Book Review – The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation

book-nivac-revelationThe NIV Application Commentary: Revelation by Craig Keener

I liked this commentary so much I thought I’d write a mini-review with some information about Craig Keener and type out some of the quotes I liked.

Craig Keener is someone who has an extraordinary passion for the Bible and a very high view of Scripture and God’s sovereignty. He’s an excellent exegete influenced by Gordon Fee and nearly as objective in his interpretation.

He’s also lived in dangerous urban environments where his life has been threatened and he knows what it is to be persecuted, as much as can be in the U.S. and he writes briefly about some of these experiences as they relate to the book of Revelation.

If you’d like to learn more about him you can read Fridays with Craig Keener at Word and Spirit, a series of eight interviews (in reverse order here).

Here is a brief video where Craig S. Keener tells the story behind the NIVAC Revelation commentary. He writes about this in the preface of the commentary.

My exposure to Revelation has been reading through it a few times, participating in a group Bible study on it which I have almost no recollection of and reading about bits of it here and there in various books. I wanted a commentary that was substantial, but not a large technical tome such as Aune or Beale. The only other NIVAC commentary I have is the one on Luke and I was a little disappointed in it as a commentary. It’s a great book on the life and teachings of Jesus, but many questions weren’t addressed. So I was reluctant to try another one but this didn’t disappoint at all. It seemed to be tailor made for someone like me.

In the commentary portion Keener addresses nearly all of the text of Revelation succinctly but fully. I never felt that there was a portion that was glossed over without addressing it.

In the Bridging Contexts sections he often writes about common gross misinterpretations, interpretations throughout history and how the passage relates to other parts of Scripture among other things which is extremely helpful.

Some may think it difficult to write about how the whole book of Revelation is relevant to us today but Keener does this with ease in the Contemporary Significance sections.

Here are some of my favorite quotes.

The necessity of remaining faithful until the end (Revelation 2:26) fits historic Calvinist and Arminian belief: The former argue that those who fall away were never converted, whereas the latter argue that they have lost their salvation–but both concur that they will not be saved. Verses such and this one and countless others, however, may prove uncomfortable to those who think that merely praying a prayer without truly persevering in Christian faith is adequate for salvation.

One [also] wonders how Luther, Calvin, Wesley, or others would feel about some who in their name privilege theological traditions above firsthand study of Scripture itself.

…not a single text supports addressing the devil as if he were omnipresent, during prayer. [On spiritual warfare, rebuking the devil etc. Revelation 12:7-9]

More quotes to come in future posts.

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9 Responses to “Book Review – The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation”


  1. 1 brian

    thanks jeff – i’ve really been wanting to get this commentary too. 

  2. 2 Erik

    This post made me look a more into Keener, and I was so inspired yesterday to read more, and learn more. So thanks for posting this review.God bless you brother!Psalm 146:5-6

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    Yous welcome.
    Jeff

  4. 4 tc robinson

    I used this commentary last year while teaching Revelation.  Good stuff, but I found Osborne more useful.

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    I’ll look into that one if I need something more in-depth in the future. I love BECNT.
    Jeff

  6. 6 brian

    Osborne and Keener would be a good combo – one exegetical the other pastoral.

  7. 7 Scripture Zealot

    Osbourne it will be if I get another one.
    Jeff

  8. 8 david squyres

    I am using Keener’s commentary as I prepare Bible studies for Revelation — and I love it! (Also recommend G.K. Beale’s commentary.)

    Keener explains the issues at hand with ease. It’s not a “tough” commentary.

    I really liked his introduction!

  9. 9 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for Commenting David. I feel like Beale’s might be too much for me but if I were to get another one for any reason that would probably be in my top 2-3 choices. I liked his commentary on 1-2 Thess. but I’m sure that was less technical.

    That’s quite a blog you have there. <:o Jeff

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