[John_Lit] Re: Six Stone Water-pots
- --- In email@example.com, Matthew Estrada
>to re-evaluate some long-held assumptions as to why I believe(d) the
> Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:
> --- matt_estrada wrote (in parte):
> > Now if we look at Revelation 13:18 (yes, I am one who believes
> > that the Evangelist is the same person who wrote the gospel, the
> > letters of John, and Revelation), there we read: "This calls for
> > wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of
> > the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666".
> I lack the time at the moment to respond more fully to your lengthy
> note, but for you and others who might believe that the author of
> Revelation was the same John the Elder whom I take to have written
> large portions of GJn, can you explain (1) the change in writing
> style between Rev and other Johannine writings to which some
> commentators have drawn attention, and (2) the almost total lack
> of "love" in Rev? I count 4 occurrences of AGAPH and its verb form
> in Rev, but at least ten times that in GJn and the letters, where
> the concept is VERY BIG. Would you conclude from this that Rev was
> written by a young firebrand who - by the time he became "the
> elder" - had both improved his Greek and repented his youthful
> My response:
> Dear Mike,
> I may end up eating crow on this one. Please allow more time for me
author of John's Gospel to be the same as the one who wrote
Revelation. It is good that we can recognize beliefs that are
assumptions, and evaluate them to see if they are worthy in our own
minds to continue being regarded as beliefs. Sincerely, Matt
O.K. Mike, here is my response. In a cursory re-reading of
Revelation, I note the following similarities with John's Gospel:
1) both used the word LOGOS (Jn 1:1; Rev 19:13; cf also Rev 1:2). I
believe that LOGOS used in a personal sense is nowhere else used in
the NT lit other than the gospel, I Jn 1:1 and in Rev.
2) In Rev 2:9; 3:9, etc, the author refers to "the Jews" as those who
say they are Jews and are not, but are a Synagogue of Satan",
separating true Jews from "the Jews" who do not recognize Jesus as
the Messiah. So, too, does the author of John's Gospel make a
distinction between "believing" Jews and "unbelieving Jewish leaders"
(cf Jn 8:44).
3) In Rev 3:14, the author refers to Jesus as the "beginning/ARXH of
the creation of God", which might remind one of Jn 1:1, even as both
texts might recall Col.1:15-18.
4) In Rev 5:8-9, 12:11, etc, Jesus is referred to as the Lamb who
shed his blood for people from every nation. So, too, in Jn 1:29
Jesus is called the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
5) In Rev 5:14 (cf also 4:10; 7:11; 11:16) "the elders fell down and
worshipped" this Lamb, which, if an allusion to Ex 4:29-31 where "the
elders" "bow down and worship" God after hearing from Moses and
Aaron, would be paralleled to the author of the Gospel of John's
allusion to that same text in his Cana story (cf.Jn.2:11).
6) the "woman"/GUNAI in Rev 12:1 can be paralled to the "woman" in Jn
2:4; 19:26 (see Raymond Brown).
7) In Rev 19:7; 21:2 the author uses the expression "the marriage of
the Lamb", showing Jesus to be the bridegroom and the Church to be
his bride. The author of John does the same (Cana story, Jn 3:27-30;
Samaritan woman story).
8) In Rev 22:17 the author says, "Whoever is thirsty, let him come,
and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of
life"/KAI O DIPSWN ERXESTHW, O THELWN LABETW UDOR ZWHS DWREAN, which
might remind one of "Jesus' words" in Jn 7:37, "If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to me and drink/EAV TIS DIPSA ERXESTHW PROS ME KAI
PINETW. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of
living water will flow from within him".
9) Mounce points out that in Rev 1:7 where the author alludes to
Zechariah's prophecy in Zech 12:10, saying "Look, he is coming with
the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him",
the author of Rev uses the greek verb EXEKENTHSAN, which is the same
greek verb used by the author of John's gospel in 19:37 in his
citation of Zech 12:10, "They will look on the one they have
pierced/EXEKENTHSAN. It is pointed out that this verb is not used in
the LXX nor is it found anywhere else in the NT.
10) the early Church believed almost unanimously that Rev was written
by the apostle John.
Robert H. Mounce, in his commentary of Rev, concludes his assessment
of authorship with these words: "Since internal evidence is not
entirely unfavorable to apostolic authorship and since external
evidence is unanimous in its support, the wisest course of action is
either to leave the question open or to accept in a tentative way
that the Apocalypse was written by John the apostle, son of Zebedee
and disciple of Jesus" (p.31).
- --- matt_estrada wrote:
> Robert H. Mounce, in his commentary of Rev, concludes hisThis is a different question from that of whether Rev and the other
> assessment of authorship with these words: "Since internal
> evidence is not entirely unfavorable to apostolic authorship
> and since external evidence is unanimous in its support, the
> wisest course of action is either to leave the question open
> or to accept in a tentative way that the Apocalypse was written
> by John the apostle, son of Zebedee and disciple of Jesus" (p.31).
Johannine works share a common authorship. I don't think that Mounce
is correct in claiming that the "external evidence is unanimous" in
support of apostolic authorship. According to John Sweet's article
in _The Oxford Companion to the Bible_ (1993):
"... some, like Dionysius of Alexandria (third century), anticipated
the majority of modern scholars by questioning this identification
because of differences of thought, style, and language. Dionysius
relied on hints that there had been two writers named John in
Ephesus; and Papias (ca. 140 CE) mentions a John who was an elder,
as well as the apostle." (OCB, p.653)
The similarities you mention (some of which were new to me) go a
long way toward establishing that there was at least some conceptual
sharing between Rev and other Johannine writings. Whether that
indicates common authorship, or two Johns in a symbiotic father-son
relationship, or a Johannine school or what, I don't pretend to
know. What I do know (as well you, I'm sure) is that the twelve
"apostles of the Lamb" are mentioned prominently in Rev, without
any indication that the author considered himself to be one of them.
Same with "the Twelve" in GJn, where the writer had the opportunity
to use the second person in describing settings where he would have
been present had he been one of the Twelve, but chose the third
person instead. (In the crucial post-resurrection appearances at
20:19 and following, e.g., J is said to have stood in THEIR midst,
and breathed on THEM.)
Mt. Clemens, MI