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Best Commentary on Revelation


Mike Ross
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I am currently work in a class for our School of the Bible on Revelation.   I have Aune's WBC commentary and the Tyndale Commentary by Morris.  I am thinking about purchasing either Beale or Mounce.  I would like to solicit suggestions about these two works, and if possible, their strengths and weaknesses.  

 

Thanks for the Help!

 

Mike

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Beale is four times the size as Mounce and has a lot more about to say. for a couple extra bucks, it is worth it.

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Thank you Helen and Ryan for your input.  At this point in time, although it is not a large purchase, I want to make sure I spend my money on a good resource.  I wouldn't mind purchasing both, but I can only purchase one at this time. 

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Craig R. Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, ed. John J. Collins, vol. 38A, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2014) 

 

Is probably one of the best you are going to find. That said I do not think Accordance has yet to be updated to include this volume. I do find the WBC pretty solid myself.

 

Christopher C. Rowland, “The Book of Revelation,” in Hebrews-Revelation, vol. 12 of The New Interpreter’s Bible. Is my goto to start off and I do enjoy his work greatly but it is only available as a set.

 

If you wish to see samples from with Anchor 2014 or NIB just let me know and I will post it here... either openly or if it is too large in a PDF....

 

-Dan

Edited by Dan Francis
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Thanks, Dan.  I would be interested in seeing a sample of Koester's commentary.  

 

Mike

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While maybe not the best example, wanting to be brief and having no exact idea where to go I went to 1:1, start at the beginning....

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title and Introduction to the Book
 
 
1. Title
 
NOTES
 
The Revelation of John. The Greek word apokalypsis is usually rendered in English as “apocalypse” or “revelation” (NOTE on 1:1). Placing the name “John” in the title identifies him as the book’s author. Justin Martyr referred to “John, in a revelation that was given to him” (Dial. 81), using the term “revelation” for the message that was disclosed rather than a title for the work. Later, “Revelation” seems to have been used as the book title in contexts where John was assumed to be its author (Irenaeus, Haer. 4.14.2; 4.17.6; 4.20.11; 5.28.2; 5.35.2; Tertullian, Marc. 3.14.3; 4.5.2). Melito of Sardis (d. ca. 190) wrote a lost work on the devil and the Revelation of John (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.26.2). The Latin translation of Irenaeus’s works (early third century) refers to the “Revelation of John” (PG 7.687A), while the fourth-century Codex Sinaiticus (א) introduces this work with the title “Revelation of John” (Apokalypsis Iōannou) and concludes with a subscription that uses the plural, “Revelations [Apokalypseis] of John.” Later manuscripts sometimes used expanded titles, such as “The Revelation of John the Theologian and Evangelist” (046). On authorship, see INTRO II.A.
 
 
COMMENT
 
The original “title” of this book was its opening line: “A revelation from Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1). The separate title “Revelation of John” was added later, when the book was copied and preserved alongside other writings. Titles were sometimes placed on tags attached to the outside of a scroll, so a person could identify a scroll without unrolling it. Separate titles were also inscribed inside the scroll, usually at the end of a work but sometimes at the beginning. When works were bound together in a codex, they could be given a title at the beginning, at the end, or at both places (Turner, Greek, 16–17; Aune 1:3–4; Kraft 17–18).
In the first century the term “apocalypse” was used for the disclosure of something hidden, but it was not a technical term for a literary genre. The prominence of the word “apocalypse” at the beginning of John’s work apparently contributed to the use of this term as a title for visionary writings. The Muratorian canon fragment (either late second or fourth century CE) referred to the “apocalypses of John and Peter,” indicating that the two were similar types of writings. “Apocalypse” was also used for visions of Peter (Clement of Alexandria, Ecl. 41.2; 48.1; 49.1; cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.1) and in the titles affixed to works known as the Apocalypse of Paul, the Testament of Abraham, 3 Baruch, the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra, and the Apocalypse of Sedrach (Denis, Concordance, 830, 866, 871, 873). Since the manuscripts that bear these titles are rather late, it is uncertain whether the texts originally called themselves “apocalypses” (M. Smith, “History,” 19).
By the late second and third centuries a number of Christian texts claimed to present revelations. To distinguish these works from each other, they were given titles referring to the people who were said to have written them. To some extent, this is appropriate for Revelation, since 1:1–3 identifies John as the recipient of the visions and in 1:4 John addresses the readers in his own name. Nevertheless, the traditional title Apokalypsis Iōannou focuses on John as the writer, but the initial words Apokalypsis Iēsou Christou identify Jesus as the giver of the revelation and the authority for the message (Schüssler Fiorenza 39–40).
 
