greatest writers would have read the greatest piece of literature, divine literature, in the world. He was baptized as a kid, so it's completely possible that he was a Christian but preferred to write poem and mysteries. There are definite moments throughout his body of work where it was definitely inspired by the Bible and God.
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