Muse, Robert L. The Book of Revelation: An
Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1996.
a good resource if you want to know what biblical scholars and theologians have
written about Revelation. This includes both Revelation as a whole and in-depth
articles on specific passages. Most of these articles assume a knowledge of the
original languages, and many of them are in German, French, or some other
language besides English.
Bullinger, E. W. Figures of Speech in the
Bible. 1898. Reprint: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968.
Despite its antiquated language and confusing terminology, Bullinger’s work
remains one of the most comprehensive treatments of figures of speech in the
Bible, well illustrated by biblical examples.
A. Exegetical Fallacies. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980.
This work is essential for understanding the mistakes all of us
are prone to make when interpreting the Scriptures. It provides one or more
examples for each of the fallacies described. Along with Carson, read Sire’s
book, listed below.
Davis, John J. Biblical Numerology.
Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968.
Erickson, Millard J. Evangelical
Interpretation: Perspectives on Hermeneutical Issues. Grand Rapids, MI:
Erickson’s main contribution is his examination of the process of determining
significance in a biblical text for modern (post-modern) readers. He warns
against the danger of making modern applications of the text that ignore the
differences between the situation of the original readers and that of readers of
today and outlines the step of making the transition from original intent to
Fuller, Daniel P. Gospel & Law: Contrast or
Continuum? The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980.
argues (rightly, in my view) for a continuity between the Old and New Covenants,
attempting to demolish one of the foundational axioms of dispensational
premillennialism. Fuller asserts that God’s fundamental way of saving humans (by
grace, through obedient faith) remained basically the same from the Mosaic
covenant to Christ’s. In opposition to the dispensationalists, Fuller also
argues that Christ’s church is the legitimate heir of the promises to the nation
Goodrick, Edward W. Do-It-Yourself Hebrew and
Greek. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1981.
only can this book help you to learn Hebrew and Greek enough to use the study
tools, but Goodrick also has an excellent section on how to study the Bible and
on rules of hermeneutics.
Kaiser, Walter C., and Moisés Silva. An
Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning. Grand Rapids:
Kearley, F. Furman. “The Conditional Nature of
Prophecy: A Vital Hermeneutical Principle.” Montgomery, AL: Apologetics, n.d.
Klein, William W.; Blomberg, Craig L.; and
Hubbard, Robert L., Jr. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Dallas,
TX: Word, 1993.
This is perhaps the best recent work on hermeneutics for the
general reader. The introduction to the need and method of hermeneutics (3–20)
is excellent. Their section on General Hermeneutics–Prose is 155–214, and
hermeneutics specifically for Revelation is 366–374.
Mickelsen, A. Berkley. Interpreting the Bible.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963.
Sire, James. Twisting Scripture: 20 Ways
Cults Misread the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
In a highly readable volume, Sire explains and illustrates the
mistakes cults make in biblical interpretation—mistakes to which all of us are
susceptible. Sire’s book supplements the material in Carson and is written on a
slightly more popular level.
Scholem, Gershom. “Gematria,” 7:370–374 in Encyclopaedia Judaica. 1972 edition.
Arnold, Clinton E. The Colossian Syncretism:
The Interface between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae. Grand
Rapids, Baker, 1996.
Arnold has an extensive discussion on angel worship, in its association with
first-century magic (32–59), with contemporary Judaism (61–88), and in the local
area around Colossae (90–101). Since Colossae is a sister city to Laodicea Lycus River, this background is pertinent to John’s attempts
to worship angels in Revelation 19 and 22.
Bouquet, A. C. Everyday Life in New Testament
Times. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953.
Cline, Kenneth. “A Language to Wear: Anatolian
Headdresses.” Catholic Near East Magazine. Spring 1986: 19–20.
has a good discussion of the use of coins on women’s headdresses and includes
several good photographs.
Cornell, Tim, and John Matthews. Atlas of the
Roman World. New York: Facts on File, 1982.
atlas provides what is perhaps the best map available of the ancient Roman
province of Asia, including the ancient roads.
Deissmann, Adolf. Light from the Ancient
East. English edition: London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1922. Reprint: Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker, 1978.
Deissmann, though dated, has a good discussion of the archaeological basis for
an understanding of 666 based on genatria.
Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early
Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987. Rev. ed., 1993.
Grant, Frederick C. Hellenistic Religions.
Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953.
provides an excellent introduction to both the traditional Greek religion and
the mystery religions of Graeco-Roman syncretism.
