A Modern Millenarian Prophet’s Bible

Jane Shaw

in Radical Christian Voices and Practice

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738340 | DOI:
A Modern Millenarian Prophet’s Bible

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This article examines the Bible that a woman named Mabel Barltrop used as she formed her millenarian community, the Panacea Society, in Bedford in the 1910s and 1920s and came to understand herself as a prophet and female messiah figure, renamed Octavia by her followers. Looking at the marginalia on the pages of this Bible, an understanding is gleaned of the development of Mrs. Barltrop’s theology from orthodox to heterodox, the biblical texts she regarded as most important, and how she used the Book of Revelation in particular to arrive at the belief that, by overcoming ones faults and failings, a person could achieve immortal life on this earth, to be shared with Jesus when he comes again. This belief in immortality and the idea of a ‘feminine’ aspect to God were hallmarks of the Panacea Society, which grew to have hundreds of members by the 1930s.

Keywords: Overcoming; Revelation; Mabel Barltrop; Octavia; the Panacea Society

Chapter.  6910 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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