Five things Revelation tells us about its author

  1. His name was John (Rev. 1.1, 1.4, 1.9, 22.8)
  2. He was a prophet (Rev. 10.11)
  3. He was probably Jewish
    • He clearly knew his Old Testament well
    • He uses apocalypse and prohecy, two genres deeply rooted in the Jewish faith
    • His Greek displays many Semitisms – phrases and constructions normally found in Hebrew and Aramaic but not in good Greek
  4. He may have been from Palestine
    • He is aware of the valley of Megiddo (Rev. 16.16)
    • He speaks knowingly of Jerusalem and the temple, especially in chapter 11
  5. Some think that Revelation 18.20 and 21.14 imply that he was not one of the twelve apostles

Sources: David Aune, Word Biblical Commentary: Revelation 1-5. (Waco, TX: Word, 1997); Carson, Moo and Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992)

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