Grant, Michael. The Army of the Caesars. New York: Carles Scribner’s Sons, 1974.
describes the relationship between Rome and Parthia, including their battles and
diplomatic engagements. This is also a great source for the role the legions had
in selecting and sustaining emperors, as well as their place in the daily life
within the empire.
Grinal, Pierre, ed. Hellenism and the Rise of
Rome. A. M. Sheridan-Smith, trans. New York: Delacorte, 1968.
Levine, Lee L., ed. Ancient Synagogues
Revealed. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1982.
has a good discussion of the Sardis synagogue.
Mason, Caroline, and Pat Alexander. Picture
Archive of the Bible. Batavia, IL: Lion, 1987.
excellent resource provides good, full-color photographs of some of the Seven
Cities as they appear to today’s visitor.
Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome. St. Paul’s Corinth:
Text and Archaeology. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1983.
Murphy-O’Connor provides important cultural background for understanding the
worship of first-century house churches as well as the issues of syncretism
primitive Christians confronted, as illustrated by the controversy over eating
meats offered to idols.
Ramsay, William M. The Church in the Roman
Empire Before a.d. 170. London:
Hodder & Stoughton, 1897. Reprint: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979.
Sandmel, Samuel. The First Christian Century
in Judaism and Christianity: Certainties and Unvertainties. New York:
Stauffer, Ethelbert. Christ and the Caesars.
K. & R. G. Smith, trans. London: SCM, 1955.
masterful and beautifully written volume, Stauffer surveys the nature of the
conflict between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men, especially as
manifested by the Roman emperors who first confronted Christianity. His
technical discussion of 666 (found above under “Special Studies on the
Apocalypse”) is here summarized on a more popular level.
Willis, Wendell. Idol Meat at Corinth: The
Pauline Argument in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. Chico, CA: Scholars, 1985.
is one of the most detailed and helpful treatments of the first-century
controversy over the syncretism of Christianity with paganism.
Yamauchi, Edwin A. New Testament Cities in
Western Asia Minor. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980.
earlier volume is still an excellent and up-to-date resource for the history and
archaeology of the Seven Cities of Asia. Yamauchi puts the reader in touch with
the important sources for doing additional research.
COMMENTARIES ON THE APOCALYPSE
Aune, David E.
Revelation. Word Biblical
Commentary. 3 vols. Dallas, TX: Word, 1997.
perhaps the most extensive commentary on Revelation in the English language,
replete with extensive notes and references. This commentary assumes a knowledge
of the original languages. Aune is especially good for historical and cultural
Barclay, William. The Revelation of John.
Daily Study Bible. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.
Barclay is one of the best commentaries on a popular level. He
is particularly good for historical and cultural background, as well as word
studies of the Greek. Barclay is careful to make practical applications for each
section. The entire text is divided into segments that can be read in about 15
Beale, G. K. The Book of Revelation: A
Commentary on the Greek Text. The New International Greek Testament
Commentary. I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner, eds. Grand Rapids, MI:
holds to what he calls an eclectic interpretation but is primarily idealist.
Revelation, he believes, portrays the perennial conflict between good and evil.
He tends to agree with the preterists regarding the meaning for the original
readers but affirms that they book has a greater meaning for all ages. Amen!
Beasley-Murray, G. R. The Book of Revelation.
New Century Bible Commentary. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1974. Reprint:
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981.
Beasley-Murray emphasizes the meaning for the original readers
but also sees Revelation as in some way a prophecy of the end times. Yet
Beasley-Murray is much more reserved about this than many are. His commentary is
intended for the serious Bible student, but no knowledge of the original
languages is necessary.
Beckwith, Ibson T. The Apocalypse of John:
Studies in Introduction, with a Critical and Exegetical Commentary. London:
Macmillan, 1919. Reprint: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979.
Beckwith is a detailed treatment of the Greek text with extensive notes and
references. The reader needs a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek to use it to its
fullest potential. It is also nearly 100 years old, and therefore it lacks
information that has only come to light more recently, particularly in the
fields of lexicography and archaeology.
Caird, G. B. A Commentary on the Revelation
of St. John the Divine. Harper’s New Testament Commentaries. New York:
Harper & Row, 1966.
Caird has written an excellent commentary that uses the original
languages in a way that makes them accessible to the nonexpert. This is a good
resource to find out what is the range of viewpoints on any passage in the
Apocalypse. Unfortunately, however, it does not have as many references and
notes as Mounce, but it is on about the same level of difficulty.
