We will complete this series with a recommended reading list for Revelation, with Rob Bowman providing a helpful introduction.
“There are innumerable bad books on the Book of Revelation. The number of good commentaries and studies on the subject, though no doubt much smaller, is too large for anyone to read or even to consult them all when studying Revelation or a particular passage in it. This bibliography therefore presents a highly selective list of references of relevance to the serious study of the Book of Revelation. Even so, I have listed double the number of works here that I list for other NT books in this series of bibliographic essays. The criteria for inclusion here are as follows. (1) Priority is given to the most current and most thorough references. This does not mean I think newer is necessarily better. However, the newer works often helpfully review the arguments of earlier studies and so can be avenues to learning about the earlier references. (2) Since the Book of Revelation is arguably the most controversial book in the New Testament, with a bewildering array of interpretive approaches, the selection here emphasizes the need to become acquainted with the different ways of reading the book. In addition, a mix of differing viewpoints on Revelation is of value to anyone who wants to understand current scholarship on its interpretation. Given the diversity just among conservative, evangelical approaches, I have omitted liberal and heretical commentaries. (3) The commentaries are generally exegetical or academic in approach, not devotional or homiletical, as valuable as those approaches are in their own right. The goal here is to provide a usable list of the reference works that anyone writing an exegesis paper on a passage or theme in the Book of Revelation should normally try to consult.”
Beale, Gregory K. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999. Masterful analysis from an idealist, amillennial perspective, especially strong in relating Revelation to the OT.
Bock, Darrell L., gen. ed. Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond. Stanley N. Gundry, series ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999. Generally well-done, cordial discussion by three NT scholars defending and responding to postmillennialism (Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.), premillennialism (Craig A. Blaising), and amillennialism (Robert B. Strimple).
Boxall, Ian, and Richard Tresley, eds. The Book of Revelation and Its Interpreters: Short Studies and an Annotated Bibliography. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. For no other book of the Bible is its reception history of importance in approaching its interpretation today than in the case of the book of Revelation. This book reviews the history of how Revelation was interpreted up through 1700.
Gregg, Steve, ed. Revelation: Four Views. A Parallel Commentary. Foreword by Robert Clouse. Rev. and updated ed. Nashville: Nelson Reference, 2013. Orig. 1997. Four separate passage-by-passage commentaries on Revelation, all written by Gregg though including excerpts from other commentaries, to represent the four major approaches to the book, placed in parallel columns for ease of comparison.
Keener, Craig S. Revelation. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. Evangelical commentary emphasizing application to the church’s contemporary context and concerns, by a scholar intimately familiar with the Jewish and Greco-Roman literature and cultural backgrounds. One of the best commentaries occupying the middle ground between academic exegetical references and popular expositions, and therefore of special interest to pastors.
Newport, Kenneth G. C. Apocalypse and Millennium: Studies in Biblical Eisegesis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Studies in how Revelation has been interpreted in the past three centuries, with special attention to Adventism and Koresh.
Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. Historic premillennial, eclectic approach (moderately futurist). Comparable theologically to the older (and still excellent) commentary by George Eldon Ladd.
Poythress, Vern Sheridan. The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000. Idealist, amillennial introduction (not an exhaustive exegetical commentary), arguing that Revelation is meant to be understood even (or especially) by non-scholars.
Thomas, Robert L. Revelation 1-7: An Exegetical Commentary; Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary. Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary. Chicago: Moody, 1992, 1995. Dispensational premillennial (futurist); perhaps the best commentary from this perspective.
Wilson, Mark. Charts on the Book of Revelation. Kregel Charts of the Bible and Theology. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007. Extremely useful information relevant to Revelation presented in a very accessible way, covering such topics as views on the author, date, genres, and structure of the book; thematic parallels to other NT books and to 4 Ezra; symbols, colors, numbers, and angels in Revelation; and much more.
16 thoughts on “A Curator’s Guide — An Exploration into Revelation”
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If you are trying “to provide a usable list of the reference works that anyone writing an exegesis paper on a passage or theme in the Book of Revelation should normally try to consult,” as you conclude your intro, how can you omit Bauckham’s The Theology of the Book of Revelation?
If you are trying “to provide a usable list of the reference works that anyone writing an exegesis paper on a passage or theme in the Book of Revelation should normally try to consult,” as you conclude, you should include Bauckham’s short NT Theology book, The Theology of the Book of Revelation.
After reviewing this list of books on Amazon.com, I will be purchasing Osborne’s. Thanks!
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Thomas, Robert L. Revelation 1-7: An Exegetical Commentary; Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary – this is an excellent choice! As a futurist myself, I’ve found this commentary to be the most reasonable, fair and helpful commentary on Revelation yet.
I have one on the list: Beale’s commentary. That should keep me busy for long enough. 🙂
May I comment something briefly? May I add that despite all books/efforts, the problem of the seven speaking thunders will be unsolved, but knowledge shall be increased. (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
I would be interested to hear your own thoughts on ‘Revelation’, a most mysterious book?.
I would also be interested to hear your thoughts on my ‘Thesis on Lazarus’?
Great list. I’ve pondered a study in Revelation for our small group. This list will help. Are there any video series you would recommend?
Dear Dr Wallace
I am interested in your thoughts on Revelation. What is this book saying? I am particularly interested Revelation Chapter 5, verse 1 (NIV) :-
5:1 Then I saw on the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals According to the ‘Good News’ Bible this verse in Revelation is taken from the Old Testament verses
Ezekeil 2:9 – 10 :-
(9) Then I looked, and saw a hand stretched out to me In it was a scroll, (10) which he unrolled before. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. Isiaih 29:11 :-
(11) For you this whole vision is words sealed in a scroll. And if give the scroll to someone who can read and say to him, “Read this, please,” he will answer “ I can’t, it is sealed”Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please”, he will answer, “I don’t know how to read.” When I read Revelation 5:1 at first, what struck as being strange was that if a scroll was rolled up and sealed, how could you tell if it had writing on both sides? Also I do not think that it was standard procedure for scribes to write on both sides of a scroll or parchment? So why the discrepancy between Revelation 5:1 and Ezekeil2:9-10 and Isaiah 29:11?
May I kindly add to your list Ranko Stefanovic’s excellent work “Revelation of Jesus Christ: Commentary on the Book of Revelation”?
John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.
Grace be to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,
(5) and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, THE FIRST-BORN FROM THE DEAD and ruler of the kings of the earth
(i) Acts: Chapter 26, verse 23, (KJV) states that :-
That Christ should suffer and that he
should be the first that should rise from
the dead, and should shew light unto the
people, and to the Gentiles
(ii) Colossians: Chapter 1, verse 18, (KJV) states that :-
And he (Jesus) is the head of the body the
church: who is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead: that in all things he might have
(iii) Revelation Chapter 1, Verse 5, (KJV) states that :-
And from Jesus Christ who is the faithful
witness, and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the Earth.
Unto him that loved us and washed us
from our sins in his own Blood.
In the three preceeding verses Jesus is described as being :- (i) The first that should rise from the dead (ii) The firstborn from the dead (iii) The first begotten of the dead. Would these three verses have any influence on John chapter 11:44. Where Jesus is described as having raised Lazarus from death:-
John 11(43)and when he thus had spoken, he cried
with a loud voice ‘Lazarus come forth’
(44) and he that was dead came forth, bound
hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face
bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them
‘Loose him and let him go’
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