The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook

By John F. Walvoord
Wheaton : Victor (1990). 809 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Richard Mayhue
4.1 (Spring 1993) : 118-119

For decades, John Walvoord has been recognized as the dean of dispensationally oriented premillennialists because of his vast writings on the subject. This volume represents a compilation of all Scripture prophecies in one volume. Its chief value is not found in a complete exegesis and/or thorough exposition of every passage, but rather in the fact that it is a one-volume comprehensive summary of prophetic material, readily available for reference by anyone, whether layman, pastor, or scholar.

Walvoord provides fifteen chapters with over six hundred pages of identification and brief explanation. Of even greater value to the busy pastor will be Appendixes A and B which summarize the first fifteen chapters. Appendix A covers all of the OT prophecies from Gen 2:16-17 to Malachi 4:5 (648-713). Appendix B overviews the NT from Luke 1:13 to Rev 22:20 (716-769). The topical and Scripture indexes are thorough.

Sixteen charts appear throughout the book. Some of the more helpful include those on the millennial temple (201, 203, 205), the predicted order of prophetic events related to Israel (382), the predicted events relating to the nations (400), the predicted events related to the church (422), the major divine judgements (468), and the major events of unfulfilled prophecy (551).

Many will be surprised by or not prepared for what Walvoord labels the "Period of Preparation." This phase occurs after the rapture, but before the beginning of Daniel's 70th week. He refers to it on pp. 385, 485, 550-51. He writes,

Immediately after the rapture of the church, there will be a time period which may be called a period of preparation. In this period there will emerge a ten-nation group forming a political unit in the Middle East. A leader will emerge who will gain control first of three then of all ten (cf. Dan. 7:8, 24-25). From this position of power he will be able to enter into a covenant with Israel, bringing to rest a relationship of Israel to her neighbors (9:27), and begin the final seven-year countdown culminating in the Second Coming (550).

While certainly possible in terms of its timing, this period is not necessary. Many, including this reviewer, suggest that these events will develop prior to the rapture and will be in position to launch Daniel's 70th week at the time of the rapture

. Other intramural points of disagreement with Walvoord's book are possible, but on the whole, it is an eminently useful handbook to identify a vast amount of information on the prophetic Scriptures. It will greatly expand minds of laymen who have no in-depth knowledge of biblical prophecy. It will also save an immense amount of time for pastors when used as a tool to deal with sizable amounts of data in small periods of sermon-preparation time.