Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Barbara Rossing

Professor of New Testament

Barbara Rossing

Phone: 773-256-0765

Education | Biography | Areas of Expertise | Titled Presentations | Published Works | Sermons

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Of Interest

Barbara Rossing’s reflection on Matthew 22:15-22, “Even Taxes Belong to God,” is part of the 2014 Bread for the World Sunday resources for congregations.

On Oct. 18, 2012, Barbara Rossing delivered the 2012 Niebuhr Lecture at Elmhurst College on the topic: Apocalypse Now: Revelation So The World is not "Left Behind". Find the video and a link to the podcast here.

View the video from Barbara Rossing's Bible Study presentation for the Lutheran World Federation, in May 2012: Water Bible Study - LWF "Green & Just" Climate Change Conference

Barbara Rossing receives Yale Divinity School Alumni Award: Read the news release.

View an appearance by Barbara Rossing regarding the recent "end of days" predictions for May 21, 2011 at the following link:

Listen to three of Barbara Rossing's 2011 synod assembly presentations on the Rocky Mtn Synod assembly web site.

The 2011 Byberg Preaching lectures that Barbara Rossing and Benjamin Stewart gave in Oregon are now available online for downloading or listening (click on the year at the right; media archive); Barbara gave three lectures and one sermon; Ben Stewart gave one lecture and one sermon.

View a video biography of Barbara Rossing:



B.A. Carleton College
M.Div. Yale Divinity School
Th.D. Harvard Divinity School

Areas of Expertise

Topics that Dr. Rossing is available to address at adult forums and other congregational events

Gospels, lectionary readings, Pauline Epistles, 1 Peter, Preaching the Gospel of John, Eating Your Way Through the Gospel of Luke, Book of Faith: the Bible in Lutheran Theology

Church and Society
New Testament
Peace and Justice
Middle East

Eschatology, the Bible, and Our Future: Are We Living at the End of the World?
• Exposing the Rapture
• World Without End or End of Empire?
• Eternal Life is Now: The Gospel of John's Community of Abundant Life
• Hastening the Day When the Earth Will Burn? 2 Peter 3 and the Future of Creation
Apocalypse and Ecology: Is this the End of the World?
The Rapture Exposed: the Message of Hope in Revelation
• Exposing the Rapture: Prophecy, Not Prediction
• A Violent Jesus? Ecological Armageddon?
• Hope for the Middle East, Hope for Our Future
Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible



The Rev. Dr. Barbara R. Rossing

is professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she has taught since 1994. She loves to teach and preach about the Bible, including the Bible’s role in public life.

An avid environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at the seminary. Rossing received the bachelor of arts degree from Carleton College, the master of divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and the doctor of theology degree from Harvard University.

She served as pastor of a congregation in Minnesota, director for Global Mission Interpretation for the American Lutheran Church, pastor at Holden Village Retreat Center, Chelan, Wash., and chaplain at Harvard University Divinity School.

Rossing has lectured and preached widely, including synod assemblies and global mission events for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), as well as ecumenical theological conferences. She has served on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation (2003-2010), and chaired the Lutheran World Federation's theology and studies committee. She currently serves on the advisory committee for The Lutheran Magazine.

As a public theologian her media appearances have included “CBS Sixty Minutes” as well as  The History Channel, National Geographic, Living the Questions, and numerous print and radio interviews.

Her publications include The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Basic Books, 2004); The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse (Trinity Press, 1999); two volumes of the New Proclamation commentary (Fortress Press, 2000 and 2004); a nine-session Bible study, Journeys Through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today (Presbyterian Women, 2010); and articles and book chapters on the Apocalypse and ecology.


Titled Presentations

Apocalypse Now: Revelation So No One is “Left Behind”

Published Works


Revelation Study Guide.2010 – 2011 Horizons Bible Study – Journey through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today (Louisville, KY: Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church, 2010)

The Rapture Exposed. (Paperback) New York, New York: Basic Books, 2005.

New Proclamation Series A: Easter (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004) 1-76

The Rapture Exposed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004. [download more information (pdf)]

New Proclamation Series C: Easter. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000. Pp. 1-71.

The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride, and Empire in the Apocalypse. Harvard Theological Studies; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999.

Articles, Book Chapters, Other Publications

"Healing, Kairos and Land in the New Testament: Eschatology and the End of Empire" in Ryan Harker & Janeen Bertshe Johnson, ed., Rooted and Grounded: Essays on Land and Christian Discipleship ( Eugene: Pickwick, 2016) 61-77

“Eco-Reformation, Deep Incarnation and Lutheran Perspectives on the Universe Story” in Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, eds., Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (Maryknoll: Orbis Press, 2016) p. 264-72

"Revelation" in Fortress Commentary on the New Testament, Margaret Aymer, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, David Sanchez, eds., (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014) pp. 715-771

“Authentic Apocalyptic Hope” in Kirsi Stjerna and Deanna Thompson eds., On the Apocalyptic and Human Agency: Conversations with Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2014) p. 60-65

End-Times,” The Lutheran, June 2013

Living by the Word: Ascension of the Lord; Seventh Sunday of Easter,” The Christian Century, May 1, 2013, 20-21

“The Eco-theological Significance of John 10:10: Abundant Life through the Sabbath, Trinitarian Vestiges and the Tree
of Life” (with Celia Deane-Drummond), Ecumenical Review 65 (2013) 83-97

Second Lesson lectionary commentaries (on Revelation texts) for Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Sundays of Easter,, April-May 2013

"That Day and Hour," Gather Magazine, May 2013, pp. 26-29

“Faith Groups and Climate Change,” in Sharing Solutions: Transatlantic Cooperation for a Low-Carbon Economy
(Prague-Washington D.C.: The Climate Network, Heinrich Boell Foundation, 2011) 57-59

