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Richard Bauckham expounds the theology of the Book of Revelation: its understanding of God, Christ and the Spirit, the role of the Church in the world, and the hope of the coming of God's universal kingdom. Close attention is paid both to the literary form in which the theology is expressed and to the original context to which the book was addressed. Contrary to many misun Richard Bauckham expounds the theology of the Book of Revelation: its understanding of God, Christ and the Spirit, the role of the Church in the world, and the hope of the coming of God's universal kingdom. Close attention is paid both to the literary form in which the theology is expressed and to the original context to which the book was addressed. Contrary to many misunderstandings of Revelation, it is shown to be one of the masterpieces of early Christian literature, with much to say to the Church today. This study offers a unique account of the theology and message of Revelation.


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Richard Bauckham expounds the theology of the Book of Revelation: its understanding of God, Christ and the Spirit, the role of the Church in the world, and the hope of the coming of God's universal kingdom. Close attention is paid both to the literary form in which the theology is expressed and to the original context to which the book was addressed. Contrary to many misun Richard Bauckham expounds the theology of the Book of Revelation: its understanding of God, Christ and the Spirit, the role of the Church in the world, and the hope of the coming of God's universal kingdom. Close attention is paid both to the literary form in which the theology is expressed and to the original context to which the book was addressed. Contrary to many misunderstandings of Revelation, it is shown to be one of the masterpieces of early Christian literature, with much to say to the Church today. This study offers a unique account of the theology and message of Revelation.

30 review for Theology of the Book of Revelation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    I was fortunate (?) enough to read this in less than 24 hours as I rested sick in bed (but could not sleep). So not much of the Bauckham's theological nuances slipped past me. It's most noteworthy aspects are its 1) speculation about first-century interpretation 2) trinitarian threads of emphasis and 3) balanced theonomic (but non-reconstructionist) motifs in relation to holy warfare and Christocentric "witness" (i.e. martyrdom). The only major disagreement I had with Bauckham is his repeated ins I was fortunate (?) enough to read this in less than 24 hours as I rested sick in bed (but could not sleep). So not much of the Bauckham's theological nuances slipped past me. It's most noteworthy aspects are its 1) speculation about first-century interpretation 2) trinitarian threads of emphasis and 3) balanced theonomic (but non-reconstructionist) motifs in relation to holy warfare and Christocentric "witness" (i.e. martyrdom). The only major disagreement I had with Bauckham is his repeated insistence that John's Apocalypse has absolutely nothing to do with the tumultuous Jewish wars (causing strife among christian Jews as well), the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the end of the old covenant "creation." He places a lot of emphasis on the new covenant kingdom already being inaugurated, but he insists that the first century audience of John's Apocalypse would not have considered Jerusalem and Herod's Temple as a center of power or idolatry (and hence, could not have been mistaken for any "beastly" figure in Revelation). To Bauckham, all of the beastly images have to do with powers and idols of the early/ancient Roman Empire. Even though that is a significant disagreement i have with the book, I would still highly recommend it for its clarity and exegetical balance. I think it steers much of contemporary speculation about John's Apocalypse in a healthier direction than all "futurist" (pre-millennial) views offered today. It also steers clear of the unhealthy "dominionist" abuses far too often emphasized among postmillennialists, as well as the cerebral pietism highlighted among amillenialists. I suspect that if Bauckham were asked what his own personal "millennial" position was, he would respond by pointing out how insignificant the theological implications of the millennium are when compared to the rest of the book's much clearer theological implications

