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Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches Hardcover – January 31, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Hamilton has done his homework—and numerous footnotes reveal his scholarship—but he keeps the plot moving as he focuses on the pastoral duty of preaching the book. When exegeting difficult texts he presents the best case for differing viewpoints and then argues persuasively for his, all with an eye on preaching. Pastors will find here an inspiring foundation to craft their own sermons (and check their work), and laypeople will discover a pastoral guide through the minefield that is Revelation. Do you have a question about a passage in Revelation? Look here first.”
Michael Wittmer, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Cornerstone University

“In a day when most preachers appear to be terrified by the prospects of preaching any text beyond the third chapter of the Apocalypse, I find Dr. James Hamilton’s Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches to be an oasis in the wilderness. Though my own interpretation of the book is light years removed from that of Professor Hamilton, the purity of his love for Christ, for his church, and for the Word of God makes every page a delight to read regardless of his eschatological position.”
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

About the Author

James M. Hamilton Jr. (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. He is the author of God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment and the Revelation volume in the Preaching the Word commentary series.

R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and visiting professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He serves as the series editor for the Preaching the Word commentary series and is the author or coauthor of many books. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, and have four children and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143350541X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433505416
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
James Hamilton, author of "God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment," has made a valuable contribution to the Preaching the Word series published by Crossway. The book's strengths are at least 5-fold:

(1) A God-centered passion. Hamilton's love for the Bible and God's glory are evident in the chapters. As he guides you through Revelation, he wants you to be in awe of God.

(2) A pastoral sensitivity. Hamilton is a scholar and professor, but he is also a pastor, and his pastoral heart shines through the commentary. Reading these chapters was like reading great sermons.

(3) A broad audience. This is a commentary, but it's not totally written in "scholar-ese," though its content will benefit scholars as well. Keeping with the aim of the series, a thoughtful Christian will be able to pick up Hamilton's commentary and plumb the mysteries surrounding the book of Revelation. This commentary is for everyone!

(4) A literary endeavor. Hamilton cares deeply about literature and knows not only that words convey meaning--he knows that words, crafted well, move the heart and stimulate the mind. If good literature can do such things, how much more necessary for the Bible to have those effects! With that in view, each chapter of his commentary bears a careful design and structure, and the arguments are artfully advanced with the goal of representing the majesty of Revelation.

(5) A big picture aim. It's easy to get tangled up or altogether lost in the details of Revelation, but, no matter your eschatological view, you will benefit from reading Hamilton's treatment of Revelation. His aim, like his previous book, is to showcase God's glory in salvation through judgment.
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Format: Hardcover
As a preaching pastor (for students on Wednesday evenings, Sunday morning Sunday school, and adults on Sunday evenings) about 6-8 times per year I come to that most difficult time when a series is almost completed and I have to decide on what book of Scripture or topic we will cover for the next few weeks/months.

Most of the time I welcome input as I am trying to discover what to teach on next. I usually eliminate the pleas for "let's go through Revelations". First of all I eliminate it because Revelations is not a book in the Bible. The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John is a book of the Bible but not Revelations. I jokingly say that but underneath that joking statement is the reason why I usually avoid going through Revelation. Most people view it as a manual for the end times. I take a different approach to Revelation. So out of fear of sorely disappointing people--or perhaps because I am afraid I do not quite have enough rapport to dismiss the Left Behind series--I tend to avoid going through Revelation.

That may change.

Book Summary:

Jim Hamilton has written a tremendous "commentary" on Revelation. It is part of the Preaching the Word series edited by R. Kent Hughes. Hamilton shows how one can hold a historic-premillenial view (as I do--though I want to be amillenial) and preach through Revelation without every week just being "I'm not sure what this means but I do know that Jesus wins".

This book is marketed as a commentary. While it could serve as a commentary and do a very good job it is actually a collection of sermons that Hamilton preached at his church. These manuscripts are tweaked to fit a commentary type of mold.
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Format: Hardcover
The book of Revelation is a difficult book to tackle. Many pastors stay away from it because it is difficult. They don't preach from it, they don't read it, they don't really want to talk about it much because it is difficult.

So, if it is difficult for Pastors just think of how difficult it is for lay people. My College Age students asked me to teach to them from the book of Revelation one summer. I did not feel up to the task. But I found a resource and started into the book. How I wish that I could have had Hamilton's commentary that summer. It would have given me much insight.

Hamilton grapples with the big picture of Revelation and all of the little pieces that come with it. He then presents to us a very readable and understandable commentary on the book.

The "Preaching the Word" series of commentaries are not deep, dig into original language, talk about all the nuances and all the Theological controveries about the book in question. No, these commentaries are written by men who "preach" the word of God on a weekly basis. So, they grapple with the truth of the text and how it is to be applied to our culture today.

As such Hamilton gives us a great commentary that will give you enough insight to understand some of the deep issues in Revelation, but he will keep it simple enough that you will walk away with many practical insights and applications for your life.

The Chapters are not lengthy and lend themselves as a way for a small group to be able to daily read a chapter and then come together and discuss them later on.

This book would be useful for the lay person and lay pastor who want to get a `big picture' overview of the book of Revelation and be able to discuss the applications to their lives.
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