Recommended Reading on Eschatology

Eschatology, or the study of the end times, is a real hot potato topic with plenty of differing views. All sorts of major battles have been waged over these issues. I consider the subject to be important but secondary. We need to agree on primary truths such as the deity of Christ and the Triune nature of God, but I believe that there is room to move when it comes to how we understand what the Bible has to say about future events.

I have already written on some of these topics before, and for those wanting some background on some of these issues, you might check out these articles:
billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/30/on-the-millennium-part-one/
billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/29/on-the-millennium-part-two/
billmuehlenberg.com/2011/05/22/on-christ%E2%80%99s-second-coming/

The books listed here deal with such topics as: the Bible and the last days; prophecy and the end times; how to interpret prophecy; the millennium; the kingdom of God; dispensationalism; the rapture; Israel and the church, etc. Unfortunately I have not divided the books up by the various views, but many of the titles will give you an indication where the author is coming from.

Allis, Oswald T., Prophecy and the Church. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1945.
Archer, Gleason, et. al., Three Views on the Rapture. Zondervan, 1984, 1996.
Armerding, Carl and W Ward Gasque, eds., A Guide to Biblical Prophecy. Hendrickson, 1977, 1992.
Bahnsen, Greg, Victory in Jesus: The Bright Hope of Postmillennialism. Covenant Media, 1999.
Baker, David, ed., Looking Into the Future: Evangelical Studies in Eschatology. Baker, 2001.
Bavinck, Herman, The Last Things. Baker, 1996.
Beasley-Murray, G.R., Jesus and the Future. Macmillan, 1954.
Beasley-Murray, G.R., Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Eerdmans, 1986.
Blaising, Craig and Darrell Bock, eds., Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church. Zondervan, 1992.
Blaising, Craig and Darrell Bock, eds., Progressive Dispensationalism. Victor, 1993.
Bock, Darrell, ed., Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond. Zondervan, 1999.
Blomberg, Craig and Sung Wook Chung eds., A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to “Left Behind” Eschatology. Baker, 2009.
Boetner, Loraine, The Millennium. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1957.
Bray, John, Matthew 24 Fulfilled, 5th ed. American Vision, 2009.
Brower, Kent and Mark Elliott, eds., Eschatology in Bible and Theology. IVP, 1997.
Clouse, Robert, ed., The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views. IVP, 1977.
Clouse, Robert, Robert Hosack and Richard Pierard, The New Millennium Manual. Baker, 1999.
Cox, William, Amillennialism Today. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1966.
Davis, John Jefferson, Christ’s Victorious Kingdom: Postmillennialism Reconsidered. Baker, 1986.
DeMar, Gary, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed. Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1999.
Erickson, Millard, Contemporary Options in Eschatology. Baker, 1977.
Feinberg, Charles, Millennialism: The Two Major Views. Moody, 1980.
Feinberg, John S., ed., Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments. Crossway, 1988.
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold, Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation: Clarifying the Meaning of Every Prophetic Passage. Harvest House, 2011.
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold, The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Ariel Ministries, 2003.
Gentry, Kenneth, The Book of Revelation Made Easy. American Vision, 2009.
Gentry, Kenneth, The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. Apologetics Group, 2010.
Gentry, Kenneth, Postmillenialism Made Easy. Apologetics Group, 2009.
Gregg, Steve, ed., Revelation: Four Views: A Parallel Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 1997.
Grenz, Stanley, The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options. IVP, 1992.
Hays, J. Daniel, J. Scott Duvall and C. Marvin Pate, Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times. Zondervan, 2007.
Hoekema, Anthony, The Bible and the Future. Eerdmans, 1979.
Horner, Barry, Future Israel. B&H, 2007.
House, H. Wayne, ed., Israel: The Land and the People. Kregel, 1998.
Hoyt, Herman, The End Times. Moody Press, 1969.
Hultberg, Alan, ed., Three Views on the Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation, 2nd ed. Zondervan, 2010.
Kik, Marcellus, An Eschatology of Victory. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1971.
Kimball, William, What the Bible Says About the Great Tribulation. Baker, 1983.
Kyle, Richard, The Last Days are Here Again: A History of the End Times. Baker, 1998.
Ladd, George, The Blessed Hope. Eerdmans, 1956.
Ladd, George, Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God. Eerdmans, 1952.
Lewis, Daniel, Three Crucial Questions about the Last Days. Baker, 1998.
Lightner, Robert, Last Days Handbook. Thomas Nelson, 1990, 1997.
Lindsey, Hal, The Late Great Planet Earth. Zondervan, 1971.
Mathison, Keith, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God? Presbyterian and Reformed, 1995.
Mathison, Keith, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1999.
Oropeza, B. J., 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return. IVP, 1994.
Pate, Marvin, Reading Revelation. Kregel, 2009.
Pate, Marvin, What Does the Future Hold? Baker, 2010.
Pate, Marvin, ed., Four Views on the Book of Revelation. Zondervan, 1998.
Pate, Marvin and Calvin Haines, Doomsday Delusions. IVP, 1995.
Payne, J. B., Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. Harper and Row, 1973.
Pentecost, J. Dwight, Things to Come. Zondervan, 1958, 1975.
Poythress, Vern, Understanding Dispensationalists. Zondervan, 1987.
Reiter, Richard, ed., The Rapture: Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulation. Zondervan, 1984.
Ridderbos, H. N., The Coming of the Kingdom. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1962.
Riddlebarger, Kim, A Case for Amillennialism. Baker, 2003.
Rushdoony, Rousas, God’s Plan for Victory. Thoburn Press, 1977.
Ryrie, Charles, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith. Loizeaux Brothers, 1953.
Ryrie, Charles, Dispensationalism Today. Moody, 1965.
Sandy, D. Brent, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic. IVP, 2002.
Saucy, Mark, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus. Word, 1997.
Saucy, Robert, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism. Zondervan, 1993.
Schwarz, Hans, Eschatology. Eerdmans, 2000.
Scofield, C. I., Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. Zondervan, 1965, 1973.
Sproul, R. C., The Last Days According to Jesus. Baker, 1998.
Venema, Cornelis, The Promise of the Future. Banner of Truth, 2000.
Vos, Geerhardus, The Pauline Eschatology. Eerdmans, 1961.
Vos, Geerhardus, The Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom and the Church. Eerdmans, 1951.
Walvoord, John, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation. Zondervan, 1976.
Walvoord, John, The Rapture Question. Zondervan, 1957, 1974.
Witherington, Ben, Jesus, Paul and the End of the World. IVP, 1992.