  2. 4 out of 5

    Josh Wilhelm

    Few biblical books call for careful attention and disciplined study more than the book of Revelation. Careless interpretations abound, leaving many confused as to the meaning of this important letter. Building off of his earlier work "The Climax of Prophecy" (T&T Clark), in "The Theology of the Book of Revelation", Richard Bauckham unpacks the message of Revelation in seven short chapters. Bauckham begins with a description of the genre of the book. Revelation is an “apocalyptic prophecy in the Few biblical books call for careful attention and disciplined study more than the book of Revelation. Careless interpretations abound, leaving many confused as to the meaning of this important letter. Building off of his earlier work "The Climax of Prophecy" (T&T Clark), in "The Theology of the Book of Revelation", Richard Bauckham unpacks the message of Revelation in seven short chapters. Bauckham begins with a description of the genre of the book. Revelation is an “apocalyptic prophecy in the form of a circular letter” (2). Here he outlines the strategy of the book, “the visual power of the book effects a kind of purging of the Christian imagination, refurbishing it with alternative visions of how the world is and will be” (17). The Christian imagination is to be broadened, both “spatially (into heaven)” as well as “temporally (into the eschatological future)” (7). As Bauckham demonstrates, in the book of Revelation, theology and Christology are closely intertwined. This is made clear in Bauckham’s perceptive unpacking of the twin self-designations of God and Christ at the beginning and end of the letter. Bauckham highlights how John records God’s declaration as being the “Alpha and Omega” (1:8), followed by Christ’s own designation as the “first and the last” (1:17). These designations are bookended at the end of the letter by twin declarations by both God “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (21:6) and Christ “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (22:13). There is an added devotional character to Bauckham’s work. Grounded in his careful discussion on Revelation’s theology and Christology which we have just noted, Bauckham can later say of Jesus, “Because He is Creation’s Alpha he will also be its Omega” (127). One is given here a great example of careful study leading to worshipful praise. Bauckham carefully unpacks the historical context of the letter of Revelation. Indeed, he reveals Revelation as a document with much to say to oppressive power systems, such as Rome of John’s day. Yet this power is framed in terms of a much greater power, “In light of God’s righteousness Rome’s oppression and exploitation stand condemned, and in the light of God’s lordship over history, it becomes clear that Rome does not hold ultimate power and cannot continue her unjust rule indefinitely” (39). It is against this historical context that John introduces the heavenly city, offered as the divine alternative to corrupt Rome (127). Given the book’s title, one may expect to find an overview of eschatology, which is not the case. There is very little discussion on the millennium, and no mention of pre, post, and a- millennial views. Those looking for a more systematic treatment of traditional theological loci will need to look elsewhere. Bauckham’s method is that of biblical theology. Central biblical theological themes which receive treatment are God, Redemption, the People of God, and New-Creation. These themes are explored through careful, close exegesis of Revelation. One of the great strengths of Bauckham’s work is the level-headedness which it exhibits. He is able to both affirm the genuine prophetic ministry and message of John, and also unpack that message with patience and wisdom. In his section on applying the message of Revelation, Bauckham offers helpful comments on the nature of biblical prophecy in general. “Biblical prophecy always both addressed the prophet’s contemporaries about their own present and the future immediately impending for them and raised hopes which proved able to transcend their immediate relevance to the prophet’s contemporaries and to continue to direct later readers to God’s purpose for their future” (152). He further highlights the ongoing relevance of the book by noting that “prophetic promise frequently exceeded fulfillment” (153). Bauckham does some interesting unpacking of some of the numeric significance of the book, writing that “[n]umerical patterns have theological significance in Revelation” (26). While we agree, his attention to numbers and patterns at times can seem a bit much. For example, speaking of the “sevenfold Spirit” he writes, “the fourfold references to the sevenfold Spirit correspond to the seven occurrences of the fourfold phrase which designates all the people of the earth” (109). This book—while focused specifically on the theology of Revelation—demonstrates an extraordinary amount of thinking and work done on the letter by Bauckham—linguistic, literary, historical, and canonical. Bauckham exhibits both a deep awareness of the prophetic tradition and the great eschatological hope which it promotes, as well as a strong understanding of the first century world, with all its fears and terrors. "The Theology of the Book of Revelation" is a terrific guide for this crucial and often mis-aligned portion of Scripture. It serves to both clarify the message of Revelation in its original context and allow the book’s message to be heard with clarity and power today.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wood

    Baukham's Theology of the Book of Revelation offers an insightful and non-traditional approach to a difficult book in our canon, primarily due to the complexity of the stylism and imagery involved and the eschatological vision. For one, Baukham avoids the more common verse-by-verse approach commentary style that is helpful for understanding the part although often at expect to the sum whole. Instead, he approaches the book thematically, demonstrating John's concern to communicate Christ's Messia Baukham's Theology of the Book of Revelation offers an insightful and non-traditional approach to a difficult book in our canon, primarily due to the complexity of the stylism and imagery involved and the eschatological vision. For one, Baukham avoids the more common verse-by-verse approach commentary style that is helpful for understanding the part although often at expect to the sum whole. Instead, he approaches the book thematically, demonstrating John's concern to communicate Christ's Messianic triumph and reign over the competing powers of the earth (namely, Rome). At the same time, he shows how John both adopts and brings to its culmination the Jewish prophetic tradition in such a way that evidences John's concern for his contemporary Christian audience in a struggle against Roman Imperialism without, at the same time, relegating his Revelation only to the early Christian church. In other words, he bridges the gap between interpretation to application in a thoroughly consistent prophetic manner. For those looking for an explanation of the book of Revelation that transcends modern millenarian discussions of the book that distort John's primary impetus behind his prophetic message while remaining exegetically sensitive to the text, I highly recommend this work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Codd

    After a lovely Garden Party in which Richard Bauckham and I discussed politics and Parsonages (this really did happen haha) , I felt inspired to reread his wonderful book on Revelation, also I am going to be preaching a series on this book soon and needed a refresher

