Book review: Four Views on the Book of Revelation

]by Stanley N. Gundry and C. Marvin Pate


This book presents the book of Revelation from four different perspectives. After about a 30-page overview, four different authors present their insights.

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. covers the Preterist view. There are variations of Preterism, but the general idea is that the Bible’s eschatological promises have been fulfilled. Revelation’s bloody war scenes occurred in the first century. Gentry is an established Revelation scholar who writes clearly, but this is not his most lucid writing.

Sam Hamstra Jr. writes about an Idealist view. I would call it a “spiritual” view. Such interpreters find Revelation to be a message of “assurance, hope and victory” in its relevance to today’s struggles.

C. Marvin Pate, who serves also as the book’s general editor, discusses a “progressive dispensationalist” view. The arrival of Jesus 2,000 years ago is the dawning of a the “age to come,” but it is not yet complete; it awaits the Parousia for its consummation.

Finally, Robert L. Thomas lays out the classical Dispensationalist view, the common futuristic interpretation. While there are still many divisions in this category, Thomas strives to present  a “typical” belief.

In my opinion, Steve Gregg’s book Revelation, Four Views–A Parallel Commentary on the same topic is more comprehensive and objective, and also more readable. But it’s also much longer; today’s book should be considered a compact, argumentative introduction by comparison.

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