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The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse Hardcover – July 12, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Smalley offers a richly detailed, traditional commentary on the Johannine Apocalypse." (David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary)

"Subtitled A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse, this book is exactly that. And as such it will make an immediate appeal to those who know the author's highly valued earlier works on the Gospel and letters of John.

"Dr. Smalley has added an impressive contribution to what is now his trilogy. It is a notable achievement. It is difficult to think of any aspect of this enigmatic biblical book that is left untouched as he unfolds the drama of Revelation.

"Already he had offered a foretaste of his interest in the Apocalypse in the title Thunder and Love; yet this volume is a much fuller and detailed treatment that will satisfy the needs of any who seek an understanding of John's message both in the first-century setting and today when the church faces issues of imperial powers that contradict its witness.

"In all, it is an impressive volume that will send the student back to the Greek Testament in a way that is user-friendly, and assist the preacher in coming to terms with a biblical text that is often misunderstood and ill-used.

"A warm welcome awaits this noteworthy achievement that combines learning with relevance." (Professor Ralph P. Martin, Scholar-in-Residence, Haggard School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University)

"Certainly the most dramatic book in the New Testament is Revelation, but few have thought to approach the work as if it were a drama rather than a diachronic walk through the Last Days and the End with colorful imagery. Stephen Smalley, having spent much of his academic career working on Johannine literature, now provides us with a full-dress theological and narrative commentary on Revelation especially attuned to its dramatic quality. Full of interesting analysis and keen and seasoned insight, this sane and creative approach to the most difficult book of the New Testament is something for which we may indeed be thankful." (Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary, and author of Revelation in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series)

About the Author

Stephen S. Smalley (Ph.D., Cambridge) is an internationally recognized Johannine scholar and Dean Emeritus of Chester Cathedral, England. His previous books include Christ and Spirit in the New Testament, John: Evangelist and Interpreter, Thunder and Love: John's Revelation and John's Community and 1, 2, 3 John in the Word Biblical Commentary.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 651 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (July 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830828001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830828005
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,161,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over ten years ago the best commentary on Revelation I could find was Mounce (1st ed), then we had his second edition in 1997, followed by the huge works by Beale and Aune, since then we have had other useful works by Kistemaker, Brighton, Witherington and of course Osborne. Now, Smalley treats us to another scholarly masterpiece. He has already written a commentary on John's epistles (WBC) as well as the book "John: Evangelist & Interpreter".

He follows Beale in being a modified idealist following Hendriksen, Caird, Sweet and Wilcock. He regards the author as being John the apostle and assumes an early date, but this is not noticable in his comments. His introduction is short, but he has already published "Thunder and Love" which covers much introductory material. He covers a section at a time under the headings: translation, textual variants, literary setting, comment, and theology. There are a number of useful excursuses. The commentary is based on the Greek, but the Greek is transliterated. At 633pp he is not as verbose as Beale and is far more readable. Students now have to choose between Mounce, Osborne and Smalley.

He regards the first seal as "lust for power"; Ch 7 deals with the church on earth and in heaven; the two witnesses are the witnessing church; the woman of Ch 12 is the covenant community of God from both the OT and NT; Babylon is worldly, idolatrous, oppressive powers; on Ch 20 he is amillennial.

This commentary was a big treat for me, another very useful contribution on the book of Revelation. It is a delight to read and I am still working my way through it. From famine ten years ago I have now become a glutton.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Smalley has given us a competent commentary on the Greek text of Revelation. He sees the book as a symbolic portrayal of the timeless conflict between the forces of evil and the forces of good. The imagery used to described the heavenly Christ in Revelation 1 is figurative and inspired by Ezekiel 1 and Daniel 7.

The promise to the Philadelphian church of being kept from the hour trial (3:10) refers to God's protection within the trial, not to a removal from the trial. The reference to the 24 elders in heaven (Rev 4) is to an angelic group in the throne room of God who represent the entire people of God. The seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments refer to an eschatological judgment of God upon an unbelieving world which can break into history at any point, and in all possible human contexts (see page 241). All of these judgments are symbolic, none of them will happen literally, as they did to the Egyptians in the book of Exodus.

The multitude in heaven praising God in Revelation 7 is not a description of the martyrs who were killed by the beast during the great tribulation, but this a reference to the entire people of God in His presence.

The mighty angel in Revelation 10, is just that, a mighty angel, and not a veiled depiction of Christ, as some have suggested.

The two witnesses who minister before the Lord of all the earth (Revelation 11) minister in the power of Moses and Elijah, but these two witnesses are a symbolic reference to the church's ministry on the earth.

In Revelation 12, Smalley describes the woman as the people of faith who brought forth the Messiah. The war in heaven is symbolic of the timeless battle between God and the Devil.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this style of commentary. Smalley gives multiple synonyms for the greek words, and even provides support for specific translations based on how the words have been translated in other books. He also provides background and thorough application for each verse in the overarching narrative.
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Too conservative. It assumes that Revelation was written by the author of the Gospel of John. No evidence given.
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Exactly what I was looking for. Sold as advertised. What else can I say. It's a book I wanted and I got it.
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