Osborne begins with a thorough introduction to Revelation, surveying issues that complicate interpretation, including questions of authorship, date, cultural setting, and purpose of writing. He also considers the general characteristics of apocalyptic material, including the use of symbols and figures of speech, Old Testament allusions, and the role of prophetic prediction. Osborne surveys the perennial issue of whether Revelation refers to events of the past or to events that are yet to come.
As with all volumes published in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Revelation seeks to reach a broad audience with research from a decidedly evangelical perspective. Central themes are developed throughout, and each unit is related to the overall message of the biblical book. Pastors and seminarians especially appreciate the combination of broad overview and in-depth analysis found in BECNT volumes, but the BECNT series is also popular with scholars as well as with thoughtful lay readers.