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Revelation: Four Views: A Parallel Commentary

de Steve Gregg

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How can we understand the book of Revelation and its many interpretations? Four Views of Revelation: A Parallel Commentary covers the traditional views in an even-handed fashion. Four parallel columns present the information you need on these key views, and inform you about outstanding commentators on the book of Revelation. No other book gives such extensive coverage of how the church has understood Revelation over the centuries. The four-column format makes this an easy read for lay people, pastors, and scholars alike. This is a wonderful addition to any Bible study resource library.   Features include: Convenient, one-volume format Four parallel columns for easy comparison Complete coverage of the major interpretations of Revelation Extensive coverage of the place of Revelation in church history… (més)
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The author, as many have pointed out, is well-balanced in his presentation of the major views. He presents them from the adherents' perspective without unnecessary commentary. Since the 4 views are broad categories, variations among proponents are pointed out when necessary. I do believe the author has been successful in his efforts to provide the reader with a framework in which to make up their own mind. Though Gregg provides commentary and points out weaknesses; he doesn't reach (or preach) any conclusions.

In my own experience, I avoided study of the more esoteric Bible books, but Four Views did an excellent job of making Revelation approachable without dumbing down the subject. When reading Four Views, one can see where all (or most) interpretations share common ground thereby providing the reader a basis to understanding the imagery. From there, one can work up to a more detailed espousal of a doctrine or (in my case) hybrid of doctrines. Gregg provides a strong enough framework of the four interpretive approaches for a detailed study of eschatology without being dense. I personally started to reread the book and create flashcards to map out the various passages and interpretations. You don't NEED to, but as I said, the book provides a solid framework for further studies.

The lay reader will be interested to note that many of the great Church luminaries such as Luther, Finney, Calvin, Wesley, Augustine, Origen, Hus, Spurgeon, Edwards, and others did not share our prevailing modern view. For the narrow dogmatist, maybe that fact alone will encourage them to explore other views.

My only complaint is that the binding on the book isn't the best. The book receives heavy use, as well as sharing among friends but won't hold up well to constant, ongoing treatment. That's a shame since most readers will read it thoroughly flipping around frequently and use it as a reference once completed. Don't let this stop you from buying it though. If you are interested in beginning Revelation study, this is the best place I've encountered. ( )
  Hae-Yu | Apr 16, 2015 |
If you begin with the premise that Revelation is inspired scripture, and wish to understand or choose from the four primary interpretations, then you won't find a better book out there than this one. This was definitely a favorite during my research. Dare I say so myself: if you couple my book, which takes a historical look at Revelation and does not presume it's inspired, with this book, which details the various ways believers read Revelation, you'll get a well-rounded picture.

Gregg goes verse-by-verse through Revelation and, with four columns side-by-side, describes how proponents of the four interpretive methods read the scripture. These four types are as follows:

The Historicist approach sees Revelation as surveying the entire church history, from Christ through today and beyond. Events described in Revelation reach fulfillment gradually, through the centuries.

The Preterist approach assumes fulfillment in the first century, and usually assumes an early writing of Revelation (before the war of 70 AD.) Revelation prophecies this "war to end of wars" in which Jerusalem is overrun and the Temple destroyed. This is closest to my own treatment, though a better label for my perspective would be contemporary-historical.

The Futurist approach awaits fulfillment in the future. This needs no further introduction; among today's Christians, this is by far the most popular interpretation, though it wasn't necessarily so throughout Christian history.

The Spiritual approach is Gregg's label for those who do not look for a literal interpretation, but rather see spiritual lessons and principles in the symbolism that runs rampant through this mysterious scripture.

All four interpretations are illuminating, and many readers, upon completion of this study, conclude that Revelation must be a complex combination of the above. Certainly, Revelation is revealed to be a book of deep meaning, seldom contemplated in its entirety by most Christians. ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Apr 4, 2011 |
A work that well succeeds in its purpose. The author does not intend to advance a particular position, but sets forth the main positions on Revelation through references and descriptions of the main proponents of each: a unified commentary for Revelation 1:1-3:21; a fourfold commentary of historicist, preterist (both full and partial), futurist, and spiritual for Revelation 4:1-19:21; a threefold commentary of amillennial, premillennial, and postmillenial for Revelation 20:1-15; a unified commentary for the rest of Revelation, Revelation 21:1-22:22.

A very fair and balanced presentation except for the foreword, which is extremely biased toward the futurist position (and written by another).

Overall, a fantastic reference to grasp the different schools of thought on Revelation. ( )
  deusvitae | Mar 11, 2009 |
As far as Eschatalogical books go, this outshines most. Steve Gregg (an amazing Bible teacher) has placed the commentary and arguments of the four interpretive schemas of Revelation (Futurism, Preterism, Historicism, and Symbolism) side by side in columns beneath individual verses throughout the Apocalypse. A very intuitively designed, thought-provoking, irenic commentary for the man who wants to hear the various arguments laid out as objectively as possible. ( )
  slaveofOne | Feb 10, 2006 |
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How can we understand the book of Revelation and its many interpretations? Four Views of Revelation: A Parallel Commentary covers the traditional views in an even-handed fashion. Four parallel columns present the information you need on these key views, and inform you about outstanding commentators on the book of Revelation. No other book gives such extensive coverage of how the church has understood Revelation over the centuries. The four-column format makes this an easy read for lay people, pastors, and scholars alike. This is a wonderful addition to any Bible study resource library.   Features include: Convenient, one-volume format Four parallel columns for easy comparison Complete coverage of the major interpretations of Revelation Extensive coverage of the place of Revelation in church history

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