September 06, 2006

Leon Morris, Revelation

Revelation is probably one of the most feared books in the New Testament, and in the whole Bible. It's imagery is strange and often cryptic, and some don't quite know what to make of it—it seems easier to ignore it. But it's also a book that is full of stunning visions and memorable poetry. And Leon Morris opens the book up for the reader in a way that makes it approachable and understandable.

I can't say that I often read commentaries from start to finish, but I did with this one. This commentary on the book of Revelation by Leon Morris, is part of the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries series. It's meant to be readable for layman as well as student and pastor. Morris is a recognized exegete on the Johanine literature, and brings learning to bear on this interesting book. He takes a very irenic and faithful approach to the book that seeks to discern its meaning and intent, both in its original setting and for readers today. And I think he acheives just that aim. After reading this somewhat short commentary, Revelation seems so much more approachable, and I highly recomment it to others. Morris finds Revelation as a book of great comfort and encouragement to the troubled Christians for which it was written, who were struggling under persecution from the Roman authorities. But he also sees in it God's identity and intention for the world layed out for all to see. He unpacks the symbolism in a helpful way that keeps it meaningful and brings it "down to earth" without either being a slave to the literal or dismissing it as merely figurative. He seems to find just the right approach to the book that retains its prophetic power yet doesn't give the book over to complicated schemes of future-times events. Highly recommended. A great introduction to this powerful prophetic book.

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