In a Christian literature world that is full of commentaries on virtually every book of the Bible, Revelation, as you might expect, gets more than its proportionate share. I’ve reviewed about half-a-dozen in the past year that lean on the Revelation-Prophecy-End Times theme.* And there is another one stacked up, in line to be finished and reviewed.
Typically with each one the author presents his/her view of Revelation-Prophecy-End Times and you decide whether or not you like it or agree with it. Now we have presented to us this volume: The Heart of Revelation: Understanding the 10 Essential Themes of the Bible’s Final Book written by J. Scott Duvall. Duvall is a Ph.D. who teaches at Ouachita Baptist University. You might recognize him as a co-editor of The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook and the author of Revelation in the Teach the Text Commentary Series. (BakerBooks is also the publisher of this volume.) He also teaches Revelation at Ouachita. So, bottom line, Duvall knows Revelation.
The Heart of Revelation is a unique approach to unraveling the mystery of the final book of the Bible. Duvall has identified ten themes that he believes are prevalent and interwoven in Revelation. It is an uncommon approach. The themes are apparent such as “God, Worship, The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Judgment” and five more.
As I began to read this, I found it was a bit difficult to keep focused on the fact that the book is all about Revelation. But as you move along the task becomes easier. I quickly took the author’s advice and read the book with my copy of The Book right next to me. Don’t “breeze through” the “Introduction” and especially not the section on the “Cast of Characters.” It is seven pages that define the major players in Revelation. Also, so that you don’t get lost or lose focus, Duvall provides “Key Texts,” a “Reading Plan,” and “Community Group Questions” at the end of each chapter. It is a well thought out and distinctive slant to Revelation.
If you’re looking for another chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse exposition of Revelation, you probably will be disappointed. But, if you want to increase your knowledge and understanding of Revelation, this is a must read – and study.
*There will be a blog on the reviews of all these soon.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by BakerBooks for a fair and honest review.