Jan Lambrecht, «Final Judgments and Ultimate Blessings: The Climactic Visions of Revelation 20,11-21,8», Vol. 81 (2000) 362-385
Rev 20,11-15 and 21,1-8 contain the last two vision reports. The first does not deal with a general resurrection followed by a general judgment with respectively reward and condemnation. Attention is negatively focused on the final judgments of Death and Hades, as well as of those whose names are not found written in the book of life. In the second vision John sees a new heaven and a new earth and, more specifically, the new Jerusalem, i.e., the church universal of the end-time. The voice from the throne and God himself climactically proclaim final blessings. The covenant formula announces God's dwelling among the peoples, the adoption formula even a divine filial relationship: these are the main content of the ultimate blessings. Hermeneutical reflection on annihilation or transformation, on theocentrism versus human responsibilty and on the expectation of Christ's imminent parousia conclude the study.
her enormous dimensions and the precious stones as building materials underline the grandiose character of that Jerusalem from above (cf. 21,11-21).
Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband41. That husband is the Lamb (see 21,9: the interpreting angel will show him [John] the bride, the wife of the Lamb). In 19,7-9 the marriage of the Lamb and his bride is announced. The bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure (19,7c-8a). John explains: for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints (19,8b). The perfect bride is the church of the end time, the new Israel, represented by the twelve apostles of the Lamb (21,13-14), as well as consisting of the peoples (21,3), the nations (21,24-26 and 22,2; and cf. ch. 7)42. In his recent monograph Peter Hirschberg shows convincingly, it would seem, how the eschatological people of God preserves its continuity with the historical Israel, and how it is open to all peoples. In Revelation one should not find the idea of substitution of Israel by the church43.
Through her magnitude the new Jerusalem fills, one would say, the new heaven and the new earth. There seems to be no room for anything else. Gods presence in that city is emphasized (21,3bc)44. In the new Jerusalem there will be no temple, for its temple is the Lord God and the Lamb (21,22). Ezekiels new temple is, as it were, replaced by the whole of the new Jerusalem. The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb