Here’s a simple list of some of the book resources I am personally familiar with. The first two get straight to the topic of interpreting Revelation from a historicist perspective. The next two are not written with prophecy interpretation in mind but they will pad out some truly vital understanding of Church history – if we don’t know where we’ve come from we can’t possibly hope to understand where we are heading! I’ve also included two books that delve deeply into the mysteries of the papacy. And finally, a superb reference book, which outlines all four main views of the Book of Revelation.
His Waiting Bride
Edgar F Parkyns
An outline of Church history in the light of the Book of Revelation
This book, published in 1996, is actually a transcription of a series of spoken messages given by Edgar Parkyns in the previous decade. Acknowledgement for transcribing and editing the book go to Robert and Carol Betts. The series of messages roll church history and a historicists’ perspective of the Book of Revelation into one narrative. There is therefore exposition followed by chunks – sometimes large portions – of pertinent history. If you are not overly familiar with either church history or the historic view of Revelation this book will provide an excellent overall understanding of these topics and connect to dots.
The Present Reign of Jesus Christ
A historical interpretation of the Book of Revelation
Published 1995-2017. An up to date, easy to read presentation of the historic interpretation of Revelation. The book format is mostly a straight verse by verse approach, making all of the central information fairly plain to understand. Unlike the above book, which doesn’t add much at all about the subject of the ‘Millennium’, this book weaves the author’s ‘Amillennial’ stance along the way – hence the title even. It is my understanding that the majority of Historicists have been more inclined to a ‘Premillennial’ viewpoint, but in any case the main flow of interpreting the events of history up to the present time is unaffected by this.
The Pilgrim Church
E H Broadbent
Tracing the pathway of the forgotten saints from Pentecost to the twentieth century
If you’ve never read much, or a comprehensive overview, of Church history then this is the book I would personally, very highly recommend. Its scope is from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) through to the early twentieth century. There are two things that make this book special among Church history books. Firstly, many of the materials and resources drawn upon by the author in his time are not readily available today (it was first published in 1931). Secondly, the author makes it his stated aim to seek out and delve into accounts and records outside of the ‘official’ documents, often written by the institutional churches.
The Torch of the Testimony
John W Kennedy
This book was originally published in India in 1964 and is little known in the western world. Beginning in the first century John Kennedy traces the history of Christian groups who remained outside formalized religion down through the ages. A stirring, passionate and sometimes heart-rending story of suffering and to the centrality of Christ within the Body of Christ. In short, in many ways this book is a scaled down version of The Pilgrim Church but with the author’s own thought provoking commentary.
The Two Babylons
Papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife
This book has been reissued many times. Its first publication was in 1916. The edition I read was printed in 1965. The title has one of those old lengthy subtitles underneath it: “Or, the Papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife.” I guess this subtitle about sums it up. The author carefully examines the various elements of Roman Catholicism and concludes in each case that it has its foundation in the mystery religion and practises of ancient Babylon. Mitres, robes, candles, rosaries, festivals and more are traced.
Ronald N Cooke
The Reformed & Puritan view of The Antichrist
A weighty and thorough tome dedicated to the single topic of the identification of The Antichrist. This book explains the views of individuals and church groups down through history – from the early Church Fathers to the modern era. The author shows that although a varied range of thought has existed down the centuries by the time of the Reformation, and up until the mid 19th century, a universal understanding of this topic was agreed upon. Having clearly and unequivocally identified the ‘man of sin’ the book proceeds a little farther into other papal teachings such as: the mass, purgatory, worship of Mary etc.
Revelation ~ Four Views
A parallel commentary
Revelation, Four Views, by Steve Gregg, provides a parallel commentary on all of the four major interpretations of the Book of Revelation without any apparent bias. Background information, origins, sources, pros and cons are all provided in introductions and side-by-side analysis. This is not only a great resource for studying The Revelation but in my view a great object lesson in Bible study in general. The four views included are: Preterism, Futurism, Historicism and Idealism. A highly valuable reference resource.