This book was the first of its kind: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Book of Revelation. Without sacrificing scholarly perspective or academic rigor, it is written to be accessible for a wide audience - including pastors, scholars, teachers, seminarians, and interested lay people. A 'Suggested Reading List' - a feature of all volumes in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary - will serve as point of entry for the new student of Revelation and as a helpful annotated bibliography for all readers. Frequent 'Closer-Look' sections examine key elements of the Roman-Greco world that bear on the text's meaning while 'Bridging the Horizons' sub-chapters connect this world with the cultural, political, and religious environments of today. The entire NRSV translation is provided throughout the text. Award-winning author Ben Witherington, III brings a New Testament-scholar's insight and successful clergyman's lucidity to the often opaque passages of the last book of the New Testament.
'This is a highly accessible commentary on what most readers find the most difficult book in the New Testament. As well as relating Revelation to its late first century context and tracking its rhetorical force, Witherington strongly refutes some of the extraordinary misinterpretations of Revelation that are so influential in contemporary America. This is a commentary which a wide range of readers will find helpful for its clarity of explanation and its theological and pastoral relevance.' Professor Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews, Scotland 'Ben Witherington III is the General Editor for the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series; as author of this commentary on Revelation  he is blazing a trail for the new series.' Expository Times 'Witherington's commentary on Revelation is academically rigorous, and in touch with recent scholarship giving the non-specialist reader helpful ways into the debates on the text. Difficult passages are handled with clarity. ... highly recommended for providing clear and judicious exposition, a comprehensive introduction to academic debate for the non-specialist, and stimulating reflection for contemporary Christian living.' Anvil 'This is a carefully designed, clear and well-written brief commentary on Revelation, the first in a new series The New Cambridge Bible Commentary. ... this is well-written, informative, traditional biblical studies, with some pastoral reflections.' Journal for the Study of the New Testament 'Witherington offers a 'socio-rhetorical' approach, but does this by rooting Revelation in the first century. The commentary offers suggested reading early on, and this gives a good overview of scholarship on Revelation. Witherington appears to be in touch with the major streams of thinking in the areas noted above, and his commentary is impressively concise.' Ian Paul, The Expository Times 'This is a solid commentary. ... It introduces the reader to recent mainstream, sound research on Revelation, it fruitfully engages in debate with questionable literalist readings, it opens the eyes for Revelation as a book of the first century, it applies responsible hermeneutical strategies and, finally, it also assists readers who are interested in more contemporary application of its materials.' Neotestamentica