The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

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Ben C. Smith
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The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:32 am

Here is a somewhat comprehensive list of Jewish and Christian apocalypses gleaned from M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament; J. K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation; and R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, along with my own assessment (in agreement with virtually all modern scholars) as to the veracity of the assignment of each vision to the figure named in the title:

Title of Apocalypse
Written by Named Seer?
Apocalypses of Enoch (1, 2, 3, 4 Enoch)No
Assumption of MosesNo
Ascension of IsaiahNo
Apocalypses of Baruch (2, 3 Baruch)No
Book of DanielNo
Apocalypse of Ezra (4 Ezra)No
Sibylline OraclesNo
Apocalypse of the VirginNo
Apocalypse of PeterNo
Apocalypse of ThomasNo
Questions of BartholomewNo
Apocalypse of PaulNo
Apocalypse of StephenNo
Apocalypse of John??

The issue is that last item on the list: the apocalypse of John. My preferred answer to the question at hand is the same as for the rest of the texts: no.

To the objection that the John in the title was not well known enough to merit his own apocalypse, I respond that the text must have received its title at a point at or after which the John said to have lived in Asia (however legendary, historical, or composite) had become famous; giving an apocalypse to this figure, then, is no different than giving an apocalypse to Thomas or to Paul. Rather than to some otherwise unknown seer named John, the text ascribes itself to that John, the John of ecclesiastical legend.

Do some of the contents of this apocalypse seem too early? Very well, then, they are traditional materials taken over by the real author. The hypothesis that this text is fundamentally a Jewish apocalypse which has been redacted by a Christian has a long and illustrious scholarly history; and some of the problems might admit of other solutions anyway.

What arguments might be marshaled against this one? Are there good reasons for supposing that this one apocalypse, alone out of seemingly all apocalypses, bears the name of its actual author?

Ben.
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Giuseppe
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:59 am

Are there good reasons for supposing that this one apocalypse, alone out of seemingly all apocalypses, bears the name of its actual author?
A good reason found by Couchoud, in short:

John the Pillar and his brother were called boanerghes by the author of the first gospel because at least the name of John was already connected with the book of Revelation, in particular with the will of massacre from heaven. I am referring here to the John who wanted the fire descend on the Samaritains. He would be the same author of Revelation having the fire going from his mouth (I go to memory).
Obviously, only a nucleus of the book comes from that John (the Pillar). Not the incipit to the 7 churchs.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:42 am

The fact that so many ancient witnesses ascribe Cerinthus as the author of this text doesn't mean Cerinthus wrote it but that there was compelling reasons to doubt Johannine authorship.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:57 am

Hi, here I have an anaysis of the identity of the author of john's gospel and the author of Revelation:
http://historical-jesus.info/jnorig.html then "find" on about authorship

Here I have an anaysis of the identity of the author of Revelation:
http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html then "find" on c) authorship

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:06 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:32 am
Do some of the contents of this apocalypse seem too early? Very well, then, they are traditional materials taken over by the real author. The hypothesis that this text is fundamentally a Jewish apocalypse which has been redacted by a Christian has a long and illustrious scholarly history; and some of the problems might admit of other solutions anyway.

What arguments might be marshaled against this one? Are there good reasons for supposing that this one apocalypse, alone out of seemingly all apocalypses, bears the name of its actual author?

Ben.
In my book, How John Wrote the Book of Revelation: From Concept to Publication https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... pg=GBS.PR1 I show 97% of the book of Revelation is derived through parallel formation from the Hebrew Scriptures following a simple process for each step of the way. The methodology is based upon the concept that the Biblical writers not only wrote Hebrew Poetry within the text but they used the process of writing Hebrew Poetry to copy the text from external texts. This is why Ezekiel chapter 1 is portrayed in reverse order in Revelation chapter 4. It also assumes that when a parallel is formed it is formed perfect. When a new parallel is formed the earlier parallel is malformed. If we can identify the cause of a parallel being malformed then we can produce a logical order of construction. I call this process Genetic Literary Reconstruction (GLR). If you are interested in a summary of how Revelation was composed here is a PDF version of my first chapter (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QLNLgG ... dz-3v/view)

The process works in the Hebrew Scriptures such as but not limited to:
  • Genesis-Exodus.
  • Exodus chapters 19 to the end of the book-Ezekiel (the two sections form a simple parallel).
  • Ezekiel and chapters 6 to 29 of Isaiah were written ( the two sections form a simple parallel).
The process of writing was used in the Christian Scriptures as well, such as but not limited to:
  • Matthew and Luke use of Mark (form a simple parallel).
  • Matthew and Luke use of Q (form a simple parallel).
  • Luke-Acts form a simple parallel.
In my analysis, the first draft of Revelation, was written to contain Jesus in it. With that said, all descriptions of Jesus was derived from text found in Isaiah 6 to 29. How ever, it must be noted that there is nothing in Revelation that would suggest that the author knew anything of the Gospels or the stories found in the Gospels.

klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:36 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:32 am
Here is a somewhat comprehensive list of Jewish and Christian apocalypses gleaned from M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament; J. K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation; and R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, along with my own assessment (in agreement with virtually all modern scholars) as to the veracity of the assignment of each vision to the figure named in the title:

Title of Apocalypse
Written by Named Seer?
Apocalypses of Enoch (1, 2, 3, 4 Enoch)No
Assumption of MosesNo
Ascension of IsaiahNo
Apocalypses of Baruch (2, 3 Baruch)No
Book of DanielNo
Apocalypse of Ezra (4 Ezra)No
Sibylline OraclesNo
Apocalypse of the VirginNo
Apocalypse of PeterNo
Apocalypse of ThomasNo
Questions of BartholomewNo
Apocalypse of PaulNo
Apocalypse of StephenNo
Apocalypse of John??

The issue is that last item on the list: the apocalypse of John. My preferred answer to the question at hand is the same as for the rest of the texts: no.
The reason why someone is mentioned has to do more with the source text than anything else.

The book of Revelation contains elements from the whole of Ezekiel. In the first draft, Revelation is copying from Ezekiel and John is used as the new Ezekiel. Here is a PDF of the draft: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... sp=sharing which illustrates the Ezekiel / John connection.

Ezekiel is exiled (Eze 1:1-3) John is exiled (Rev 1:9)
On a certain day Ezekiel is called (Eze 1:2-3). On the Lord's day John is called (Rev 1:10).
Ezekiel before the throne of God (Ezek 1:5-28) John before the throne of God (Rev 4:2-6)
Ezekiel eats a scroll (Ezek 2:9-3:3) John eats a scroll (Rev 10:2, 9-11)
Ezekiel describes the vision of the City of God (Ezek 40:2-11; 47:1, 12, 48:16, 31-34). John describes his vision of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:3-22:2)

Last edited by klewis on Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bernard Muller
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:35 pm

However, it must be noted that there is nothing in Revelation that would suggest that the author knew anything of the Gospels or the stories found in the Gospels.
From http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html

It is likely the Christian additions were made with knowledge of GMatthew:
Mt24:30 "... and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven ..."
Rev1:7 "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him [from GJohn?]. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. ..."
Nowhere else in 'Revelation' Christ's coming (14:1, 19:11, 20:4, 21:2) is associated with clouds.
Another passage (of the Christian additions) apparently drawn from GMatthew:
Mt24:43-44 "... if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched ... Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (also in Lk12:39-40)
Rev3:3b "Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you."
Furthermore, among the gospels, only in GMatthew the resurrected Jesus has his own throne at some day of Judgment (Mt19:28,25:31). In Rev3:21a, Christ will also have his own (but before, (as the Lamb) he shares God's throne: Rev3:21b). And let's notice Rev20:4 makes allowance for Christ and his disciples to judge from their thrones (as in Mt19:28).

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:30 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:35 pm
However, it must be noted that there is nothing in Revelation that would suggest that the author knew anything of the Gospels or the stories found in the Gospels.
From http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html

It is likely the Christian additions were made with knowledge of GMatthew:
Mt24:30 "... and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven ..."
Rev1:7 "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him [from GJohn?]. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. ..."
Nowhere else in 'Revelation' Christ's coming (14:1, 19:11, 20:4, 21:2) is associated with clouds.
Another passage (of the Christian additions) apparently drawn from GMatthew:
Mt24:43-44 "... if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched ... Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (also in Lk12:39-40)
Rev3:3b "Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you."
Furthermore, among the gospels, only in GMatthew the resurrected Jesus has his own throne at some day of Judgment (Mt19:28,25:31). In Rev3:21a, Christ will also have his own (but before, (as the Lamb) he shares God's throne: Rev3:21b). And let's notice Rev20:4 makes allowance for Christ and his disciples to judge from their thrones (as in Mt19:28).

Cordially, Bernard
So Revelation 1:7 cannot be derived from Zechariah 12:10 because it is found in Matthew? How do we know that Matthew was John's source and not a common phrase communicated by Christians. For example, much of Matthew is derived from Mark and Q and if we did not have Mark or a means of determining Q, would they be the sole product of Matthew?

Since Revelation follows Zechariah 1:1 to 12:10 backwards (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WpWPIk ... sp=sharing ). It is likely that John would not have a need for Matthew. The smoking gun is how John integrated Zechariah chapters 3 and 4 into Revelation 11 & 12 using the 42 month, 1260 day, and 3 1/2 day parallel. The other citations have similar Hebrew Scripture parallel formations.

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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by davidmartin » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:45 pm

klewis, interesting but could you identify the parts that don't derive from the OT
how about the book of life, tree of life (is it mentioned outside Genesis?), woman standing on the moon, hell, or are there too many to list?
I had a feeling it was composed of several documents, conceivably one of these may date back to a real John and the later editor reworked this into something that because of the earlier association kept the name.

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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:15 pm

klewis,
My parallel of Revelation 1:7 with GMatthew is a lot more closer than with Zec 12:10:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
or with Zec 12:1-12 read backward.
Mt24:30 "... and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven ..."
Rev1:7 "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him [from GJohn?]. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. ..."
It is very obvious Rev 1:7 is drawn from GMatthew.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

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