While feminist interpretations of the Book of Revelation often focus on the book’s use of feminine archetypes—mother, bride, and prostitute, this commentary explores how gender, sexuality, and other feminist concerns permeate the book in its entirety. By calling audience members to become victors, Revelation’s author, John, commends to them an identity that flows between masculine and feminine and challenges ancient gender norms. This identity befits an audience who follow the Lamb, a genderqueer savior, wherever he goes.
In this commentary, Lynn R. Huber situates Revelation and its earliest audiences in the overlapping worlds of ancient Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and first-century Judaism. She also examines how interpreters from different generations living within other worlds have found meaning in this image-rich and meaning-full book.
Lynn R. Huber is the Maude Sharpe Powell Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Huber completed a BA in philosophy at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho, and an MDiv and PhD at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her first two books, “Like a Bride Adorned”: Reading Metaphor in John’s Apocalypse (2007) and Thinking and Seeing with Women in Revelation (2013), explore Revelation’s use of gendered imagery and the ways the book invites interpreters to see along with these images.
Gail R. O’Day (1954–2018) was professor of the New Testament and preaching and dean of Wake Forest School of Divinity in 2010–2018. Before that she taught at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in 1987–2010, where she was also an associate dean for seven years. O’Day’s research focused on the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. The author of several books, O’Day was editor of Journal of Biblical Literature in 1999–2006 and general editor of the Society of Biblical Literature book series, Early Christianity and Its Literature, in 2009–2014. She was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.