Revelation | G. K. Beale with David H. Campbell

The cover of Beale's RevelationRevelation is a book that strikes fear into the heart of pastors! How on earth to you preach about beasts, harlots, sci-fi creatures, and glittering cities dropping from the sky?

The first time I spoke through the book of Revelation, I used a number of resources including G. K. Beale’s excellent offering in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series. 1300 pages on the Greek text of Revelation is a lot of material to work, through. I only used Beale’s work to drill down on certain verses.

When I decided to teach through Revelation a second time, I found Beale’s new work: Revelation: A Shorter Commentary, co-written with David H. Campbell. At 500 pages, you may disagree with the subtitle, but compared to his first work this is the Cole’s Notes version!

Revelation has been interpreted in various ways. Preterists view the book as referring to first century events. Futurists view the book as referring to the future. Beale’s view is far more nuanced. He advocates a Redemptive-Historical Idealist view. That is, the bulk of Revelation refers to the ongoing battle between good and evil. Beale does admit, however, that some parts of Revelation point decisively to the future. This is made clear in his interpretation of the cycles of judgment: seals, bowls, and trumpts. While the majority of the seven judgments in each cycle refer to the current battle between good and evil, the end of each cycle always points toward the future.

This “Shorter Commentary” contains the perfect amount of detail for pastors looking to seriously wrestle with the text and meaning of Revelation. Each section concludes with valuable “Suggestions for Reflection” which provide easy launching pads for sermons.

Revelation shouldn’t be ignored. In it, the church is exhorted to remain faithful despite present circumstances. Spiritual reality is often quite different from earthly appearances. Despite chaotic circumstances, God remains on his throne.

—G. K. Beale with David H. Campbell, Revelation: A Shorter Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015).

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