(Review) Revelation and the End of All Things by Craig R. Koester

Publication Date: April 2, 2001.
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Genre: Nonfiction, commentary on Revelation.
Pages: 223.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

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Summary:
Revelation and the End of All Things, is a study of the book of Revelation in the New Testament.
Revelation has been a controversial and debated Bible book since the beginning.
Revelation is from the Greek word, apokalypsis, meaning an uncovering, a disclosure, and the unveiling of spiritual truth.
The book was written by the "beloved disciple" John, but he is not the author. John writes what he saw and experienced in a vision while on the island of Patmos.
Revelation 1:1 "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,"
The book of Revelation is filled with strange and unearthly images, and symbolism requiring translation.
I feel Craig R. Koester has written a highly readable exegesis on Revelation.
The beginning chapter is "Interpreting the Mystery." Koester begins by sharing what the early church fathers believed, progressing to the radical views of the Branch Davidians. In this chapter, he also examines several definitions; for example, despensationalists, apocalyptic literature, and Armageddon. The chapter ends on an interesting "note," songs we sing in church from the book of Revelation.
Other chapters:
Chapter 2---Christ and the Churches (Revelation 1-3)
Chapter 3---The Scroll Unsealed (Revelation 4-7)
Chapter 4---Trumpets of Terror and Hope (Revelation 8-11)
Chapter 5---The Beast and the Lamb (Revelation 12-15)
Chapter 6---The Harlot and the Bride (Revelation 15-19)
Chapter 7---The End (Revelation 19-22)

My Thoughts:
Every year I read a NT book twelve times in twelve translations. A couple of years ago I read Revelation in this fashion. When I began reading Revelation, there was an uneasy feeling, because the book is a "strange" book. Not strange as in a science fiction type thriller, but strange in that I have believed more of "other" people's strange interpretations and feelings, rather than on reading and studying the book itself. After a few readings of Revelation, I came to the conclusion it is not a book to be feared, it is instead a book of hope, because God has a plan, it is already in process, and he is sovereign. I have nothing to fear, because God is in charge. 
One of the best points about Revelation and The End of All Things, is the author exposes the varying views of interpretation. I enjoyed reading these views and feel more prepared in engaging in conversation.
A second point is symbolism is explained. For example, "666 means imperfection."
The angel's comments about the beast underscore that John did not write Revelation in a code, but used evocative symbols to convey multiple dimensions of meaning. Page 159.
Not long ago I read God's Final Word by Ray Stedman. The highlighted link will take you to my review.
I recommend both of these study books on Revelation.

During our current era in which selfishness, hatred, cruelty, self-entitlement, crime, violence, and murder is wide-spread. The Church needs to read the Bible, we need to hear the Word of Truth, we need the hope and peace God has given us In Christ Jesus. 

Illustrations are from Albrecht Durer.
Bible link courtesy of Bible Gateway.  

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