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The authorship of The book of revelation/ The apocalypse of John / Anonymous

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    The authorship of The book of revelation/ The apocalypse of John / Anonymous (OP)


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    In this thread, i would like to discuss that the authorship for the "Book of revelation" as claimed by our Christian brothers and sisters is truly Anonymous.
    I would also like to state that due to this, as with the entire new testament, basing your foundation on Anonymous Scriptures for salvation can pose a huge problem for obvious reasons (i will go into this in part 2)



    The "Book of revelation" in the christian scriptures of the New testament. This "Book" has an anonymous author, although Christians force the claim that it was written by the Apostle John, the disciple of Jesus (A.S) , however, the evidence i will provide for this matter is quite telling.

    First of all , we can conclude that this person throughout the entire book does claim to be a "John" , however no surname nor further identification is provided throughout the entire book.

    "to his servant John,"

    " ....John To the seven churches in the province of Asia"


    "I, John, your brother and companion"

    Another key fact is that the author clearly distinguishes themselves from the apostles in this passage (that is if we are to accept that the 24 elders mentioned throughout this book reference the 12 tribles of isreal AND the 12 apostles of Jesus (A.S):

    "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads."

    However, i must stress that christian scholarship is unsure as to WHO these 24 elders represent, and that NO exegesis was provided by this "John" on the majority of these matters which has left the world guessing and speculating.

    Therefore, we can to some extent say that this "John" could be anyone and the burden on proof was on the christians to prove it was the apostle.

    Furthermore, they may go to the "Church Fathers" or even the Disciple of the Apostle John, Polycarp. You will find that Polycarp does not mention or quote from the book of revelation AND the gospel of John in his entire life. We have absolutley nothing on the matter. Does it not seem strange that the Christians who claim that Polycarp being the disciple of John never quotes nor mentions anything out of this book?.

    I will be fair and quote the so called evidence that the Christians put forward for this book so that i can dismantle the claims and compare it to the evidence required to substantiate such claims in Islam, also known as Isnad (Authentic chain of narration).

    This is their claim:

    "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)."

    From this we can extract two claims they have for the external evidence for the authorship of book of revelation.

    1. Justin Martyr.
    The claim is that in his famous debate with Trypho in A.D 135, 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.”

    All seems well does it not? Thats until we disect some key problems to this "Evidence". First of all, we may start by stating just because Justin Martyr accreditted this book of the apostle John does not make it from the apostle John. Likewise do the Muslims not accredit the Holy Quran to God and do not the Christians refuse to believe in it? (Although the proof of Authorship of the Quran is a whole different subject and has actual foundation and substance).

    Secondly, Justin Martyr was born in year 100.
    The apostle John died in year 100 AD give or take.

    We can safely conclude that Justin Martyr never met John in his life. Therefore , the claim for eyewitness testimony can be thrown out.

    Thirdly, the debate took place 35 years after the death of the Apostle John, and these so called witnesses were born after the lifetime of the apostle. Furthermore, Justin Martyr never states why he believes that this book was from the apostle John. Infact, you will find that there is no chain of narration that leads back to the apostle. All we know is that he claimed that "John wrote and prophecised" without providing a single shred of evidence and he was not even alive when John the apostle was.

    I would ask if we know enough about this Justin Martyr, such as his biography or was he simply a victim to the false claim that this was from the apostle John himself? Bare in mind that around that time, a lot of writings were falsely accredited to apostles due to the fact that this would give the writing a sense of authority. Forgeries were very common and is a whole different subject which i will not get into at this moment in time.

    Now for the second claim of external evidence:

    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)."

    Irenaeus of lyons was born 130 AD, 30 years after the death of the Apostle John, therefore he never met him in person. The claim for eyewitness testimony ends here.

    Again we meet with the same problem that just because Irenaeus claims that "The lords disciple" wrote does not make it true. Remarkably, Irenaeus never claims that he heard Polycarp mention the book of revelation, as this would give the Christians some foundational basis, but again not alot. Instead, it is the author of the Site that claims that Irenaeus met Polycarp, who was claimed to be the disciple of Apostle John, when he was a child.

    Let us hear that again, Irenaeus only knew Polycarp when he was a child, or to put in Irenaeus own words:

    "We too saw him in our early youth for he lived a long time, and died, when a very old man, the glorious and most illustrious death of a martyr..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.3.4

    and again

    "For when I was a boy I saw you in lower Asia with Polycarp, doing brilliantly in the royal court, and endeavoring to gain his approbation. I remember the events of that time more clearly than those of recent years. For what boys learn, growing with their mind, becomes joined with it, so that I am able to describe the very place in which the blessed Polycarp sat as he discoursed...." Eusebius, History of the Church 5.20.4-8:

    and thats all we hear of Irenaeus and Polycarp's discourse, never to hear anything after this encounter.

