Beyond Mere Opinion
PREPARATION FOR STUDY
WELCOME! I'm so excited!
I am anxious to get into the Book, but we have some preparatory work to do. But here is how to proceed in order to get the most out of this week's study:
1. First of all, you will want to watch the videos.
2. For the past 2000 years, some of the greatest minds in the history of the world have reflected upon and wrestled with this enigmatic prophecy. Below I have recommended some commentaries with links, so that you may procure what you wish.
3. Some years ago now, I translated Matthew Poole's Latin Synopsis on the Book of Revelation (~1000 pages in translation). It is basically a verse-by-verse history of interpretation, bringing together the best interpreters, Jewish, Patristic, Medieval, Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed. To support our studies together, I am going to be revising and updating the translation as we go, and providing links to the revised portions, so that we might read along together.
Also, on the Poole page feel free to ask questions, to comment, and to dialogue with me and the other students. We will all be greatly enriched by interaction.
4. My recommendations for a graduated approach, so that you can tailor your studies to your own schedule: a. Everyone should listen to the lecture. The best material will be presented and summarized there. b. If you have time and inclination to go a little deeper, keep up with the readings from Matthew Poole. Once we get into the rhythm of the study, you can probably keep up with this reading in only minutes per day (the amount of Poole reading this first week is unusual). c. If you are wanting to go yet further, follow along in E.B. Elliott's Horae Apocalypticae. Elliott's work is compelling; but, be warned, it is fair amount of reading.
May the Most High God bless your studies this week.
If you want to go deeper, reading is a must.
E.B. Elliott's Horae Apocalyticae, four volumes, fifth edition.
C.H. Spurgeon calls it "the standard work on the subject", and it is, in my estimation, the single best resource on Revelation. It is both an exegetical and historical masterpiece, filled with wonderful and rare information. However, in four volumes, it is an extensive amount of reading. You will want the fifth edition.
There is a relatively inexpensive digital edition available here.
Printed copies are available here.
James Durham's Learned and Complete Commentary is practical and full of the sweetness of Christ Himself.
Although I am not able to follow Gregory Beale in his general approach to the Book of Revelation, his Book of Revelation is frequently helpful in matters of detail and difficulty.
An abridged edition of Elliott's Horae Apocalypticae is available. The advantage: You can get the gist with less reading. However, the loss is significant; most of the persuasive power of Elliott's work is in the painstaking attention to detail. And we are trying to get beyond mere opinion...