Book review: Revelation, The Way it Happened

I enjoy reading the reviews of my book … sometimes. Overall, the average review is quite positive, so I’m pleased. But to label the book “controversial” turns out to be an understatement. Perhaps that’s par for the course for any edgy religion title? Here are a few contradictory snippets that made me think differently about my own book. (None of these reviews are by anyone I’ve ever met.)

I think Christians reading Harmon’s work will either find their faith shaken, or feel the need to utterly deny his findings, however sound they may be. Once you begin to realize when these biblical books were written, by who, and using what source material, you can have little choice than to either discount it out of hand or seriously reevaluate the ground on which your faith currently stands.

–Sandra Novotny,

If you are a Christian who loves the Bible, wouldn’t you want to know how the words of the New Testament books were heard by the ears of their earliest listeners, for whom they were written? That is the purpose for which Lee Harmon wrote his book Revelation: The Way it Happened. In my opinion Mr. Harmon succeeds in reaching this goal. He is historically accurate and true to his faith.

–Rabbi Stephen M. Wylen, author of The Jews in the Time of Jesus

I doubt anyone can be convinced against their religious beliefs, so I have to side with Rabbi Wylen on this one. Some found my book unoriginal, others cutting edge:

A rewarding read and it opens up for us a new understanding of what this canonical text might mean. Finally someone has detected a plausible historical fit and this represents a superb achievement.

–Barrie Wilson, Professor, Humanities and Religious Studies, York University, Toronto, author of How Jesus Became Christian

This is a recognized interpretation called Preterism.

–Ruth Meyers, Librarything reviewer

Had Ruth read beyond page ten, she would have known better than to label it Preterism. Preterists will be quick to disown any historical-critical interpretation, especially mine…though, hopefully, not without first learning some interesting first-century facts to help bolster their own beliefs. But disagreements cropped up in more than just interpretation. The layout of the book is unconventional, splicing together fiction, scripture, and historical narrative, which left some feeling discombobulated and others invigorated.

In order to distinguish between inspired scripture, the author interpretations and explanations, and the fictional story, Harmon uses different fonts and spacing for each. This allowed for great ease in reading and thought transition.

–Vicki Landes, author of Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal

It’s an excellent way of explaining the complexity of Revelation, and I believe that it works very well.

–Frank J. Konopka, top 500 reviewer on Amazon

The effect of this attempt at synthesizing fiction with historical and textual research is one of confusion rather than clarity.

–T Polyphilus, Librarything reviewer and author

One reviewer wrote and said she could not give the book a decent review, as it met her qualifications for neither fiction nor nonfiction. Ruth Meyers, above (the one who read only ten pages), called it “completely incoherent.” Another said she read the book twice; once through for the fiction, then again for the nonfiction. Perhaps that’s the trick.

In the end, many readers will continue to believe about Revelation what they wish to believe. That’s how religion works, right?

I don’t necessarily agree with many of his findings and opinions, but I can appreciate the amount of work that went into developing them.

–Jason Lautzeneiser, Amazon reviewer

The historical context is unquestionably true and described in thorough detail.

–Logan, reviewer and author

So, whether you loved or hated the book, I’d be curious to hear what you think.

–Lee Harmon, author, Revelation: The Way it Happened


  1. Sounds good, I’ll have to check it out before I do my next article on early Christian history.

  2. R.G. Price, right? I’d be happy to send you a review copy if you have a forum for reviewing the book. btw, I should be into A Very Jewish Myth within a couple weeks, now, thanks for your patience.

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