The Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation

in New International Greek Testament Commentary

by G. K. Beale

4.77 Rank Score: 8.31 from 23 reviews, 10 featured collections, and 48 user libraries
Pages 1309
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 11/5/1998
ISBN-13 9780802821744

This monumental new study of the book of Revelation will be especially helpful to scholars, pastors, students, and others seriously interested in interpreting the Apocalypse for the benefit of the church. Too often Revelation is viewed as a book only about the future. As G. K. Beale shows, however, Revelation is not merely a futurology but a book about how the church should live for the glory of God throughout the ages—including our own.

Engaging important questions concerning the interpretation of Revelation in scholarship today, as well interacting with the various viewpoints scholars hold on these issues, Beale's work makes a major contribution in the much-debated area of how the Old Testament is used in the Apocalypse. Approaching Revelation in terms of its own historical background and literary character, Beale argues convincingly that John's use of Old Testament allusions—and the way the Jewish exegetical tradition interpreted these same allusions—provides the key for unlocking the meaning of Revelation's many obscure metaphors. In the course of Beale's careful verse-by-verse exegesis, which also untangles the logical flow of John's thought as it develops from chapter to chapter, it becomes clear that Revelation's challenging pictures are best understood net by apparent technological and contemporary parallels in the twentieth century but by Old Testament and Jewish parallels from the distant past.


This book appears in the following featured collections.


