WT May 2022: The Seven Headed Beast

by raymond frantz 50 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • peacefulpete

    Vidqun, From Wiki:

    The author of the Book of Revelation identifies himself only as "John".[7] Traditionally, this was often believed to be the same person as John the Apostle (John, son of Zebedee), one of the apostles of Jesus, to whom the Gospel of John was also attributed.[7] The early-2nd-century writer, Justin Martyr, was the first to equate the author of Revelation with John the Evangelist.[8]

    Other early Christian writers, such as Dionysius of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, noting the differences in language and theological outlook between this work and the Gospel,[9] discounted this possibility, and argued for the exclusion of the Book of Revelation from the canon as a result.[10] The early Christian writer Papias appeared in his writings to distinguish between John the Evangelist and John the Elder,[11] and many biblical scholars now contend that the latter was the author of Revelation.[12][13][14]

  • Vidiot
    Vidqun - "To explain Revelation, Daniel's input would be needed."

    My dad used to say the same thing.

    Makes me think of legacy sequels to classic movie franchises...

    ...good luck understanding them if you haven't seen the original.

  • Vidqun

    This is why I put my money on John the Apostle:

    The external evidence from Church Fathers is significant. Justin Martyr’s famous debate with Trypho occurred in Ephesus around A.D. 135. In his work Dialogue with Trypho (81.4), he writes, “There was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem.” Justin is undoubtedly referring here to the book of Revelation and associating it with John the apostle. Irenaeus introduces a series of quotations from Revelation with an introductory formula. In this formula, he claims that “John, the Lord’s disciple” wrote the following words in “the Apocalypse” ( Against Heresies 4.20.11). Irenaeus spent time as a young man in Smyrna with Polycarp, whom he claims knew John the apostle (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.20.6; Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.3.4). The agreement between Justin Martyr and Irenaeus on the authorship of Revelation is significant. It finds additional support from the Muratorian Canon, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Origen (Maier, Offenbarung 1-11, 25; Beckwith, Apocalypse, 338-9). Beckwith concludes, “So much external testimony to the personality of the author, traceable back to almost contemporaneous sources, is found in the case of almost no other book of the New Testament” (Apocalypse, 351).
  • Jeffro


    You believe all of it is "convoluted nonsense."

    Actually, I said that your interpretation is convoluted nonsense, specially because it isn’t even consistent with the source material. I didn’t say ‘all of it’ is convoluted nonsense. Rather, I said the NT contains statements in the apocalyptic genre, including cryptic references to events prior to the time of writing as well as other hypothetical events that they thought would happen later.

    You can be an atheist, agnostic, believer or antichrist. Which one are you? If I knew that I might be able to supply you with a proper answer.

    It hardly matters, and your answer should be the same irrespective of my position, unless your ‘answer’ would be some form of ad hominem. (And ‘antichrist’ is a superstitious term with no practical meaning.) The fact remains that your interpretation isn’t even consistent with the Bible.

  • Vidqun

    Jeffro, if you followed the given scriptures you would see my interpretation is 100% consistent with the Bible. Did you follow the scriptures? Did you read the scriptures? Be specific. If you feel my interpretation is not consistent with the Bible, point out the flaws. I welcome and appreciate constructive criticism, not nonsensical generalizations.

    The following is John's definition of "antichrist," not superstitious at all. Lots of people fall in this category:

    The following Biblical definitions describe the characteristics of an “antichrist”:
    Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one that denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22).

    but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the antichrist's [inspired expression] which YOU have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world (1 John 4:3).

    For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7). [Cursive script added.]

  • truth_b_known
    Truth_b_known, those around him did see him in kingdom glory. It's called the transfiguration.

    Jesus promised Judgment Day with his second coming. That obviously didn't happen at the transfiguration. So, the transfiguration is not the second coming.

    Matthew 24:34 puts an expiration date of about 73 CE on Jesus prophecy. All of Matthew 24 was to be fulfilled before the generation that heard Jesus' words all died. It wasn't. Matthew 16:28 is evidence of this as Jesus said "some who are standing here will not taste death". Notice Jesus said only some would not taste death. So, Jesus was not speaking in terms of physical death versus an immortals soul. Some (at least 2 people) would still be alive to see Jesus return in his heavenly glory and pass judgment on the Earth. This is the reason why Paul wrote "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do." Why get married if your marriage was going to be nullified with Jesus' second coming?

