"Revelation's symbols are intended to portray meaning rather than literally expressing the details of earthly events."

The author bravely attempts to examine the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, in this hefty tome. The work begins with an amusing seven-page list of historical attempts at using Revelation to predict the end times. The relevance of the book, what prophecy is, and how Jesus changed the Jewish notion of an eternal kingdom are then explored. The relatively recent idea of a "rapture" based on John Nelson Darby's interpretation of Revelation 20 in 1827 is examined and dismissed as unscriptural. The "Antichrist" figure is shown to emerge from the Apostles Paul and John's understanding of Genesis 3:15 and the long list of candidates. This list begins with pagan Roman emperors like Nero and Caligula and continues to the Papacy, which the author points out was common in Protestantism. An examination of how the book relates to martyrs in the first three centuries is looked at as well as the impact of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

The author, who has a B.A. in Bible and theology as well as a master's degree in divinity, successfully employs his educational background in his clear examination of doctrines from Revelation such as preterism, millennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism, etc. There is a wealth of information included in this book to interest students of the Bible. In short, Murphy's exploration of Revelation is a very level-headed and insightful look at the relevance of this difficult book for a modern audience. It is highly readable and told with a sincerity and skill that will keep the reader interested.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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