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.