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gwilym Davies

    I last read this a few years ago when I was preaching through Revelation. Reading it again, it's embarrassing how many of my bright ideas about Revelation originated here! But this is so, so good - good for its presentation the argument presented elsewhere in Jesus and the God of Israel (but specific to Revelation), good for its ability to cut through the muddle we've often made of this great book, good for methodological clarity that would apply equally to Isaiah or Ezekiel, good for the sanity I last read this a few years ago when I was preaching through Revelation. Reading it again, it's embarrassing how many of my bright ideas about Revelation originated here! But this is so, so good - good for its presentation the argument presented elsewhere in Jesus and the God of Israel (but specific to Revelation), good for its ability to cut through the muddle we've often made of this great book, good for methodological clarity that would apply equally to Isaiah or Ezekiel, good for the sanity of its understanding of the New Testament's use of the old (an area of increasing muddle, it seems to me!), good especially for its wonderful fourth chapter, a chapter that effectively articulates what I consider to be the most persuasive account of the melodic line of Revelation. There are a few nits to pick: his use of the language of 'universalism' has proven a bit of a hostage to fortune (GK Beale for one seems to have misunderstood him on this); I'm not sure he's quite nailed the kings of the earth in Revelation 21; his soft spot for Moltmann shows through in a not entirely well-rounded description of freedom and sovereignty at the end. But those are nits - this is an outstanding book on Revelation and its theology, and nothing else I've read on Revelation or eschatology comes close. Thanks, Richard.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    Brilliant, clear, and eye-opening. This is the best single work on a book of the Bible that I have read. It is not a commentary, nor simply a long commentary introduction. Instead, it is a well organized, comprehensive view of Revelation, with its context, various themes, and important verses explained—even including a final chapter on how the book applies to us today. But more importantly than its clarity and scope is the fact that I believe Bauckham is *right.* Oh how confusing the book can be. Brilliant, clear, and eye-opening. This is the best single work on a book of the Bible that I have read. It is not a commentary, nor simply a long commentary introduction. Instead, it is a well organized, comprehensive view of Revelation, with its context, various themes, and important verses explained—even including a final chapter on how the book applies to us today. But more importantly than its clarity and scope is the fact that I believe Bauckham is *right.* Oh how confusing the book can be. But wow, does he explain it so well! In the midst of all the misguided futurist, historicist views, here Bauckham shows what John is tiring to communicate. And I think the main reason Bauckham does this so well is because he is so steeped in the Old Testament. The book of Revelation has more OT references that any other NT book by far! In so many of the verses John is alluding to some Old Testament prophetic text to paint his pictures. Bauckham takes these seriously, and doing so, he avoids many of the modern errors we make of the book when we make essentially it a future 'code.' Moreover, besides it being clear and the right interpretation (in my opinion), what I also appreciated is that this isn't just a piece of scholarly work. Of course, it is very scholarly. (Warning: It isn't very easy to read. It is super-dense!) But Bauckham is very God-, Christ-, gospel-, and cross-centered. This was a tad surprising to me, just because I didn't expect it. It isn't *devotional*, but it is *worshipful* (if I may make such a distinction using the modern usage of the word 'devotional'). For example, his overarching outline is God-, Christ-, and gospel-focused right away. After an introductory chapter, he has a chapter about God, then Christ, then Christ's victory on the cross and how that applies to us. Such organization and focus was refreshing. And most importantly, Bauckham displayed that these were *John's* focuses in the book. Lastly, I will just say two important things that stuck out to me. These aren't the most important, but they'r eon my mind currently. First, Bauckham helpfully shows that for John, the book of Revelation has three main themes, derived from the Old Testament. 1) First, is the theme of *messianic victory*. This was a clear OT (and NT) idea that the Messiah (King) would have victory over his enemies, even world-wide global victory. John shows this was accomplished, but through Jesus' death and resurrection. But not only that, this explains many other pictures, like the 144,000, which is a census (like OT censuses) in which the army of the King (Messiah) is numbered. The 144,000 is symbolic of completeness (12,000x12) since the actual number is innumerable (next few verses), but it is a census. This also makes sense out of the frequent command to conquer. We as Christians are in a war against the ideologies of the world. We fight and conquer and don't compromise, and only those who do are true Christians. 2) Second, is the theme of the *new exodus*. This is evident with the images of the judgments, where so many resemble the plagues. And it's similar in how the judgments don't lead the nations to repent (just like Pharaoh and Egypt). It's also similar in how the saints sing a new song of Moses about deliverance, like Moses did after crossing the Red Sea. And finally, most obviously, it is accomplished through the Lamb slain for them. In other words, the victory is pictured as the new exodus, which is a NT theme elsewhere. 3) Third, is the theme of *witness*. Christians are witnesses to the Messiah's victory/new exodus, and most importantly, to the truth and reality of God. They are witnesses to the gospel and to the fact that God soon will have his creation back. Finally, we are witnesses to the ends of the nations. This is not just a Hewish salvation, but one for the world (a theme that comes up again and again). I think these three themes make sense out of much of what John is writing. Second, I want to just point out one extremely helpful thing Bauckham said. This: *The judgments of the seven seals from chapters 6-9 are not the content of the scroll!* This is obviously right, and it's a massive point. So many people think that the 'scroll' outlines the last days of the world, and the judgements are part of the scroll. But in Revelation, that's not true. The scroll is the scroll. The seals open the scroll. Instead, each seal does bring judgment, but it does *not* bring repentance. In other words, John's purpose is to show that the judgments don't lead to repentance (which is his final point at the end of the seals in chapter 9). What about the scroll then? It is finally opened in chapter 10 (after the seals are done) and explained in chapter 11! This is the climax and center of the book. John takes the image from Ezekiel where Ezekiel is given the scroll, eats it (internalizes it), and then says what the scroll message was. John does the same, eating gin chapter 10, and then explaining it in chapter 11. *This means that chapters 6-9 are setting the stage by showing that judgments don't work to bring about repentance. The center of the book is then chapters 10-11 where the scroll is explained.* SO what is the scroll about? It is about the church—the two witnesses, witnessing to the truth about the Lamb and Messiah, and doing so by following the way of their Lord, through their own sacrificial deaths. But the good news is that they will be successful: the gospel will go to all the earth through the witness of the church. Bauckham points out we know this is the center and main point of the book because 1) this *is* the content of the scroll, and 2) all the chapters after this just expound on themes (such as beast) that are brought in during chapter 11. All that being said, the center and most important part of the book is chapter 11. The church is to witness to the nations. We will be victorious, but our witness is one of sacrifice and love, like our Lord. (It is 'two witnesses' because based on the testimony of at least two witnesses is an OT idea, and the church is to be prophetic like Moses and Eliah [as pictured in ch. 11]). So good. I encourage anyone who is confused or interested in Revelation to give it a read. And most important, it makes much more sense now why God included it in the canon. And Bauckham shows well in his final chapter on application, the church throughout ages did not read it as a code book like we do. Instead, it has been a constant reminder of the church to conquer with the king by the blood of the Lamb, and to witness to his victory, even unto death. That's the point. It was the point for the early Christians in Rome, and it's the point to us today.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Curtis

