The Heart of Revelation: Understanding the 10 Essential Themes of the Bible's Final Book  -     By: J. Scott Duvall
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The Heart of Revelation: Understanding the 10 Essential Themes of the Bible's Final Book

Baker Books / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

A topical approach to an often misunderstood book of the Bible. Rather than discussing different views of the end times, Duvall encourages readers to focus on the vision of hope that Revelation provides by pointing out its major biblical themes---worship, judgment, the Holy Spirit, perseverance, and more. Includes application questions for individual or group study. 224 pages, softcover from Baker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X .50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801016193
ISBN-13: 9780801016196

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Publisher's Description

Despite gallons of ink spilled and hours of movies made on the book of Revelation, it remains one of the most confusing and least understood books of Scripture. But Scott Duvall has good news for discouraged readers--you can benefit from the hope and encouragement of this mysterious book if you grasp its main teachings.

In this thematic approach to Revelation, Duvall reveals its ten most important themes, allowing readers to focus on the vision of hope Revelation provides. Rather than discussing different views of the end times, Duvall points us toward the major biblical themes of God, worship, the people of God, the Holy Spirit, our mission, the Lamb of God, judgment, perseverance, and more, allowing readers to understand and apply the message of Revelation here and now.

Author Bio

J. Scott Duvall (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and J. C. and Mae Fuller Chair of Biblical Studies at Ouachita Baptist University. He is the author or coauthor of many articles and books, including The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook and Revelation in the Teach the Text Commentary Series.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Heart of Revelation
    October 7, 2016
    Dorock
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The book of Revelation could be confusing, and hard to understand. J. Scott Duvall breaks Revelation down to themes that are understandable to read and study. I believe these are the end times, and this book will help you not only understand, but apply these themes and truths to your own life. It ia a great small group study, and possibly a great witnessing tool! It has challenging questions to make you study even further! I would recommend this book to any one who thinks that Revelation is too confusing. Read it, use it, and apply it. I believe it will transform your thinking to live for Him, and grow even closer to your relationship with Christ!
  2. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    10 Reasons Why You Should Study the Revelation
    March 11, 2016
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5


    If the last book of the Bible is an intimidating peak, unclimbed and unchallenged, The Heart of Revelation is a succession of ten handholds to expedite your ascent. If Johns apocalyptic words are a map, J. Scott Duvall has provided bearings, a sense of direction, an aerial view of the terrain. His ten essential themes are really ten arguments for a student of Scripture (every Christian, right?) to be tackling a study of the Bibles final book:

    1. The Revelation proves that God is the true center of the universe in other words, its not all about you! God is revealed as faithful and in control. He has a plan for the future and has made very specific promises pertaining to community. Best of all, He wins in the end.

    2.The Revelation will ensure that your worship (because we all worship something) is directed toward its only worthy Object. Eugene Peterson defines worship as an act of attention to the living God who rules, speaks and reveals, creates and redeems, orders and blesses. God alone can bear the weight of your worship, and this is the only reasonable response to His flawless character, mighty acts, and victory over evil.

    3.God has a lot to say about His people, and He has expressed much of it through John in the Revelation. Since he made us, He gets us: the fact that we all struggle, that we need His protection. God has a multicultural mission in mind that looks beyond the present and sees the brightest of futures.

    4.The role of God the Holy Spirt is made manifest in the Revelation. He is continuing Gods work on Earth and is the source of prophetic messages about Jesus. He both comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. It is interesting that Duvall attributes the seal of God to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer rather than a literal mark on the forehead.

    5.The Revelation reveals the various strategies and tactics of the enemies of God. These include accusation, deception, temptation, and persecution. With persecution of Christians today more intense even than in the early centuries of the church, there are also more Christian martyrs in our era, making it abundantly clear that God and His people are at war against evil.

    6.Revelation names John the beloved disciple and Antipas as Jesus two faithful witnesses, defining our mission as Gods people to be faithful witnesses to Jesus and His kingdom. Though the nations are described as vulnerable to deception and darkness, God loves all cultures and calls us to love as He does. A faithful witness obeys Gods commands and perseveres in mission, following the Lamb wherever He goes.

    7.Johns Revelation is a book about Jesus who He is, what He has done, and what He will do. It is theological icing on the cake of the Jesus story provided in the four gospels. He is exalted as fully God, as the Shepherd Messiah, The Slaughtered Lamb, the Firstborn from the Dead, and The Roaring Lamb.

    8.In our judge-not age, the Revelation is key study material for establishing Gods right to judge, for He is unique in His ability to distinguish between good and evil. In the process of destroying evil, God, at this time, is allowing it to run its course. The Revelation shatters our sensitivity and sentimentality because it teaches that the wicked will ultimately be judged. This issue transcends doctrine and becomes very personal if we permit ourselves to consider the fate of unbelieving family and friends.

