My Take on a Single Author for the Book of Revelation

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klewis
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Re: My Take on a Single Author for the Book of Revelation

Post by klewis » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:28 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:33 am

Well, the best sort of examples would be cases from antiquity in which we are already pretty sure that a single author him/herself published the two or more versions of the work known to us, and in which certain clear structures from the first edition have been mangled in the second.

That may be asking a lot, since our evidence from antiquity is sparse to begin with, and our evidence for multiple editions probably authored by the same person is even sparser. So examples from other eras (medieval and modern, for example) would at least help by way of analogy.

Close detective work like this can, with some degree of success, establish that patterns have been interrupted. I am not sure how it could, on its own, establish the common authorship of both parts (the original parts and the interrupting parts). Can you clarify?
Yes, it can. Genetic Literary Reconstruction, which is a literary tool I developed for writings such as Genesis-Exodus, Luke-Acts, Revelation, and many more works in which the author used Hebrew poetry for content creation. I look for the the following things:


  • When an author forms a parallel, we can assume that it is a perfect parallel. For later illustrations I will refer to one side of the parallel as 'A' and the other side as 'B'. So the more perfect the parallel the more recent it was written.
  • When an author forms a parallel with one earlier sections such as 'A', in the earlier example, with a new section 'C'. Parallel elements of 'A' and 'B' will become malformed. In this case we will see content that originally formed the 'A' 'B' parallel also moved to 'C' and content form 'C' that will overwrite 'A'. Thus the original 'A' 'B' parallel will be malformed. The more malformed the parallel the earlier it was written.
  • Sometimes, another parallel is formed with 'A' and a different section such as 'D'. As a result, the same process happens, content from the 'A' 'B' parallel is moved to 'D'. Sometimes when this happens, content from the original parallel 'A' 'B' is malformed even further. However, content from the 'A' 'B' parallel might be found in 'C'. In this case, parallel A' B' was written first, parallel B' C' was written secondly because it has elements in C' that is found in B' but not A' So it is likely that parallel A' D' caused an element between A' B' and A' C' to be lost but retained in both B' and C'. In this case there should not be an element, unless by accident, found in C' and D'.
To put the above gibberish into something of Revelation. In the book of Revelation, every section has multiple parallel formations with different sections. For example, listed below are a few of the parallel formations found in Revelation chapter 1:
  • Revelation chapter 1 and chapter 22 form a chiasmus.
    A. What will happen soon (Rev 1:1).
    B. Blessed is he who reads, hears, and obeys Revelation (rev 1:3).
    C. The coming of God (or Jesus?: "those who pierced him in Rev 1:7).
    D. John encounter with Jesus, he fell down, Jesus told him to write what he sees (Rev 1:17-18).
    D'. John's encounter with the angel, he fell down and worshiped him, the angel told John to publish what he wrote (Rev 22:5-10).
    C'. Jesus or God is coming (Rev 22:6-7).
    B'. Cursed is he that changes this book (Rev 22:18-19).
    A'. Jesus will come soon (Rev 22:20-21).
  • The descriptions of Jesus in Revelation in chapter 1 and the letters to the seven churches form a chiasmus (malformed).
    A. Faithful witness (Rev 1:5).
    B. [No match] - perhaps the key of death and Hades (1:18)
    C. Soft matched / items out of order / not identified with Jesus: Seven spirits of God in (1:4) and seven stars (Rev 1:20).
    D. Out of order: God his father (Rev 1:6); Eyes like a flame of fire, feet like burnished bronze (1:15)
    E. Has a sharp two-edge sword out of his mouth (1:16).
    F. First and the last, was dead and came back to life (1:18).
    G. Has the seven stars and seven candlesticks (1:20).
    G'. Has the seven stars and seven candlesticks (2:1).
    F'. First and the last, was dead and come back to life (2:9).
    E'. Has a sharp two-edge sword out of his mouth (2:12).
    D'. Son of God (2:18 -- only mentioned in 1:6 and 2:18 in Revelation, contrasted with Thyatira = daughter).
    C'. Has seven spirits of God and the seven stars (3:1).
    B'. Has the key of David (3:7).
    A'. Faithful and true witness (3:14).