    This book completely changed my perspective on Revelation. Having grown up with a more Dispensationalist view on the end times where the sequence of events is drawn from imagery within Revelation, I was thrilled to discover how much depth was to be found in John's writing! I would highly recommend everyone take the time to work through this book and be challenged by the call to faithful witness that Revelation has for all followers of Christ in every age. This book completely changed my perspective on Revelation. Having grown up with a more Dispensationalist view on the end times where the sequence of events is drawn from imagery within Revelation, I was thrilled to discover how much depth was to be found in John's writing! I would highly recommend everyone take the time to work through this book and be challenged by the call to faithful witness that Revelation has for all followers of Christ in every age.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gideon Yutzy

    In which Richard Bauckham demolishes sensational and parochial interpretations of Revelation. Reading it brought to mind what Chesterton said once: John the Revelator saw many monsters but none so wild as his own commentators. (Far be it from me to mention any recent ones, but in general think Left Behind, Chick Tract publications, and D.K.'s Doctrines of the Bible.) I'm sorry for what this does to my allegiance to the cherished Evangelical doctrine of Scriptural Perspicuity, but Bauckham forever In which Richard Bauckham demolishes sensational and parochial interpretations of Revelation. Reading it brought to mind what Chesterton said once: John the Revelator saw many monsters but none so wild as his own commentators. (Far be it from me to mention any recent ones, but in general think Left Behind, Chick Tract publications, and D.K.'s Doctrines of the Bible.) I'm sorry for what this does to my allegiance to the cherished Evangelical doctrine of Scriptural Perspicuity, but Bauckham forever convinced me of what I had long suspected: 21st-century Westerners cannot come to any real understanding of Revelation simply by reading an English translation without any scholarly/literary input. In Bauckham's telling, which backs up every minute claim with maddening precision, Revelation primarily has to do with a particular time and place, namely the 1st century Christian church. He masterfully unpacks the allusions (seemingly at least half of the entire text of Revelation) to Exodus, Zechariah, Isaiah, and other OT texts. Toward the end he shifts to a comparison of Babylon (Rome, but also any society operating from her modes of being) to the New Jerusalem, which was long anticipated in the Abrahamic Covenant. The nations will be gathered to her. She exists to carry out God's original purpose for humanity: to form a global family. In short, it does historic and literary justice to the world of Revelation, it offers a compelling and transformative theology of Revelation, and, especially if you were taught the perspicuity of scripture, it will give you a revelation about Revelation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ethan McCarter

