This study began life as a short course exploring what Revelation 20 - 22 reveals about life after death. In unpacking this, two things became evident: (1) the biblical description of our future existence has more in common with our present life than most people assume; (2) the concluding chapters of Revelation offer a window through which the main themes of the biblical meta-story may be studied. I hope both of these observations will be demonstrated in the chapters that follow.
It goes without saying that no one is an island. The ideas contained in this study have been shaped and coloured by many others. If their present formulation proves instructive and enables others to see further, it is due only to the author being lifted as a child upon the shoulders of giants. The footnotes that accompany the main text go some way towards acknowledging my indebtedness to many scholars, even when on occasions I have differed in my interpretation of the evidence.
Dr Desmond Alexander is senior lecturer in Biblical Studies at Union Theological College, which is a recognised college of the Institute of Theology at Queen's University, Belfast. He currently chairs the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research, and is secretary to the board of Southern Theological Seminaries, a UK based charity committed to promoting theological education in the south of Argentina. As a senior lecturer in Biblical Studies at Union Theological College, Dr Desmond Alexander’s research interests lie primarily in two area: the Pentateuch and Biblical Theology. On the Pentateuch, he has authored and edited a variety of articles and books, most notably, Exodus (Apollos OT Commentary; London, 2017); Exodus (Teach the Text; Baker, 2016); From Paradise to the Promised Land: an Introduction to the Pentateuch (3rd edition; Baker, 2012); Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (co-editor) (Inter-Varsity Press, 2003). His commentary in the Teach the Text series (pp. 204; 2016) provides guidance on teaching the book of Exodus, dividing the book into 29 sections. His commentary in the Apollos series (pp. 784; 2017) provides a detailed explanation of the text of Exodus, engaging with contemporary scholarship. Having written explanatory notes on Genesis for the ESV and NIV Zondervan Study Bibles, he is currently researching and writing a more detailed commentary on Genesis. In the area of Biblical Theology, Dr Alexander’s expertise is recognized by his appointment as a general editor for the NIV Zondervan Study Bible and for a new series of biblical commentaries being published by Broadman and Holman under the general title, Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation. He was one of the main co-editors for The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), contributed the chapter on Biblical Theology to The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought (London: Routledge, 2013), and has written two introductory books on Biblical Theology: From Eden to the New Jerusalem (Kregel, 2009); The City of God and the Goal of Creation (Crossway, 2018). He is chair of the Biblical Theology Study Group of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research.