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Patterson’s Revelation volume gets SBC preview

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — The long-awaited commentary on Revelation by Paige Patterson for The New American Commentary will be previewed during the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 19-20 annual meeting in New Orleans.

The 40-volume New American Commentary is published by B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Patterson is president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Dr. Patterson approached this assignment with his well-known theological prowess and respect for God’s holy Word. His treatment of Revelation is thorough and enlightening,” LifeWay President Thom S. Rainer said. “I’m confident scholars for years to come will be blessed by this commentary.”

B&H described New American Commentary as encompassing scholarly methodology that reflects capable research in the original languages; interpretation that emphasizes the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole; and readable and applicable exposition.

Samples are available in New Orleans in the B&H booth. The full commentary is scheduled for release Sept. 1.

“The fruition of Dr. Patterson’s entry in the New American Commentary series has been met with celebration by many across the evangelical world who have been waiting for him to finish his work,” Rainer, president of LifeWay. “I am far from the first to say it has been worth the wait.”

Patterson, in the introduction to his commentary on Revelation, observes the widespread neglect of the closing book of the New Testament.

“Aside from a few journal articles and fewer monographs, few homiletical adventurers have evidenced the moxie to enter the eschatological lists and take on this book in the pulpit,” Patterson writes. “This remains the case even though curiosity abounds in many congregations where parishioners fervently wish that their respective pastors would explain the book to them.

“Among those who embark on this adventure, most sail no further than the message to the seven churches … thus missing the grandeur of the promises that proliferate in chapters 4-22,” he writes.

In his commentary, Patterson includes pastor guidelines for preaching the book of Revelation. During a question-and-answer session with students and faculty last year at Southwestern Seminary, Patterson said he encourages preachers to preach through the entire book of Revelation, in part because it is the only book of the Bible explicitly giving a beatitude for those who read and listen to it.

“When you’re going to preach through the Apocalypse, you need to set aside some time where you’re going to do nothing but study through it,” Patterson said in an article published by the seminary. “It is a book the nature of which you can’t be changing back and forth as you go through it on what your position is.

“Secondly, you want to focus on the theological and practical insights that are everywhere in the text,” Patterson said. “The tendency in preaching Revelation is to get bogged down in the details. … When it comes to preaching it, you are attempting to engender hope in your people. There’s hope all the way through the book. This is the story of the victory of the Lamb.”

Following the volume on Revelation, four more volumes remain before the completion of The New American Commentary.
Reported by the communications staff of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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