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Most Helpful Commentaries on Revelation

revelation commentaries

I have been blessed richly by the book of Revelation. Having had the privilege to preach through the entire book over the past 10 months, I thought it might be helpful to share which commentaries I found to be the most helpful. 


Most Helpful: 

1.) Revelation: A Shorter Commentary by G.K. Beale (Eerdmans)

Revelation: A Shorter Commentary


Every time I preach through a book of the Bible, I read through about a dozen commentaries. Soon into the process, however, I find myself identifying the strongest/most helpful of the commentaries, and I lean on it a bit more during my study each week. For Revelation, it was clear which commentary was the most helpful- G.K Beale's. This commentary is a shorter version, of his well known longer volume in the NIGTC series. This commentary still comes in over 500 pages, and is rich in detail. Still, despite being a long commentary, it is very accessible, and helpfully hones in on the most important aspects of a given passage. If I could only have 1 commentary on Revelation, it would be this one hands down. 

2.) More Than Conquerors by William Hendriksen (Baker)

More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation


 Hendriksen's short commentary on Revelation is a classic. The first half of this book lays out background detail on Revelation, and it is where so much of this volume's value comes from. Having all the Old Testament allusions laid out by chapter was incredibly helpful. His walk through exposition of the text is brief, and pastorally oriented, lending it to be easily accessible and helpful. If you want a short book, which gets you a great overview of the entire background, book, and application of Revelation, this is an excellent resource. 

3.) Triumph of the Lamb by Dennis Johnson (P&R)

Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation


A friend and mentor of mine recommended I pick up Johnson's commentary before I preached through Revelation. I am so glad he made the recommendation. This book is a treat, and is pastorally rich. This comes as no surprise for those who know Johnson's writing, but this commentary is especially engaging and balanced. Lots of depth, and practical application. If you want a "middle" between Hendriksen and Beale, this is a great resource.  

Honorable Mentions:


The Returning King by Vern Poythress (P&R)

The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation

 This short volume by Poythress is widely recommended and has many helpful aspects to it. I cited Poythress often, and found his perspective to be particularly elucidating. Poythress calls for readers to see Revelation more as a picture book than a puzzle book, and invites those who would study it to be caught up in the wondorous picture of the Lamb triumphant. 

Revelation by Richard Phillips (P&R)

Revelation (Reformed Expository Commentary) (Reformed Expository Commentaries)


This collection of Phillip's expositions through Revelation is excellent.  Seeing how Phillips handeled difficult interpretive decisions, and applied some of the bleaker sections of Revelation was insightful. This is not meant to be a technical commentary, but rather focuses in on the task of expositionally preaching the book, showing how one faithful pastor handeled that very task. If you wanted a devotional resource to walk through Revelation with, I would recommend this one. 

Some Other Helpful Commentaries

Let's Study Revelation by Derek Thomas (Banner of Truth)

Revelation by Joel Beeke (Reformation Heritage)

ESV Expository Commentary: Hebrews-Revelation by Thomas Schreiner (Crossway)