Michael Barber from the blog Singing in the Reign was nice enough to send me a review copy of his book Coming Soon: Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying Its Lessons Today
The book is a verse by verse examination of the Book of Revelation. This is easily the most misunderstood book in the Bible so you can understand why throughout history some wanted to dump it as being part of the canon of scripture. So much bad theology, badly written fictional novels, and bad movies have been based on this book while providing no light as to understanding this last book of the Bible.
If you have read excellent books like Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper you would be aware of some of what Michael Barber covers and he does reference parts of the Dr. Scott Hahn’s book in his book. But he also covers a lot more information and as shown by the very rich bibliography and notes in the back of the book he has drawn from a considerable amount of both Catholic and Protestant sources in putting together this book.
The book starts by addressing the authorship of the Book of Revelation and anchoring it in time as to when it was most probably written. The choice he makes in this I think most fully draw out the historical Catholic understanding of the events in the Book of Revelation. He also gives a good summary of how to approach Bible study and goes over the genres and senses of scripture. All of this is a necessary prelude to getting the most out of Revelation.
The rest of the chapters of the book concentrates verse by verse on the actual text of the Book of Revelation and then giving a good solid Catholic exegesis of the meanings of these verses. He also makes the effort of explaining when there have been more than one understanding of a a text.
Each chapter ends with some Multiple Choice Questions and some Discussion/Study Questions. This makes the book ideal both for personal study or group study. The format of the book and the clear writing really makes this book one of the best resources there is for Bible study of the Book of Revelation. I know for myself I really learned a lot from this book and found it to be the most informative compared to other books on the same subject. I know in years to come I will be referring back to this book when checking on specific verses.
Throughout the book there are also plenty of verse comparison tables. It really is interesting all the comparisons of prophesies in for example, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc and the Book of Revelation. You could almost accuse St. John of plagiarism if the Holy Spirit wasn’t the author of those other books also.
Michael Barber has done a great job of not only making the Book of Revelation accessible, but really understandable.