Resources for Reading Revelation

We are getting ready to spend the next six weeks studying the wonderful book of Revelation together. Since there are 22 Chapters in Revelation and only six weeks, I am starting this blog to help those who want to dig even further into the book of Revelation. I also, hope to be able to use it to cover some chapters, themes, ideas, and questions that we gloss over in our time together. I’ll open with some resources I’ve found helpful to my study of Revelation. Some of them are available in from our church library (once I return them). So, if you are interested in studying along in a small group, with your family, in your own devotional life here are some of my favorite resources for studying Revelation.

Theological Surveys

Richard Bauckham – The Theology of the Book of Revelation (181 pages)

Bauckham gives us a survey to some of the major themes in the book of Revelation. One of his strengths is how he can masterfully analyze some of the more cryptic elements of Revelation then connect that analysis to a major theme, then connect that major theme to our life as readers of Revelation. However, one major problem of the book is that it is selective of the Revelation texts it uses and they don’t appear in order.

Craig R. Koester – Revelation and the End of All Things (205 pages)

The strength of this book is that it works through the major themes of revelation and does so subsequently. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a book that does that.

Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther – Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now (311 pages)

This is my favorite book on Revelation. Like Bauckham it doesn’t work through the book verse by verse but deals with the major themes. It may be a little bit of a challenge for the average lay-person to read, but it is not inaccessible. Some might consider it to be a little radical in the political conclusions that the authors come to in the contemporary setting, but I find the basic outline of Revelation both interesting and convincing.

Commentaries

Bruce Metzger – Breaking the Code: Understanding the Book of Revelation (111 pages)

Metzger has one of the better commentaries for those who want to supplement their daily devotion. Metzger provides a clear and helpful introduction to the book of revelation and does a great job of dispelling some of common misconceptions.

Carol Rotz – New Beacon Bible Commentary: Revelation (319 pages)

Another one of the better commentaries for those who want to supplement their daily devotions. This commentary approaches the book from the Wesleyan tradition and becomes a helpful book for those who want to connect Revelation to our Methodist tradition.

NT Wright – Revelation for Everyone

This is part of Wright’s for Everyone series, where he takes a book of the bible and writes a simple commentary accessible for every kind of lay-person. This book is exactly that for Revelation.

James Resseguie – The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary (288 pages)

One of the newer books on Revelation. I personally enjoy how he approaches book of Revelation, “by paying close attention to the how of the narrative” For Ressequire the way John tells his story is as important as what he has to say.

Here are a few more commentaries on the book of Revelation. Mounce and Boring provide the best commentary on the book of Revelation for those who want some of the interesting details about the book. Some of them really dig into things like Greek grammer and the Greek words, which may only be interesting if you are a Bible nerd, like me.

Robert Mounce – The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Book of Revelation (439 pages)

M. Eugene Boring – Interpretation: Revelation (236 pages)

George Eldon Ladd – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (308 pages)

Catherine and Justo Gonzalez – Westminster Bible Commentary: Revelation (148 pages)

Leonard Thompson – Abingdon New Testament Commentary: Revelation (207 pages)

Joseph Mangina – Brazos Theological Commentary of the Bible: Revelation (271 pages)

Specific Studies

Colin Hemer – The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia (338 Pages)

An excellent and detailed work on the seven churches in Asia.

Elaine Pagels-Revelation: Visions, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation

Pagel’s book helps put Revelation into context for us. She helps makes connections between John’s cultural context in the midst of the Roman empire. She helps us connect the book of Revelation to other parts of the Bible, like Ezekiel and Daniel. And she details how and why this particular book ended up becoming a part of the Bible anyway.

I think this will be a great several months together as we work to have the “ears to hear” what the Spirit is saying to us through Revelation.

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