Revelation by Alun Ebenezer
This new volume in the EP commentary series is a work on the Book of Revelation by Alun Ebenezer. Mining the book of Revelation is no easy task but Ebenezer has an uncanny ability to bring the book to life through a clear understanding of its contents and of its application. I thought this book was very good for people like me who preach sporadically throughout the year. The book is set up with an introduction that spells out the authorship, recipients, interpretive aim, and context of the book. The appendix provides the reader with an overview of the main interpretive millennial views of the book with a short section on symbolism.
The great strength of this volume on Revelation is its focus on providing the reader a clear grasp of the message of the book while not being bogged down in the details. Ebenezer gives us a sweeping picture of the goal of history as he writes, “The key to the whole of history is the cross of Jesus Christ. The lion/lamb is the pivotal point in everything….International events, national events and personal circumstances all find their meaning in the cross of Jesus Christ” (68). This overarching view of the significance of the cross of Jesus Christ helps the reader understand the hopes of the Old Testament saints looking forward to a coming Lamb and the present believers needing hope in the midst of persecution. Alun throughout the book has a good grasp on bringing together the profound nature of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the whole world.
I also thought at times Alun’s heart for the good news of Christ to go out was evident in his writing. After talking about how the doctrine of election can stir up some major controversy, he ends with a good word saying, “If you are not part of this great multitude, come now! Come as you are, confessing your sin. Your past will be forgiven and forgotten; you’ll have a guide, a friend and protector through life, and a glorious hope for the future” (84)! The call for sinners to receive Christ is a clarion call that should be given, even in the midst of writing a book on Revelation. While I am glad that Alun has decided to preach the gospel through his commentary, I am even more excited that he elucidates the point that doctrines if they are believed rightly always have immense practical value. In other words, doctrines can never be divided from the life of a Christ, the life of someone who is faced with decisions every day of great importance.
Lastly, Alun time and time again brings us to the meaning of obscure symbols by looking at the context of the book. Often, the symbols of the book of Revelation scare away those wanting to understand them. Yet, looking through the Old Testament and finding parallels, and looking at the context, Alun is able to clearly communicate the message of the entire book centering upon Jesus Christ.
I commend this book to those wanting to study the book of Revelation. This book is not technical but deals with the message of Revelation and its application for today.
Thanks to EP books and Cross Focused Reviews for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.