Thomas R. Schreiner’s “Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)” is a comprehensive and deeply insightful exploration of one of the Bible’s most enigmatic books. As a reformed pastor, I have always been drawn to Schreiner’s works and his commentary on Revelation does not disappoint.

From the very beginning, Schreiner sets the stage for a thorough examination of Revelation, offering a concise yet illuminating introduction to the book’s authorship, historical context, and overarching themes. He takes care to approach the text with a keen understanding of its apocalyptic genre, emphasizing the importance of interpreting the symbolism and imagery within its proper cultural and historical context. This contextual awareness is essential for any serious study of Revelation.

What sets Schreiner’s commentary apart is his commitment to a careful, verse-by-verse exegesis of the text. He masterfully unpacks the intricate details of each passage, shedding light on the symbolic language and drawing connections to other biblical texts. This approach allows readers to gain a deeper appreciation for the cohesive theological message woven throughout Revelation.

One of the highlights of Schreiner’s commentary is his engagement with the various interpretative approaches to Revelation. He provides a fair assessment of preterist, historicist, and futurist perspectives, offering his own well-reasoned arguments along the way. While he is firmly rooted in a covenantal confessional Reformed framework, Schreiner maintains a respectful and scholarly tone when discussing alternative viewpoints. This makes the commentary accessible to a wide range of readers, regardless of their theological background.

Throughout the commentary, Schreiner’s exegetical skills shine brightly. He skillfully navigates through challenging passages, such as the seals, trumpets, and bowls judgments, providing insightful explanations and drawing connections to Old Testament prophetic literature. His attention to linguistic nuances and original Greek text analysis is evident, making this commentary an invaluable resource for serious students of Revelation.

Schreiner’s treatment of the theological themes in Revelation is both robust and thought-provoking. He delves into topics like the sovereignty of God, the Lamb’s victory, the role of the church, and eschatological hope. Readers will find themselves engaged in deep theological reflection and inspired to contemplate the ultimate victory of Christ in the face of adversity.

To offer a glimpse into the depth of Schreiner’s analysis, consider his interpretation of Revelation 4:1: “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven!” Schreiner writes, “The open door signifies divine invitation and provision, and it underscores the apocalyptic nature of the book, for John is granted a vision of heavenly realities that lie beyond human perception.” (Page 120) This is just one example of the many profound insights that readers will encounter throughout the commentary.

Another commendable aspect of Schreiner’s commentary is his pastoral sensitivity. While firmly grounded in academic rigor, he never loses sight of the fact that Revelation was written for the edification of the Church. He consistently draws out practical implications and theological insights that are relevant for contemporary believers. This pastoral concern is especially evident in his discussion of the theme of worship in Revelation, where he writes, “True worship involves surrendering our lives to the Lamb who was slain” (p. 385).

In addition to its exegetical and pastoral merits, Schreiner’s work offers practical applications for contemporary readers. He frequently addresses the ethical and spiritual implications of the text, encouraging readers to live faithfully in light of the book’s teachings. For instance, when discussing the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, he writes, “Believers today can learn much from these letters about how to persevere amidst opposition and to live faithfully in a world that often opposes God’s truth” (Page 64).

Furthermore, Schreiner’s work is his careful analysis of the Greek text. He provides detailed explanations of the original language, which is immensely helpful for those who want to dig deeper into the nuances of the text. For instance, in his commentary on Revelation 1:4, Schreiner elucidates the meaning of the phrase “He who is and who was and who is to come” by noting, “The present participle ὁ ὢν (ho ōn, ‘He who is’) suggests that God always is and is always present with His people” (p. 50). This kind of linguistic insight enhances the reader’s appreciation of the biblical text.

Lastly, this commentary is also user-friendly. Schreiner includes helpful charts, maps, and tables that aid in visualizing complex information. The commentary’s layout is clear and easy to follow, making it a valuable resource for sermon preparation or personal study.

In conclusion, Thomas R. Schreiner’s “Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)” is a monumental work that combines rigorous scholarship with a clear commitment to the authority of Scripture. It is a valuable resource for pastors, scholars, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Book of Revelation. Schreiner’s ability to bridge the gap between rigorous exegesis and practical application makes this commentary a must-have for anyone serious about studying this complex and mysterious book of the Bible.

Statement of Compliance:
I want to clarify that I received this book from Baker Academic for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not been paid to write a positive review. My assessment is entirely based on my genuine impressions.

Title: Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)

Author: Thomas R. Schreiner

Publisher: Baker Academic