Charles, R. H. A Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on the Revelation of St. John. The International Critical
Commentary. 2 vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1920.
another critical commentary on the Greek text, written by an acknowledged expert
in apocalyptic literature. Charles will provide you with as much depth as you
need. His introduction is extensive, especially his work on Revelation’s use of
the Old Testament. This commentary is dated, however, because of all of the
archaeology and lexicography that has been done since 1920. If you must study
only one critical commentary, Aune is a much more up-to-date choice.
Chilton, David. The Days of Vengeance: An
Exposition of the Book of Revelation. Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion, 1987.
Chilton is the most recent of a number of commentaries that
interpret Revelation as concerning the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in
a.d. 70. Childton is part of the
Reconstruction Movement, also know as the Dominion Movement, which appears to be
postmillennial is its eschatology.
Düsterdieck, Friedrich. Critical and
Exegetical Handbook to the Revelation of John. 6th ed. Henry E. Jacobs,
trans. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1884. Reprint: Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1983.
Düsterdieck contains much useful information, but everything
true about Beckwith applies here as well.
Graham, Billy. Approaching Hoofbeats: The
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Waco, TX: Word, 1987.
writes on a popular level, assuming but neither explaining nor defending the
Gregg, Steve, ed. Revelation: four views: a
parallel commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997.
provides us with an excellent way to compare these four interpretations of the
text, chapter by chapter: preterist, hitoricist, futurist, and spiritual. He
quotes a variety of representatives for each view throughout the book. No
knowledge of the original languages is necessary. This kind of commentary
obviously hits the highlights only. One could wish that Gregg were more careful
in identifying his sources.
Hailey, Homer. Revelation: An Introduction
and Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979.
is a well-respected Bible preacher and teacher within the Restoration Movement.
His commentary is on a popular level, though it is clear he consulted some of
the best commentaries available in English. There is no need for Hebrew or Greek
to use this volume. Hailey provides a good introduction to the historical
background. Hailey provides a good refutation of the destruction of Jerusalem
viewpoint (Hailey focuses on Wallace in this regard).
Hendriksen, William. More Than Conquerors: An
Interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1940.
This is an excellent popular commentary. Hendriksen is
especially good at explain the principle of recapitulation, which is vital to
understanding Revelation properly. His interpretation, however, tends to focus
on the broad picture. He is not the one to consult when you want specific and
King, Max R. The Spirit of Prophecy.
[Warren, OH]: Max R. King, 1971.
The first half of this book written by a preacher of the
Restoration Movement explains the author’s eschatology. The last half is his
commentary on the Book of Revelation, interpreting it as a prediction of the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in a.d. 70. See McGuiggan’s debate with
him, listed below, for a detailed refutation of the viewpoint King shares with
David Chilton and Foy E. Wallace, Jr., among others.
LaHaye, Tim. Revelation Illustrated and Made
Plain. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1973. Revised and republished in 1999 as
LaHaye is a leading representative of the dispensational point
of view whose “Left Behind” series of novels have done much to renew interest in
eschatology, though they mislead an uninformed public. See my extensive analysis
of his commentaries and the book he recently co-authored with Jerry Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times?
Lindsey, Hal. There’s a New World Coming: A
Prophetic Odyssey. Santa Ana, CA: Vision House, .
presents the dispensational point of view on Revelation. He understands the seven
churches as symbols, though they should be understood literally, and he takes
many of the images in the Apocalypse literally when they are really symbolic.
All is presented in a newsy, matter-of-fact manner, as if this were the proven
results of biblical scholarship!
J. Revelation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary. The Anchor
Bible. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975.
Massynberde-Ford believes that the Apocalypse is a patchwork of editing based on
a pre-Christian apocalypse originating from John the Baptizer and his disciples.
Her theories have been rejected by virtually all Revelation scholars. The value
of the book lies in its fresh, idiomatic paraphrase of the Greek text.
Jim. The Book of Revelation. W. Monroe, LA: William C. Johnson, .
much to McGuiggan’s refutation of both the dispensational and the destruction of
Jerusalem viewpoints. He writes on a popular level, with strong emphasis on
practical application. Read this in conjunction with his other books listed
Leon. The Book of Revelation: an Introduction and Commentary. The Tyndale
New Testament Commentaries. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987.
is an excellent scholar who has made particular study of apocalyptic literature
(see his other publications under “Special Works on the Apocalypse” and “Studies
on Biblical Prophecy”). Despite his depth, he is able to keep his commentary
understandable for the non-expert. My two criticisms of his commentary are both
due to mandates from the editors of the Tyndale series. His commentary is based
on the King James Version, whose translators, unfortunately, only had access to
the later manuscripts. The earlier manuscripts differ from the later ones in
numerous places, and are often more likely original. Morris is capable of
detailed commentaries (see his treatment of Thessalonians and the Fourth Gospel
in the New International New Testament Commentary series). But he was forced to
keep this one short, which makes it disappointing in places.
