There are two major entities at the close of the book of Revelation that explain the author's understanding of forthcoming life with God: the Celestial City (the heavenly Jerusalem) and the cosmic Lamb. The marriage of these two marks the concluding highpoint of John the Seer's work. What are the entities in question? How do they marry and what is the significance of that event for those who believe in Jesus as cosmic Lord? In The New Jerusalem in the Revelation of John, Bruce Malina offers insights into the concluding vision of the book of Revelation to assist Bible readers to understand what the visionary of Revelation said, and meant to say, to his first-century Mediterranean audience. The New Jerusalem and the Revelation of John sets out comparative models of what sorts of cities existed during the time of the New Testament and what it meant to live in an ancient Mediterranean city. It further explains the significance of the celestial marriage of the City and the Lamb. The result is a set of reading scenarios that describe and explain Revelation's closing visions, which mediate the theology of John the Seer. The definition and comparative model of the city in The New Jerusalem and the Revelation of John is also useful for persons interested in understanding those first "urban" members of Jesus groups addressed by other New Testament documents. Chapters are "Presuppositions about Language and Reading," "The Genre of the Book of Revelation," "The Holy City in the Sky," and "The Cosmic Lamb Marries." Includes relevant charts. Bruce J. Malina, STD, is professor of biblical studies at Creighton University. He is former president of the Catholic Biblical Association and author of articles on biblical interpretation.
The upsurge of "born again" Christianity has made conversion, a perennially important topic, especially popular today. With its special emphasis on the Bible and its teachings, evangelical Christianity has championed the need for conversion in modern life. But what does the Bible really say about conversion? Is the New Testament view of conversion uniform? Is it a one-time occurrence or an ongoing process? According to the gospels, how central to the message of Jesus is conversion? Many studies focus on psychological or anthropological aspects of conversion, but they give only a nod to the biblical data. This book contends that an overly narrow view of the biblical teaching on conversion has effectively distorted the average Christian's understanding of this topic. The New Testament contains a much broader and more diverse perspective on conversion than is usually recognized, which Father Witherup organizes and presents.
John the Baptist is one of the most fascinating and misunderstood people of the Bible. A prophet of two worlds, he calls out to the Israel of his own generation and to Christian believers of today to heed the most radical demands of conversion and newness of life. What do we know of this popular and effective man who appeared so mysteriously on the fringes of society? Why did his vision for Israel become such a challenge to Jesus and to the early Christian Church? How do we recognize and respond today to the New Testament traditions about the Baptist? Recognizing that those traditions hold the key to understanding, Kazmierski reflects on this rich and colorful portrait of John found in the New Testament. He invites us to respond to John's person and message with the same enthusiasm as those generations of first believers, to hear the "voice crying in the wilderness." Carl R. Kazmierski is associate professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. After completing theological studies in New York and Ottawa, he received a doctorate from the University of Wnrzburg, Germany.
This examination of the Eucharist is divided into two parts. The first seeks to uncover the origins of the Eucharist and to trace developments in the earliest eucharistic practice and understanding. The second part studies the eucharistic theology of the New Testament writers.