Victory through the Lamb: A Guide to Revelation in Plain Language


The book introduces Christians to the book of Revelation through a thematic study of one of its key themes: victory. Running counter to Revelation’s prevailing interpretation, it proposes that Christians, represented by the audience in the Seven Churches, have been in tribulation since the first century and that Revelation was written to help Christians be victorious over the challenges of life. Each chapter opens with an account of martyrdom. The final account tells the story of the three believers in Malatya, ...

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Victory through the Lamb: A Guide to Revelation in Plain Language

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The book introduces Christians to the book of Revelation through a thematic study of one of its key themes: victory. Running counter to Revelation’s prevailing interpretation, it proposes that Christians, represented by the audience in the Seven Churches, have been in tribulation since the first century and that Revelation was written to help Christians be victorious over the challenges of life. Each chapter opens with an account of martyrdom. The final account tells the story of the three believers in Malatya, Turkey, who were brutally killed in 2007. The book is dedicated to the three. The volume also features a new translation of Revelation by the author, a scholar who has worked on Revelation for over two decades and who lives in the land of the Seven Churches—Turkey.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“If you are looking for first-rate evangelical scholarship on the book of Revelation in clear, non-technical language, you can do no better than Mark Wilson’s Victory through the Lamb. Through his extensive training in biblical scholarship and his experience living in Turkey, God has prepared Mark in unique ways to help the church understand this final book of the Bible. Two contributions of the book stand out. First, Mark offers a fresh English translation of the Greek text of Revelation. And second, he unpacks the relevance of Revelation for Christians enduring persecution, both past and present. So much of what has been written on Revelation for the church actually prepares believers to escape tribulation when Jesus himself made it clear that we should prepare to persevere through tribulation (e.g., John 16:33). Victory through the Lamb presents the best of biblical scholarship in clear and powerful language. I will recommend it widely. Thank you, Mark, for your gift to the body of Christ.”

—J. Scott Duvall, Chair of Department of Biblical Studies, and Professor of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University

“This is a great book with rich insights, and I am going to have to reread it! The two best compliments I can give a book or commentary on the book of Revelation is to say it is readable and insightful. This is very accurate of Mark Wilson's new book on Revelation. He connected so many different dots for me in a book that can be very confusing to understand. In every chapter I found myself saying, ‘Huh, never thought about it that way before.’ Mark's insights are driven by a deep study of the book of Revelation and its many connections with the rest of the Bible as well as from the perspective of someone who has lived in Turkey for many years and understands the nuances of the symbolism.”

—Jackson Crum, Lead Pastor, Park Community Church, Chicago

“Living in Turkey, the land to which the book of Revelation was written, Mark Wilson is well-placed to bridge the gap between ancient and modern readers. Emphasizing the themes of witness, tribulation, and victory, he shows how John’s call to faithful witness is as relevant today as two thousand years ago. The Lamb has been victorious, and those who persevere in loyal devotion to him will be victorious through him. Wilson has written a sane, readable, and relevant guide for all who seek to thus follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”

—Bernard Bell, Pastor of Biblical Studies, Peninsula Bible Church, Cupertino, CA

“In an age when many Christians prefer to deny Christian suffering and persecution while others face it as a daily reality, Mark Wilson brings a biblical perspective in his new book. Christians everywhere are called to follow Christ and share in his sufferings. The hope for the church doesn't lie in a better world but in the victory of the Lamb, who will return to establish the kingdom of God in all its fullness. Wilson successfully unravels the mysteries of the book of Revelation, challenges our thinking, and brings hope to those who are suffering.”

—Benjamin van Rensburg, Pastor, Union Church of Istanbul, Turkey

“I’ve read numerous books on the Revelation over the years, but none has conveyed the Revelation’s original purpose for me as well as Wilson’s new book. He uncaps the high-octane encouragement that the Revelation was meant to give, and he doesn’t dilute it with the ethanol of overly detailed explanation. I commend Victory through the Lamb to anyone who would like a deeper appreciation not of the technicalities, but of the tenacity of faith that the Revelation was meant to inspire.”

—James Bultema, Pastor, St. Paul Union Church, Antalya, Turkey

“In Victory through the Lamb, Mark Wilson draws upon his breadth of understanding of first-century history, his depth of understanding of the geography of western Anatolia, and his personal experience of having lived for many years in modern Turkey to illuminate the book of Revelation. For those of us who struggle to understand the often cryptic symbolism of this apocalypse, there is much to be learned from this volume. Even for those who might employ alternate interpretive frameworks from those suggested here, many illuminating moments will occur as they read Wilson’s book. The martyr stories at the beginning of each chapter aid in placing the reader into the correct frame of mind for interpreting Revelation. There is a reason, after all, that John's apocalypse has been such an encouragement for people suffering for the name of Christ throughout history. I heartily recommend this book both for those who will agree with its main conclusions as well as for those who will not.”

—Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

“How rare it is for a biblical scholar to speak in the language of everyman, to unearth the treasures of his life’s work for all who are willing to see Scripture in new perspective. Mark Wilson has done just this. Writing for the non-expert, he shows us the book of Revelation in light of first-century history and the power of Old Testament imagery and so defies trendy interpretations to help us see what we are meant to see: a grand unveiling of Jesus Christ to the church of all ages.”

—Stephen Mansfield, President, The Mansfield Group

“Mark Wilson offers a refreshing voice to intimidating subject matter. His devotion to the western Turkey and his exploration of Revelation within the first-century Roman context make Victory through The Lamb both interesting and inspiring.”

—Jeff Manion, Senior Teaching Pastor, Ada Bible Church (MI)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781941337011
  • Publisher: Weaver Book Company
  • Publication date: 10/1/2014
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., South Africa) is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey, a country in which he and his wife Dindy have lived since 2004. He serves as Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University, Associate Professor Extraordinary of New Testament at Stellenbosch University, and Research Fellow in Biblical Archaeology at the University of South Africa. He is the English editor of the Turkish archaeological journals Adalya and Anmed. He also blogs for the online Bible History Daily. He is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews including a commentary on Revelation (Zondervan), Charts of the Book of Revelation (Kregel), The Victor Sayings in the Book of Revelation (Wipf & Stock), and Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor (Ege Yay?lar?). Wilson is a member of twelve academic societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Theological Association, the Institute of Biblical Research, and the New Testament Society of South Africa. His particular research interests are the ancient Jewish communities, Roman roads, and biblical history in Turkey. He has been married to Dindy for forty years. They have four adult children, four granddaughters, and four grandsons.
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Read an Excerpt

From the Preface

The premise of this book is a simple one: Christians have and always will suffer tribulation until Jesus returns at his second coming. I am aware that this view runs against the grain of much contemporary teaching on the subject. Because of many popular books, novels, and movies about the end times released in recent years, the expectation of many Christians in North America and beyond is that they will be taken out—raptured—before the Tribulation. But this is not the teaching of Scripture or the experience of the church. Two thousand years ago John had a vision while exiled on the island of Patmos. This vision, written to Christians in seven cities of the Roman province of Asia (modern Turkey), continues to impact our world today. Its central message is that believers can overcome the tribulations of life, even persecution and martyrdom, because of the victory won by the Lamb of God. Despite John’s use of complicated symbols and abstract language, this core message is developed chapter by chapter throughout Revelation. This book seeks to present that message in an understandable way to all believers rather than just to scholars.

I have been teaching the book of Revelation for over two decades in various contexts—Sunday School classes, university and seminary classrooms, and church seminars. I have also written or edited five books dealing with Revelation and its history. The uniform feedback of my students is that Revelation is the most difficult book in the Bible to understand. It is also the most controversial because of the numerous theories, even abuses, of interpretation that have developed. Within my lifetime its apocalyptic visions have been used to predict the end of the world in 1988, 2000, and, most recently, in 2011. Of course, planet earth is still here, the church has not been raptured, and Jesus has not returned. Approaching Revelation as a kind of biblical crystal ball for reading current events in the media was not John’s intention. Rather it was to help Christians get through the daily struggles of life that they were facing.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Victory in the Seven Churches (1:1–3:22)

Chapter 2: Victory of the Lamb (4:1–5:14)

Chapter 3: Victory of the Large Multitude (6:1–9:21)

Chapter 4: Victory of the Two Witnesses (10:1–11:19)

Chapter 5: Victory of the Male Child, the Woman, and her Offspring (12:1–17)

Chapter 6: Victory over the Beasts (13:1–18)

Chapter 7: Victory of the 144,000 and the Harvest of the Victors (14:1–20)

Chapter 8: Victory in the Song of Moses and of the Lamb (15:1–16:21)

Chapter 9: Victory over Mystery Babylon (17:1–19:10)

Chapter 10: Victory over the Lamb’s Enemies (19:11–20:15)

Chapter 11: Victory in the New Heaven and New Earth (21:1–22:5)

Chapter 12: Victory at Jesus’ Second Coming (22:6–21)

Afterword: In the Presence of Martyrs

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