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Four Views on the Book of Revelation (ed. by Marvin Pate)

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Edited by C. Marvin Pate

Paper, Zondervan, 252 pp

Of all the books of the Bible, few are as fascinating or as bewildering as Revelation. Its images grip the imagination: four grim horsemen, the Antichrist, the ten-horned beast, the ultimate battle at Armageddon, and, of course, 666, the “mark of the beast,” variously interpreted to signify everything from Hitler and Krushchev to credit cards and the Internet. Is the book of Revelation a blueprint for the future that needs decoding if we want to understand current events? Is it a book of powerful imagery, with warnings and promises for the church throughout the ages? Or is it essentially an imaginative depiction of historical events in the first century? Four Views on the Book of Revelation explores the four main views in which Revelation is understood: preterist, idealist, classical dispensationalist futurist, and progressive dispensationalist. The interactive Counterpoints forum allows each author not only to present his view, but also to offer brief commentary on other views presented. This evenhanded approach is ideal for comparing and contrasting stances in order to form a personal conclusion about the interpretation and meaning of Revelation. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to ChristiansPresents preterist, idealist, progressive and classical dispensationalist views of Revelation. Each presents meaning and flow of Revelation. Highlights and explains significant passages while interacting with the others. M. Pate, Gentry, R. Thomas, S. Hamstra.

Gentry's chapter

My chapter provides a brief introduction to Revelation, then presents a short (50 page) commentary on the main passages in the book. This provides a good introduction to Revelation for anyone wanting an overview of John's glorious book.

C. Marvin Pate, Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Instructor in Theology, Bahnsen Theological Seminary, Placentia, Calif.
Sam Hamstra, Jr., vice-president and chaplain at Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Ill.
Robert L. Thomas, Professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, Calif.


"Gentry's chapter alone is worth the price of the book" (Biblical Worldview).

"A short but good presentation. Each essayist presents his view effectively" (Bibliotheca Sacra).

"Although I do not support the Preterist view, this book had a convincing argument for that view" (Internet reviewer).

"Gentry's general preterist treatment of the seals and the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 is as fascinating as it is illuminating" (C. Marvin Pate, The Writings of John (2012), p. 417)

“Gentry does a nice job of presenting the preterist position . . . . [He] gives a good deal of historical information from Josephus’s Jewish War to bolster his interpretation.” (Andrew Carr)

Gentry “does give an impressive performance in his partial preterist reading. He probably has the best-argued case.” (Jacob)


INTRODUCTION by C. Marvin Pate

1. A Preterist View of Revelation by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
2. An Idealist View of Revelation by Sam Hamstra, Jr.
3. A Progressive Dispensationalist View of Revelation by C. Marvin Pate
4. A Classical Dispensationalist View of Revelation by Robert L. Thomas

CONCLUSION by C. Marvin Pate

Scripture Index
Subject Index

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