Robert H. The Book of Revelation. New International New Testament
Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977.
one of the best commentaries on Revelation for the non-expert. Even though it is
not necessary to know the original languages to use this volume, the scholar can
also benefit from its insights and careful notes. If you want more than an
overview and do not know the original languages, this one would be hard to beat.
W. The Revelation of John (The Apocalypse). The Living Word Commentary.
Austin, TX: Sweet, 1974.
was a first-class Greek scholar, and it shows in his excellent commentary, which
nevertheless is intended for preachers and teachers of the Restoration Movement.
Only the most important sources are mentioned here, however. If you use Roberts,
you will often wish he had said more on specific, puzzling passages.
Moses. A Commentary on the Apocalypse. 2 vols. Andover, MA: Allen,
Morrill & Wardwell, 1845.
course, Stuart is out of date, but it was an excellent commentary for its day
and still provides many insights. He does assume some knowledge of the original
languages. His discussion of the history of the interpretation of 666 is one of
the most thorough up to his own day.
Ray. Worthy is the Lamb: An Interpretation of Revelation. Nashville, TN:
Summers is a good commentary
written on a popular level. He has an especially good chapter on interpretive
methods for Revelation. He constantly (and correctly) asks, “What would this
have meant for the original readers?” Because Summers concentrates on the big
picture, he refuses to discuss many of the details.
Revelation. TPI New Testament Commentaries. London: SCM, 1979.
approach—starting with hermeneutics and seeking to understand Revelation form
the viewpoint of the original readers—is very similar to mine. His commentary
begins with an excellent synopsis of Revelation, chapter by chapter. No
acquaintance with the original languages is needed. You might be disappointed if
you want a full discussion of a particular passage, but this commentary is worth
B. The Apocalypse of St. John. London: Macmillan, 1908. Reprint: Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, n.d.
another excellent commentary on the Greek text. Comments on Beckwith, however,
would also apply to Swete.
E., Jr. The Book of Revelation: Consisting of a Commentary on the Apocalypse
of the New Testament. Nashville, TN: F. E. Wallace, 1966.
This famous preacher of the
Restoration Movement wrote a large commentary to defend the destruction of
Jerusalem interpretation. His point of view experienced a revival in the
commentaries of Max R. King and David Chilton.
SPECIAL STUDIES ON
Aune, David E. “The Influence of the Roman
Imperial Court Ceremonial on the Apocalypse of John.” Papers of the Chicago
Society of Biblical Research 28 (1983): 5–26.
Aune demonstrates that the
background of the Roman imperial court may be nearly as important as the Old
Testament worship background for understanding the throneroom scenes in
Revelation. Particularly relevant are the constant acclamations given to the
emperor, as compared to the acclamations both Father and Son receive in the
Barrett, C. K. “Gnosis and the Apocalypse of John,” 125–137 in The New
Testament and Gnosis. A.H.B. Logan and A. J. M. Wedderburn, eds.
Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1983.
The Climax of Prophecy:
Studies on the Book of Revelation. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1993.
_________. The Theology of the Book of
Revelation. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1993.
Beasley-Murray, G. R.; Hobbs, H. H.; and
Robbins, R. H. Revelation: Three Viewpoints. Nashville, TN: Broadman,
This book is the record of an
oral exchange between these three respected Bible teachers. It illustrates how
people can disagree over interpreting the Apocalypse without being disagreeable.
Baines, W. G. “The Number of the Beast in
Revelation.” Heythrop Journal 16 (1975): 195–196.
Boring, M. E. “Narrative Christology in the
Apocalypse.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 54, 4 (1992): 702–723.
Carnegie, David R. “Worthy is the Lamb: The
Hymns in Revelation,” 243–256 in Christ the Lord: Studies in Christology
presented to Donald Guthrie. Harold H. Rowdon, ed. Downers Grove, IL:
Clarke, John E. “Notes on chap. xiii,”
2:1015–1027 in The New Testament: A Commentary and Critical Notes by Adam
Clarke. Reprint: Nashville, TN: Abingdon, n.d.
DeMar, Gary. “The Mark of the Beast Revisited.” Biblical Worldview 11, 3 (March 1995): 7-8.
This is an excellent and
detailed discussion concerning why the UPC bar code cannot possible have
anything to do with the 666 of Rev. 13.