    All this evidence and the claim that Irenaeus heard from Polycarp is extremley obscure as he was only a child when he heard these things. I must ask, is eyewitness testimony from a child in a court of law reliable? Let alone to do with salvation. Again, Irenaeus never states that he heard Polycarp quote from the book of revelation, it is just "Implied" from Christains. This is called Conjecture and severs the link of a chain of authority which leads back to the apostle John.

    We are still left with the initial problem that Polycarp himself never mentions nor quotes from the Gospel of John OR the book of revelation. A disciple of the Apostle who never quotes nor acknowledges the book under question?

    Is must be noted that these are the "Significant" evidences of which Christians put forward for a book that has made it into their scripture. Must we remind the audience that during that time there were heavy agenda driven influences to promote so called works to the level of authorship by an Apostle so that it can be produced and promoted throughout the church.

    Let us now hear what other church fathers have to say on the matter;

    Revelation was among the last books accepted into the Christian biblical canon, and to the present day some churches that derive from the Church of the East reject it. Eastern Christians became skeptical of the book as doubts concerning its authorship and unusual style were reinforced by aversion to its acceptance by Montanists and other groups considered to be heretical. This distrust of the Book of Revelation persisted in the East through the 15th century.

    Dionysius (AD 248), bishop of Alexandria and disciple of Origen, wrote that the Book of Revelation could have been written by Cerinthus although he himself did not adopt the view that Cerinthus was the writer. He regarded the Apocalypse as the work of an inspired man but not of an Apostle (Eusebius, Church History VII.25

    Cyril of Jerusalem (348 AD) does not name it among the canonical books (Catechesis IV.33–36).

    The Council of Laodicea (363 AD) omits it as a canonical book.

    Martin Luther called Revelation "neither apostolic nor prophetic" in the 1522 preface to his translation of the New Testament.

    Huldrych Zwingli labelled it "not a book of the Bible", and it was the only New Testament book on which John Calvin did not write a commentary. As of 2015 Revelation remains the only New Testament book not read in the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church, though Catholic and Protestant liturgies include it.

    I would finally like to add that New Testament Scholars to this day are unsure about the authenticity of this book, due to the differences in writing styles from this book and the gospel of John who both are claimed by Christians to have the same Author.

    The question at hand is that if this truely is scripture, then why is there no Clear chain of narration that leads back to the apostle. Or to simply put it, why has God not established evidence nor proof for this "scripture" so that Christians can confidently say it is from God, or the Apostle John?.

    In part 2 i will go over the possible reasons for this book, as we cannot say this is from the Apostle John. Such options include;
    1. It was made to warn Christians of the Roman Empire and to boost their moral, and not a revelation at all.
    2. It was from Satan , or a Jinn, to scare mankind into obedience to the themes within relating to the Dajjal that will come in end times.

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    Re: The authorship of The book of revelation/ The apocalypse of John / Anonymous

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    format_quote Originally Posted by brucewayne995 View Post
    Salam Brother, I appreciate you have done alot of research into this subject.

    However, i would just like to say, IF the 666 phenomenom was important, do you not think that Allah SWT would have mentioned it in Quran or Hadith/Sunnah. Not one mention, which means its not from Allah or Abbrogated.

    Also, the hadith you used is Daif (Weak) Although we do have tradition that there will be a beast from the earth that will be able to talk but it will be an animal, not human beast like in the book of revelations.

    Again brother i would like to stress, please be careful because we have our Aqida which Allah SWT deemed enough for us , and Authentic. If there is no mention of those things in our Aqida, then we are only conjecturing.

    As salamu alaikum brother
    please explain "abrogation".
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    Re: The authorship of The book of revelation/ The apocalypse of John / Anonymous

    format_quote Originally Posted by brucewayne995 View Post
    He also has the power to preserve his revelation, and protect it from Errors, contradictions, false prophecies and scientific mistakes, and vague confusing doctrine which results in massacre of scores of innocents due to their refusal to believe in polytheism masked as monotheism created by church fathers with no basis in scripture..Trinity... would make sense to send another Prophet with a final revelation and a scripture that CAN NOT be corrupted, proven to this day.

    I presume your family wants to keep the tradition of Polycarp going lol maybe you should name your son Polycarp too.
    Peace be upon you.
    Interestingly ... The Lexham Bible Dictionary discusses a finding called the Harris Fragments. Accordingly, these fragments give further insight to the writings of Polycarp (69-150 AD), a disciple of John. The fragments “offer unique insight into reconciling John’s martyrdom and his reported long life and natural death in that:

    They support the second-century church tradition that John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, lived a long life in Ephesus after suffering exile on Patmos, and died a peaceful death.

    They account for the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy about the martyr’s death that John the son of Zebedee would die.”[2]
    taken from -
    https://crossexamined.org/wrote-book-revelation/
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