Revelation's Mystery Author? Rev 1:1 Suggests a Third-Party Author

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Veridican
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Revelation's Mystery Author? Rev 1:1 Suggests a Third-Party Author

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Post by Veridican »

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that a mysterious person actually wrote Revelation? Look at 1:1. It reads:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant, John, (Rev 1:1, NIV 1984 ed.)

Okay...so... God gave Jesus a revelation of the things that must soon take place. Jesus then made it known to John by sending his angel to John. ...all well and good, BUT...

Who's doing the talking here? Rev 1:1-3 sounds like a third party. I'm not saying I believe this, but I started an exegesis of Revelation today, and it just popped out at me. I've never heard anyone ever suggest it before.

What is your take on it? :-?
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Re: Revelation's Mystery Author? Rev 1:1 Suggests a Third-Party Author

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Post by Difflugia »

Veridican wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:01 pmIs it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that a mysterious person actually wrote Revelation? Look at 1:1. It reads:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant, John, (Rev 1:1, NIV 1984 ed.)

Okay...so... God gave Jesus a revelation of the things that must soon take place. Jesus then made it known to John by sending his angel to John. ...all well and good, BUT...

Who's doing the talking here? Rev 1:1-3 sounds like a third party. I'm not saying I believe this, but I started an exegesis of Revelation today, and it just popped out at me. I've never heard anyone ever suggest it before.

What is your take on it? :-?
That actually fits some interpretations of titles of the form "the whatever of whomever" as most often referring to someone other than the author. "The Gospel of Mark," for example, would be the Gospel as told to the anonymous author by Mark, rather than written down by him. Whether or not it's an indication of a relationship between the works, we see a similar pattern in John 19:35 and 21:24 with third-person references that are traditionally interpreted as meaning the author himself:
He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe.
This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that his witness is true.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

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Re: Revelation's Mystery Author? Rev 1:1 Suggests a Third-Party Author

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Post by Veridican »

Difflugia wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:19 pm
Veridican wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:01 pmIs it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that a mysterious person actually wrote Revelation? Look at 1:1. It reads:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant, John, (Rev 1:1, NIV 1984 ed.)

Okay...so... God gave Jesus a revelation of the things that must soon take place. Jesus then made it known to John by sending his angel to John. ...all well and good, BUT...

Who's doing the talking here? Rev 1:1-3 sounds like a third party. I'm not saying I believe this, but I started an exegesis of Revelation today, and it just popped out at me. I've never heard anyone ever suggest it before.

What is your take on it? :-?
That actually fits some interpretations of titles of the form "the whatever of whomever" as most often referring to someone other than the author. "The Gospel of Mark," for example, would be the Gospel as told to the anonymous author by Mark, rather than written down by him. Whether or not it's an indication of a relationship between the works, we see a similar pattern in John 19:35 and 21:24 with third-person references that are traditionally interpreted as meaning the author himself:
He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe.
This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that his witness is true.
I'm not sure what you're actually talking about, but the Gospels are in fact anonymous documents. The John of Revelation, if we try to say it's the John of the Gospel of John, then we might as well be saying Revelation is anonymous as well. In fact, I'm thinking that it is. The way 1:1-3 reads, I mean, it's clearly someone saying: "This is what John received," and then clearly "John" begins to write. It's like if I sent you a book and I wrote on the title page..."Here's the book Stephen King wrote in 1975. I hope you like it."

This is a third person writing what is commonly referred to as the "Prologue" in Revelation. So, we have a prophecy by someone named John, but we have no idea who it is. It is probably not the John of the Gospels, but even if it were, that John is as anonymous as the John of Revelation.

My theory is that there's a Divine purpose and beauty in the anonymity of these documents: It means I'm as much an expert on what they mean as the greatest scholar. It means we have no idea when they were written or why. If someone tries to say, "Revelation is referring to Rome and Nero." I can turn around and say, "How do you know? You don't even know who the author was. You have no idea what he meant."

And where then does that leave us? It leaves us with timeless documents that anyone can read, and the only one who can tell them what it means is the Holy Spirit Himself. They are documents written not for a group, but for an individual.

No one can agree who wrote it, you know? John of Patmos, John the Elder, the Apostle John. All anyone can say is it's a document from before 275 AD that someone calling themselves "John" wrote. It is an anonymous document, just like the Gospels are. And this Prologue sounds like someone, somewhere found the book of Revelation and introduced it to the world. In other words, it may have been written, and "John" may have just put it on his shelf.
All for Christ and only for Christ! :wave:

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