Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”

Revelation 21:1-5 NRSV

With the Book of Revelations coming up in the lectionary readings from 24 April, Rev Dr Robyn Whitaker and Rev Fran Barber led a seminar for preachers on the 24 March.  They offered background, reflections on theology and Christology, gender, justice, violence and worship, and heaven and hell, reward and punishment in the Book of Revelation.

Where some participants confessed that they found the prospect of preaching on Revelations daunting, at the end of the day everyone left excited and well prepared to tackle this book and its vivid imagery and colourful history.

If you’re a worship leader and haven’t decided on what next, this might be a good opportunity to engage with something different and exciting with your congregation and discover the latest about this fascinating book for yourself.

Part of the package offered was a list of resources with recommended commentaries, Bible study resources and introductory texts.

These books are available through the Dalton McCaughey Library at the CTM. Some of the titles are still in print. Alternatively, you can search for second hand books at

Recommended Commentaries for preachers

Blount, Brian K, Revelation: A Commentary (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009). Boring, M. E. Revelation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1989).
Boxall, Ian, The Revelation of Saint John (London: Baker Academic, 2006).
Koester, Craig. Revelation: A New Translation and Commentary (New Haven: Yale UniPress, 2014).
Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth, The Book of Revelation: Justice and Judgment. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998).

Bible Study for Congregations:

Carey, Greg. Faithful and True: A Study Guide to the Book of Revelation (Pilgrim Press, 2022)

Recommended introductory texts:

Carey, Greg. Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature. (St Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2005)
DeSilva, David Arthur. Seeing Things John’s Way: The Rhetoric of the Book of Revelation. (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009)
Collins, John J. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998)
Howard-Brook, Wes, and Anthony Gwyther. Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now. The Bible & Liberation Series. (Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books, 1999.)
Thompson, Leonard L. The Book of Revelation: Apocalypse and Empire. (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997.)

Anneke Oppewal
Presbytery Minister – Pastoral