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The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation
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The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  141 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Noted New Testament scholar Poythress provides an understandable and practical look into Revelation in this insightful commentary. Poythress focuses on Revelation's core message and ensures that its details do not cloud the big picture. He shows Revelation to be a picture book, not a puzzle book, relevant and applicable to the daily lives of Christians.
Paperback, 213 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by P & R Publishing
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Alyssa Bohon
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A brief, simple, but profound and Christ-centered guide to Revelation. I felt that Poythress grasped the heart of the book's message.

"Christ wages war in Revelation 19, not only on behalf of God and his justice, but also on behalf of man and his welfare. He frees us forever from the threat of bestial tyranny. As the last Adam, he achieves perfect dominion. The Beast is subjected to Man."

"Revelation calls not for cleverness, but for spiritual discernment."
Nate Weis
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent introductory level commentary on Revelation from a primarily idealist perspective. Does a very good job of showing how the Apostle John used Old Testament allusions and imagery. Very readable and accessible. Will gladly recommend to friends who are new to the study of Eschatology and looking to understand Revelation.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bible, seminary
Not bad, but didn't seem to me to add a lot. In general, Poythress surveys and pulls the good from a variety of interpretations, and doesn't usually argue vigorously for one. While I appreciate the charity of his approach, I think I wanted a more settled conclusion in a number of places.
Joshua Centanni
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: exegesis, theology
Good popular-level introduction to Revelation. Happened to read while also working on Richard Bauckham's "The Theology of the Book of Revelation." Knocked down a star or two because Bauckham's book is *amazing*.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: devotional
Good. Not as good as Koester's "Revelation and the End of all Things," however. But this is a very accessible text on Revelation.
Andrew Shank
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great! Brief introduction to revelation, with helpful comments on the text and tons of references for parallel passages and allusions throughout the book.
Oliver Pierce
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very helpful introduction to the book of revelation on an average reading level.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentary, favorites
The best book that I have read on Revelation. For a book of the Bible that most people fear they can’t read or understand, I would confidently recommend this book to anyone (whether someone who is very new to the faith or a seminary graduate). Poythress does a great job of focusing on the big picture as opposed to getting bogged down in every tiny, little detail throughout Revelation. Very solid.
Tsun Lu
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Poythress, Vern S. The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R, 2000.

Targeting laymen audience but also illuminating to scholars, Dr. Poythress guides the readers into the “recapitulated circles” of the end-time history in the Revelation with very synthetic paragraph-by-paragraph commentary.

Dr. Poythress teaches the readers to permit the imageries intuitively working in our mind as a child, and focuses on the book’s central message about Jesus’ second com
Angela Platt
Poythress discusses the book of Revelation which serves as both commentary and overview of the book of Revelation. It including an introduction to the major approaches to this book (Idealist, Preterist, Historicist, and Futurist). Poythress, while leaning primarily in the idealist perspective, offers a very fair treatment to each perspective, recognizing that there are principles in each which are beneficial for Christians to consider when reading Revelation. This book is an fantastic, for both ...more
Jay Miklovic
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is a great primer on revelation, very easy to read, not overly technical, and I highly recommend it. Would be a good book to supplement an introductory bible study on revelation. This is the first book I consult when preaching revelation, however it is not nearly exhaustive enough to use alone in sermon prep. There are a few areas I disagree with, but they are few, and minor. For a slightly more exhaustive study I recommend "Triumph of the Lamb" by Dennis Johnson, and for a painfully e ...more
Paul Wichert
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biblical-studies
This book is a great way to see Revelation from 30,000 feet. It provides a brief but good introduction to interpretation, structure, and symbolism. The commentary itself is very succinct, as it must be to fit into about 200 pages, so there is only a small amount of weighing alternative interpretations. The approach is idealist/amillenial as expected. I think this would be a good book for a small group to firm up the principles of approach to Revelation and glean beautiful sights of the landscape ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book for the newbie who has never studied the book of Revelation to John.
Poythress writes in an easy and structured way, which makes it easier to focus on the structure and meaning of the book of Revelation.
I also enjoy the fact that Poythress takes stands on issues. Some authors pose a couple of different views on a topic and then simply moves on. Poythress, on the other hand, will often tell you what he thinks is the right answer and why in light of Scripture.
Mark Lickliter
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
It was just okay. I agreed with most everything, but I'd pretty much heard it all before. It would be much more worthwhile to marinate oneself in G.K. Beale's larger commentary on Revelation. This wasn't bad for an easy-to-read "guide" to the book of Revelation, or an introduction but it left me unsatisfied.
Joe Haack
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: commentaries
I read this - alongside Graeme Goldsworthy's The Lion and the Lamb - in preparation for a new sermon series. This book is so very helpful.
Kathy Williams
Jun 03, 2016 marked it as to-read
Clear and very helpful overview of Revelation. Deep but not weighed down with too much detail.
Logan Almy
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great on the big-picture issues of Revelation for teaching small groups
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really helpful introductory commentary to Revelation. Idealist and amillennial, but fair to all interpretive views.
Christopher Hall
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a good overview of Revelation. I did wish however that it went more in depth into the Scripture it discussed.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
This is a pretty good summary of a very complex book of the Bible, Revelations. The author does a nice job of explaining the themes in an understandable way.
Jonathan Roberts
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2013
Good overview tries to be balanced, which I like. Sometimes pushes one side a bit more than another but not to the point of being too annoying. I recommend this book.
Eric Molicki
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentary
Indispensable - and short!
Matthew Shedd
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Very good introductory material for a beginning student. Some sections lack depth.
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Vern Sheridan Poythress was born in 1946 in Madera, California, where he lived with his parents Ransom H. Poythress and Carola N. Poythress and his older brother Kenneth R. Poythress. After teaching mathematics for a year at Fresno State College (now California State University at Fresno), he became a student at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he earned an M.Div. (1974) and a Th.M. in apol ...more
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