In addition, see the relevant chapters in the various systematic theologies.

Helpful, Solid, Commentaries on Daniel
Archer, Gleason, Daniel (EBC, vol. 7). Zondervan, 1985.
Baldwin, Joyce, Daniel (TOTC). IVP, 1978.
Duguid, Iain, Daniel (REC). P&R, 2008.
Goldingay, John, Daniel (WBC). Word, 1989.
Longman, Tremper, Daniel (NIVAC). Zondervan, 1999.
Lucas, Ernest, Daniel (AOTC). IVP, 2002.
Miller, Stephen, Daniel (NAC). B&H, 1994.
Wallace, Ronald, The Message of Daniel (BST). IVP, 1979.
Walvoord, John, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation. Moody, 1971.

Helpful, Solid, Commentaries on Revelation
Aune, David, Revelation, 3 vols (WBC). Word, 1997-1998.
Beale, Gregory, Revelation (NIGTC). Eerdmans, 1999.
Chilton, David, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation. Dominion Press, 1987, 2006.
Hamilton, James, Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. Crossway, 2012.
Hendriksen, William, More than Conquerors. Baker, 1940.
John, Dennis, Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation. P&R, 2001.
Michaels, J. Ramsey, Revelation (IVPNTCS). IVP, 1997.
Morris, Leon, The Revelation of St John (TNTC). Eerdmans, 1969.
Mounce, Robert, The Book of Revelation (NICNT). Eerdmans, 1977.
Osborne, Grant, Revelation (BECNT). Baker, 2002.
Torrence, Thomas, The Apocalypse Today. James Clarke, 1960.
Wall, Robert, Revelation (NIBC). Hendrickson, 1991.
Walvoord, John, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Moody, 1966.
Wilcock, Michael, The Message of Revelation (BST). IVP, 1975.