    Note that faithful and true is also found in Rev 22:6
  • Descriptions of Jesus in Revelation 1 and 19 from Daniel 10 (Note Revelation 19 forms a chiasmus with Daniel 10). In my book I only list Daniel 10 with Revelation 19. If you want a listing I can provide it.
This is only the localized parallels contained in Revelation. However, the author of Revelation did the same writing practice by incorporating works from external sources such as but not limited to: Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Exodus, Daniel. The same process above works for identifying the order in which the books were incorporated.

Sorry for how terse this is, but 300+ page book lists most of these parallels but told in the way that Revelation was written.

If you want a copy of the book, I can send you one.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: My Take on a Single Author for the Book of Revelation

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:25 pm

klewis wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:28 pm
Revelation chapter 1 and chapter 22 form a chiasmus.
A. What will happen soon (Rev 1:1).
B. Blessed is he who reads, hears, and obeys Revelation (rev 1:3).
C. The coming of God (or Jesus?: "those who pierced him in Rev 1:7).
D. John encounter with Jesus, he fell down, Jesus told him to write what he sees (Rev 1:17-18).
D'. John's encounter with the angel, he fell down and worshiped him, the angel told John to publish what he wrote (Rev 22:5-10).
C'. Jesus or God is coming (Rev 22:6-7).
B'. Cursed is he that changes this book (Rev 22:18-19).
A'. Jesus will come soon (Rev 22:20-21).

Revelation 1.1-20
Revelation 22.1-21
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bondservant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood — 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father — to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bondservants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bondservants the things which must soon take place.

7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 But he says to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”

10 And he says to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

I guess I am already questioning the order and value of the adduced parallels so far as any kind of chiastic structure is concerned. I included 22.5 with the blue highlighting simply because you did, but I do not see why it is relevant to that parallel. However, without it, the order of the parallels fails between the two chapters (yellow-pink-green-blue versus green-pink-blue-yellow, not a true reversal).

More importantly, I believe there are quite a few unmentioned parallels which are of notable merit, but which would also screw with the order required for a chiasm; let me attempt to be more complete:

Revelation 1.1-20
Revelation 22.1-21
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bondservant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood — 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father — to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”
1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bondservants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true,” and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bondservants the things which must soon take place.

7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 But he says to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”

10 And he says to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

And there are others I have not highlighted.

The interplay between these two chapters is complex if viewed from a structural point of view — and not at all chiastic — but pretty simple if viewed from a thematic point of view. The author is simply hitting upon a limited array of themes and ideas in a natural, freeflowing sort of way. The theme of identifying the author (John, but channeling Jesus) and emphasizing what he saw and heard (highlighted in light blue above) comes up more than once per chapter, for example. The (explicit) blessing early in chapter 1 is matched, not only by the (implicit) curse in chapter 21, but also by at least one other parallel blessing: both blessings praise the one who heeds the words of written prophecy; this is a true parallel, one which cannot legitimately be skipped for the sake of identifying a chiasm. "The time is near" and "alpha and omega" are also extremely clear parallels which ought not to be skipped.

I am not sure that any sort of chiasm is even being aimed at here, let alone that one can be used to determine layers in the text. What am I missing?
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klewis
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 am

Re: My Take on a Single Author for the Book of Revelation

Post by klewis » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:01 pm

Several things Here are a few things:
Unfortunately, I am not in a place where I can access my book to provide more parallels affecting chapter 1 and 22. I will add them to this post and apply a date to the addition.

klewis
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 am

Re: My Take on a Single Author for the Book of Revelation

Post by klewis » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:37 am

The use of an author's notation (a text placed in the before and after a source text is inserted, see in gray in the illustrations below) is a quirk that indicates the author was aware of the source material added, or in the case of Daniel 7, represents how the author knew the text of Revelation itself.

How Ezekiel was split to insert the Seven Churches:
Image


How Daniel 7 was Distributed in Revelation:
Image

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