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"Dear Church" Study Resources

These study materials on the Revelation support our sermon series "Dear Church" and also the mid-week Bible studies. You can find midweek study notes and an audio recording of the teaching here as they are posted.

Topics for the study include:

  • How to Read and Study Revelation for Yourself (7/16)
  • Day of the Lord, pt. 1: How do we understand the Rapture and the Tribulation? (7/23)
  • Day of the Lord, pt. 2: Bowls, trumpets, the Millenium, and final judgment (7/30)
  • Who's Who in Revelation? Looking at the Supporting Cast, the AntiChrist, the Beast, the Witnesses, etc. (8/6)

You'll find a list of helpful resources below that can help you study the Revelation, or engage it more devotionally. Each resource is tagged with a category: STUDYDEVOTIONALHISTORICAL FICTION, or FDC. Each pictured resource is also linked to Amazon or a mail request to our FDC.

STUDY: these are designed for those who want to dig in and do a more in-depth and technical study of the book.

DEVOTIONAL: these are helpful for those who want to understand the book but in a more practically applicable way.

HISTORICAL FICTION: these are popular fiction based on the text of the Revelation, but with an imaginative story that transports the reader back to the days of John's writing.

FDC: these resources are available in our Family Discipleship Center (FDC). 

Bible Project Overview Videos:

Revelation, part 1

Revelation, part 2

Historical Fiction:

The Lost Letters of Pergamum: A Story from the New Testament World by Bruce Longenecker (Reserve from the FDC) (Amazon): Transported two thousand years into the past, readers are introduced to Antipas, a Roman civic leader who has encountered the writings of the biblical author Luke. Luke's history sparks Antipas's interest, and they begin corresponding. While the account is fictional, the author is a highly respected New Testament scholar who weaves reliable historical information into a fascinating story. This updated edition, now with improved readability and narrative flow, will bring the social and political world of Jesus and his first followers to life for many more students of the Bible. HISTORICAL FICTION, DEVOTIONAL, and FDC

Devotional:

Revelation by N.T. Wright (N. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides) (Amazon): Many people today regard Revelation as the hardest book in the New Testament. It is full of strange, lurid and sometimes bizarre and violent imagery. As a result, many people who are quite at home in the Gospels, Acts and Paul find themselves tiptoeing around Revelation with a sense that they don't really belong there. But they do! In fact, Revelation offers one of the clearest and sharpest visions of God's ultimate purpose for the whole creation, and of the way in which the powerful forces of evil, at work in a thousand ways, can be and are being overthrown through the victory of Jesus the Messiah and the consequent costly victory of his followers. Like the other guides in the series, Revelation brings you into a fresh encounter with Scripture under the guidance of one of the world's leading New Testament scholars. Thoughtful questions, prayer suggestions, and useful background information guide you and your group through each study. STUDY, DEVOTIONAL

Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination by Eugene Peterson (Amazon): Peterson's eloquent meditation on the Revelation of St. John engages the imagination and awakens the intellect to the vitality and relevance of the last words on scripture, Christ, church, worship, evil, prayer, witness, politics, judgment, salvation, and heaven. In Reversed Thunder, Peterson explores the creative and imaginative language of St. John in the last book of the Bible. In my experience, many books about the Revelation of John attempt to provide a key to the events of the book as a type of apocalyptic road map. In other words, many books claim to have found the key to the end times and are eager to share their findings. This book is refreshingly different. DEVOTIONAL, STUDY

E-Quake: A New Approach to Understanding the End Times Mysteries in the Book of Revelation by Jack Hayford (Reserve from the FDC)(Amazon)Pastor Jack Hayford offers a practical study of the book of Revelation, not a speculative or sensationalized look at prophecy. Readers will understand how this revelation of Jesus Christ affects their lives today. He also shows them how to live in what is perhaps the end times, how to keep things in perspective, how to make sure their value system and priorities are in order, and how to apply the teaching of Revelation in practical ways. DEVOTIONAL, STUDY, and FDC

The Vision of His Glory: Finding Hope Through the Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Graham Lotz (Reserve from the FDC) (Amazon): With an inspiring sense of wonder and a focus on Jesus Christ, Anne Graham Lotz brings clarity and understanding to the book of Revelation. Lotz takes the reader step-by-step through John's eyewitness account of God's plan for our future, emphasizing our hope in Jesus rather than our fear of end times. DEVOTIONAL, STUDY, and FDC

Study:

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart (Amazon): The Bible is accessible. It's meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. This short book offers a few essential insights into the Bible that can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your 21st-century life, including Revelation!  STUDY