Happy reading.

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18 Replies to “Recommended Reading on Eschatology”

  1. A good list there Bill.

    And if I may, do add Australian author, Geoffrey Bingham,
    (1) ‘The Meaning of the Millennium’: http://www.newcreation.org.au/books/covers/246.html
    (free PDF download).
    (2) Revelation, Commentary and Essays – G.C. Bingham
    http://www.newcreation.org.au/books/covers/261.html
    (free PDF download),
    and one other very important book not on the list:
    (3) ‘The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology’ – Adrio König
    http://www.newcreation.org.au/books/covers/350.html

    Happy reading.
    Trevor Faggotter

  2. Bill. Glad to see both Gentry and Pate in the list.
    But what about one of the most clear and Christ centered commentators on ‘last things’, namely Adrio Konig and his ‘The Eclipse of Christ In Eschatology’, missing from your list?
    He takes a broadly preterist view, but the important element in his book is the perception that Christ Himself is in reality both the sum and objective of all eschatology – summarised in his leading premise:
    “Because he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, then his entire history is the doctrine of the last things.”
    Konig is superb. Have you read him yet?
    Graham Wood, UK

  3. Thanks Graham

    I must confess I have not yet read him! Hopefully will get to it soon amongst the many piles of books lying around here! But Trevor above beat you to it in recommending him!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. Bill, I think issues of eschatology are much more important than you have assigned them in your statement above. I side with Rushdoony when he writes:

    “… it must be noted that there is no neutrality … The idea of neutrality is a myth. All men speak and write from a given perspective: we see things, and organize knowledge, in terms of a fundamental perspective, commitment, and faith. Our perspective is always conditioned by our religious presuppositions. There is a religious difference between these three perspecitves (premillennialism, amillennialism and postmillennialism) on the question of the millennium. A Christian cannot hold that all three positions are legitimate and valid for Christians: either one is Bilical, and the others are not, or none are. The question of fidelity to Scripture cannot be a matter of indifference” (Rushdoony, 1980, God’s Plan for Victory. pp. 1-2).

    Certainly we need to be gracious one to another, but we cannot hold a panmillennial view (i.e. it doesn’r really matter, because everything will pan out in the end). She won’t be right mate. False doctrine leads to false lifestyle, and false lifestyle has serious implications in the long term for us, our family, our church, our city, our nation and the flow of history in the world.

    Seemingly minor points of doctrine can have major implications as they are taken to their logical conclusion and logical application. And if doctrine is not being applied, then it is useless.

    Bill, thanks for the list of tools to intellectually wrestle with this important area of Christian truth. I look forward to the ongoing debate, and trust that as iron sharpens iron, we will get closer to a truly Biblical perspective on this matter.

    Lance A Box

  5. Thanks Lance

    As I said, it is important, but not so vital that a wrong view on, say, the millennium means you will miss out on getting into heaven. So in that sense it certainly is a secondary doctrinal issue – not a test of orthodoxy. Indeed, all that the great early creeds say is that he is coming again. That much we should believe, but the fine details can be discussed and debated.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. It is certainly good to know that God is still in charge in spite of what happens here on earth. May the Lord come quickly.
    Ian Nairn

  7. Bill, I agree that having a wrong or misguided eschatology probably won’t cause you to miss out on going to heaven. However, it can and will make all the difference as to how you live out Jesus’ prayer when he stated, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” And it makes every difference in the world as to how one lives out the faith before breathing one’s last breath, by rapture or by death.

    Steve Swartz

  8. Thanks Steve

    Yes it can make a difference, but not necessarily. The example I always use here is that of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury. Both of course worked their tails off in Christian social reform, but interestingly, Wilberforce was postmillennial in his eschatology, while Shaftesbury was premillennial. So it is not the be all and end all of the Christian life – or at least need not be.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. I want to add a book – A commentary on the Book of Revelation

    Barnhouse, Donald Grey ‘Revelation: An Expositional Commentary’ Zondervan Publishing (1985)
    ISBN 13: 9780310204916

    Joshua Ferrara

  10. Maybe one more –

    Fruchtenbaum, Arnold ‘Israeology: the Missing Link in Systematic Theology’
    ISBN: 0-914863-05-3

    ISBN 13: 9780310204916

    Joshua Ferrara

  11. Ian Nairn.

    What is meant by the prayer, “May the Lord come quickly”?

