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The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – November 7, 1997
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"This new edition of the commentary retains the virtues of the first: a well-balanced, traditional approach to the interpretation of Revelation, with a wealth of bibliographical references and a thoughtful, well-written commentary on the literary, historical, and theological significance of the text."
-- The Clergy Journal
"This critical commentary is from the evangelical slant, meticulous at every point. . . Mounce...provides multiple interpretations of the text of Revelation. Yet he also carefully steers a middle course between wooden literalism and undomesticated subjectivism. These features give features of widely divergent theological stances room to move effectively within the commentary. . . For pastors and preachers in search of a solid critical commentary on Revelation, this one is worth the money and time spent on it."
-- Religious Studies Review
"The commentary is clearly written and argued and should be on the shelf of any serious student of Revelation."
From the Back Cover
When first published, this volume on Revelation by Robert H. Mounce was widely praised as a standard commentary on the Apocalypse. In this new edition, now based on the text of the NIV and Nestle-Aland, Mounce has revised and expanded his work to reflect more than twenty additional years of mature thought on Revelation and to bring his work up to date with the latest scholarship. As in the original edition, Mounce here engages seriously with the various approaches to interpretation and with the conventions common to apocalyptic literature. In affirming more directly his own reading of the Apocalypse, Mounce steers a middle course between an extreme literalism and a highly imaginative subjectivism, believing this to be the way the ancient text spoke to the first-century churches to whom it was addressed - and the way it still speaks to us today.
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Top Customer Reviews
Having read through Osborne's Baker Commentary, some of Aune's Word Commentary, a large portion of Beale's NIGTC, and most of Witherington's New Cambridge Commentary you see that each of these writers has different approaches to and understandings of the Book of Revelation as well. This is the beauty of Mounce's short and small when compared to these other works commentary on Revelation. He manages to give us a scholarly and highly readable commentary. Do not be deceived by the length though, there are plenty of nuggets of insight and understanding of the text here. In fact, if someone were looking for a single volume higher level commentary, this is probably the best place to start.
Mounce handles the text with precision and accuracy. He also makes sure to interact with other scholars and shows where he agrees and disagrees with each one that he mentions. He also does a remarkable job of making sure that the reader knows where he stands on each issue mentioned. Sometimes exegetes get so wrapped up in comparing what everyone else has said that their own beliefs get lost in the shuffle. This is not so with Mounce.
Mounce is a perfect addition to any library and important because even if you have other commentaries, this one is a source of clarity and approachability without losing any scholarly integrity. In fact, when working through a chapter or verse, I will read the other aforementioned books first and then come to Mounce to make sure that everything that I read is as clear as thought but also to get what can be the most objective exegesis of a chapter or verse.
Also, some commentaries published feel cheap and that they will not stand the test of time as far as stress on the actual book. The NICNT series is one of the best quality book as far as binding is concerned. This text is more sturdy than some others.
Highly accessible, scholarly and recommended.
I have to take exception to the previous reviewer regarding Mounce's commentary on Revelation-saying that Mounce doesn't declare himself on issues. I think Mounce writes with clarity...boiling down the sometimes complex arguments of the various views to a few sentences that make sense. It's surprisingly easy to understand...so good that you can actually use some of his summaries in the pulpit and not lose the average listener! That is amazing to me. He makes a judgment call, sometimes coming to a different view than most or many other commentators.
For example, on the term ANGELOS (Angel) in Revelation 1:20, 2:1 and the other six churches, Mounce reviews the other positions...and then concludes that the term 'prevailing spirit' may capture the real meaning there. However, many believe that the term here means 'angelic messenger' or a real angel from heaven. I think he missed it on that point, but he knows way more about Greek than I do and I respect his position.
I found that Mounce is not always complete when describing the historical situation for each verse. It's helpful to read other commentaries for background information-they all give nuggets that bring out different aspects of the historical situation. For example, Beale (NIGTC) on Revelation has more information as does Aune on Revelation. Also Osborne (Baker) is helpful too. I have perhaps about ten scholarly works on Revelation. Yet Mounce is easier for a busy pastor to read through than any of these other fine authors...even if he gives less information. (Beale is my number one pick even so). I find myself unwilling to part from my Mounce commentary. What when compared to the heavy hitting commentaries is less information, is still a lot of useful detail for any preaching pastor or bible teacher working through the text of Revelation. Plus he's really easy to understand.
If you are preaching through Revelation, or writing a paper for a course, or even teaching a class on the subject...or a small group discussion, Mounce can help you. When describing the historical context of the seven churches, he sometimes strikes a lyrical cadence that is very useful. I love this commentary! What a rare flower! Get a copy if you can afford it!
Note: Among 7 recent scholarly commentaries on Revelation Mounce is the fourth most cited author.
End note: Since I wrote this review in 2000 Osborne has been published (2002) and I would now put that at the top of my list for students. However, Mounce is a good deal simpler for those studying Revelation for the first time.