C HAPTER 13 Section
That’s precisely the situation that the first readers of Revelation faced. The book of Revelation mentions no details about the author except that he was a servant of Jesus, exiled on the island of Patmos. His name is given only as “John”—which happens to have been the fifth most frequent name for Jewish males in the first century.124
So how did ancient people know who wrote the book of Revelation? Here’s how: When one church provided another church with a copy of an important writing, they didn’t just pass on a stack of papyrus. They also passed on a tradition about who wrote the book. These early traditions could typically be traced all the way back to their source. For a text to be seen as authoritative in the churches, the original source had to be either an eyewitness of the risen Lord Jesus or a close associate of an eyewitness. Christians in the first and second centuries were extremely careful to trace every authoritative text back PAPYRUS, PAPYRI to an eyewitness or associate of an eyewitness.125 (from Greek papyros) Plant from which ancient people manufactured paper. Papyrus plants are nearly twelve feet tall and have a stem as thick as your wrist. The stems were sliced lengthwise in thin strips, then cut into shorter pieces. Two layers of slices were placed on top of each other—with the grain of the top layer running perpendicular to the one beneath it—then beaten together and dried to make paper.
So what traditions did early Christians recite to one another about the book of Revelation? The earliest and most reliable traditions about Revelation identified the author as John the apostle—the “beloved disciple” who left his father to follow Jesus and who wrote the Gospel According to John (Matthew 4:21–22; John 20:30–31).
Published on Jul 20, 2011
Selected Sample Pages from the NEW Rose Guide to End Times Prophecy by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Professor, Southern Baptist Theolog...