Revelation

The Way It Happened

Revelation 1:9, Who Wrote the Book of Revelation?

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

//Many readers of my book conclude that I believe John the Apostle wrote the book of Revelation, and that this John was also John of Gischala from Josephus’s writings.

No. I should set the record straight. I do not believe this, nor should you. In fact, I’m horrible at believing stuff. Which works out just fine for this line of work, because in writing as a Bible scholar, it’s important for me to be able to suspend any beliefs I do have, and report as objectively as possible.

What I believe is that I have highlighted and presented a reasonable answer to the question of Revelation’s authorship. Nothing more.

So who do I think wrote the book? Well, I’m a numbers guy, and as for John of Gischala’s chances, it’s mostly a matter of measuring the possibility of coincidence, given the clues. After this study, I’d guess there’s a 50% chance John of Gischala wrote or dictated it. I’d guess there’s a 40% chance John the Apostle did. Perhaps there’s a 40% chance neither wrote it. I’d estimate a 25% chance it was written as or about John the Apostle, or perhaps hoped that authorship by this John would be assumed, though not truly written by him. I’d give it a similar 25% chance that it was in many ways inspired by the real-life experiences of John of Gischala, though not written by him. Put them all together, and you get a reasonable chance that authorship has been determined, and a decent chance the two Johns are the same.

Tomorrow, I will surely change my mind slightly. Such is the nature of ongoing scholarship.

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