On Saints, Sinners, and Sex in the Apocalypse of St. John and the Sefer Zerubbabel

Natalie E Latteri


The Apocalypse of St. John and the Sefer Zerubbabel [a.k.a Apocalypse of Zerubbabel] are among the most popular apocalypses of the Common Era. While the Johannine Apocalypse was written by a first-century Jewish-Christian author and would later be refracted through a decidedly Christian lens, and the Sefer Zerubbabel was probably composed by a seventh-century Jewish author for a predominantly Jewish audience, the two share much in the way of plot, narrative motifs, and archetypal characters. An examination of these commonalities and, in particular, how they intersect with gender and sexuality, suggests that these texts also may have functioned similarly as a call to reform within the generations that originally received them and, perhaps, among later medieval generations in which the texts remained important. 

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