1/21/23 REVELATION 1:1a, PART 7

We start today with:

“The name by which this book would be known to its earliest readers among the Christians of Asia Minor would be ‘the Apocalypse,’ or ‘the Apocalypse of John.’ This is the name which it bears in the original Greek, not only in the ‘title,’ which is later than the book, but in the opening words, ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ,’ where ‘Revelation ‘ is the rendering of the word ‘Apocalypse.’ Now, those among its first readers who had been Jews ere they became Christians would be quite familiar with a title such as this; it would not be the first book bearing this name with which they were acquainted, and they would be prepared for the character of its contents and the peculiar forms which they take. By the word itself, which exactly corresponds in its etymology to our word ‘Revelation,’ they would understand the removing of a veil, the veil which hides the future from the eyes of men. And the period between the close of the Old Testament Canon and the end of the first century after Christ had seen the production of many books which had this purpose and bore this name. The earliest specimen of an Apocalypse—the one which is indeed the prototype of them all—is found within the Old Testament itself in the Book of Daniel; but this had been followed by many others, the names of which are less familiar to us than they were to the Jews…

“On two points, however, our Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, differs from the others with which we are acquainted. First, as we have already observed, it is not pseudonymous. It does not claim to have been written by a great prophet or religious leader of the past, but claims to come from the pen of a contemporary of those to whom it first came. It claims, further, to be written by one John, a disciple of Christ…And while no doubt has been ever raised as to the justice of the claim to be written by a contemporary, and by one whose name was John, the tradition that this was John the Apostle has also met with general acceptance…

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