Ellwanger, W. H. “The Christology of the
Apocalypse.” Concordia Theological Monthly 1 (1930): 512–528.
Gagniers, Jean des, et al. Laodicée du Lycos:
Le Nymphée, Campagnes, 1961–1963. Quebec: l’Université Laval, 1969.
This is written entirely in
French, but it features excellent maps and diagrams of the archaeological work
Goulder, M.D. “The Apocalypse as an Annual Cycle
of Prophecies,” New Testament Studies 27 (1981): 342–367.
Goulder does an excellent job
of show the parallels between Revelation and Ezekiel. Whether Goulder is right
about the use of Revelation in a cycle of liturgical readers is another issue
that I prefer to ignore as relatively unimportant.
Gundry, Robert. “The New Jerusalem: People as
Place, Not Place for People.” New Testament Studies 29, 3 (1987):
Gundry, a chiliast, presents
much that is valuable about the symbolism involved in the New Jerusalem of Rev.
21:1 – 22:5. Unfortunately, however, he advocates taking the opulence of the
city literally, suggesting that Christians of the new earth will be fabulously
wealthy. If the city is symbolic, so are the precious metals and precious
stones—symbolic of the immeasurable spiritual wealth that we have in Christ.
Guthrie, Donald. “The Christology of
Revelation,” 397–409 in Jesus of Nazareth: Lord and Christ: Essays ion the
Historical Jesus and New Testament Christology. Joel B. Green and Max
Turner, eds. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994.
_________. “The Lamb in the Structure of the
Book of Revelation.” Vox Evangelica 2 (1981): 64–71.
Hemer, Colin J. The Letters to the Seven
Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting. Journal for the Study of the New
Testament Supplement Series 11. Sheffield, England: JSOT, 1986.
This important work updates
the books by William Ramsay on the historical, cultural, and archaeological
background for the seven churches of Asia. Hemer attempts to relate all of this
background to the text of Rev. 2 and 3. Perhaps he goes too far in places, but
his work is helpful nonetheless.
Hillyer, Norman. “‘The Lamb’ in the Apocalypse.” Evangelical Quarterly 39 (1967):228–236.
Hurtado, Larry W. “Revelation 4–5 in the Light
of Jewish Apocalyptic Analogies.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament
25 (1985): 105–124.
Keith, Michael. “The Bar-Code Beast.” Skeptical Inquirer 12, 2 (1988): 416–418.
Khn’g, Yeo Khiok. “Christ the End of History and
the Hope of the Suffering: Revelation 5 in the Light of Pannenberg’s
Christology.” Asia Journal of Theology 8 (1994): 308–334.
Marlin, J. T. The Seven Churches of Asia
Minor. Duncan, OK: Williams, 1980.
This is a travel guide to the
Seven Cities, with good maps, diagrams, and photographs. It also makes some
McElwaine, Robert E. “MARK-OF-THE-BEA$T
bar-code$/scanner$.” Posting on the Internet newsgroup alt.peace-corps, dated
Feb. 24, 1993.
McKnight, W. J. “The Letter to the Laodiceans.” Biblical Review 16 (1931): 519–535.
Meinardes, Otto F. St. John of Patmos and the
Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Athens, Greece: Lycabettus, 1979.
This is a good tour guide for
Patmos and the Seven Cities. It includes maps, diagrams, and photographs.
Metzger, Bruce M. Breaking the Code:
Understanding the Book of Revelation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1993.
This is an excellent and
readable short book summarizing Metzger’s understanding of the Apocalypse. I
like it so much that I have used it as a supplementary text when I taught
Revelation as a university course. In this book, Metzger does not assume that
you know Hebrew and Greek.
Mounce, Robert H. “The Christology of the
Apocalypse.” Foundations 11 (1969): 42–45.
Moyise, Steve. The Old Testament in the Book
of Revelation. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic, 1995.
Moyise devotes a chapter each
to Revelation’s use of Ezekiel and Daniel. His conclusion is noteworthy:
Revelation employs the imagery and often even the wording of the Hebrew Bible,
through it also transforms the meaning behind the images and the words.
Paher, Stanley W. Identity of Babylon and the
Dating of the Book of Revelation. Las Vegas, NV: Nevada Publications, 1997.
Paher argues in favor of an
early dating for the writing of Revelation and favors an amillennial, preterist
interpretation applied to the destruction of Jerusalem. His forté is in
providing historical background.
Pate, C. Marvin, ed. Four Views on the Book
of Revelation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998.