    To say otherwise is to say "Jesus second coming is true, and since it hasn't happened yet, what he said must have some meaning other than the literally meaning."

  • peacefulpete

    Vidqun, Since Justin never explained why he concluded the author was the same John as described as an apostle from the Gospel story it's hard to evaluate his judgement. How did he deal with the theological and linguistic differences clearly seen by others? However, if we are to conclude Justin's opinion on the matter is conclusive then ought we not regard his interpretation of the apocalypse as likewise authoritative? I doubt you do as his differs from yours most fundamentally

    As to Irenaeus, he was said by Eusebius to have said that there was a "John also, the Lord's disciple, when beholding the sacerdotal and glorious advent of His kingdom, says in the Apocalypse:.". Although commonly this is assumed to be referring to the Apostle called John in the gospel, that is hardly certain. In the very context of the above quote, Irenaeus quoted repeatedly from the "gospel" attributed to the apostle John only to subsequently a few lines later introduce the "apocalypse" as a work by "John the Lords disciple". I find that a bit suggestive he understood the John who wrote the revelation as distinct from the gospel writer. He may also have simply used the term "disciple" as Eusebius (quoting Papias) otherwhere does in his Church History III:

    4. If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders — what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice.

    5. It is worth while observing here that the name John is twice enumerated by him. The first one he mentions in connection with Peter and James and Matthew and the rest of the apostles, clearly meaning the evangelist; but the other John he mentions after an interval, and places him among others outside of the number of the apostles, putting Aristion before him, and he distinctly calls him a presbyter.

    6. This shows that the statement of those is true, who say that there were two persons in Asia that bore the same name, and that there were two tombs in Ephesus, each of which, even to the present day, is called John's. It is important to notice this. For it is probable that it was the second, if one is not willing to admit that it was the first that saw the Revelation, which is ascribed by name to John.

    7. And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but says that he was himself a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John. At least he mentions them frequently by name, and gives their traditions in his writings. These things, we hope, have not been uselessly adduced by us.

    Note John the Presbyter (Elder) as distinct from John the Apostle is included among the "disciples of the Lord" and called the author of the revelation.

  • Vidqun

    Peacefulpete, Polycarp knew John personally. This he shared with Irenaeus. Why would they lie? I am happy with the account of an eyewitness. The rest is pure speculation by commentators and scholars alike. I believe the book of Revelation comes from God who gave the information to Jesus. In turn Jesus imparted the vision to an angel, who revealed it to John. So, the stylistic considerations I do not view as important. John wrote down what he was told and what he was shown. Four persons could have influenced the style and grammar of the book, God, Jesus, the angel and John under inspiration (cf. Rev. 1:1, 2).

    Truth_b_known, this does not refer the Jesus' Second Coming. The transfiguration is a futuristic vision and has to do with the time when Jesus comes in kingdom glory, i.e., after he has been crowned as king. "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Pet. 1:16 ESV). This will take place after the seventh trumpet blast (Rev. 11:14, 15). Note, they were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Jesus' Second Coming takes place after the tribulation (Matt. 24:29-31).

  • peacefulpete

    Peacefulpete, Polycarp knew John personally. This he shared with Irenaeus. Why would they lie?

    Really? Polycarp never once says so in any of his writings, nor for that matter did he ever mention or quote from Revelation, a bit awkward if he was a student of the author. What's more, Irenaeus actually claimed only to have seen Polycarp as a young child. He never said he was told by Polycarp that he spoke with the apostle John. He only repeats that legend as circulating in Asia.

    Polycarp would himself only been a tot when the Apostle John was a very old man (in exile on top of it according to tradition). What we have is legend building likely motivated by the claims of succession to church leadership.

  • Vidqun

    As I said, I go with the first set of witness, closest to the discussed event. The further away from the event, the more embellishment of the facts. Same goes for the MSS. Oldest MSS usually the most reliable.

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