Saturday, 2 January 2016

Who wrote Revelation?

The standard response to the question of "Who wrote Revelation?" has been for many centuries (including the 2nd century): John, the apostle, the son of Zebedee. But are we sure of that?

There is a good paper just released on this exact topic written by Hugo Cotro here, in the DavarLogos Spanish theological journal; the article is entitled  Could the Author of Revelation step forward please?

I realised that my research (on this blog, although unfinished) on arche, which has bored most readers of this blog, might actually be of some relevance here, along with a very surprising discovery I made today about John's [otherwise] non-usage of Sophia.

I decided to write to Mr Cotro:

Dear Mr. Cotro.
I hope you don't mind my contacting you following your interesting article on the authorship of Revelation. I enjoyed reading your piece which I found summarised some of the arguments well, encouraging both positions to remain more open than perhaps has been the case. In particular I was impacted by the lack of evidence of an early Johannine circle. 
I wanted to submit to you two small grammatical arguments against same-author-as-fourth-gospel, which I suspect is maybe your preference. It may seem small, but they constitute two small linguistic stones on the it's-not-John-son-of-Zebedee camp (assuming the gospel is indeed that guy) and I don't know if you had them in view:
Firstly, John's gospels and the epistles [bearing his name] apply the anarthrous-yet-definite ARCHE in its many forms. John is the greatest New Testament advocate of this construction, which is also, of course, the LXX method in Genesis 1:1 and elsewhere. However, there are two authors who do not seem  to accept this usage. The main one is Hebrews, unless he is quoting the LXX, which he tends to do very faithfully. The second one is the author of Revelation.
My second linguistic stone is Sophia. I was stunned to discover not only that Logos is related to Sophia (which in itself is not a shocking discovery of course), but that John *never* (unless I am mistaken) uses Sophia... except guess where?
I hear your point about assistance from Ephesus, which is speculative and possible.

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