    An excellent introduction to the theological emphases and nuances of John's Revelation. Bauckham defends an "idealist" perspective though he does discuss other views on the book including futurist and preterist views both the partial and full varieties albeit briefly. The book is primarily centered on discussing the theological aspects such as the nature of genres in the book, the usage of pictorial representation, and the nature of numerous aspects of those symbols. For instance, Babylon repres An excellent introduction to the theological emphases and nuances of John's Revelation. Bauckham defends an "idealist" perspective though he does discuss other views on the book including futurist and preterist views both the partial and full varieties albeit briefly. The book is primarily centered on discussing the theological aspects such as the nature of genres in the book, the usage of pictorial representation, and the nature of numerous aspects of those symbols. For instance, Babylon representative of Rome and every empire that comes after it that persecutes the church or seeks to economically oppress believers. Bauckham is not always agreeable, there are some ares where he attributes wrong emphases and misses some of the main points, he could have also described some more competing views with fairer shakes, but it's a good introduction to understanding this often misunderstood book. I'd recommend it for pastors, teachers, students of the Bible at a deeper level, and those looking to understand the theology of Revelation from an Idealist perspective.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Excellent. Essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the book of revelation.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lu Tsun

    REVIEW AND CRITIQUE Bauckham, Richard. The Theology of the Book of Revelation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. In The Theology of the Book of Revelation Bauckham explicates how the sound interpretation of the theology of Revelation must be based on the proper understanding of the imageries in its original context. Revelation in Bauckham’s analysis provides a theocentric vision of the coming of God’s kingdom, to purge and to refurbish the Christian imagination through a highly visuali REVIEW AND CRITIQUE Bauckham, Richard. The Theology of the Book of Revelation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. In The Theology of the Book of Revelation Bauckham explicates how the sound interpretation of the theology of Revelation must be based on the proper understanding of the imageries in its original context. Revelation in Bauckham’s analysis provides a theocentric vision of the coming of God’s kingdom, to purge and to refurbish the Christian imagination through a highly visualized symbolic world. Revelation as a part of the prophetic tradition of the OT must be understood in our general understanding of prophecy in the OT. The central message of Revelation was designed to confront the late first-century Roman Empire and imperial idolatries, and to call Christians to engage the spiritual warfare with witness and overcome the political pressure and seduction. The Millennium is solely to demonstrate the victory of the martyrs. The New Jerusalem represents a theocentric rule of God among the all nations God gathers into His kingdom. Critiques: Bauckham’s contextual approach to Revelation has important implications. First, he reverts the common understanding of the churches that the book is a prophecy predicting primarily the future events before the second coming. His contextual approach itself favors a more historical and situational interpretation and not surprisingly he gets what he wants. It would be somewhat inconsiderate in his contextual approach that he rarely connects and correlates the theocentric vision and the Prousia with other places in the NT. Instead he interacts more intensively with the OT and some second-temple Judaism, yet he did not explicate how and why in John’s thought these sources demonstrate the more imminent present reality of the time of Revelation. Second, Bauckham’s connection of the symbolic function of imageries with historical context is very significant. But this raises the question whether he has reduced the biblical symbolism into political allegory. The intention of the profusion of OT imageries in Revelation is a very debatable subject. While the historical context of Roman power must be in view, it is a bias to say the Roman power as the exclusive context. As Bauckham has admitted, Revelation communicates more about the truth of God than the future events. Since Revelation provides a theocentric vision of the historical situation before the Second Coming, why would we not see Revelation as a symbolic representation of the history itself? After all, symbolism can convey the deep structure of human consciousness.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Linkous

    This little book is one of the most helpful resources I have ever used as far as understanding the bigger picture of Revelation. It's expensive for being such a short book, but I would recommend this be the first thing anyone reads who wants a resource on the book of Revelation. It's very clear and concise and theologically deep. I read this on my Kindle and highlighted nearly the entire book. This little book is one of the most helpful resources I have ever used as far as understanding the bigger picture of Revelation. It's expensive for being such a short book, but I would recommend this be the first thing anyone reads who wants a resource on the book of Revelation. It's very clear and concise and theologically deep. I read this on my Kindle and highlighted nearly the entire book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Colvin

    Many insightful nuggets, but vitiated somewhat by a focus on Rome rather than Jerusalem. At its best when Bauckham identifies the OT and intertestamental antecedents of the phraseology, imagery, and diction of the Apocalypse.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John-Jennifer Divito

