New Bible study from Barbara Rossing shares vision of hope in <em>Revelation</em> April 29, 2010

In a new ecumenical Bible study, Journeys Through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Professor of New Testament Barbara Rossing counters frightening popular interpretations of apocalyptic symbols and images in Revelation by showing that it is truly a Christ-centered book of hope.

Study addresses questions raised by Revelation
The nine-lesson study developed for the Presbyterian Church Women’s Horizons Bible Study Series guides learners on a journey to meet the crucified Lamb, Jesus. It addresses the questions, “Who wrote this book?” “Who was it for?” “What did the symbols mean for them and what do they mean for us, today?” Rossing reframes the popular interpretations of the images of war and violence in Revelation as exodus and liberation through the “wonder-working power’ of Jesus.”

“Welcome counterpoint to popular interpretation”
“I read the study cover to cover because I couldn't put it down.  In part this is because Rossing's informed voice and insightful unpacking of this difficult book is such a welcome counterpoint to popular interpretations (and misinterpretations),” writes Julie Aageson, coordinator of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Resource Centers and director of The Resource Center for Eastern North Dakota Synod. “The study is engaging, challenging, stimulating.  Rossing is scholarly without being off-putting.  She captures our attention because she speaks so clearly about the prophetic words of Revelation and their message of justice, hope and grace.”

Field-tested study will be widely used
The Horizons Bible study is used by more than 175,000 women each year. Twenty Presbyterian congregations participated in field-testing the nine sessions and honing discussion questions.

“It is my hope that readers will discover the hope in this kairos time, this urgent, present moment in which we find ourselves,” writes Rossing about the imagery of Revelation’s tree of life and river of life as a world-healing vision. 

Leader resources by Louise Lawson Johnson and art from illuminated manuscripts and by illustrator Martha Kally assist Bible study teachers through this often misunderstood and misinterpreted book.

Study available now
Journeys Through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today is available from ($8) for the Ecumenical or Presbyterian edition. Leader resources, lessons summaries, and a main point outline are free. Audio, large-print, Spanish and Korean editions will be available in the summer.

Author information
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing is professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She is the author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation. Her publications include The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse, as well as articles and book chapters on Revelation, early Christian prophecy, biblical preaching, and ecology.

Rossing has served as chaplain at Harvard Divinity School, pastor at Holden Village retreat center, and assistant pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. She serves on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). She lectures and travels extensively, including leading trips to the Middle East and joining the LWF delegation to the 2009 United Nations Copenhagen summit on global climate change. She holds a doctor of theology degree from Harvard Divinity School, a master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, and a bachelor of arts degree from Carleton College, with a major in geology.


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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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