    Does it mean that the Lord will return soon (as per dispensational-premillennialism) and rapture us out of the mess before it gets too bad? Or does it mean, that the Lord will return soon to judge the wicked world order, and take down the wicked worldly institutitions, and take away in judgment all who are found rebellious against the ways of God (as per post millennial preterism).

    If the former, then we need to be about evangelising for all that we are worth so that as many as possible can be saved before the rapture. If the latter, then we need to be dealing with our personal rebellion (credit card debt, real estate debt, dependence upon Social Security handouts, etc.) because when the system goes down, we will go down with it, if we are caught up with the system because of our lifestyle of covetousness.

    Remember, the Christians sold up their real estate before Jerusalem was wasted. They used the value of their assets for good before they became worthless. Many Christians in Europe, before the first and second world wars, would have done better financially had they meditated on the implications of Jesus’ exhortation concerning getting out of the city when they saw the early signs of Jerusalem’s destruction.

    Our eschatalogical view does have a bearing on our priorities.

    Personally, I am not praying, come quickly Lord Jesus. I am praying that He would give us just a little more time to get our houses in order, time to separate from the world a little more cleanly, and time to establish an alternative infra-structure to put in place after the collapse of the degenerate west (Church courts, church-based social welfare, Independent families with family businesses, homeschooling Christian families, church-based tertiary training, and such like).

    God bless

    Lance A Box

  12. After reading many books in support of all the different views I now consider myself a dogmatic and stubborn panmillennialist. It will all pan out exactly as God has determined. Meanwhile I work and pray that God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven, live as if Jesus was coming today but plan and build as if he was not coming for a hundred years.
    Des Morris

  13. Des,

    Isn’t the very definition of panmillennialism non-dogmatic? Just a thought 🙂

    Mark Topping

  14. I must admit that I know nothing about all these theological terms like eschatology, preterism etc. Some, like postmillennialism, are self explanatory but most of it just sounds like mumbo jumbo to me. Maybe I should read up a little more on it so I know what people are talking about when they mention these terms. As I’m not up with the eschatological lingo I also have no idea what lingo I fit under when it comes to my eschatology. However, I see this as a positive because it shows that my views on end time events have come straight from the bible where such terms are not used rather as pre-digested from third party Christian sources. Not that there is anything wrong with reading third party sources (actually there’s obviously a lot of benefit from doing this) but the bible should be the sole contributor of doctrine and it should be made to interpret itself.

    I have to disagree slightly on the importance of eschatological understanding. Although I agree that it technically is not a salvation issue as it is not something we will be judged on I believe it can practically affect our salvation. Jesus warned over and over again (4 times in the olivet discourse alone) when it came to end time events to not be deceived. If deception was not a salvation issue I doubt whether Jesus would stress it so much. I believe strongly that deception when it comes to eschatology can result in someone missing out on heaven and I’d like to give two examples. If you believe in a second chance like much popular ‘left behind’ theology, this could cause you to become ill prepared for the second coming as you knew you get another chance after the rapture. If the reality is that there is no second chance you will be lost forever. I believe second chance theology is extremely dangerous. Another example is if you hold to a postmillennialist view and believe that the second coming will be preceded by a golden millennium of Christian morality. From my study of the scriptures (I don’t have the scope to go too much into it here) the Ante-Christ power will be a religious one. Part of the reason is the greek word used is ante which means ‘in the place of’ rather than directly against instead of anti as it is commonly spelled. Another reason among many is that a supposedly ‘Christian’ power is much more likely to deceive rather than a power which is in direct opposition to Jesus. If this is correct the postmillennialist may mistake the ante-Christ power for one that will bring on the golden age of Christianity and consequently receive the mark of the beast.

    Obviously eschatology can be a touchy issue but as with any issue we need to get back to the bible.

    Luke Belik

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