Pate provides us with a good
resource for comparing competing and often contradictory interpretations. Keep
hermeneutics in mind as you read this and similar books.
Ramsay, William M. The Letters to the Seven
Churches of Asia, and Their Place in the Plan of the Apocalypse. London:
Hodder & Stoughton, 1904. Reprint: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1963.
Ramsay was a classical
scholar who spent his academic holidays exploring Turkey and Greece to gain
insight into the biblical text. His book is good for cultural and geographical
background for the Seven Churches, but it is out of date. Much archaeological
work on this area has been done since Ramsay’s time. Use this along with
Yamauchi and Hemer’s more recent books.
Reader, William W. “The Twelve Jewels of
Revelation 21:19–20: Tradition, History, and Modern Interpretations.” Journal
of Biblical Literature 100 (1981): 433–457.
Reader examines the three
major lines scholars have followed to explain the meaning of the precious stones
listed as part of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. Reader concludes that
none of them adequately explains Revelation’s use of the stones, though he does
suggest that its connotations must spring from Judaism. His article provides
access to the many resources available for a thorough study of this perplexing
Rowland, Christopher. “The Visions of God in
Apocalyptic Literature.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 10 (1979):
Sanders, Henry. “The Number of the Beast in
Revelation.” Journal of Biblical Literature 37 (1918): 95–99.
Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian
Church: Vol. 1: Apostolic Christianity, a.d. 1–100.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910. Reprint: Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988.
Schaff has an excellent
discussion of 666.
Stauffer, Ethelbert. “666 (Apoc. 13,18),”
237-241 in Coniectanea Neotestamentica. Lund: Gleerup, 1947.
Stauffer’s suggestion that
666 represents the numerical values of the inscribed abbreviations on a coin of
Domitian. Each of the abbreviations in Stauffer’s proposed inscription is
attested on surviving coins of Domitian. The required combination of all of them
on one coin, however, has not yet been discovered.
Stone, Tom. Patmos. Athens, Greece:
This is another tour guide of
Patmos, featuring the history, maps, diagrams, and photographs. Stone goes into
more depth about Patmos than Meinardes does.
Stott, John. What Christ Thinks of the
Church: Insights from Revelation 2 and 3. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI:
This is an eminently
practical series of sermons on the Letters to the Seven Churches. Stott’s modern
applications are a model of hermeneutics properly applied.
“The Number of the Beast.” Science Digest
(July 1985): 66–67.
“The Unofficial 666 FAQ” website:
Thomas, Robert L. “The Chronological
Interpretation of Revelation 2–3.” Bibliotheca Sacra 124, 4966 (Oct.
Thomas shows how taking the Seven Churches of Asia as symbols of seven
successive ages of church history has no foundation in the text and flies in the
face of what is present in chapters 2–3 and elsewhere.
Thompson, Leonard L. The Book of Revelation:
Apocalypse and Empire. Oxford: Oxford University, 1990.
Thompson takes a highly creative and original approach to the Apocalypse. His
work on the history of Domitian’s reign is particularly valuable because it
relies less on the contemporary historians Tacitus and Suetonius (biased against
Domitian) and more on other evidence, such as inscriptions and official decrees
from Domitian’s reign.
Trench, Richard Chevenix. Commentary on the
Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia. 6th ed. London: Kegan Paul, Trench,
Trubner, 1897. Reprint: Minneapolis, MN: Klock & Klock, 1978.
Underwood, Dudley. Numerology, or What
Pythagoras Wrought. Washington, D.C.: Mathematical Association of America,
Underwood provides us with a good discussion on 666, not as a biblical scholar
or theologian but as a mathematician. Underwood also discusses the bar code as
well as why the number 666 comes up so often in daily life. All of this and more
constitutes his attempt to dispel superstition and quell fears.
Van Unnick, W. C. “Worthy is the Lamb”: The
Background of Apoc 5,” 445–461 in Mélanges: Bibliques en hommage au R. P.
Béda Rigaux. A Descamps and A. De Halleux, eds. Genbloux: Duculot, 1970.
WORKS ON BIBLE
Aldrich, Roy. “Can the End of the Age be
Computed by the Day-Year Theory?” Bibliotheca Sacra 115, 458 (April
Allis, Oswald T. Prophecy and the Church.
Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1945.
has provided an excellent critique of the hermeneutics of dispensationalism,
especially its principle of literalness.