    As I study the book of Revelation in preparation to preach through it later this year, I heard several high recommendations of Richard Bauckham's introduction to the theology of this final book in God's Word. Now that I have finished reading The Theology of the Book of Revelation, I understand why so many encouraged me to read it! Bauckham's work is an immensely insightful read, for several reasons: First, the author takes seriously the original context of Revelation. Rather than seeing it as a c As I study the book of Revelation in preparation to preach through it later this year, I heard several high recommendations of Richard Bauckham's introduction to the theology of this final book in God's Word. Now that I have finished reading The Theology of the Book of Revelation, I understand why so many encouraged me to read it! Bauckham's work is an immensely insightful read, for several reasons: First, the author takes seriously the original context of Revelation. Rather than seeing it as a crystal ball meant to simply disclose the future, Bauckham looks at the seven churches to whom this book was written in developing an interpretation relevant to first century Christians. He also writes of its ongoing significance to Christ's church, but I found his attention to historical relevance enlightening. Second, I am grateful for his development of the major themes in Revelation. While this is not a verse-by-verse commentary, he traces the themes of Revelation through its canonical development (both Old and New Testaments) as well as its internal consistency (showing how integrated John's Revelation is meant to be for the reader). Third, he focused on biblical study to establish his case. Bauckham is clearly a man who has lived in the world of Revelation in his studies with a thorough understanding of this book and the scholarship surrounding it. At the same time, given the brevity of Bauckham's book, you will want to read it with an open Bible. He rarely quotes from Scripture, but cites it frequently. I found myself needing to turn to the cited passages and verses over and over again to fully grasp his argument. Still, I have a few quibbles to mention after reading this book. I remain doubtful or skeptical of certain conclusions Bauckham draws, but I expect this in anything I read on the book of Revelation! Additionally, he is more accepting of critical scholarship than I am. For example, he seemingly accepts Deutero-Isaiah and other higher critical views. But I don't see these positions overly influencing his interpretive judgments in Revelation. Finally, Bauckham failed to sufficiently address common contemporary issues in the study of Revelation. Some of this may be by design, but I would have appreciated more interaction on the historicity of Revelation and on questions surrounding interpretive methods (historicist, preterist, futurist, idealist) and millennial views (premillennial, amillennial, postmillennial). Nevertheless, I still found this book very valuable in my studies and will likely return to it to grow in my understanding of Revelation. For those who want a short introduction to the theology of Revelation, I strongly recommend Bauckham's book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Walter Marques

    Many of us theologians recognize, and most of the students of Scripture agree that the Book of Revelation is not easy to interpret. In spite of the challenges about the inspiration of the Book of Revelation, Bauckham turns around this controversial apocalyptic literature which was very common just before and during the apostolic era. In the Theology of the Book of Revelation, Bauckham gives a different perspective on the end times. He shows clearly that John received his prophetic visions directly Many of us theologians recognize, and most of the students of Scripture agree that the Book of Revelation is not easy to interpret. In spite of the challenges about the inspiration of the Book of Revelation, Bauckham turns around this controversial apocalyptic literature which was very common just before and during the apostolic era. In the Theology of the Book of Revelation, Bauckham gives a different perspective on the end times. He shows clearly that John received his prophetic visions directly from Christ as well as the unlikeness to the apocalyptic writers of that era who hid behind deceptive pseudonyms. In The Theology of the Book of Revelation Bauckham explicates how the sound interpretation of the theology of Revelation must be based on the proper understanding of the imageries in its original context. It is high recommendable, concise and theologically sound to be used as a source for the understanding of the bigger picture of the Book of Revelation. The message is clear, the Book of Revelation is a book about the future and about the present. Bauckham's interpretation, promises the universal peace, prosperity, and cooperation that God will institute on earth after the return of Christ. Bauckham is in complete control with his insight into the prophetic symbolism and the close connection with Old Testament prophecy. Bauckham's insightful comments in a persuasive manner, discredits many religious fanatics, who have preyed on the weak and ill informed to promote their wild and fanciful speculations and theories. With a dramatic sense of interpretation, Bauckham also shows how the ancient prophecies of the Book of Revelation could unfold in our modern world. Without pinpointing in many details, Bauckham gives a satisfactory overview of the Book of Revelation by exposing the different liturgical and theological aspects so many times ignored in the dispensational and futuristic views.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Drake

    In this short but packed book, Richard Bauckham seeks to outline the main theological themes that are woven throughout the book of Revelation, showing how Revelation presents the doctrines of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the world, sin and evil, the nature and mission of the Church, and the Coming of Christ. By doing so, he shows how Revelation presents a God-centered view of reality that should continue to inspire and shape the church's efforts at evangelism and missions today. One thing I gre In this short but packed book, Richard Bauckham seeks to outline the main theological themes that are woven throughout the book of Revelation, showing how Revelation presents the doctrines of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the world, sin and evil, the nature and mission of the Church, and the Coming of Christ. By doing so, he shows how Revelation presents a God-centered view of reality that should continue to inspire and shape the church's efforts at evangelism and missions today. One thing I greatly appreciated about Bauckham's book is that he seeks to place Revelation in its historical and literary context, and he does so to a greater extent than any other author I've come across. He strives to put his readers into the mindset of Revelation's original audience, and by doing so, he shows how the book becomes more alive and relevant to the church today than it would be when interpreted apart from its historical setting. While I'm far from agreeing with everything Bauckham argues for in his book, his insights have proven immensely valuable to my own understanding of Revelation and have helped me see the divine wisdom and glory that are displayed throughout John's apocalypse. This is easily the most fascinating book about Revelation that I've read to date.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Scott

