Book Review: Reveling Through Revelation: Part II

Reveling Through Revelation:  Part II, Chapters 12-22 and Appendix, by J. Vernon McGee

Being the sort of person who will happily read those books I encounter around me, especially when they are short–this book is only about 180 pages or so–I must admit I found this particular little book to be greatly amusing to read.  Having been somewhat familiar with the author’s work before from reading one of his commentaries more than a decade ago, I found this to be a surprisingly good commentary on the second half of Revelation.  Revelation, it should be recognized, is not an area where many people shine in their interpretive skills, and many would-be commentators struggle grasp the material and avoid foisting upon it their own mistaken interpretations to a fatal degree [1].  This is not a perfect book, but to the extent that this book is a worthwhile and even enjoyable commentary on Revelation, it is so because of the humility of the author and his willingness to stick to conservative sources.  Although it would likely have pained the author to hear this, the commentator the author most resembles in this book within my own experience and familiarity is the late Herbert W. Armstrong, a man the author heartily despised.  Life is full of ironies, though.

The contents of this book are pretty straightforward.  After a brief introduction, the book jumps to page 150 and provides the second part to a commentary of Revelation that could have easily been one book of a bit more than 300 pages rather than two very small books.  I wonder why the book was divided at all.  Be that as it may, the author includes a thoughtful exegesis of the verses, strongly defends a premillennialist view of Revelation 20, and only occasionally mars his comments with unbiblical comments about the afterlife and the rapture.  In general, the author admits where there is disagreement about the interpretation of a given verse or passage and includes copious cross-references that put Revelation into its larger biblical context, all of which is very much appreciated by this reader and something all too often lacking in contemporary commentaries on Revelation.  It may be unclear what the author means by reveling through Revelation, aside from wanting to make a pun, but the book is a quick read and a worthwhile one, especially to those who wish to speak and write on Revelation and do so thoughtfully and with proper respect for the whole biblical context of prophecy.

It should not be surprising from the foregoing that I am fond of this book, far more fond of it than I thought I would be.  I do not mean to imply that this is a perfect book, but as a short volume (or even a short two volumes if one has its companion volume) it makes an excellent resource for those wishing to speak and write cogently about Revelation from a conservative mainstream position.  The fact that this book stands up well compared to more contemporary commentaries on Revelation suggests that the biblical knowledge of mainstream writers like the author was far greater than is the case in the contemporary period, and bodes ill for the quality of a great deal of material in my future reading queue.  Be that as it may, this is a book that will not take long to read, contains a great many lists and useful notes for messages, and will likely be a treasured resource for those who wish to speak and write about prophecy, and despite the fact that I find fault with some of its material, given what it is, I do not think I could have expected to be able to give it the warm recommendation I do.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity, Church of God, History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Book Review: Reveling Through Revelation: Part II

  1. jamesbradfordpate says:

    I think McGee’s church was actually in Pasadena, which, as you know, was Herbert Armstrong’s headquarters. I used to listen to McGee’s sermons on the radio, and he occasionally took swipes at Armstrong.

    Lately, I’ve been listening to the late Ronald Dart’s radio program, during my lunch. He reminds me of McGee: thoughtful, goes through the Bible, etc.

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Sinners In The Hand Of A Loving God | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Book Review: God’s Plan For Your Future | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: Left Behind | Edge Induced Cohesion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s