One thing that concerns me when we say that all other apocalypses are pseudonymous is that we are using a modern scholarly category that might not have been recognised in ancient times. I suspect that early Christians would have seem works written or purporting to be written by Christians as different from works wrirtten or purported to be written by Old Testament figures.Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:10 am
I think we can safely rule out the possibility that the author thinks the time of prophecy is past:
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?
If one speaks specifically of the category of Christian Apocalypses, works explicitly claiming to be written by Christians, then the issue is whether all such works were written pseudonymously, or whether the earliest was written in the apostloic period under the name of its real author, whereas the later ones, written in the post-apostolic period, claimed pseudonymously apostolic authorship.
IMVHO it is more likely that at least one work was written in the apostolic period under the name of its real author, than that the tradition arose of attributing apocalypses to people of the apostolic period although no such works were actually composed at that time,