    Really, really great. Definitely more of an academic read, but it takes readers through major themes that have lots of contemporary implications, especially in terms of our social and political world. I loved all that it had to say about Revelation’s critique of oppressive empires and the “already but not yet” nature of the Christian life. However, I wish it would have specified things like spiritual disciplines, social justice, and political engagement as ways that we usher in the reign of God. Really, really great. Definitely more of an academic read, but it takes readers through major themes that have lots of contemporary implications, especially in terms of our social and political world. I loved all that it had to say about Revelation’s critique of oppressive empires and the “already but not yet” nature of the Christian life. However, I wish it would have specified things like spiritual disciplines, social justice, and political engagement as ways that we usher in the reign of God. Similarly, I was a little disappointed that the writer didn’t give practical connections to the presence of evil today. Contemporary Issues like racism would have been super appropriate to add in here! In light of that, I also am still processing how I feel about the use of the word ‘sovereign’ as a descriptor for God because of its imperialist undertones. Lastly, the writer seemed to flirt with the idea of universalism in Revelation but in the end, didn’t seem to want to advocate for the idea fully. I wish he would have expanded more on that! But overall, this was a beautiful overview and refreshing read, given that most of what we hear about revelation is a bunch of right wing hogwash ;)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    This was a good book, but also not what I expected. The book goes through great lengths to discuss the symbolism and the Old Testament themes that were developed in the book of Revelation in a Christian context, but never seemed to discuss what the book said. My best analogy to the book would be if you were to go to a talk on the environment and received a detailed talk on the water cycle. The book was filled with well researched details on many topics; some of which were interesting, and many t This was a good book, but also not what I expected. The book goes through great lengths to discuss the symbolism and the Old Testament themes that were developed in the book of Revelation in a Christian context, but never seemed to discuss what the book said. My best analogy to the book would be if you were to go to a talk on the environment and received a detailed talk on the water cycle. The book was filled with well researched details on many topics; some of which were interesting, and many that were not. But it seemed (according to my reading of the book) that the author does not consider Revelation to be a book inspired by God (possibly not any book in the Bible), but rather sought to only analyse the book from a historic and literary perspective. So, while there are numerous interesting insights, it is hard for me to recommend the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James Criswell

    Really enjoyed this book. I’ve long been intimidated by the Book of Revelation, and most teachings I’ve heard on the book never seemed to draw out the depths of the scenes that I knew were lurking there, particularly regarding the numerous Old Testament allusions. This book, however, was excellent. Other reviewers do a good job summarizing Bauckham’s arguments, so I’ll just say that I really enjoyed his focus on themes (messianic war, eschatological exodus, and witness) and the hosts of images i Really enjoyed this book. I’ve long been intimidated by the Book of Revelation, and most teachings I’ve heard on the book never seemed to draw out the depths of the scenes that I knew were lurking there, particularly regarding the numerous Old Testament allusions. This book, however, was excellent. Other reviewers do a good job summarizing Bauckham’s arguments, so I’ll just say that I really enjoyed his focus on themes (messianic war, eschatological exodus, and witness) and the hosts of images in Revelation, particularly noting how John uses comparisons and contrasts that, if you don’t notice them, can lead you astray in your understanding of where John is trying to take you. This is the Revelation book I’ve waited years to read without knowing it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raphael Haeuser

    As part of New Testament Theology series, this seeks to explore and engage the theological themes of Revelation, and take note of its canonical context and impact on Christian faith and life. It sheds light on the book’s imagery, structure and composition, demonstrating how God’s coming kingdom opposes and confronts Roman power and ideology, despite its hostilities toward Christians. It is precisely due to this grounding in historical reality, that Revelation is able to transcend that context an As part of New Testament Theology series, this seeks to explore and engage the theological themes of Revelation, and take note of its canonical context and impact on Christian faith and life. It sheds light on the book’s imagery, structure and composition, demonstrating how God’s coming kingdom opposes and confronts Roman power and ideology, despite its hostilities toward Christians. It is precisely due to this grounding in historical reality, that Revelation is able to transcend that context and speak to the contemporary church.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Dufoe

