The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

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klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:54 pm

davidmartin wrote:
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.
Wow, that is a lot of questions in a short paragraph.

First, things first, don't think of Revelation, or for that matter any large book in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures composed in one single sitting. Second, don't think in terms of a single passage being derived from a single source, but think of it as a process. With that in mind, the tree of life first came into the book of Revelation during the first draft which I call the Ezekiel-Isaiah draft (see page 62 in https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... uSXCx/view). As you can see it came from Ezekiel 47:12. As later texts were added and internal parallel formations came about, it became much more refined.

There is nothing in the process in which I can conclude that there were multiple authors. Parallel formation is a messy process in which lots of in-congruent texts are rammed together. For example, John provides two different descriptions of the New Jerusalem where as one is derived from Ezekiel and the other from Isaiah (see pages 62 and 63 in https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... uSXCx/view). He kept both of them in there because they form parallels with other sections in Revelation. For example the Alpha and Omega parallels which is derived from the Isaiah text becomes malformed through other processes which I discuss in my book (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/14MAHAc ... sp=sharing). However, once you see the process in action then it is easy to see how they are so different from each other.

As for what is unique and what is copy, I can only mention what is different from the text and the drafts. Since I don't know all that was written at the time I cannot speak to that. How ever, certain tuning of numbers, and specifics, are made to represent changes in time such as the four chariots in Zechariah 6:1-8 become the four horsemen in Revelation 6:1-8. That was done to reflect the times have change and chariots were only good for racing and not for war. In the Ezekiel draft attachment you can see that the gem stones were added to reflect the value of the day (see page 62 in https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... uSXCx/view).

In actuality there are few places in Revelation that is unique, specific numbers, such as 666, 10 days in the letter to the church in Smyrna, and the 42 months, 1260 day, 3 1/2 days were not from the original source but was change to reflect the story line John wanted to convey. Most people point out the thousand years in Revelation 20 as on such example. That was part of the writing process, in which John is trying to depict 1000 years if Israel before the destruction of Jerusalem and a second destruction. I feel that this part of the story was not working for him as well as us today.

It is funny, at 300+ pages, I did leave out a few parallels, one from Tacitus. I do include five separate approximation drafts similar to the one plastered all over this post. The book goes in the order in which it was written so you will get to see the process in action. Each of the chapters I go into how John solved various parallel formation problems and how he created new ones.

Please feel free to ask more questions.

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:00 pm

klewis wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:06 am
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.
To relate back to the OP, do you think that this apocalypse was written by a guy named John? Or do you think it was written in the name of somebody else named John?
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klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:37 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:00 pm
klewis wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:06 am
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.
To relate back to the OP, do you think that this apocalypse was written by a guy named John? Or do you think it was written in the name of somebody else named John?
I don't even know how to answer the question without saying that the possibilities are endless and not discussed by anyone. Here are just a few possibilities:
  • It could be because the author was commissioned by a church leader, named John, to write the apocalypse. Think of it as a end times minister with a ghost writer in today's fundamentalist world.
  • It could have been written by a student learning the writing style and the student used someone who they are familiar with as the main character.
  • It could have been a someone believing they had a vision from John, who died, and the process he (or she) wrote was the vision they are trying to convey.
  • It could have been a pen name in which someone wanted to bolster their views while not having a direct connection with the composition of the work.
  • It could have been a Jewish scribe who converted to Christianity after the destruction of Jerusalem and used 'John' as a the guy who would show the error of the Jewish people for the rebellion.
The reality is, that anyone who think they know who is the author, is making it up or following someone who who is making it up. I use the name John because that is the name used in the book. This is no different then me referring to Mark Twain as the author when his real name is Samuel Clemens or some Actor stage name verses their real name.

I keep it simple, I just deal with the composition of the book. In so doing, I can demonstrate the process in which the whole was written in a way that can be repeated by others. The same process can be used for many other writings in the Hebrew and Christian writings which reinforces its validity.

andrewcriddle
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:30 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.

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.
IF one holds:
a/ that the Apocalypse of John is a (late) 1st century CE work
b/ that the attribution to John is not a 2nd century addition to the text
Then it seems unlikely that a very late 1st century writer would write in the name of a John who presumably died after the middle of the 1st century.

