August 21, 2014 at 11:09 am #1978
Beale’s Revelation Commentary in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series is excellent. It is listed as one of the top commentaries on Revelation by Scot McKnight and, although as McKnight notes slightly dated (1999), it is extremely thorough. Beale goes to great lengths to give you the major interpretations of the most important aspects of Revelation. For instance, instead of just making his case for the date he gives evidence for both late and early dates. He also explains the major interpretive approaches to the book in great detail (Preterist, Historicist, Futurist and Idealist). Beale takes a modified idealist approach in attempting to take the best pieces from each of the approaches with a view toward the future consummation of everything under Christ.
Beale also gives lengthy sections on how to understand prophesy and imagery. He does that in two ways. First, he gives it its own section where he attempts to equip the reader with the skills and tools to have a better understanding of biblical prophesy. Second, he gives that information in regard to specific prophesies in the actual commentary section of the book.
Another very useful introductory piece is Beale’s section on OT usage in Revelation. If you know anything about Beale, he is big on the connections and usage of the Old Testament in the New Testament. He wrote a monstrous NT Theology based on that concept as well as a Commentary written with D.A. Carson on the New Testament Use of the Old. If that isn’t enough he has a third book that is a handbook to teach people how to make those interpetations for themselves. He brings all of that knowledge and expertise and applies it full out on Revelation in this commentary. This is extremely helpful because Revelation has hundreds of Old Testament citations and allusions.
All of that to say, Beale prepares you for the commentary section, not by giving you all of his conclusions, but by equipping you with the pieces that are necessary for you to do a self-study through his material. His aim is not to spoon feed you commentary but to bring you to the table of discussion with your own, well informed thoughts.
The commentary gives you plenty of charts and helps along the way. He charts everything from textual evidence to the various symbols in the text, and the structure of the text – chiasm, parallelism, etc. I would say that the charts could have been done a little more creatively (given, this was published in 1999) but the content in the charts is excellent regardless of the presentation/format.
Special features of the Logos version
1 – Scripture scroll over – Unlike print editions, Logos enables you to scroll your mouse over a scripture and a popup appears with the verse in your Logos “preferred translation”. The preferred translation is set on the left side of your Logos homepage. One great thing about that is you can set your default preferred translation to the Greek or Hebrew so that when you scroll your mouse over any scripture reference it shows up in Greek/Hebrew instead of English. If you scroll over a NT verse with Greek set as default it will pull up in Greek and if you scroll over an OT verse it will pull up in your most preferred English translation (in my case the NRSV). This is an extremely helpful feature for a book with this many citations. I can’t imagine reading this and looking up each of the dozens of scripture quotations on every page. This feature alone will save you countless hours of study.
Logos also shares where the majority of reader highlights are in the book. The highlighted text is underlined with a small pen off the side that if you scroll over will tell you how many people highlighted those lines.
Your Highlights and Notes
Logos is great about allowing you to highlight things and later find them very quickly. You can also write notes with your highlights so that you can later review your list of notes and quickly and easily find the thoughts you had later.
When the book refers to other sections of the book you can get there quickly as they link the referent text back to the source.
All in all, this is one of the best commentaries on Revelation packaged together with the great features Logos has to offer. The features I listed are just the ones once you are reading the commentary. In addition to that this commentary is, as always, indexed into your searches which is a huge help. This edition is a little more expensive than the print edition but well worth the difference when you look at how much time some of these features will save you over using the print edition. It more than makes up for the difference in price.
January 11, 2017 at 1:23 am #8745
I prefer my books in bindings on shelves, so this is not specifically about the Logos edition. I will be teaching “Revelation” after Easter and i’m looking for a commentary I don’t already have. I would have thought that a commentary on the Greek Text would have a lot to say about the book’s Greek as such. Is this the case? In other words, to what extent is Beale an updated (and perhaps less “deconstructive” Charles (ICC)?
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