Barfield, Kenny. The Prophet Motive:
Examining the Reliability of the Biblical Prophets. Nashville, TN: Gospel
Bass, Clarence. Backgrounds to
Dispensationalism: Its Historical Genesis and Ecclesiastical Implications. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960. Reprint: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977.
work demonstrates the relatively recent origins of dispensationalism and also
clearly exposes its wrong assumptions and hermeneutical weaknesses. See my
section on dispensationalism for frequent references to Bass.
Camp, Gregory S. Selling Fear: conspiracy
theories and end-times paranoia. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997.
takes end-times teachers and various date-setters to task for irresponsibly
exploiting latent fears about the future and ill-informed suspicions about
hidden conspiracies. Camp is excellent for his historical survey of end-times
teachers from World War II to the end of the Cold War.
Clouse, Robert G., ed. The Millennium: Four
Views. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1977.
one of the best resources available for studying about the millennium, because
you each hear an advocate of each position present his position, and then defend
it against the responses of the other participants. The four views are presented
by leading advocates of each: historic premillennialism – George Eldon Ladd,
dispensational premillennialism – Herman A. Hoyt, postmillennialism – Loraine
Boettner, and amillennialism – Anthony A. Hoekema.
Crenshaw, Curtis I., and Grover E. Gunn, III. Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow. Memphis, TN: Footstool,
1985. Reprint with minor changes, 1987.
former dispensational premillennialists, Crenshaw and Gunn provide a careful and
balanced refutation of the hermeneutics of the dispensational movement. Their
book is an excellent resource for helping a dispensationalist to examine the
weaknesses of the teaching and the strengths of its alternatives.
Crockett, William V., ed. Four Views on Hell.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992.
four views are: purgatorial (Zachary Hayes), metaphorical (William V. Crockett),
conditional (Clark W. Pinnock), and literal (John F. Walvoord). Following the
presentation of each view, each of the other scholars offers a critique. This is
perhaps the best book to read if you are interested in exploring the biblical
teaching of the eternal fate of the wicked.
Crutchfield, Larry. Origins of
Dispensationalism: The Darby Factor. New York: University Press of America,
Froom, Leroy E. The Conditionalist Faith of
Our Fathers. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1966.
has written perhaps the most extensive book in English on conditional
immortality. He is presenting the understanding of most Seventh-Day Adventists.
Fudge, Edward. The Fire That Consumes: A
Biblical and Historical Study of Final Punishment. Fallbrook, CA: Verdict,
a carefully written and well-documented defense of conditional immortality and
the ultimate annihilation of the wicked. His book has helped to reawaken
interest in the eternal destiny of the wicked (see Robert A. Morey’s book, which
attempts to answer Fudge’s arguments). Fudge is an elder in a church within the
Ha, Bank-Ik. “Rapture!” (pamphlet published by
Taberah World Mission).
Hoekema, Anthony A. The Bible and the Future.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979.
an excellent resource for evaluating the different views of the millennium.
Hoekema himself is an amillennialist.
King, Max R., and Jim McGuiggan. The
McGuiggan-King Debate (Jim McGuiggan – Lubbock, Texas, Max R. King – Waren,
Ohio). Warren, OH: Parkman Road Church of Christ, .
discussion ranges over all of eschatology and much of the New Testament, not
just the Book of Revelation. King believes that the destruction of Jerusalem by
the Romans in a.d. 70 constitutes
the second coming of Christ that nearly every book of the New Testament mentions
in prospect. McGuiggan agrees with King that
a.d. 70 was an important “coming”
of Christ, but denies (I believe rightly) that it is the ultimate one. Their
major point of difference involves the general resurrection. King claims that
the resurrection is a symbol for the churhc’s escape from Jewish persecution,
represented by the raising of the ‘body’ (referring to the church, not the
physical corpse). McGuiggan argues that the raising and glorifying of the
physical body is a sure and unconditional promise of God yet awaiting its
LaHaye, Tim. No Fear of the Storm.
Portland, OR: Multnomah, .
author attempts to defend the dispensational (pre-tribulational) premillennial
position, primarily against post-tribulational premillennialism. In the process
of supporting a premillennial “rapture,” LaHaye fall into several hermeneutical
LaHaye, Tim, and Jerry B. Jenkins. Are We
Living in the End Times? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1999.
the primary book to which I respond in the section, “Revelation and Fiction.”
Because of their “Left Behind” novels, LaHaye and Jenkins have made a new
generation familiar with the dispensational point of view. Unfortunately,
however, their theology is riddled with hermeneutical errors.