In general Apocalypses are written pseudonymously out of a belief that the time of prophecy is past. The very late 1st century seems too early for this position to be widespread among Christians.

IF the Apocalypse is 2nd century or only later attributed to John then the attribution is presumably pseudonymous,

Andrew Criddle

davidmartin
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by davidmartin » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:46 am

Please feel free to ask more questions.
Thankyou for the information
I do have one question, where it has "you have given them blood to drink as they deserve"
is this future prophecy or a commentary on the present?
could it not be seen as a pejorative against Pauline blood / wine sacrament by the more Judaic faction of the church, with the persecution mentioned being of the recent past?
because, correct me if i'm wrong, a blood / wine sacrament being *original* to Christianity, ie in Israel churches would have been a no-no, so it kind of makes sense Rev. might be against it

klewis
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by klewis » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:07 am

davidmartin wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:46 am

Thankyou for the information
I do have one question, where it has "you have given them blood to drink as they deserve"
is this future prophecy or a commentary on the present?
could it not be seen as a pejorative against Pauline blood / wine sacrament by the more Judaic faction of the church, with the persecution mentioned being of the recent past?
because, correct me if i'm wrong, a blood / wine sacrament being *original* to Christianity, ie in Israel churches would have been a no-no, so it kind of makes sense Rev. might be against it
I try not to deal with interpretation of the book of Revelation. I try to stay within the swim-lane that I am most comfortable. I also provide a fairly exhaustive study of how I derived my thoughts and likewise how to invalidate it.

Originally, the harlot in Revelation 17 was derived from Ezekiel 16:10-34 and represented Jerusalem as a harlot drinking the blood of God's people (see page 54 in https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... sp=sharing). The women in Revelation 12 is depicted as the faithful who brought forth Jesus.

Later, Revelation 17 was attached to Revelation 18 and was lumped together as Babylon / Rome. The wine and blood that the women drink is the counter part of the wine and blood press that becomes the wrath of God in Rev 14:14 - 16:21. The story of the harlot drinking the blood in Revelation 17, and the blood that turned into the wrath of God in Revelation 15 is the same story told from different perspectives.

Revelation, from the earliest draft interjected many Christian symbols into it. For example the account of Isaiah's encounter with God is the same as what we find in Revelation 5 except it is Jesus' blood that cleanses believers of sins instead of the coal that removes Isaiah's iniquity (see page 40 in https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... sp=sharing). Another example is how Jesus is depicted in the letter to the church in Philadelphia (see page 55 in the same document linked). I feel that what most people argue that Revelation was originally a Jewish document hijacked by one, or more, Christian(s) is that the source material that the vast majority of Revelation is derived from is from the Hebrew Bible. The process in which everything is written in Revelation is Hebrew Poetry. Even the "Christian additions" are a product of parallel formation which is consistent with everywhere else identified as Jewish. From my position, that is a tough burden to overcome.




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

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:43 am

Did anyone read my two analysese?
Or for some reason, people on this forum made a point to ignore my partipation?
Can my credibility be considered near zero?
Here I have an analysis 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 analysis of the identity of the author of Revelation:
http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html then "find" on c) authorship
Of course, I would love that my two posted web pages be read entirely.

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 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:09 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:43 am
Did anyone read my two analysese?
Or for some reason, people on this forum made a point to ignore my partipation?
Can my credibility be considered near zero?
Here I have an analysis 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 analysis of the identity of the author of Revelation:
http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html then "find" on c) authorship
Of course, I would love that my two posted web pages be read entirely.

