This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.
An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.
The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.
This monumental new study of the book of Revelation will be especially helpful to scholars, pastors, students, and others seriously interested in interpreting the Apocalypse for the benefit of the church. Too often Revelation is viewed as a book only about the future. As G. K. Beale shows, however, Revelation is not merely a futurology but a book about how the church should live for the glory of God throughout the ages—including our own.
Engaging important questions concerning the interpretation of Revelation in scholarship today, as well interacting with the various viewpoints scholars hold on these issues, Beale's work makes a major contribution in the much-debated area of how the Old Testament is used in the Apocalypse. Approaching Revelation in terms of its own historical background and literary character, Beale argues convincingly that John's use of Old Testament allusions—and the way the Jewish exegetical tradition interpreted these same allusions—provides the key for unlocking the meaning of Revelation's many obscure metaphors. In the course of Beale's careful verse-by-verse exegesis, which also untangles the logical flow of John's thought as it develops from chapter to chapter, it becomes clear that Revelation's challenging pictures are best understood net by apparent technological and contemporary parallels in the twentieth century but by Old Testament and Jewish parallels from the distant past.
“Therefore, the most preferable view is that Revelation is ‘a prophecy cast in an apocalyptic mold and written down in a letter form’7 in order to motivate the audience to change their behavior in the light of the transcendent reality of the book’s message.” (Page 39)
“The futurist position especially encounters the difficulty that the book would have had no significant relevance for a first-century readership.” (Page 47)
“The second form of preterist interpretation holds that Revelation is a prophecy of the fall of the Roman Empire, ‘Babylon the Great,’ the persecutor of the saints, in the fifth century a.d. The purpose of the book is to encourage Christians to endure because their persecutors assuredly will be judged.” (Page 45)
“Part of Christ’s priestly role is to tend the lampstands. The OT priest would trim the lamps, remove the wick and old oil, refill the lamps with fresh oil, and relight those that had gone out.113 Likewise, Christ tends the ecclesial lampstands by commending, correcting, exhorting, and warning (see chs. 2–3) in order to secure the churches’ fitness for service as lightbearers in a dark world.” (Pages 208–209)
This is an incredibly learned study, a magisterial commentary on one of the most difficult hooks in the Bible. There has never been a deeper probing of the Old Testament allusions in the Apocalypse, nor a better presentation of the idealist interpretation. This work will he essential for all scholars and students of the book of Revelation for years to come.
—Grant Osborne, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
This volume will undoubtedly take its place as a standard work to be considered in responsible study of Revelation.
—M. Eugene Boring, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University
This long-awaited commentary is a magnificent achievement and will be an invaluable guide and resource for all future study of Revelation. Beale's particular emphasis on interpreting the text by reference to the Old Testament Scriptures and Jewish exegetical traditions is one that the text itself invites, while the orientation to theological reflection is also very welcome in a commentary on this profoundly theological text.
—Richard Baukham, University of St. Andrews
Beale has an unrivaled knowledge of Revelation and its Jewish background. His work will be invaluable both to scholars and students who want a thorough treatment of the textual and critical problems and to pastors and laypeople who want to know what Revelation meant—and means—in its own terms.
—J. P. M. Sweet, Cambridge University