Barbara Rossing

Professor of New Testament

Headshot of Barbara Rossing



  • Apocalypse
  • Archaeology
  • Bible
  • Church and Society
  • Ecology
  • Homosexuality
  • New Testament
  • Peace and Justice
  • Revelation
  • Scripture
  • Sexuality
  • Middle East
  • Eschatology


  • B.A., Carleton College
  • M.Div., Yale Divinity School
  • Th.D., Harvard Divinity School


The Rev. Dr. Barbara R. Rossing is professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she has taught since 1994. She loves to teach and preach about the Bible, including the Bible’s role in public life.

An avid environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at the seminary. Rossing received the bachelor of arts degree from Carleton College with a major in geology; the master of divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School, where she received the Alumni Award for Distinction in Theological Education; and doctor of theology degree from Harvard University.

Ordained in 1982, she served as pastor of a congregation in Minnesota, director for Global Mission Interpretation for the American Lutheran Church, pastor at Holden Village Retreat Center, Chelan, Wash., and chaplain at Harvard University Divinity School.

Rossing has lectured and preached widely, including synod assemblies and international theological conferences. She has served on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation (2003-2010), chaired the Lutheran World Federation’s theology and studies committee, and chaired the LWF climate delegations to the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen and Cancun.

As a public theologian her media appearances have included “CBS Sixty Minutes” as well as The History Channel, National Geographic, Living the Questions, and numerous print and radio interviews.

Her publications include The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Basic Books, 2004); The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse (Trinity Press, 1999); two volumes of the New Proclamation commentary (Fortress Press, 2000 and 2004); a nine-session Bible study, Journeys Through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today (Presbyterian Women, 2010); and articles, book chapters, commentaries and Bible studies on the Apocalypse and ecology.


  • 2010 – 2011 Horizons Bible Study – Journey through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today (Louisville, KY: Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church, 2010)
  • The Rapture Exposed. (Paperback) New York, New York: Basic Books, 2005.
  • New Proclamation Series A: Easter (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004) 1-76
  • The Rapture Exposed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004.
  • New Proclamation Series C: Easter. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000. Pp. 1-71.
  • The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride, and Empire in the Apocalypse. Harvard Theological Studies; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999.

