Resources on the Book of Revelation

Resources

Blum, Edwin, ed., Revelation, Shepherd’s Notes, Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999

Comment: Shepherd’s notes are conservative in theology and give a solid foundation for understanding the book. This was one of the primary sources for the class.

Duck, Daymond R., Richards, Larry, ed., Prophecies of the Bible—God’s Word for the Biblically Inept, Lancaster PA: Starburst Publishers, 2000

Comment: This is actually a good resource but caution is in order because the writer intersperses commentary of trustworthy Bible teachers along with others who promote false doctrine.

Hanegraaff, Hank, The Apocalypse Code, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007

Comment: Hank Hanegraaff hosts the Bible Answer Man Radio Show. He is a preterist and this book provides a comprehensive defense of this position. At times he slips into some logical fallacies and tends to ridicule other positions.

Jeremiah, David, What In The World Is Going On? 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford To Ignore, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008

Comment: A good book. Compares current events to prophecy. Seems to be mostly a take off on Walvoord’s book, Oil, Armageddon, and The Middle East Crisis.

Klien, William W., Blomberg, Craig L., Hubbard Robert L. Jr., Ecklebarger, Kermit A., ed., Introduction To Biblical Interpretation, Dallas: Word Publishing, 1993

Comment: Terrific book on how to interpret the Bible. It is an academic book and not an easy read.

Lewis, Gordon R., Decide for Yourself: A Theological Workbook, 9th Edition, Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1978

Comment: A challenging book that requires the reader to explore various alternatives, search the Bible, and reach their own conclusions about various doctrinal issues. There is a companion book out called Judge for Yourself on current social issues.

Miller, Stephen, ed., Daniel, Shepherd’s Notes, Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998

Milne, Bruce, Know The Truth A Handbook of Christian Belief, Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1982

Comment: A Bible doctrine book. Not a dispensational point of view but does try to present the main ideas of various views. Seems like the author leans toward the idea that the Kingdom is present now.

Ryrie, Charles C., A Survey of Bible Doctrine, Chicago: Moody Press, 1972

Comment: Ryrie is a dispensational teacher and this book reflect that view point on future things. He explains the other viewpoints fairly I think.

Ryrie, Charles C., Dispensationalism Today, Chicago: Moody Press, 1965

Comment: Presents the dispensational case. It is a counterpoint to the Apocalypse Code

even though it was written long before Hanegraaff wrote his book.

Revelation, Life Change Series, Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1989

Comment: This was another primary resource for the class. A difficult fill in the blank type book but has very good commentary on historical background and culture.

Sproul, R.C., Essential Truths Of The Cristian Faith, Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1992

Comment: Basic Bible doctrine from a reformed point of view. Definitely not dispensational, used this in class once.

Swindoll, Charles R., God’s Masterwork, Volume Five: 2 Thessalonians-Revelation, Bible Study Guide, Anaheim: Insight for Living, 1998

Swindoll, Charles R. and Walvoord John F., ’Til His Kingdom Comes: Living In The Last Days, Issues and Answers Collection, Anaheim: Insight for Living, 2007

Comment: Used this in class because it has great charts.

Swindoll, Charles R., Letters to Churches: Timeless Lessons for the Body of Christ, Bible Study Guide, Anaheim: Insight for Living, 1998

Tenney, Merrill C., Interpreting Revelation A Reasonable Guide to Understanding the Last Book in the Bible, 3rd edition, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003

Comment: Tries to give a fair review of all the interpretive schemes for the Book of Revelation. Thinks the futurist viewpoint is probably most correct.

Tenney, Merrill C., New Testament Survey, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961

Swindoll, Charles R., Walvoord, John F., Pentecost, Dwight J., The Road To Armageddon, Nashville, Word Publishing, 1999

Walvoord, John F., Armageddon, Oil, And The Middle East Crisis, Revised Edition, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990

Comment: Great book and lots of charts. The earlier edition had better charts. Another good resource for the class.

