Book Review: Revelation


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“The revelation of Jesus Christ,

which God gave him to show His servants what must soon take place.

He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John,

who testifies to everything he saw –

that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy,

and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it,

because the time is near.”

Revelation 1:1-3


It’s difficult to take something “to heart” when you don’t understand it.  That’s why so many versions of the Bible exist, to render the word of God in a way that other people can understand. 


I read my Bible, and enjoy reading other books.  So I can often be found book-browsing.  That’s how I stumbled upon a Biblical treasure – on discount!  Of all the books in the Bible, Revelation is one of the most difficult for me to understand.  That’s why I was delighted to discover a graphic novel version of the 66th book, entitled “The Book of Revelation”; translated by F. Mark Arey & Fr. Philemon Sevastiades, illustrated by Chris Koelle, and published by Zondervan in 2012 (ISBN: 978-0-310-42140-5).


Am I now an expert on Revelation?  No.  Here’s what it did do for me, though.  First, it’s accurate, despite being illustrated.  Second, the graphics were arresting.  The illustrations were realistic, intricate, provocative and subtle.  As artwork, it was just visually stunning; and it was fascinating to see Koelle’s rendering of Revelation’s metaphors.  For example, Revelation personifies Babylon as a woman.  You have to see how Koelle worked that out for yourself.  Third, my fascination with the artwork forced me to slow down and read more carefully.  When I don’t understand, my eyes glaze over, and after a few seconds of reading I realize that I can’t remember what I just read.  More careful reading helped me absorb some details that I didn’t get before.  Fourth, I read it again, and I understood more of John’s revelation.


Once I get what’s going on, I pray that I’ll begin to take it to heart.


“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen”

Revelation 22:21

BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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