Book Review: Revelation (TNTC), Ian Paul


Ian Paul, adjunct professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, offers a succinct, though substantial, read of Revelation. He provides a 56-page introduction, covering topics such as: Revelation’s genre, how do we read Revelation, did John actually have a vision?, how do we understand Revelations use of imagery, numbers, and the OT. He ends the introduction with a look at John’s structure, key themes, and the different approaches to Revelation.

Paul briefly explains the four main approaches commentators use to read Revelation: idealist, futurist, historical and preterist, as well as explaining the four eschatological positions: premillennialism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, and dispensational premillennialism. Paul notes that these eight possible positions are actually conclusions (p51) about how the book should be interpreted. Paul reads Revelation closely to understand what it actually says rather than him being driven by theological assumptions. Instead of reading and thinking, “This text must mean this…

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