The best books on Biblical eschatology that are understandable and not nuts

Jonathan Menn Author Of Biblical Eschatology, Second Edition
By Jonathan Menn

Who am I?

I am the director of Equipping Church Leaders-East Africa. East African church leaders (and most Christians everywhere) are interested in eschatology (the study of the “last things”). I have been fascinated by this subject for decades, particularly since I attended a church that took eschatology seriously. After a time, however, I realized that something was amiss in that pastor’s understanding of eschatology. That motivated me to study eschatology on my own and begin compiling an extensive library on the subject. While pursuing my M.Div. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, I wrote two major papers on the subject and now have written the most comprehensive synthesis on biblical eschatology currently available.


I wrote...

Biblical Eschatology, Second Edition

By Jonathan Menn,

Book cover of Biblical Eschatology, Second Edition

What is my book about?

Biblical Eschatology, 2nd ed. provides what is not found in any other single volume on eschatology: it analyzes all major eschatological passages (including the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation), issues (including the second coming of Christ, the millennium, the rapture, and Antichrist), and positions (including all the major views of the millennium) in a clear, but not superficial, way. The book concludes with a chapter showing how eschatology is relevant for our lives. Clarity and understanding are enhanced by multiple comparative tables and appendices. Subject and Scripture indexes are included. The book interacts with the best of Evangelical and Reformed scholarship. The extensive bibliography provides an excellent source for the reader's further study.

The books I picked & why

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The Millennial Maze

By Stanley J. Grenz,

Book cover of The Millennial Maze

Why this book?

The issue of eschatology, and the so-called “millennium” in particular, are the subject of multiple, often wacky, interpretations. Stanley Grenz’s The Millennial Maze cuts through the nonsense. His is one of the best comparative analyses by a single author of the major millennial views. He looks at the history of millennial thought and the development of postmillennialism, historic and dispensational premillennialism, and amillennialism, which he characterizes as, respectively, essentially optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic outlooks concerning eschatology. His approach is irenic, and he notes the virtues that each view brings toward our overall view of eschatology. In short, Grenz’s book is a good and balanced introduction to the subject.


The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views

By Robert G. Clouse (editor),

Book cover of The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views

Why this book?

One of the best ways to deal with controversial subjects is the “point-counterpoint” method of having a proponent of each major view state his or her own position and then be critiqued by proponents of other views. The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views does just that, utilizing the following proponents: George Eldon Ladd, historic premillennialism; Herman Hoyt, dispensational premillennialism; Loraine Boettner, postmillennialism; and Anthony Hoekema, amillennialism. The book is compact enough so as not to be intimidating for the general reader, yet the major points of each view and critique are sufficiently articulated. While this is a good introduction to the subject, Hoyt’s and Boettner’s presentations are, in my opinion, considerably weaker than Ladd’s and Hoekema’s. 


A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times

By Kim Riddlebarger,

Book cover of A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times

Why this book?

I purchased the first edition of this book. Its major fault—the lack of either a Scripture or a Subject index—has been corrected in the second, expanded edition. A Case for Amillennialism is a strong defense of the amillennial view, particularly in contrast with the dispensational premillennial view. For me, his explication of the “two ages” (“this age” and the “age to come”) was compelling as was his point that “The most serious problem to be faced by all premillenarians is the presence of evil in the millennial age” (86). Riddlebarger deals with the major eschatological passages (Daniel’s seventy weeks, the Olivet Discourse, Romans 11, and, of course, Revelation 20). In short, this is a clear defense of amillennialism and is worth reading.


99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return

By B. J. Oropeza,

Book cover of 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return

Why this book?

B. J. Oropeza’s 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return was written in 1994 when there was rampant speculation in some circles that the year 2000 would be prophetically significant. Nevertheless, the book remains a worthwhile corrective against end-times speculation and date setting. Each of his reasons deals with popular speculations concerning the soon-appearing of Christ. Each reason is concisely stated (1-3 pages, except for reason 40 concerning the return of Israel to Palestine [5 pages]). Oropeza deals with multiple reasons why date-setting is counterproductive and concludes with a chapter on what we can know about the future and guidelines for interpreting prophecy. While somewhat dated, the book is enjoyable and makes one shake one’s head that people could have had such bizarre eschatological views.


The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary)

By G. K. Beale,

Book cover of The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary)

Why this book?

G. K. Beale, now at Reformed Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, is probably the premier authority on the book of Revelation. His massive The Book of Revelation (NIGTC) is over 1100 pages long and, I believe, is without question the most scholarly and detailed treatment of Revelation currently available. Anyone who is seriously interested in the book of Revelation needs to interact with this book. Beale’s treatment of Revelation is enhanced by his deep understanding of the Old Testament (he is co-editor, with D. A. Carson, of Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament). In short, serious students of Revelation should get this book. Its depth of detail will be worth it and will lead the reader to see biblical connections not previously imagined. 


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