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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2015
I find it hard to add much to what rossuk has already said. I agree!
Having read about 20 Commentaries on Revelation, I would certainly put this one by Ian Boxall in my top 5.
Osborne in the Baker Series would still be my No. 1, and Darrel W. Johnson "Discipleship on the Edge", though not a standard Commentary, but a combination of Commentary and Sermons, would be "required reading" alongside it, as I feel he gets to the heart of the message, in application terms, better than any other.
Boxall has the skill of making what is difficult to comprehend, very readable, which can't be said of all.
He doesn't get bogged down in different "interpretations", though he is perhaps a bit light at explaining that there are other viewpoints.
His viewing the purpose of the praise sections, like Greek Choruses, to "comment" on the action, and redirect our attention to the One seated on the Throne, works very well.
One jarring note I felt, was his translation of 11:6 as "Mother Earth", for me, it didn't work.
Also as Ross says, the lack of Greek word transliteration is a pity. Hopefully another edition will correct it.
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on 16 October 2010
First, I would say that I found this commentary immensely enjoyable and readable. Ian Boxall is a young scholar at Oxford university as was the late G B Caird, whose commentary he is replacing in the Black's New Testament series. I used G B Caird's commentary some ten or more years ago. I would have to say that I was far more able to interact with Ian's commentary than Caird's. Caird's commentary was a far more reflective commentary than Ian's and Caird sometimes offers almost no comment at all. In Ian's commentary I can see a young scholar struggling with the difficulties that Revelation presents to all scholars as they grapple with the many difficulties that this book brings, and as a result I found it a delight to read.

He does deal with most of the alternative views and in most cases he comes to a pretty orthodox solution at least to scholars, but not the popular world. The book of Revelation is about the Church, in all its imperfection, and about its enemies, persecution from the outside and seduction from the inside. The books format is very good, key texts are in bold. He does use his own translation of the Greek text (he calls the lampstands "menorahs"). There is a good bibliography and three indexes. He also provides 8 very useful tables. There are no footnotes, and the Greek text is not transliterated (an oversight of the editor I think, although there is not much of it).

The introduction is pretty short but he covers the key points. Ian does get the plot wrong when he says that the olive branch in Ch 11 is an emblem of peace (surely it symbolises the Holy Spirit in the witness of God's people as in Acts 1:8). But, to his credit, he says that the mighty angel of Ch 10 is not Jesus but his angel, based on Rev 1:1 and 22:16, unlike Beale who insists on calling this angel Christ, and Beale is clearly wrong here because he relies too much on Daniel and not on the text of Revelation itself. The Ch 10 angel is clearly Christ's angel.

Here are some of his other conclusions. The rider on the first horse represents false Christ's, even the antichrist. The 144,000 is the church (those in allegiance to the slaughtered Lamb). The great multitude is a vision of the 144,000 after the great tribulation. (I think it was Brighton who summarised Ch 7 so well by saying it represents the "Militant church on earth and the church triumphant in heaven). The two witnesses are the church. Babylon is not Rome; rather Rome represents the latest incarnation of the oppressive and idolatrous city. He is somewhat agnostic on the millennium, but so was Caird (I also think the millennium is highly overrated). He also uses the liturgical motif and the exodus motif as did Caird. He also recognises the influence of Ezekiel in the book and he recognises some degree of recapitulation (as did Hendriksen). He also understands the symbolism of numbers in Revelation. He can also contrast the whore Babylon with the Bride the New Jerusalem. As an evangelical

I wish that he had gone a bit further on the missionary meaning of the four-fold message of the "great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages", which is one of the keys to evangelism and the great commission today. So who should buy this? This volume is far more useful to the student than Caird was because it covers almost every important topic and gives the various arguments for different interpretations which Caird never did. While not so detailed as Osborne, I think that this would make a very useful starter for students, especially as he is so readable and students studying Revelation for the first time will not get bogged down with unnecessary detail. Scholars will like it because he interacts with a lot of the recent secondary literature. It is more difficult to decide if the preacher will find it useful, he does not really have the space in this volume to go into application, but suffice it to say that he does recognise that Revelation was written to complacent Christians as well as persecuted ones. From a preacher's perspective, I just wish he had gone a little bit further. Overall, another useful contribution, given its size, that will give students a good introduction to Revelation. He has also published "Revelation: Vision and Insight: Vision and Insight - An Introduction to the Apocalypse" (176 pp 2002)

It should also be noted that John Glynn in his Commentary & Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources_ also recommends this as an expositional commentary.
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