Reflecting the Sea back on Itself: Understanding the Sea in Revelation 21:1 through John's usage of Satire and Parody in Revelation 18

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Turner, Shy'Anne, Religious Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Spittler, Janet, AS-Religious Studies (RELI), University of Virginia
Andruss, Jessica, AS-Religious Studies (RELI), University of Virginia

The purpose of this work is not to give a new meaning behind “ή θάλασσα ουκ έστιν έτι,” “the sea was no more” in Revelation 21:1 for some scholars have argued that the sea is referring to Rome, but rather to give a different approach on how we reach that conclusion. This approach consists of taking a literary approach to Revelation 21:1 when it comes to understanding “the sea was no more” as opposed to prioritizing the image of the sea as seen in previous scholarship. Such a study suggests that literary analysis ought to be used in understanding the images within Revelation, for Revelation is a literary work that utilizes rhetorical devices to give these images a particular meaning. In the case of Revelation 21:1 with the sea, through the author’s usage of “no more” points his readers back to Revelation 18:21 which has the “ή θάλασσα ουκ έστιν έτι,” “sea was no more”align with “Βαβυλων η μεγαλη πολις και ου μη ευρεθη ετι,” “the great city Babylon will be found no more”. This approach leads to the conclusion that these two chapters are connected through the author setting up Revelation 17-22 as a parody to mourning customs through his usage of satire.

MA (Master of Arts)
Revelation, Sea, Parody, Literary Analysis, Babylon, Isaiah, City Lament , Revelation 21:1, Revelation 18, Mourning Customs
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