Cordially, Bernard
Bernard,

Yes, I have read it, and to be frank it is very terse. When you extract all the content out of it, i.e. your analysis, it is about 10 pages or more pages. No where do you make references to sources from the original text in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example you say this about Revelation chapter 4:
God's Court in Heaven

2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
[everything and everybody look very physical in heaven]

3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting,

Note: there is no mention here of the twelve apostles seated on heavenly thrones as in Mt19:28b. Actually, in the complete (Christian) 'Revelation', no apostle is said to be in heaven and, contrary to Mt19:28b, none of them judges anyone. The assumption that the 'twenty-four' includes the twelve apostles, plus the twelve tribal patriarchs would leave out the like of Moses, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham!
(Note: in the gospels, this foursome is suggested to be alive: Mk9:4, Mt8:11,17:3, Lk9:30,13:28)
But, from the point of view of an ex-priest, the twenty-four elders, as representatives for each of the original twenty-four courses of priests servicing the temple, make a lot of sense! (Ref: 1Chronicles 24, Josephus' Ant., VII, XIV, 7)
` clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
5 And from the throne proceeded lightning, thundering, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning [there is air in heaven!] before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
[and no mention of the Holy Spirit, as would be expected from a Christian writer]

6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.
[probably refer to the top of the vault (or firmament) over the earth: see Genesis1:6-8. Also in 1Enoch18:3 "And I saw how the winds stretch out the vaults of heaven," and Job22:14 RSV "Thick clouds enwrap him [God], so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.'"]
` And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"
[the mythical creatures can talk! Also notice "is to come", referring to God's coming on earth (as in chapters 21-22)]

9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."

Yet, if you have read every scholarly commentary on Revelation 4, you will see lots of references to Ezekiel 1. However, now where do you cite Ezekiel as a source. This is not something simply limited to your work in Revelation 4, but it is this way through out your work.

Yet, you claim that no one reads your work, lets turn the table, have you read my work?

I challenge you to read page 38 of https://drive.google.com/file/d/12JZcor ... uSXCx/view and explain to me, why chapter 4 of Revelation was not derived from Ezekiel chapter 1?

I have in an earlier post, pointed out how Revelation imports Zechariah :1:1 to 12:10 and provided an illustration to that. Did you even look at the PDF? How does the section covering Revelation chapters 11 & 12 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WpWPIk ... sqTHo/view) compare to yours?

So it may appear that I am ignoring you, yet, I doubt you have even compared your research with any scholarly commentary or other work.

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:10 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:30 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.

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.
IF one holds:
a/ that the Apocalypse of John is a (late) 1st century CE work
b/ that the attribution to John is not a 2nd century addition to the text
Then it seems unlikely that a very late 1st century writer would write in the name of a John who presumably died after the middle of the 1st century.

In general Apocalypses are written pseudonymously out of a belief that the time of prophecy is past. The very late 1st century seems too early for this position to be widespread among Christians.
I think we can safely rule out the possibility that the author thinks the time of prophecy is past:

Daniel 12.4: 4 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the time of the end; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

Revelation 22.10: 10 And he says to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.”

Without any apparent need to call upon the shade of a figure who hailed from a time when prophecy was still a thing, does this, then, imply for you that the author must have written in his own name?

The problem with dating the final version of this text to a time very long after the death of its putative author is that the actual author would be making the putative author prophesy inaccurately ("the time is near").

An idea I am considering is that the beloved disciple in the gospel of John is supposed to be John (the Elder), that once John died there were varying reactions to his death, and that John 21 and the entire apocalypse of John are both separate reactions to it. In the case of the apocalypse, an author/editor would be publishing a vision in the name of a deceased visionary (as is usual for the genre), but a very recently deceased visionary (in order to keep the time pressure fresh). Other variants are available, but I feel like, if I am going to assign this text to some person actually named John, I am going to need an adequate explanation for why this apocalypse, as opposed to seemingly all the others, bears the author's true name. Is the time being near, the book remaining unsealed, enough of a reason for this? I am not sure yet. What do you think?
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Giuseppe
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Re: The authorship of the apocalypse of John.

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:20 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:10 am

The problem with dating the final version of this text to a time very long after the death of its putative author is that the actual author would be making the putative author prophesy inaccurately ("the time is near").
that is the worse argument among all to date a text:

The critic later added from his own study the Epistula Apostolorum, where the apocalypse is expected in the mid-2nd century (120 years after the time of Christ)

http://peterkirby.com/dialogue-concerni ... stems.html

The argument from failed apocalypticism works well to consider 1 Tess as genuine but only because 2 Tess corrects 1 Tess from that POV.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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