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The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation Paperback – November 1, 2000


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The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation + Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation + More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875524621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875524627
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vern Sheridan Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has six earned degrees, including a PhD from Harvard University and a ThD from the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of numerous books on aspects of biblical interpretation and science.

Customer Reviews

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It's well written and worth owning a copy.
David A. Bielby
Revelations is often noted for being one of the more difficult books of the Bible to absorb because of its profound imagery and symbols.
Daniel Greene
For that reason, I'd suggest this book to anyone studying the book of Revelation.
Searching for what the Bible actually says

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By David T. Wayne on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
A few years ago I heard a speaker who began his talk by saying that he loved the book of Revelation because it was so simple and clear and it so neatly summed up the teaching of the Bible. I laughed because everyone knows that the book of Revelation is anything but simple and clear. He said he was serious and he mentioned that he had studied Revelation under Vern Poythress at Westminster Seminary and he had made it seem clear and simple.
At the time this book had not been published but I was able to get some tapes by Poythress, and they taught what is written in this book. When the book came out I got it right away and I have to say that I was not disappointed in the tapes or in this book.
Poythress writes like a kindly, wise elder. I say he is kind because, though he takes a position on the interpretation of the book, he is gracious to those who disagree with him. One of the things I particularly liked about this book is his discussion of how to outline the book. He listed a few different ways that this could be outlined, but rather than attacking various positions he affirmed that the existence of these differing views should cause us to marvel at the greatness of God in the book. These things show that the book of Revelation is like a giant tapestry, with many colors and patterns weaving in and out. The book is so rich that one can never tire of admiring the beauties of God in it.
As to his position, Poythress says that the book follows the pattern of recapitulation - it describes the same historical events over and over again using different metaphors and pictures. So, rather than being a straight chronological description of the end time, the book of Revelation describes the second coming, and the events surrounding it, several times.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tim Yates on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Written by a first class scholar on biblical interpretation, The Returning King gives us more vintage Poythress. After many years of teaching this book for students at Westminster Theological Seminary (I was one of them), we now get the benefits in a form we can use in our own ministries and teaching! This book is a great, practical, and well-written introduction to the consecutive chapters of Revelation, suitable for pastors who want the basic themes, a Sunday School class, or college & seminary students. You will be able to grasp the main themes and contrasts and develop a sane appreciation for Revelation from a humble teacher who can appreciate other perspectives, yet still convince you of the value of his own interpretation. Of particular interest are Poythress's insights on how the dragon, beast, false prophet and harlot counterfeit & image the Trinity and the church respectively. This book will stimulate you to read and appreciate Revelation as a "picture book," not a confusing puzzle book. For a detailed verse by verse view in the same interpretive framework (recapitulationist/multiple fulfillment view of Revelation) see G.K. Beale's NIGTC The Book of Revelation at a thorough 1245 pages--a commentary which Poythress recommends in The Returning King.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Returning King is a great introduction the book of Revelation. The first 50 pages or so contain high level discussions on the various views of Revelation (idealist, futurist, preterist, historicist) as well as other controversial aspects such as the millennium (premil, postmil, amil). This survey of all the major viewpoints alone is worth the price of the book. The rest of book is a high level discussion of the text. Poythress takes an idealist, amil view but provides a very fair discussion of all the other viewpoints.
It was written as an introduction and is very successful as such. It is not a thorough commentary of Revelation. If you have never studied Revelation this is a great place to start.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bielby VINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This paperback on Revelation brings in a simple and refreshing perspective on Revelation. For example he suggests that children can understand Revelation...that we need to stop 'puzzling' over Revelation and enjoy the Panoramic pictures of this book. His 'down home' encouragement is exactly what this book is when laid side by side with Beale's NIGTC Commentary on Revelation. (The NIGTC is a technically dense work with many many references to all kinds of sources for each verse).

Dr. Beale (2004's E.T.S. President) recommends this book as part of his course recommended reading on Revelation at Wheaton. Of the 8 or so books he recommends, this one sports a number of great visual concepts that do empower bible teachers and pastors. As a pastor who is preaching through Revelation from the Greek text, I found his material helpful on the application side of things.

For example, on the four major views on Revelation Poythress supplies a great little visual diagram of how the four views look. Just the diagram alone can help many people understand the four different view (Preterist, Futurist, Historical, and Idealist) more than most commentaries would.

The weakness is that you will not have comments of substance on every question in Revelation. It's not meant to be an exhaustive commentary on Revelation.

Enjoy it. It's well written and worth owning a copy.
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