Re-envisioning the Church through the "Eyes" of the Woman Clothed with the Sun and the Bride in John’s Apocalypse

Authors

  • Chakrita M. Saulina Seattle Pacific University School of Theology, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36421/veritas.v22i1.613

Keywords:

The Book of Revelation, Apocalyptic Text, The Woman Clothed with the Sun, The Whore, the Bride, Feminism, Church

Abstract

The book of Revelation is dominated by many enig­ma­tic images and symbols that spark a variety of interpretations and speculations. Among these puzzling images, the feminine symbols in the second half of the book are worth noting: the wo­man clothed with the sun in Revelation 12, the whore in Rev­e­lation 17, and the bride in Revelation 21. Their meanings are often debated. Some feminist scholars argue that these images evoke violence towards women and are full of androcentric lan­g­uage. Others, however, by underlining the metaphoric nature of these female symbols, refute this claim. This study aims to pro­vide a fresh interpretation of this debate by looking more closely at the web of John’s metaphors and narrative system and utilizing both historical-critical and narrative approaches. This work argues that these female figures convey positive images of women and inclusivity in the Lamb’s Church. Moreover, the wo­man clothed with the sun and the bride have a vital role in John’s apocalypse. The link between these two metaphors—the transformation of the woman and becoming the bride—offers an important message to contemporary churches, including church­es in Indonesia, in navigating the world and overcoming cris­es.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Barr, David L. "The Apocalypse as a Symbolic Transformation of the World: A Literary Analysis." Interpretation 38, no. 1 (1984): 39-50. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/002096438403800105

Bauckham, Richard. The Climax of Prophecy: Studies on the Book of Revelation. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993.

Bauckham, Richard. God and the Crisis of Freedom: Biblical and Contemporary Perspectives. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Bauckham, Richard. The Theology of the Book of Revelation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511819858

Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text. NIGTC. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.

Collins, Adela Yarbro. The Combat Myth in the Book of Revelation. Harvard Dissertations in Religion, vol. 9. Missoula: Scholars Press 1976.

Collins, Adela Yarbro. "Feminine Symbolism in the Book of Revelation." Biblical Interpretation 1, no. 1 (1993): 20-33. https://doi.org/10.1163/156851593X00386. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/156851593X00386

Collins, Adela Yarbro. "Women's History and the Book of Revelation." In SBL 1987 Seminar Papers. Edited by K. H. Richards, 80-91, vol. 26. Atlanta: Scholar Press, 1987.

Collins, John J. "Introduction: Towards the Morphology of a Genre." Semeia 14 (1979): 1-20.

Downing, Jonathan. "The Women Clothed with the Sun: The Reception of Revelation 12 among Female British Prophets 1780-1814." In The Book of Revelation: Currents in British Research on the Apocalypse. Edited by Garrick V. Allen, Ian Paul, and Simon P. Woodman, 265-280. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.

Garrow, A. J. P. Revelation. NTR. London: Routledge, 1997.

Gulaker, Cato. Satan, the Heavenly Adversary of Man: A Narrative Analysis of the Function of Satan in the Book of Revelation. London: T&T Clark, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5040/9780567696526

Hill, Charles E. "The Interpretation of the Book of Revelation in Early Christianity." In The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Edited by Craig R. Koester, 395-412. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190655433.013.23

Huber, Konrad. "Imagery in the Book of Revelation." In The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Edited by Craig R. Koester, 53-68. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190655433.013.3

Huber, Lynn R. "The City Women Babylon and New Jerusalem in Revelation." In The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Edited by Craig R. Koester, 307-324. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190655433.013.18

Huber, Lynn R. Like a Bride Adorned: Reading Metaphor in John's Apocalypse. Emory Studies in Early Christianity, vol. 12. New York: T&T Clark, 2007.

Huber, Lynn R. Thinking and Seeing with Women in Revelation. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Humphrey, Edith M. The Ladies and the Cities: Transformation and Apocalyptic Identity in Joseph and Aseneth, 4 Ezra, the Apocalypse and the Shepherd of Hermas. JSPSup. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995.

Humphrey, Edith M. "A Tale of Two Cities and (At Least) Three Women: Transformation, Continuity, and Contrast." In Reading the Book of Revelation. Edited by David L. Barr, 81-86. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1bhkp96.9

Humphrey, Edith M. "To Rejoice or Not To Rejoice? Rhetoric and the Fall of Satan in Luke 10:17-24 and Revelation 12:1-17." In The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Politics in the Book of Revelation. Edited by David L. Barr, 113-126. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

Hylen, Susan E. "Metaphor Matters: Violence and Ethics in Revelation." The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73, no. 4 (2011): 777-796. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43727119.

Kim, Jean K. "‘Uncovering Her Wickedness:’ An Inter(con)textual Reading of Revelation 17 from a Postcolonial Feminist Perspective." Journal for the Study of the New Testament, no. 73 (1999): 61-81. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X9902107304. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X9902107304

Mueller, Ekkehardt. "Introduction to the Ecclesiology of the Book of Revelation." Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 12, no. 2 (Autumn 2001): 199-215. https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jats/vol12/iss2/14.

Olson, Daniel C. "‘Those Who Have Not Defiled Themselves with Women:’ Revelation 14:4 and the Book of Enoch." The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 59, no. 3 (1997): 492-510.

Paul, Ian. "The Book of Revelation: Image, Symbols, and Metaphor." In Studies in the Book of Revelation. Edited by Steve Moyise, 131-48. Edinburgh, New York: T&T Clark, 2001.

Paul, Ian. Revelation: Introduction and Commentary. TNTC. London: IVP Academic 2018.

Pippin, Tina. Apocalyptic Bodies: the Biblical End of the World in Text and Image. London: Routledge, 1999.

Pippin, Tina. Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Powell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: a Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.

Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. Sharing Her Word: Feminist Biblical Interpretation in Context Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998.

Searle, Joshua T. and Kenneth G. C. Newport. "Forms of Futuristic Interpretation of Revelation in the Modern Period." In The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Edited by Craig R. Koester, 447-468. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190655433.013.26

Selvidge, Marla J. "Powerful and Powerless Women in the Apocalypse." Neotestamentica 26, no. 1 (1992): 157-67. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43070285.

Tavo, Felise. Woman, Mother, and Bride: An Exegetical Investigation into the "Ecclesial" Notions of the Apocalypse. Leuven: Peeters, 2007.

Wannenmacher, Julia Eva. "The Interpretation of John's Apocalypse in the Medieval Period." In The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Edited by Craig R. Koester, 413-30. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190655433.013.24

Wise, Michael O., Martin G. Abegg, and Edward M. Cook. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. San Fran-cis¬co: HarperCollins, 1996.

Zimmermann, Ruben. "Imagery in John: Opening Up Paths into Tangled Thicket of John's Figurative World " In Imagery in the Gospel of John: Terms, Forms, Themes, and Theology of Johannine Figurative Language. Edited by Jörg Frey, Jan G. Van der Watt, and Ruben Zimmermann, 1-43. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006.

Downloads

Published

02-06-2023

How to Cite

Saulina, Chakrita M. “Re-Envisioning the Church through the "Eyes" Of the Woman Clothed With the Sun and the Bride in John’s Apocalypse”. Veritas: Jurnal Teologi dan Pelayanan 22, no. 1 (June 2, 2023): 1–18. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://ojs.seabs.ac.id/index.php/Veritas/article/view/613.

Issue

Section

Articles