Two more radical theories about the authorship of Revelation

  1. A fringe Christian group in the second half of the second century called the Alogoi rejected both John’s Gospel and Revelation. They claimed that Revelation was written by the Gnostic heretic Cerinthus. Gaius, a presbyter in Rome in the late second and early third century, also thought Cerinthus wrote Revelation, passing his work off as apostolic. It is not certain if Gaius had connections with the Alogoi.
  2. In 1965 J. M. Ford proposed that there are several layers in Revelation: that chapters 4-11 contain a revelation to John the Baptist,  that chapters 12-19 contain a revelation to one of his disciples, and that parts of the framework in the first and last chapters were written by a disciple of John’s that had become a Christian. According to Aune, Ford has since changed her opinion about the book, affirming the unity of the book. Aune lists others who believe that parts of Revelation have a more non-Christian Jewish character, and that they have been taken over and adapted by Christian hands.

Sources: David Aune, Word Biblical Commentary: Revelation 1-5. (Waco, TX: Word, 1997); “Revelation, Book of”, by Francesca Aran Murphy, in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 680-687.

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