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.
(3) The perfect tense in the exclamation it is done! (ge/gonan) in v. 6b confirms that the prophecies will certainly be fulfilled. Then, in v. 6c, God defines himself and in this solemn way points to his enduring sovereignty: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. While using it in vv. 3b-4a (men, peoples, their eyes) God does not use the plural in vv. 6d-7abc; he speaks of the believer in the singular. In v. 6d, just as in v. 4abc, the blessings of salvation are pointed out figuratively: the thirsty person will receive living water from God without payment. The term dw/rean by way of gift at the end of the sentence is clearly not without emphasis (cf. 22,17). The inclusive NRSV translation has eliminated the singular in v. 7. A literal rendering is needed for the discussion:
7aHe who conquers will inherit these things, b and I will be his God c and he will be my son.
It is possible that in he who conquers the necessary condition is alluded to: one has to conquer in order to get the inheritance, i.e., the whole newness. In the concluding promise of all seven letters that condition of conquering has been repeated (2,18.104.22.168; 3,5.12.21). In v. 7bc the well-known adoption formula (cf. 2 Sam 7,14) is quoted freely. Then, in v. 8 Gods last words rather unexpectedly return to the exclusion from salvation (cf. 20,15). All liars27 comes last and concludes the preceding seven categories. Does this list, therefore, in the first place refer to cowardly, unfaithful, compromising, insincere believers? If so, verse 8 contains an impressive warning since their lot will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Yet this is not certain; all kinds of pagan unbelievers could be meant as well.
2. The Old Testament
It would seem that the main Old Testament impact on John in 22,1-8 comes from three different writings: Ezekiel, Isaiah and 2 Samuel.