Follow the Lamb: A Guide to Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation

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6 x 9
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About the Author: 
Rob Dalrymple

Rob Dalrymple (Ph.D., Westminster Seminary) is the lead pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church, Bakersfield, CA. He is a gifted teacher and writer, having written These Brothers of Mine and Understanding Eschatology: Why It Matters and Revelation and the Two Witnesses. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Biblical Seminary, and Northern California Bible College. He is the co-chairman for the book of Revelation study group at ETS (Evangelical Theological Society).

About the Book

The book of Revelation is one of the most rewarding books to study in all Scripture. But the problem for many today is that they have no idea what the book means or how to determine what it means. Follow the Lamb goes a long way in helping the student of Revelation grasp its richness and heed its exhortations. 

Dalyrmple’s guide provides key principles in reading Revelation responsibly. The first key is that the book is about Jesus—his supremacy and sovereignty. The second key is that the language and images used in the book of Revelation derive from the Old Testament. Though many readers get caught up in the mire of John’s imagery and the exhaustive efforts to discern what the symbols mean, this principle simplifies the search for meaning.

Each chapter in Follow the Lamb concludes with an important For Further Study section, making it an ideal resource for individual or group study. These questions and exercises and reflection guides make personal application of Revelation meaningful and rich.

The book of Revelation contains an important message for the people of God, both then and now—namely, that the people of God must emulate Jesus and faithfully proclaim the kingdom of God, even to the point of death. This means they are called to “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev. 14:4). 


“According to Follow the Lamb, the book of Revelation focuses not on information about the future but on transformation in the present. Anyone who wants to understand the ‘crown jewel of the Bible’ should put down everything else and read Dalrymple’s book. From ‘the golden ticket’ for understanding Revelation—that it is about Jesus above all else—to the ‘wild world of apocalypses,’ he expertly and sensitively introduces key insights (prerequisites) for grasping the intended meaning of the Bible’s grand finale. Those who read the book of Revelation through the lenses provided in his book will be better prepared than ever to ‘follow the Lamb.’”

—Brent Sandy,  Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College; Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Grace College (retired)

“I enthusiastically recommend Dalrymple’s book Follow the Lamb. I have read all of Dalrymple’s books, and this one, without question, is one of his best. His ability to explain the text of Revelation with clarity and concision while maintaining a sound hermeneutical methodology and a robust theology all while maintaining pastoral sensitively is truly impressive. In this book, Dalrymple offers several keys for understanding the message of Revelation while avoiding the pitfalls of tunnel vision, ax grinding, and excessive speculations. He points the reader to what the text actually says as he opens up vistas showcasing the beauty and grandeur of Revelation in a panoramic framework enabling one see how the parts fit within the whole. He masterfully manages to transform the kaleidoscopic imagery of John’s vision into a telescope by which to view the glory of God, the victory of Christ, and the destiny of the people of God arrayed in splendor. As a professor who regularly reads, writes, and teaches on Revelation, I find that Dalrymple’s book strikes the right balance between hermeneutics and exposition. It represents what I look for when selecting a textbook for my students. While it is not a comprehensive introduction or commentary on Revelation, it is one of the of the most accessible explanations of what good hermeneutics looks like and how it relates to the theology, themes, and message of this climactic book of prophecy.”

—Alan S. Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek, Oklahoma Baptist University

“I often tell my students that the New Testament is ultimately an extended commentary on the Old that focuses on two things: Christ and following Christ (Christology and costly discipleship). With passion and clarity, Dalrymple demonstrates that this is true also for Revelation. His insightful book will illuminate much else about Revelation that is often misunderstood and misapplied. It deserves a wide readership.”

Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University

“Dalrymple’s Follow the Lamb is a wise and trustworthy contribution to understanding one of the New Testament’s most mysterious books. Dalrymple immerses readers in the text of Revelation from the beginning and his multi-level approach allows them to go as deep as their interests will carry them. He provides helpful overviews of the structure of the book along with exploring its literary and theological themes. Readers will also be extremely interested in the contemporary issues that continually surface throughout Follow the Lamb (e.g., justice, holy war, popular readings). I predict this book will serve as an introductory guide in many college and seminary classrooms, the book of choice in Bible study groups and church small groups, as well as a good read for individuals interested in all things apocalyptic.”

—J. Scott Duvall, Chair, Department of Biblical Studies, Ouachita Baptist University

“Christians uniformly agree that Revelation is the most difficult book in the Bible to understand. Dalrymple provides a readable and reliable guide to help readers negotiate John’s apocalyptic visions. His primary and secondary keys provide interpretative entry points to comprehend and apply the text. Revelation is also the most controversial of biblical books, and Dalrymple addresses some common abuses found in popular interpretations. His volume will both inform and challenge those with ears to hear in the church today.”

—Mark Wilson, Founder and Director, Asia Minor Research Center, Turkey


Introduction: Why You Should Master the Book of Revelation

Part 1: Primary Keys for Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation

Introduction to Part 1

Chapter 1: Christ in the Book of Revelation 

Chapter 2: The People of God as Imitators of Christ

Chapter 3: “Overcome”: Revelation’s Most Important Word

Chapter 4: Imagery and the Old Testament

Conclusion to Part 1

Part 2: Secondary Keys to Reading Revelation Effectively

Introduction to Part 2

Chapter 5: John’s Use of Numbers

Chapter 6: Understanding Genre and Revelation

Conclusion to Part 2

Part 3: Reading Revelation as Literature

Introduction to Part 3

Chapter 7: Inclusios: Structure and the Book of Revelation

Chapter 8: Repetition: Structure and the Book of Revelation

Chapter 9: Reading Revelation as a Story

Conclusion to Part 3

Part 4: Issues and Themes in Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation

Introduction to Part 4

Chapter 10: Revelation and Dualism

Chapter 11: Revelation and Symbolism

Chapter 12: Revelation and Holy War

Chapter 13: Revelation and Justice 

Conclusion to Part 4


Appendix 1: Symbolism and the Popular Understanding of Revelation

Appendix 2: The Nature of Language in Scripture in General and Prophecy in Particular

Appendix 3: Evangelicals and Armageddon

Appendix 4: Is Revelation about the End of the World?


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