Three Views on the Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation, Alan Hultberg, Editor (Amazon): The Rapture is an important but contested doctrine among evangelicals. Scholars generally hold one of three perspectives on the timing of and circumstances surrounding the rapture, all of which are presented in this book. The recent prominence of a Pre-Wrath understanding of the rapture calls for a fresh examination of this important but contested Christian belief. Alan D. Hultberg (Ph.D., Trinity International University and professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology) explains the Pre-Wrath view; Craig Blaising (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary and president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) defends the Pre-Tribulation view; and Douglas Moo (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews and professor of New Testament at Wheaton College) sets forth the Post-Tribulation view. Each author provides a substantive explanation of his position, which is critiqued by the other two authors. A thorough introduction gives a historical overview of the doctrine of the rapture and its effects on the church. The interactive and fair-minded format of the Counterpoints series allows readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed personal conclusions. STUDY

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond, Darrell L. Bock, Editor (Amazon)Are these the last days? Could Jesus return at any time to establish His thousand-year reign on earth? What is the nature of Christ’s millennial kingdom referred to in the book of Revelation? What must happen before Jesus returns, and what part does the church play? Three predominant views held by evangelicals seek to answer these and related questions: premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial. This book lets you compare and contrast three important eschatological viewpoints to gain a better understanding of how Christianity’s great hope, the return of Jesus, is understood by the church. STUDY

What must soon take place: A commentary on the book of Revelation by Gary Matsdorf (Amazon): This resource is authored by Foursquare scholar Gary Matsdorf who has spoken extensively at Foursquare Connections and served as the Old Testament editor for the Spirit-Filled Bible (Jack Hayford, general editor). STUDY

Revelation: Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, Revised & Updated Edition By Steve Gregg (Amazon)How can we understand the book of Revelation and its many interpretations? This resource 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. STUDY

The Theology of the Book of Revelation By Richard Bauckham (Amazon)The Book of Revelation is a work of profound theology. But its literary form makes it impenetrable to many modern readers and open to all kinds of misinterpretations. Richard Bauckham explains how the book's imagery conveyed meaning in its original context and how the book's theology is inseparable from its literary structure and composition. Revelation is seen to offer not an esoteric and encoded forecast of historical events but rather a theocentric vision of the coming of God's universal kingdom, contextualized in the late first-century world dominated by Roman power and ideology. It calls on Christians to confront the political idolatries of the time and to participate in God's purpose of gathering all the nations into his kingdom. Once Revelation is properly grounded in its original context it is seen to transcend that context and speak to the contemporary church. This study concludes by highlighting Revelation's continuing relevance for today. STUDY 

Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics, and Devotion in the Book of Revelation by J. Nelson Kraybill (Reserve from the FDC) (Amazon)This lively introduction shows how the book of Revelation was understood by its original readers and what it means for Christians today. Kraybill places Revelation in its first-century context, opening a window into the political, economic, and social realities of the early church. His fresh interpretation highlights Revelation's liturgical structure and directs readers' attention to twenty-first-century issues of empire, worship, and allegiance, showing how John's apocalypse is relevant to the spiritual life of believers today. The book includes maps, timelines, photos, a glossary, discussion questions, and stories of modern Christians who live out John's vision of a New Jerusalem. STUDY, and FDC

 

The Rapture Question by John F. Walvoord (Amazon): Now revised and enlarged, using quotations from the NIV, this classic work on the Rapture examines the four views of the church's role in the tribulation: Partial Rapturism, Pretribulationism, Midtribulationism, and Posttribulationism, with the revised edition particularly discussing the current debate between pretribulationism and posttribulationism. In updating his work, the author also added treatments on the Rapture in the Gospels, in 1 Thessalonians 4, in 1 Thessalonians 5, in 2 Thessalonians, in 1 Corinthians, and in Revelation. STUDY

Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars, Tokunboh Adeyemo (ed.) (Amazon): the first one-volume Bible commentary produced in Africa by African theologians to meet the needs of African pastors, students, and lay leaders. Interpreting and applying the Bible in the light of African culture and realities, it furnishes powerful and relevant insights into the biblical text that transcend Africa in their significance. With an introduction by John Stott, the Africa Bible Commentary gives a section-by-section interpretation that provides a contextual, readable, affordable, and immensely useful guide to the entire Bible, including Revelation. STUDY

Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse by Adela Yarbro Collins (Amazon): Interprets Revelation in light of the "historical, political, economic, and social conditions of its time." This book was written in the mid-1980s as a reaction to popular works like Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth. It's a scholarly attempt to broaden and supplement popular views of the Revelation prevalent in the late 20th century. In this work, Dr. Collins makes her doctoral work more accessible to the church. It is less a commentary and more of a historical-critical analysis of the social and psychological dynamics of the 1st Century Near East, Dr. Collins offers the serious student insights into the letter's historical context. STUDY

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