    Although this book is short in terms of page numbers compared to comparably academic books on the subject, this book is biblically solid, historically informed, and well thought-out, leaving the rich fruit of his years of study to his readers. This book help me understand that the Book of Revelation isn't as scary as I thought it was predictively, but he's scarier than I ever thought in terms of what it asks us to do in response. It's definitely not an easy read, and took me a whole lot longer t Although this book is short in terms of page numbers compared to comparably academic books on the subject, this book is biblically solid, historically informed, and well thought-out, leaving the rich fruit of his years of study to his readers. This book help me understand that the Book of Revelation isn't as scary as I thought it was predictively, but he's scarier than I ever thought in terms of what it asks us to do in response. It's definitely not an easy read, and took me a whole lot longer than I thought to make it through those dense pages. All in all, a great read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ben Fien

    Even though I don't necessarily agree with every little detail, I gave this book five stars for the way it enabled me to understand the book of Revelation. Bauckham's literary genius gave me a fresh understanding of the Apocalypse. He was able to masterfully pull different strands of the book together to summarise its different theological themes. Definitely worth a read for anyone who wants to get into the book. Even though I don't necessarily agree with every little detail, I gave this book five stars for the way it enabled me to understand the book of Revelation. Bauckham's literary genius gave me a fresh understanding of the Apocalypse. He was able to masterfully pull different strands of the book together to summarise its different theological themes. Definitely worth a read for anyone who wants to get into the book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bob Wolniak

    I think this is the book, among the many many commentaries I have on Revelation, that I would most recommend to people to read, and it may be the most profound even though it is the shortest of the two dozen I have on my shelf. Very sane and straightforward examination of the themes, imagery and primary theological implications of the last book in the Bible. We used the first chapter as introduction to apocalyptic literature in our biblical interpretation class.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Excellent and surprisingly thorough given its size. There are aspects that are missing a thorough examination but that isn't what this book is for. As an exploration of themes and recognising the value of Revelation, this book does what it sets out to do. If you want something that makes conclusions about doctrine for you, this isn't the book for you. As an extra resource for digging into revelation, this is invaluable. Excellent and surprisingly thorough given its size. There are aspects that are missing a thorough examination but that isn't what this book is for. As an exploration of themes and recognising the value of Revelation, this book does what it sets out to do. If you want something that makes conclusions about doctrine for you, this isn't the book for you. As an extra resource for digging into revelation, this is invaluable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Reichard

    A helpful short book which focuses on the different themes, ideas, and images in Revelation. I am not sure Bauckham accomplished his goal in showing the theology of Rev. but I do think he does a good job at painting a picture of what Rev. is communicating. So not the best book on Rev. But a helpful at that.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Bartlett

    Bauckham's key to opening the book of Revelation is to explain what it meant to the original hearers. John's abundant Old Testament imagery evoked a response in the reader that gave them a new way of looking at their 1st century world in light of Christ's reign. Once we understand its initial meaning we can understand its continuing relevance today all the way until Christ's return. Bauckham's key to opening the book of Revelation is to explain what it meant to the original hearers. John's abundant Old Testament imagery evoked a response in the reader that gave them a new way of looking at their 1st century world in light of Christ's reign. Once we understand its initial meaning we can understand its continuing relevance today all the way until Christ's return.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Brown

    A couple nit-picky things, but an excellent summary of the major themes of revelation! Very helpful for systematizing it’s emphases— particularly appreciated the focus on John Trinitarian theology and the section on Revelation’s applicability today.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dale Arand

    This is a refreshing look at a Bible book that is too often viewed simply as a roadmap of future events. It is, after all, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. With an understanding of the context in which John wrote this book, the author convincingly urges the reader to see and participate in God's plan of gathering people from all nations into his kingdom rather than look to political solutions or other idolatries of our time to save us. This is a refreshing look at a Bible book that is too often viewed simply as a roadmap of future events. It is, after all, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. With an understanding of the context in which John wrote this book, the author convincingly urges the reader to see and participate in God's plan of gathering people from all nations into his kingdom rather than look to political solutions or other idolatries of our time to save us.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Bauckham's insights into the book of Revelation, based on the historical and cultural world are, IMHO, second to none. This short book packs a massive theological punch and adds invaluable insight to those who would say that Revelation is (only) a Jewish book. Bauckham's insights into the book of Revelation, based on the historical and cultural world are, IMHO, second to none. This short book packs a massive theological punch and adds invaluable insight to those who would say that Revelation is (only) a Jewish book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Corey Herlevsen

    This is a slim volume packed with good information, insights and research. It meets it's stated objectives well and would work as the introduction to a commentary on Revelation. Not for casual reading, This is a slim volume packed with good information, insights and research. It meets it's stated objectives well and would work as the introduction to a commentary on Revelation. Not for casual reading,

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