Daily Archives: February 25, 2015

The Writer: “I, John”

Revelation 1:1. ““And he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.”

The “I” and the “me” of the Book of Revelation is John, the writer of the Book, not the Church or any other entity, but John the writer, except when it is Christ speaking.

So Who Was ‘John’?

The internal testimony of the Book is that “John“ wrote it. Who was this “John”? The only reason for questioning the authorship of the Apostle John, disciple of Christ and author of the Epistles and Gospel of John, is the proposed date of the writing. If the Book were not written until Domitian’s reign, (AD 81-96), it would be unlikely that John lived to write it. However, if the date is placed in the reign of Nero, some twenty-eight years earlier, then it is more probable that the Apostle John wrote it.

Even so, it would seem that there was a tradition that the Apostle John lived to a great age as indicated by the saying in John 21:23: “Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee?” John would have been quite old even in 68 AD.

Did John Live To See The Coming of Christ?

One reason for assigning the authorship to John the apostle is that there was a rumor that he would live to the coming of Christ, (John 21:22-23). Christ also taught that some of His disciples would “see the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27). He also said that some of those living when He uttered His prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem would be alive to see the fulfillment, (Matt. 23:36; 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32). The fact that John lived to write the Book of Revelation is proof of the truth of Christ’s words.

Were There Two ‘Johns’?

The historian Eusebius believed that there were two “Johns” named in his source, (i.e. the historian Papias): one the apostle, and the other a presbyter in Asia in later years. However, it can be demonstrated that Eusebius’ reasoning concerning this is faulty. The source does not clearly determine that there were two separate “Johns.”

Eusebius also quotes Justin, (100-165?): “He refers to the Revelation of John, stating explicitly that it was the work of the Apostle.”

According to the tradition of the Old Testament, God revealed what He was doing through His true prophet, in this case, John. Consistent with Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.” The Book of Revelation is the revealing of the secret to John.