Book Write-Up: Revelation and the Antichrist, by William Edward Dewberry

William Edward Dewberry.  Revelation and the Antichrist: A Commentary.  WestBow Press, 2012.  See here to buy the book.

William Edward Dewberry was a data communications technician at AT&T and is currently retired.  This book, Revelation and the Antichrist, is a commentary on the Book of Revelation.

Overall, the prose of this book is well-written.  It flows smoothly, and there is no stylistic awkwardness that I can recall.

There is a lot of regurgitating of what the biblical text says accompanied by fairly obvious homiletical commentary.  You will not find much in here about, say, the identity of the Antichrist.  But there are interesting interpretations, here and there.  Dewberry states that Satan is confined to the Abyss right now and has been there since the ascension of Christ, but he will be released in the end times, causing such mayhem as the Antichrist.  He interprets the Temple as the persecuted church of God, and the two witnesses as the church’s proclamation with the word and the Spirit of God.  In a rare attempt to interpret details of Revelation in light of the book’s historical context, Dewberry states that the white stone promised to the church at Pergamum is a white stone communicating a verdict of innocence, which existed in first century courts.  God is declaring the suffering church at Pergamum innocent.

The book is a combination of a variety of perspectives.  When Christ says that he is showing John what will shortly come to pass or affirms that he will come quickly, Dewberry interprets that to mean that, when Christ does return, it will be rapidly.  No first century expectations of an imminent end there.  Dispensationalists have argued similarly about the Book of Revelation.  Dewberry interprets the letters to the seven churches as related to the first century, and the rest of the book as related to the future end time.  His interpretation of the millennium leans towards the amillennial side.

Whether the book is convincing in terms of its interpretations, that is up to the reader.  I can somewhat sympathize Dewberry’s claim that Satan is currently in the Abyss and will be released at the end time.  Revelation does appear to depict a particularly heightened time of Satanic deception and torment of people, and tormenting spirits do emerge from underground in the Book of Revelation.  At the same time, to say that Satan is currently confined to the Abyss is a bit problematic, as Revelation 12:10 seems to depict him accusing the brethren day and night, which would take place in heaven.  Moreover, there are New Testament passages that depict Satan as active on earth during the time of the first century church.  Dewberry’s interpretation of the Temple as the church rather than as a future, literal reconstructed Temple is plausible.  This claim may have been more interesting, however, had Dewberry explained what II Thessalonians 2:4 means when it says that the man of sin will sit in the Temple of God claiming to be God; will he come from the church?

A lot of Dewberry’s interpretive moves are assertions rather than arguments.  In a sense, a lot of interpretation of the Book of Revelation, in general, can be speculative, but perhaps Dewberry’s book would have been more interesting had it had more exegetical meat, or engaged different perspectives.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  My review is honest.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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