    9.In the Revelation, John was privileged to see The New Creation a New Heaven and a New Earth and he straightens out a lot of the faulty thinking about going to heaven, who will be there, what it will be like, and even what we will be doing there. Key to the New Creation will be the unmitigated presence of God. Like C.S. Lewiss The Last Battle, the book of Revelation makes the heart long for heaven.

    10.Finally, the book of Revelation trains Christians to expect and to endure through suffering. Perseverance through persecution, resisting the temptation to compromise, is the key to enduring to the end. The Apostle John, with the heart of a pastor, comforts his readers with the knowledge that even if our perseverance results in death, God still holds us to Himself. The clear message of this letter is: Say No to evil. Say Yes to Jesus. It will be worth it.

    Considering these ten major themes of the Revelation has opened my eyes to the big picture message of the book which startles, alarms, comforts, and poses important questions and then allows the Word of God to speak for itself.

    //

    This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    At last! An insightful look at Revelation in context
    March 1, 2016
    Laura
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    If you were like me growing up, the biblical book of Revelation held more questions than answers and revisiting the text as an adult didn't help much. That's precisely why I was so eager to review this book from Baker Books publishing group.

    J. Scott Duvall's The Heart of Revelation does a fantastic job of de-mystifying this important text. Using historic, geographic, and linguistic context, Duvall brings us a more understandable interpretation of the Bible's last words.

    I found it refreshing to read Duvall's perspective and insights. The book is pleasantly small, taking only a few hours to get through, but with plenty of content to ponder for many days to come. It is also a nice study companion, listing the relevant Bible references throughout the chapter and at the end of each one as well, then ending each chapter with questions that work well for personal reflection or in a group

    This is just one man's understanding of the scripture, based in his understanding of history and culture at the time it was written, but it is a more complete and logical understanding than many others I've come across. Even if you don't take his every word as absolute, it's a thought-provoking read and well worth the time.
  4. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A refreshing look at Revelation's major themes
    February 27, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Perhaps you agree with Duvall when he writes, Revelation is the strangest book in the whole Bible. (1) It seems people either avoid it or obsess over it. But Duvall offers a third way, appreciating the book by looking at the big picture, identifying what we can know for certain, and finding lessons for our Christian living today.

    He has a good introduction to Revelation, exploring the circumstances of the writing, the type of literature, and principles of interpretation.

    I like how Duvall emphasizes that Revelation shows reality from God's perspective. ...God defeats the power of darkness, judges evil, rescues his people, and transforms creation. (7) It is a book of hope but does not offer the false hope of avoiding persecution and suffering of the last days. The book of Revelation, he writes, makes it crystal clear that Christians will face such things. (61)

    I like that Duvall does not try to identify the characters in Revelation with particular people. Writing about Revelation 13, for example, The beasts represent wicked empires empowered by Satan. (91) And, The two witnesses represent the witnessing church. (107) Regarding the judgments, Revelation spirals forward in repeated cycles of judgment rather than progressing in a neat, straight line. (149) As a general principle, We must take Revelation seriously, but we shouldn't always take it literally. (9)

    This book is written for Christians who want to know the main teachings of Revelation. It is not a technical, scholarly book (by design). Questions are included at the end of each chapter for group discussion. He prays, that it will strengthen your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and bring you hope, courage, and wisdom. (3)

    I highly recommend this book to those who are tired of authors trying to identify the Antichrist or trying to put the events of Revelation into current news broadcasts. Duvall's book shares the encouraging message of Revelation through its major themes. It's a refreshing book that clears away the confusion.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Heart of Revelation
    February 24, 2016
    Clay
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Having grown up in a church culture that considered Revelation an inspired book but took the view that it could be diagramed on loooong charts hung on walls, I found Duvalls book a breath of fresh air. Having sat through a preterist explanation of the book, Duvalls approach brings fresh spiritual lessons for today not just the first century.

    Early in the book Duvall suggests that, When you hear or read Revelation, its like putting on a virtual-reality helmet in order to see true spiritual reality. Rather than dealing with how the images used by the author of Revelation will be literally fulfilled in the future, Duvall explains the metaphors that are used and their application in the book.

    Duvalls book is divided into ten themes that he explains. Those themes are: God, worship, the people of God, the Holy Spirit, our enemies, the mission, Jesus Christ, Judgment, the new creation, and perseverance.

    The introduction gives a general overview of the audience, setting of the book, and methods of interpretation, Duvall than proceeds to unpack the themes. At the end of each chapter are discussion questions. Key verses are called out and a reading plan is presented that would have you reading the entire book after finishing all ten themes. It provides an understandable way to read and fathom what has been called a one weird book.

    I could not help after reading each chapter reflecting on how good God is and how wonderful His plan. Yes, it is going to include some very nasty things and we are not exempted from suffering and calamity. But, in the end, God wins! That thought alone gives me hope in an ever increasingly violent and evil world.

    The book is well worth the read and will take an important place in my library beside the traditional commentaries on Revelation.
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