 
Craig R. Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, ed. John J. Collins, vol. 38A, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2014), 209–210.
 
-Dan
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Wow!  I really like the way he brings a wide variety of resources to bear on the text.  His handling of the material in the book is superb.  Thank you for putting this together for me.

 

Blessings,

 

Mike

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This is not an Accordance module but you should check out Steve Gregg's commentary on Revelation, e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revelation-Four-Views-Parallel-Commentary/dp/0840721285/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1451526480&sr=8-6&keywords=steve+gregg

 

A unique approach.

I would like to thank you too Alistair! I went ahead and placed an order last night (Four Views of Revelation: A Parallel Commentary, Revised & Updated Edition). Once I have the book in my hands, I can provide some scanned pages to see if others will be interested. I myself am not familiar with Steve Gregg or his commentary on Revelation, but his commentary seems to be a helpful tool that summarizes various beliefs of eschatology. 

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I read Steve Gregg's Four Views of Revelation a few years ago and found it fascinating. It does emphasize how starting premises impact the chain of logic one uses in making sense of complex writings. The main take away I got is that the four groups are logically consistant with their starting assumptions, but arrive at quite different understandings of the text. The more interesting question to me is, what drives one to the starting assumptions? It is a bit of a chicken or egg problem. I guarantee that you will eggraveted at some of the ideas and eggcited  by others!

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REV4GREGG1.pdf

 

i only have the original edition of Steve Gregg's Four Views of Revelation, but here is 1:1-8 in it...

 

-Dan

Edited by Dan Francis
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Craig Koster's new volume from the Anchor Bible set is (for my money) the absolute best available right now... unfortunately it's not available in Accordance :( I had to buy it from an alternate source even though I own the rest of the Anchor set here. Great material on gecko-roman political and economic background and up to date archeological discussion.

 

Mounce and Beale would be next for me but I would also suggest checking out Michael Gorman's Reading Revelation Responsible, or Koester's Revelation and the End of All Things for monographs.

Edited by jeremyduncan
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Question for the Accordance staff: is the Craig Koster AB volume being developed for Accordance?

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Dan, thanks once again for the sample.  I am a visual person so seeing how it is laid out was very helpful.   I want to thank everyone for all the input!  It was cool to hear about some resources that don't come up on the normal searches or don't make it into the best lists. 

 

Blessings, 

 

 

Mike

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This is not an Accordance module but you should check out Steve Gregg's commentary on Revelation, e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revelation-Four-Views-Parallel-Commentary/dp/0840721285/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1451526480&sr=8-6&keywords=steve+gregg

 

A unique approach.

 

I appreciate this suggestion.  Ordered.

 

If anyone is interested in an excellent commentary on Revelation with a focus on the Greek text... http://www.amazon.com/Revelation-John-Commentary-Greek-Apocalypse/dp/0830829245/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451757998&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Revelation+to+John%3A+A+Commentary+on+the+Greek+Text+of+the+Apocalypse

 

This commentary was a textbook for a Greek class at Denver Seminary.

 

Would be nice to have both at Acc.

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I have read Beale, cover to cover, it's an important work.  Used it as basis for a class I taught at my local church.

The value of Beale is that he looks at Rev with links to the Old Testament, Daniel especially (this his his field)  Mounce is good but look at Osborne in the Baker series,

 

For my 2 cents, Beale is the best commentary currently out there.  Although, it is very detailed.

I have not used either Smalley or the Word one
 

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I would also want to read anything written by Richard Bauckham about Revelation. The Theology of the Book of Revelation is a good place to start. Not a commentary but (as per the title) looks at the theology. 

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Thanks for the additional information guys.  Appreciate all the input!!

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  • 1 month later...

Here is a look into WBC for it too... doing this mostly so I can attach said view to a private conversation, apologies for this appearing to come out of nowhere because of it. wbcvrsayb.pdf

 

-dan

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