“River Sunday” in Norman Habel, David Rhoads, and Paul Santmire, The Season of Creation (Minneapolis:
Fortress, 2011) 112-23

“Why Luke’s Gospel? Daily Bread and Recognizing Christ in Food-Sharing,” Currents in Theology and Mission
37 (June 2010) 225-29

"Diversity in the Bible as a Model for Lutheran Hermeneutics," in Karen Bloomquist, ed., Transformative Theological Perspectives (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2010)

"God Laments With Us: Climate Change, Apocalypse and the Urgent Kairos Moment," Ecumenical Review 62 (July, 2010) p. 119-30

“A Beloved Earth Community: Christian Mission” (and David Rhoads), in Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission (Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press, 2010) 128-143

 “Faith and Earthkeeping: A Tribute to the Environmental Ministry of David Rhoads” (and Rob Saler), Currents in Theology and Mission  Vol 37  No 2 (April, 2010) 82-83

“’Hastening the Day’ When the Earth Will Burn?  Global Warming,  Revelation, and 2 Peter 3 (Advent 2, year B),” Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.35, No. 5 (October 2008): 363-373

"'Hastening the Day' When the Earth Will Burn: Global Warming, 2 Peter, and a Nature Hike Through the Book of Revelation" in Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Ellen Aitken and Jonathan Draper, eds., Reading the Signs of the Times: Taking the Bible Into the Public Square (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008) 25-38

"Prophecy, End-Times, and American Apocalypse: Reclaiming Hope for Our World" Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2007

"Healing Our Affluenza: Jesus, the Rich Man, and Eternal Life," in David Rhoads, ed., Earth And World: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet (Continuum, 2007)

"Apocalyptic Violence and Politics: End Times Fiction for Jews and Christians" in Melody Knowles, Esther Menn, Timothy J. Standoval and John Pawlikowsky eds., Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation About the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007) 67-77

"Water of Life and the Waters of Our Lives," Lutheran World Information 9 (2006)

"Healing Affluenza: Mark 10: 17-27," Currents in Theology and Mission 33/4 (August 2006) 300-04

"Prophets, Prophetic Movements and the Voices of Women" in A Peoples History of Christianity (Fortress Press 2005)

"Democracy, not Armageddon: Response to Yehezkel Landau," Conversations in Religion and Theology 3/1
(Spring 2005)

"For the Healing of the World: Reading Revelation Ecologically" in David Rhoads, ed., From Every Tribe,
Tongue, People, and Nation: The Book of Revelation in Intercultural Perspective
(Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005)

"Understanding Biblical Urgency: Debunking Left-Behind Theology," Lutheran Woman Today, December 2004.

"Up for Discussion: The Left Behind Novels," co-authored with Ann Hafften (Downloadable study guide,
Augsburg Fortress, 2004)

"(Re)Claiming Oikoumene? Empire, Ecumenism and the Discipleship of Equals" in Shelly Matthews, Cynthia
Briggs Kittredge and Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, eds., Walk In the Ways of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of
Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza
(Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003) 74-87.

Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly Bible studies, in Karen Bloomquist, ed., For the Healing of the
(studies on Revelation 22; Revelation 7; Revelation 21; Ephesians 2; Romans 8; Geneva: 2002)

Foreword: A Biblical Reflection, Envisioning a Lutheran Communion: Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, Mark Thomsen and Vitor Westhelle, eds. (Minneapolis: Kirk House, 2002) 8-11

"For the Healing of the World," Holden Village News, Summer 2003

"Alas for the Earth: Lament and Resistance in Revelation 12" in Norman Habel and Shirley Wurst, eds., The
Earth Story in the New Testament
(The Earth Bible, vol. 5; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002) 180-92

"The Hope of Resurrection," Lutheran Woman Today April 2001

"River of Life in God's New Jerusalem: An Eschatological Vision for Earth's Future." In Christianity and Ecology, ed. Rosemary Ruether and Dieter Hessel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press Center for World Religions, 1999. Pp. 205-224. reprinted in Mission Studies 16/1 (1999) 136-156.

"No One Is Left Behind." Lutheran Woman Today. (December 1999) 14-15.

"Standing at the Door of a New Millennium: Economy, Eschatology, and Hope." Dialog (Fall 1998).

"River of Life in God's New Jerusalem: An Ecological and Eschatological Vision for Earth's Future." Currents in Theology and Mission, 25/6 (1998) 487-99.

"For Such a Time as This: The Millennial Moment." Lutheran Woman Today, (January 1999).

"Models of Koinonia in the New Testament and Early Church." In The Church as Communion, ed. Heinrich Holze. Geneva: Lutheran World Federation documentation 42, 1997. Pp. 60-80.

"Glimpsing the Koinonia of the Holy Spirit." Lutheran Woman Today (May 1997) 10-13.

"Are You Able to Drink the Cup? Grape Juice at Holy Communion." Currents in Theology and Mission 24/3, (1997) 267-72.

DVD’s, film appearances (selected)

Hell: A Survivor's Guide", 2015
View the film online (password: "hell")

“Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Faith,” Living the Questions, 2013

“Earthbound,” Seraphim Communications, 2009
Living the Questions 2.0, 2008

National Geographic Channel, “Secrets of Revelation,” July 16, 2006

"The Doomsday Code," Mentorn Television Channel 4 (100-minute British documentary), aired Sept. 16, 2006; Read about this documentary here.

The Lutheran Course DVD, Augsburg Fortress, 2005

The History Channel, “Countdown to Armageddon,” December 26, 2004

Page last modified Sep 3, 2015