Articles, Book Chapters, Other Publications

  • “Healing, Kairos and Land in the New Testament: Eschatology and the End of Empire” in Ryan Harker & Janeen Bertshe Johnson, ed., Rooted and Grounded: Essays on Land and Christian Discipleship ( Eugene: Pickwick, 2016) 61-77
  • “Eco-Reformation, Deep Incarnation and Lutheran Perspectives on the Universe Story” in Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, eds., Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (Maryknoll: Orbis Press, 2016) p. 264-72
  • “Revelation” in Fortress Commentary on the New Testament, Margaret Aymer, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, David Sanchez, eds., (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014) pp. 715-771
  • “Authentic Apocalyptic Hope” in Kirsi Stjerna and Deanna Thompson eds., On the Apocalyptic and Human Agency: Conversations with Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2014) p. 60-65
  • End-Times,” The Lutheran, June 2013
  • “Living by the Word: Ascension of the Lord; Seventh Sunday of Easter,” The Christian Century, May 1, 2013, 20-21
  • “The Eco-theological Significance of John 10:10: Abundant Life through the Sabbath, Trinitarian Vestiges and the Tree
  • of Life” (with Celia Deane-Drummond), Ecumenical Review 65 (2013) 83-97
  • Second Lesson lectionary commentaries (on Revelation texts) for Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Sundays of Easter, Working Preacher, April – May 2013.
  • “That Day and Hour,” Gather Magazine, May 2013, pp. 26-29
  • “Faith Groups and Climate Change,” in Sharing Solutions: Transatlantic Cooperation for a Low-Carbon Economy (Prague-Washington D.C.: The Climate Network, Heinrich Boell Foundation, 2011) 57-59
  • “River Sunday” in Norman Habel, David Rhoads, and Paul Santmire, The Season of Creation (Minneapolis:
  • Fortress, 2011) 112-23
  • “Why Luke’s Gospel? Daily Bread and Recognizing Christ in Food-Sharing,” Currents in Theology and Mission 37 (June 2010) 225-29
  • “Diversity in the Bible as a Model for Lutheran Hermeneutics,” in Karen Bloomquist, ed., Transformative Theological Perspectives (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2010)
  • “God Laments With Us: Climate Change, Apocalypse and the Urgent Kairos Moment,” Ecumenical Review 62 (July, 2010) p. 119-30
  • “A Beloved Earth Community: Christian Mission” (and David Rhoads), in Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission (Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press, 2010) 128-143
  • “Faith and Earthkeeping: A Tribute to the Environmental Ministry of David Rhoads” (and Rob Saler), Currents in Theology and Mission Vol 37 No 2 (April, 2010) 82-83
  • “’Hastening the Day’ When the Earth Will Burn? Global Warming, Revelation, and 2 Peter 3 (Advent 2, year B),” Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.35, No. 5 (October 2008): 363-373
  • “‘Hastening the Day’ When the Earth Will Burn: Global Warming, 2 Peter, and a Nature Hike Through the Book of Revelation” in Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Ellen Aitken and Jonathan Draper, eds., Reading the Signs of the Times: Taking the Bible Into the Public Square (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008) 25-38
  • “Prophecy, End-Times, and American Apocalypse: Reclaiming Hope for Our World” Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2007
  • “Healing Our Affluenza: Jesus, the Rich Man, and Eternal Life,” in David Rhoads, ed., Earth And World: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet (Continuum, 2007)
  • “Apocalyptic Violence and Politics: End Times Fiction for Jews and Christians” in Melody Knowles, Esther Menn, Timothy J. Standoval and John Pawlikowsky eds., Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation About the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007) 67-77
  • “Water of Life and the Waters of Our Lives,” Lutheran World Information 9 (2006)
  • “Healing Affluenza: Mark 10: 17-27,” Currents in Theology and Mission 33/4 (August 2006) 300-04
  • “Prophets, Prophetic Movements and the Voices of Women” in A Peoples History of Christianity (Fortress Press 2005)
  • “Democracy, not Armageddon: Response to Yehezkel Landau,” Conversations in Religion and Theology 3/1
  • (Spring 2005)
  • “For the Healing of the World: Reading Revelation Ecologically” in David Rhoads, ed., From Every Tribe, Tongue, People, and Nation: The Book of Revelation in Intercultural Perspective (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005)
  • “Understanding Biblical Urgency: Debunking Left-Behind Theology,” Lutheran Woman Today, December 2004.
  • “Up for Discussion: The Left Behind Novels,” co-authored with Ann Hafften (Downloadable study guide, Augsburg Fortress, 2004)
  • “(Re)Claiming Oikoumene? Empire, Ecumenism and the Discipleship of Equals” in Shelly Matthews, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, eds., Walk In the Ways of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003) 74-87.
  • Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly Bible studies, in Karen Bloomquist, ed., For the Healing of the World (studies on Revelation 22; Revelation 7; Revelation 21; Ephesians 2; Romans 8; Geneva: 2002)
  • Foreword: A Biblical Reflection, Envisioning a Lutheran Communion: Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, Mark Thomsen and Vitor Westhelle, eds. (Minneapolis: Kirk House, 2002) 8-11
  • “For the Healing of the World,” Holden Village News, Summer 2003
  • “Alas for the Earth: Lament and Resistance in Revelation 12” in Norman Habel and Shirley Wurst, eds., The Earth Story in the New Testament (The Earth Bible, vol. 5; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002) 180-92
  • “The Hope of Resurrection,” Lutheran Woman Today April 2001
  • “River of Life in God’s New Jerusalem: An Eschatological Vision for Earth’s Future.” In Christianity and Ecology, ed. Rosemary Ruether and Dieter Hessel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press Center for World Religions, 1999. Pp. 205-224. reprinted in Mission Studies 16/1 (1999) 136-156.
  • “No One Is Left Behind.” Lutheran Woman Today. (December 1999) 14-15.
  • “Standing at the Door of a New Millennium: Economy, Eschatology, and Hope.” Dialog (Fall 1998).
  • “River of Life in God’s New Jerusalem: An Ecological and Eschatological Vision for Earth’s Future.” Currents in Theology and Mission, 25/6 (1998) 487-99.
  • “For Such a Time as This: The Millennial Moment.” Lutheran Woman Today, (January 1999).
  • “Models of Koinonia in the New Testament and Early Church.” In The Church as Communion, ed. Heinrich Holze. Geneva: Lutheran World Federation documentation 42, 1997. Pp. 60-80.
  • “Glimpsing the Koinonia of the Holy Spirit.” Lutheran Woman Today (May 1997) 10-13.
  • “Are You Able to Drink the Cup? Grape Juice at Holy Communion.” Currents in Theology and Mission 24/3, (1997) 267-72.

DVD/Film appearances

  • “Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Faith,” Living the Questions, 2013
  • “Earthbound,” Seraphim Communications, 2009
  • Living the Questions 2.0, 2008
  • National Geographic Channel, “Secrets of Revelation,” July 16, 2006
  • “The Doomsday Code,” Mentorn Television Channel 4 (100-minute British documentary), aired Sept. 16, 2006
  • The Lutheran Course DVD, Augsburg Fortress, 2005
  • The History Channel, “Countdown to Armageddon,” December 26, 2004
Back to top