Best Commentaries on Revelation (without all that blood moon stuff)

In Revelation by Kurt Willems

When I made the choice to go back to grad school to earn a second masters degree, I wanted to find my niche. I knew in a broad way that it would include the intersection between early Christianity the Roman Empire, but I struggled to narrow to a best possible focus. Revelation was in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t sure. And of course, you are thinking: everyone wants to study blood moons and raptures. But actually, I’ve purged all of that stuff from how I understand apocalyptic literature. I let all that get left behind. 🙂

During my first quarter at the University of Washington, I took a course that focused mostly on the development of Jesus movements from the second century CE forward. However, Professor Williams decided that we’d also turn our attention to one piece of literature from the late first century CE: Revelation.

This was already a profound area of interest, so I was overjoyed when it came up in class. In fact, I spent that first quarter mapping out Revelation in two different research papers.

Although I eventually migrated my interest over to the Apostle Paul, my interest in Revelation remains strong. I’ve spent the past couple of years, in whatever spare time I could muster, following the rabbit trails necessary to get my hands on the most innovative, helpful, and reliable commentary resources on Revelation.

Not every resource that I list here will be a “commentary” in the proper sense (meaning, a study that systematically walks through a biblical text section by section). However, everything in this list will be helpful in understanding this mysterious apocalyptic text, in its late-first century historical context.

In other words, these will not focus on fancy theories about the rise of an antichrist, a future seven year tribulation, rapture, or blood moons. Context matters when we read apocalyptic

In the following two lists, I will use a [*] to note resources that use a bit more academic language.

The Best Commentaries on Revelation

Here are my favorite commentaries on Revelation. Of course, there are other great Bible commentaries on this book. But hopefully my list will get you started:

The Best Books About Revelation

Best Introduction Level Resources on Revelation

Invitation

So which commentaries or other resources do you find helpful? Leave a comment and let us all know!

Author: Kurt Willems

Kurt Willems (M.Div.) is the founding pastor of Pangea Church (Seattle, Wa.), curator of The Paulcast: A Podcast All About the Apostle Paul, blogger at The Pangea Blog (hosted by Patheos.com), graduate student at the University of Washington (focusing on Paul), and resourcer of an intelligent and humanizing faith at Theology Curator.
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