Dear Revelation List Members,
I am sorry about my former Spanish mail.
I am glad to let you know that I successfully defended
my doctoral dissertation on the Apocalypse at the
University of Salamanca (Spain).
The topic was: "The New Jerusalem, heavenly city or
earthly city? Exegetical and Theological Study on Rev
Here is a short abstract in English, from the Prologue
(I apologize for my English):
"The aim of this work is to show that the vision of
the new Jerusalem (Rev 21,1-8), interpreted for the
majority of authors like referred to the end of the
times, doesn't contain any element that forces such an
interpretation. On the contrary, it may be read in a
more clear way as the announcement of a reality
referred to Jesus' first coming.
In general the authors affirm that the death and
resurrection of Christ has already brought in some
way the new Jerusalem, but it will become patent and
noticeable in the parousia. This work attempts to
shows the opposite: with the death and resurrection of
Christ the new Jerusalem has become patent and
noticeable (to the eyes John of Patmos), which will
find in some way its fullness in the parousia. I The
new Jerusalem will arrive to its perfection at the end
of the times. But it is a theological conclusion that
the author doesn't care. In the description of the new
Jerusalem, John thinks mainly in the new situation
arisen from the death of Christ.
The book has four chapters.
The first presents the literary study of Rev 21,1-8.
In this first part is assumed that Revelation doesn't
contain one but three descriptions of the new
Jerusalem, from different perspectives: in 21,1-8 (as
new creation), in 21,9-27 (as new city), and in 22,1-5
(as new paradise).
The second chapter analyzes the three literary units
of Rev 21,1-8: the vision (21,1-2), the audition
(21,3-4) and the divine speech (21,5-8). At the end it
is concluded that Rev 21,1-8 doesnt contain any
element that forces to consider the vision of the new
Jerusalem like a future reality at the end of the
times. Everything rather makes to think that John
referred with this image to a situation come out with
Christ's paschal death.
As many authors see in the precedent visions
(19,11-20,15) the second coming of Christ and final
trial, the third chapter is dedicated to those five
visions: the eschatological combat (19,11-21), the
binding of Satan (20,1-3), the millennial Kingdom
(20,4-6), the battle of Gog and Magog (20,7-10) and
the final trial (20,11-15). The conclusion here is
that these visions can also be read from a present
perspective, without necessity of remitting them to
the second coming of Christ. Finally, as many authors
find in the two last visions of the new Jerusalem
(21,9-27 and 22,1-5) futuristic elements, the fourth
chapter investigates these ones. The result of the
exploration is that the two final visions of the book
contain arguments that justify more a present
interpretation of the new Jerusalem that a future
Ariel Alvarez Valdes
Prof. of Sacred Scripture and Theology
Catjolic University of Santiago del Estero
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