Walvoord, John F., Major Bible Prophecies 37 Crucial Prophecies That Affect You Today, Revised Edition, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991

Personal Note

I actually referred to all of these books in my study for the class. Sadly, most of the information contained in them could not make it to class and sometimes events conspired to prevent me from using some of the things I wanted to bring.  I hope that you have come away from the class with sense that this difficult book can be understood and that you have a handle on the main message.  There is always more to learn so I am providing this list of sources in hopes that it will serve as a starting point in your journey to learn more.

In my study, I have leaned mostly on the work of Ryrie and Walvoord and I like the premillennial dispensationalist view.

I appreciate the faithfulness of all of you in persevering to the end. Each of you added to our class.  I hope you keep on growing and studying Revelation.

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New Conservative Bible Translation?

I recently heard on NPR that a group of conservatives have written a new translation of the Bible by collaborating on the internet.  The purpose of the new translation was to eliminate the supposed liberal bias in the current translations.  This liberal bias, according to the group, has slipped in because the scholars that translated the Bible have been corrupted by the liberal academic culture. 

I am not buying it.  First I don’t understand how such a group can translate the Bible in a conservative way without being accused of introducing a conservative bias.  This is the same error that the liberal scholars have been alleged to make.  Most importantly, I have gained a strong trust for the Bible translations we have by studying how our Bible came to us and by studying the work that went into a particular translation.  True, I can not translate the original languages myself, but I am invariably told by those who can, conservative theologians mostly, that translations like the NASB and NKJV are extremely close to the original language. 

Ultimately, this is very dangerous because it is a direct assault on the trustworthiness of the Bible and it is a lie. The problem is with the liberal or conservative bias in the interpretation not the translation.

Thoughts on Bibles

We have loads of Bibles at home.  At one time or another, I looked at all of these during our study: 

  • The Ryrie Study Bible, NASB Version
  • The Open Bible, King James Version
  • The Open Bible, New King James Version
  • The NIV Study Bible
  • The New Revised Standard Version
  • The New Century Version
  • Life Application Study Bible, NIV version
  • The NIV Topical Bible
  • The English Standard Version (ESV)

I am told that there are Bibles that are paraphrases and Bibles that are translations.  Among the latter are word for word and thought for thought translations.  I never thought I would need a paraphrase because I figured I could just do that myself if I needed to.

Since there are two types of translations, it seems good to have one of each.  So, if I had to get rid of all my Bibles and keep just two, I would select the NASB (word for word) and the NIV (thought for thought).  In preparing for class I would always try to look at a word for word and thought for thought translation.  While it is true that a word or phrase can turn your thinking around, most of the time I found that the translations were all saying essentially the same thing.  That is actually encouraging–you do not really need more than 1 or 2 versions.

The other surprising thing that I discovered while preparing for class concerned the notes in the study Bibles.  I noticed that commentators tended to write extensive notes on things that supported their point of view and write minimal or no comments on passages that seemed to contradict their position.  So I guess you can’t trust that one study Bible will give you everything you want to know in the notes.

 Chuck Swindoll says that the best Bible is the one that is read not the one that sits on the shelf.  So the moral of the story is find one that you actually enjoy reading and start in.  Tip of the day:  The Bible is the most popular book of all time.  It is also one of the most discarded books of all time.  Many of the really cool study Bibles I have were purchased for pennies at used book stores, library book sales, and Goodwill.

Truth Project–Veritology

This is the first entry on the Truth Project. My hope is that this can be a place for people to make comments and ask questions about our work in The Truth Project.
 
The first session is about Truth.  I’ll start this off with a question that I have been wondering about.  I think the basis of this idea came form a Christian psychologist, Larry Crabb, or perhaps the popular social worker type, John Bradshaw, or a combination of them both.
 
The idea is that we all live with shame over the things we have done and perhaps even who we have become.  Rather than face the truth about ourselves we choose to accept a lie that distorts reality just enough to relieve our pain.  If that is so, then a person could say that false religions or any world view that denies God or twists His Revelation about himself to us is a wrong-headed way to live with the pain of rejecting God and all of the consequences that ensue.  What is your reaction to that and do you find any merit in that line of thinking?