Add Your Review

Tabb says, “Though it has been in print for over two decades, Beale’s massive NIGTC commentary remains an outstanding go-to resource for all students of Revelation.” This commentary’s dense prose provides both detailed analysis of the Greek and solid theological reflections. Beale gives special attention—both in his 178-page introduction and throughout the text—to ways Old Testament images help us understand John’s symbolic language. [Full Review]
Matt Quintana Matt Quintana May 19, 2023
Among commentaries on Revelation, Greg Beale's work in the NIGTC series is still unmatched in terms of its depth and comprehensiveness—perhaps rivaled only by Koester (AYB) and Aune (WBC). However, in contrast to the other two, Beale's commentary provides more than technical analysis of the Greek text, also offering keen insight into the abiding theological message of the text for contemporary readers receiving Revelation as inspired Scripture (these practical elements are even more pronounced in the condensed version of Beale's commentary). Where Beale outshines all other commentaries on the Apocalypse is in his attention to the use of the Old Testament in the book. Leaving no potential intertextual allusion untouched, even his less convincing proposals are clearly informed by a scrupulous analysis of the relevant texts.
CHEYO CHEYO June 1, 2021
A right place for students of Revelation
Martha Berg Martha Berg November 13, 2017
Felt too sectarian. Didn't like that element.
JT JT July 18, 2017
No student of Revelation should be without
Robert M. Bowman Jr. Robert M. Bowman Jr. December 10, 2016
New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999. Masterful analysis from an idealist, amillennial perspective, especially strong in relating Revelation to the OT. [Full Review]
G Ware G Ware October 11, 2016
A beast of a commentary. Sometimes spends a ton of time on small issues, while glossing over others (like 3 page excursus on biblion and only a paragraph on entire verses which have significant theological implications). But in terms of firmly anchoring Revelation in the OT tradition rather than pagan sources (contra Aune), Beale is thorough, and well presented. Arguably, this is the best technical commentary from a conservative evangelical perspective.
Tim Challies Tim Challies February 3, 2014
The consensus choice for the best commentary on the book of Revelation seems to be Beale’s. It is in the NIGTC series, so will require some knowledge of Greek. Carson says, “For students and well-trained pastors, the commentary that best combines comprehensiveness with biblical fidelity, exegesis with theology, and literary sensitivity with historical awareness, is that of G.K. Beale. While the prose can be dense, and while there are some areas the author could have explored in greater detail, his work is probably the best place to begin. [Full Review]
Philibuster Philibuster December 20, 2012
Beale's massive tome on Revelation is a wealth of information, especially on intertextual allusions. This commentary is light on social-contextual issues (as other reviewers have noted), but if you want to understand Revelation based on the OT allusions John chose, and the way he used them, this is the place to go.
Phillip J. Long Phillip J. Long August 13, 2012
Beale’s mammoth commentary followed Aune’s and is equal in size and value to scholarship. Beale has written a great deal on “Old Testament in the New” issues, so it is no surprise to find large sections in this commentary devoted to John’s Hebrew Bible sources. His interest is in John’s use of the Hebrew Bible so there is less reference to Greek and Roman sources than in Aune’s commentary. Beale includes a twenty page summary of his view of what constitutes an allusion and his controlling method for deciding what may be an allusion and what is not. He describes his approach to the book as a “redemptive historical form of modified idealism” (48). By this he means that the symbols of the book of Revelation had some specific referent in the first century which will provide some comfort or teaching to Christians throughout history, but will find ultimate fulfillment in the future. In the commentary proper Beale works through the Greek text phrase-by-phrase, commenting on syntactical issues where appropriate. The style of the commentary tends to use a smaller font for textual details, allowing a reader to skip over these elements. Like most readers of the Greek of Revelation, Beale puzzles over some aspects of John’s style, finding in many cases that he employs a Semitic syntax more than Greek. Beale has a number of excursuses devoted to how specific metaphors functioned in Judaism. For example, after his commentary on Rev 9:19, he has a page on serpents and scorpions in Judaism. While a page does not seem like much, there are dozens of references to the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic texts unpacking the metaphor of a scorpion. One criticism: a single 1200+ page volume is unwieldy to use, even with the lighter paper. I would have liked Eerdmans to publish this book in at least two volumes. The spine of my copy has split near the center. [Full Review]
acadams acadams June 2, 2012
Excellent, but often too sure of himself. Osborne is more even-handed with interlocutors.
Scot McKnight Scot McKnight December 18, 2009
Now only slightly dated, but one of the first to which I turn is G. Beale [Full Review]
Many Reformed and evangelical scholars argue that Beale has written the best available contemporary commentary on Revelation. In many respects, it is outstanding. Beale's commentary is the place to turn for insight on the many Old Testament allusions and echoes in the book of Revelation. My fundamental reservation about the book has to do with Beale's modified idealist approach. Revelation is a prophecy (1:3; 19:10; 22:7, 10, 18, 19). We do not interpret Old Testament prophetic books in an idealist manner. They were written to specific people in a specific time and place, often referring to specific imminent judgments and promising a time of restoration in the distant future. Revelation is very similar in that it is dealing with the imminent destruction of Jerusalem and the restoration that will take place at the consummation. To interpret it in an idealist manner is to decontextualize it. In spite of this, Beale's commentary contains a wealth of information and should be consulted by any serious student of Scripture. [Full Review]
Derek W. H. Thomas Derek W. H. Thomas September 21, 2008
A monumental and comprehensive work. Amillennial.
Jim Rosscup Jim Rosscup September 20, 2008
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; Cambridge: Paternoster, 1999. Pp. lxiv + 1245, Cloth, $75.00, ISBN 080282174X. Russell Morton Ashland Theological Seminary Ashland, OH 44805 The culmination of over a decade of research and writing on the Apocalypse, Beale's work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Revelation. While the reader may not necessarily agree on all points, the commentary will certainly provide considerable insight into John's often perplexing vision. In particular, Beale's grasp of the Greek grammar of Revelation is outstanding. Too few scholars today have the linguistic expertise to furnish the reader with such extensive and thoughtful notes. At the same time, Beale does not assume all readers understand he technical terms, and he defines them upon first usage. Furthermore, Beale's often repeated insight, first noted with comments on 1:4a (p. 188), that John's use of solecisms may be a means of calling the reader/hearer's attention to allusions in the Hebrew Bible, is most helpful. A second major contribution is the discussion of Revelation's structure. Recapitulation is accepted, as is the literary unity of the book (pp. 108-144). Thus, John arranges his vision not in chronological, but in topical order, emphasizing three motifs: judgment, persecution, and salvation (p. 144). While noting there is little unanimity among scholars regarding Revelation's structure, Beale's own opinion is that a sevenfold or eightfold division of the book is most plausible (p. 114). Nevertheless, this arrangement may be subordinate to a broader fourfold structure of (1) 1:1-19 (20); (2) 1:19 (20)-3:22; (3) 4:1-22:5 and 22:6-21. Linguistic markers from Daniel 2 (p. 115) denote these sections. "A model for the compatibility of the multiple viable structures" (p. 115) is possible because John arranges his account by overlying interdependent elements, where earlier parts of the book are supplemented and explained by succeeding events and vice versa (pp. 115-116). Insightful analysis is also provided concerning the non-literal, symbolic nature of John's vision. This is emphasized at many points, including the explanation of the topical, rather than chronological arrangement of the book, the metaphors in Rev 11:1-2 (pp. [Full Review]