About The Author
Steven Paul was born in Massachusetts, the second of six children born to a Polish-American World War II veteran father from Chicago and an Irish Catholic mother from the Boston area. After the family moved to California he attended Our Lady Queen of Angels Seminary in the Los Angeles area but then enlisted in the Marines and served in the Vietnam War. He picked the toughest unit he could. While serving his country, he was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and chemotherapy saved his life but required a long convalescence. Though given a short life expectancy, Steve beat the odds. During this period, Steve read many books. Literary analysis and the use of language became his passion.
He enrolled in Boston University where he studied religion, history, and classical literature and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature. He also shoveled snow at the local parish and served as lector and eventually married a woman from Vietnam he had met while working as a volunteer teaching English to the refugees from the war.
Steve would passionately quote from the Bible, from classical literature, history books, and works by the Church Fathers such as, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Tertullian, and others.
One book that really struck Steve was The Book of Destiny, by Rev. Herman Bernard Kramer, [Tan Books, 1954]. Steve once said that Rev. Kramer was on the right track but missed some important clues.
At age 52 Steve's cancer recurred and he was undergoing chemotherapy. He seemed to be improving but then disaster hit. Steve, had been brought to the hospital with a ruptured colon and was not expected to survive the day. Apparently, a thinning of the intestinal walls is one complication from the cancer treatment.
The doctors were in a dilemma. He was too weak to operate on and too sick not to. His vital signs were unstable. They decided to operate and by some small miracle, he survived the night. The family arranged for the sacrament of healing from a priest at the hospital. Steve was in a death grip. His face was contorted and pale. During the prayers for the sick, he changed. He took on a pinkish color and his whole body seemed to relax. He lived. By one count, he had 14 IV bottles hooked up at once. Although he survived, he was mostly in a coma. For four weeks, he lay in a coma, heavily sedated and with a tracheotomy tube.
It was then that his brother-in-law visited him in the hospital and grabbed his hand and told him he needed to recover because God had work for him to do.
As he recovered, the brother-in-law told him how he had prayed that he would live so that he could write down what he knew about the Apocalypse. Then the letters started coming, typewritten on an old manual typewriter. [Steve had no use for technology. He still had a rotary phone in 1999. No computer, no cell phone. He was still driving a 1984 Ford Escort in 2000]. First, a short letter arrived that explained the symbols in the Book of Daniel and how they will be important in interpreting the Apocalypse. Then a beautiful letter, a commentary, an Introduction to the Apocalypse followed.
As the letters kept coming, they kept getting more detailed, and more vivid. Because of Steve's medical history, he knew that time was short to complete the task. He would stop by his sister's house from time to time, always armed with a box of Boston Crème donuts, to explain some aspect of his letters.
His letters also changed during this time. He began to feel the strong hand of God in his work and began to see it as more than just letters for the family. He wrote, “When I look at what I have written, I am greeted by evidence of the grace of God, for some of the things explained have not been explained in nineteen centuries. When I was young, I never thought I would write something like this. When it is all typed up, I will not even speculate on what God will do with it. I have not the foggiest idea. I only know I must finish it. And, that is my cue to get back to the typing.” And he started to give instructions on how it should be shared.
Alas, he had only sent his analysis up to Chapter 12 when he got sick again and went to the hospital. After several weeks it became clear he wasn't improving and the doctor told his family there was nothing left they could do. As he lay dying, he mustered the strength to utter, “I understand, now.”
In the weeks after the funeral, Steve's wife mailed his notes to his brother-in-law. And that launched the project that became "The Apocalypse Letter by Letter. The title is a play on words, a pun if you will, because Steve had transmitted the book in a series of letters, his job was carrying letters for the Post Office, and the Apocalypse itself is a letter.