A Commentary on the Revelation of John

A Commentary on the Revelation of John

A Commentary on the Revelation of John

A Commentary on the Revelation of John

Excerpt

The author of the book designated himself simply as “John” (1:1; 1:4; 21:2; 22:8). He was well known by the churches of Asia, calling himself their brother, who shared with them the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance (1:9). The question arises: Who was this John? It is clear from the style of the book that he was a Hebrew Christian, saturated in the Old Testament. The early church generally accepted him as the apostle of Jesus Christ, the author of the Fourth Gospel. This was clearly attested as early as A.D. 150 by Justin Martyr and around A.D. 200 by Irenaeus, who had lived at one time in Asia. This apostolic authorship was widely accepted by the ancient fathers. Such authorship is entirely possible, for there is a solid historical tradition that John lived to a ripe old age in the city of Ephesus.

We must note, however, that John did not designate himself as an apostle, and in 21:14 he mentioned the apostles as a group but gave no hint that he was to be included in this circle. He did, however, claim to be a prophet (22:9) and called his book a prophecy (1:3; 22:7, 10, 18, 19). If the author was not the apostle, he was a well-known prophet in the churches of Asia who is otherwise entirely unknown to us.

There are, admittedly, serious difficulties in recognizing the Revelation and the Fourth Gospel as coming from the same pen. While there are numerous similarities between the two books (e.g., only in the Fourth Gospel and Revelation is Jesus called the Logos), the style of the Greek is strikingly different. The language of the Gospel is smooth and fluent and couched in accurate and simple Greek; the idiom of the Revelation is rough and harsh, with many grammatical and syntactical irregularities. We know from many references (see Rom. 16:22) . . .

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