Lindsey, Hal, with C. C. Carlson. The Late
Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, .
the tremendously popular and often inconsistent presentation of the
McCall, Thomas S., and Zola Levitt. Coming:
The End! Russia and Israel in Prophecy. Chicago: Moody, 1992.
and Levitt assume but do not attempt to prove the dispensational viewpoint.
McGuiggan, Jim. The Kingdom of God and the
Planet Earth. Lubbock, TX: International Bible Resources, .
McGuiggan wrote this book to answer Hal Lindsey’s
The Late Great Planet
Earth. He is very successful in pointing out holes in Lindsey’s reasoning
and the inconsistencies in his interpretive methodology.
_________. The McGuiggan-King Debate (see
under King, Max R.).
Morey, Robert A. Death and the Afterlife. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1984.
Edward Fudge (see separate reference) to task for denying the traditional view
of the eternal, conscious torment of the wicked. Read Morey for a good
presentation of the traditional viewpoint.
Morris, Leon. Apocalyptic. Grand Rapids,
MI: Eerdmans, 1972.
Morris provides an
examination of the meaning of apocalyptic and its characteristics. He is careful
to point out the similarities and dissimilarities between the Book of Revelation
and other apocalyptic literature. For a more detailed treatment of this subject,
but sadly lacking Morris’s conservative approach, see D. S. Russell.
Noē, John. The Apocalypse Conspiracy.
Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991.
Noē is by profession a
corporate trainer, but he is also a careful student of biblical prophecy. His
book sets out to debunk many of the popular, sensational approaches to
Revelation and end-times prophecy. Chapters include: How You Can Be Raptured
Right Now, Why You Won’t Find the Battle of Armageddon in the Middle East, and
Why Seven Years Don’t Make a Week nor a Thousand Years a Millennium. I
especially like his chapter entitled, Why You Won’t Find the New Jerusalem in
the Middle East (he believes, as I do, that Revelation’s New Jerusalem is
describing the church).
Richard R. Reiter, ed. The Rapture: Pre-,
Mid-, or Post-Tribulational? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984.
In this book, advocates of each of the premillennial
positions—pre-tribulational (Paul D. Feinberg), mid-tribulational (Gleason L.
Archer, Jr.), and post-tribulational (Douglas J. Moo)—presents his view, while
the other two offer a short response.
Robertson, Pat. The End of the Age.
Dallas, TX: Word, 1995.
Robertson’s novel plays out his understanding of Revelation: post-tribulational
premillennialism (also called Chiliasm).
Russell, D. S. The Method and Message of
Jewish Apocalyptic: 200 b.c. – a.d.
100. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1964.
provides a careful examination of Jewish apocalyptic literature, demonstrating
the distinctive characteristics these documents share. The Book of Revelation
fits into this category, but does not have all of the characteristics Russell
delineates. See also Morris’s much more succinct treatment of the same subject.
Ryrie, Charles C. Dispensationalism Today.
Chicago: Moody, .
of the leading proponents of dispensational (pre-tribulational) premillennialism,
Ryrie attempts to provide the hermeneutical and exegetical basis for this
Schmitt, John W., and J. Carl Laney. Messiah’s Coming Temple: Ezekiel’s Prophetic Vision of the Future Temple.
Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1997.
dispensationalists, Schmitt and Laney are enthusiastic about the building of a
third temple in Jerusalem. Their book is a detailed description of the temple of
Ezekiel’s prophecy (which is considerably different from either Solomon’s or
Herod’s), as well as a report of the movement among orthodox Jews to rebuild a
Jewish temple on the Temple Mount. This book includes many diagrams as well as
photographs of a scale model of Ezekiel’s temple one of the authors built with
Shank, Robert. Until: The Coming of the
Messiah and His Kingdom. Springfield, MO: Westcott, 1982.
a scholarly presentation of the dispensational point of view. Shank, who left
the Baptists to join the Restoration Movement, avoids the sensationalism and
extremely literal positions of Hal Lindsey and others.
Tanner, J. Paul. “Daniel’s ‘King of the North’:
Do we owe Russia an apology?” Journal of the Evangelical Society 35, 3
(September 1992): 315–328.
Walvoord, John F. Armageddon, Oil and the
Middle East Crisis. Revised ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990.
Yamauchi, Edwin A. Foes from the Northern
Frontier: Invading Hordes from the Russian Steppes. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker,
expert on the ancient Middle East provides a detailed discussion about what is
known of “Gog,” “Meshech,” and “Tubal,” providing archaeological and historical
settings for each and thereby refuting dispensational claims.
_________. “Meshech, Tubal, and Company: A
Review Article.” Journal of Evangelical Theological Society 19, 3 (Summer