BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 2, Day 3: Revelation’s Writer and Recipients

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

4a)  Matthew 4:21-22:  Here is where John was called by Jesus to be his disciple.

Matthew 17:1-3:  John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus.

John 19: 25-27:  The “disciple whom he loved” is the apostle John.  Jesus told John to take care of his mother.

John 20: 1-10:  The “other disciple” here is the apostle John.  John reached Jesus’ tomb first and saw that he had risen

John 21: 20-25:  The disciple here is the apostle John.  It tells us John is the one who testifies to these things and wrote them down.

Acts 4:13:  The apostle John had been with Jesus.

1 John 1:1-3:  [Note:  This letter does not outright say John is the author.  It is assumed by scholars that John is the author of 1 John based on writing style and hints that put the odds in John’s favor–like here where the author says he has seen Jesus with his own eyes.  Still, there is no conclusive proof John wrote this letter.]

Assuming John is the author, the author here reveals he has heard, seen, and touched “the Word of life” which is Jesus.

[Again, the John who wrote Revelation is also assumed to be the apostle John, However, like in my POST where I laid out the arguments, it may have been a different John who wrote Revelation.  Keep that in mind.]

Revelation 1:1-2:  John is God’s servant who was sent an angel to reveal “the revelation of Jesus Christ” and this is the testimony of everything he saw–the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

b)  Obviously if the author of Revelation is the Apostle John, then he is trustworthy.  He was hand-picked by Jesus, walked with Jesus every day and saw the miracles he performed, was at Jesus’ transfiguration, wrote down writings and the testimony an angel had given him.  Why wouldn’t he be trustworthy?

All of Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) so even if this John is not the Apostle John he is trustworthy because God is trustworthy.

5a)  The recipients were suffering and poor, but loyal to the church and tested false apostles.  Some were about to face prison for their beliefs and possibly death but if they were faithful to the end, they’d receive the crown of life.

b)  Same.  People are the same no matter the time period as are believers.  We are called to suffer like Christ suffered and we may (and do) face persecution and death because of it.  It is not as prevalent as it was 2000 years ago, but it exists and for those of us in the Western world it takes different forms.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As I do anytime I study God’s word, I desire to know Him more, to love Him more, to be more like Him, to do His will for my life and gain insight into His will for my life, and to love others more.  In one word:  closer.

Conclusions:  It is clear from these passages BSF is taking the position that John the Apostle wrote Revelation.  This is probably true and most scholars agree.  Just keep in mind we are not 100% sure whom John of Revelation is.  In fact, modern scholars tend to call the author John of Patmos (great explanation HERE of why they believe the author is not John the Apostle) to distinguish him from John the Apostle.

Not for sure how 5c is related to 5a and 5b.  Filler if you ask me.

More On the Recipients of Revelation:  It has been about 60 years since Christ walked the earth.  Most of the original witnesses who saw Christ in the flesh are dead.  Only a few are left and the writings left behind by the apostles and others to testify to Jesus’ time here on earth.

This led to speculation and a cult who claimed Jesus did not come in the flesh.  Known as the Gnostics, they believed a physical body was intrinsically evil and denied the fact a pure, omnipotent God would take such a form.  Hence, some claimed Jesus was a phantom or that God left Jesus before he was crucified.

Hence, John is faced with setting the record straight of who Jesus is, what he did, and what he will do in the future.  He spoke in their language, using language and symbols they would understand.

For instance, in 1 John 1, all Christians would have understood “the Word”.  All Jews knew the Word to be God.  For Greeks, the Word (or Logos in Greek) meant the Reason or the organization and control of the universe.

With only a 60 year history, early Christians needed encouragement.  They needed clarification.  They needed hope.  Remember in the first century, most people didn’t make it to age 50, all did back-breaking physical labor to survive, 99% of them never left the town they were born in, and various gods and myths and monsters were real.  The unknown was terrifying.  And most everything outside of their little circle was unknown.

Early Christians needed a victory.  The answer is clear:  Jesus is the victory.

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16 comments on “BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 2, Day 3: Revelation’s Writer and Recipients

  1. Jack says:

    What “scripture” do you suppose Timothy had in mind when he wrote 3:16? As I understand it, neither the bible, as we know it, nor the N.T. existed at that point of time. Again, as I understand it, there were many writings that did not make the cut to be canonized.

    • atozmom says:

      Valid point, Jack. I’m in the process of investigating this myself and will answer you further at a later time.

    • atozmom says:

      I would say all the OT writings.

      Remember in our study of Moses how Moses read out the laws to the people (Deuteronomy 31:10-11)? The laws and words God told Moses repeatedly to write down? This I believe is what Timothy is referring to as Scripture because, yes, the NT has not been written yet.

      Also, you are correct in scholars and religions and denominations disagree as to what to include in the canon. I would say follow whatever your religion says. For me, that’s the entire Bible. Yes, men decided what to include especially in the NT. It’s faith that God led these men. Faith that God said those words. Faith supreme…

      Even if you don’t think it’s all God-breathed, it is still useful for teaching and rebuking. All is good stuff on how to act and what Jesus would do.

      Here’s a good site I found explaining what scholars/commentators think Timothy meant when he wrote those words:

      http://biblehub.com/commentaries/2_timothy/3-16.htm

      BSF comments on this in the notes for Lesson 1 of Revelation under “The Bible’s History”. The OT was easily accepted. Debate was the NT. Many early councils were held in the early days of the church. Most were decided by The Council of Carthage in 397 AD. The book of Revelation was the last book to be added.

      Hope this helps.

      • Jack says:

        I think you are right. Jesus accused the scribes of killing all the prophets from Abel to Zechariah,(Luke 11.51) as recorded in the Hebrew bible, i.e. OT. (I got this from the “Ryrie Study Bible”). So it seems that there is little debate about what is included in the O.T. But the content of the N.T. was hotly debated until almost 400 years after Christ. For me, I recognize that many people far more intelligent, educated and devout than I (and certainly in a higher income bracket) have studied this and I just need to Trust and Obey! So, are the scriptures divinely inspired? I accept that. Are the scriptures the only divinely inspired works in human history? I doubt it.

    • Actually Paul wrote 1 and 2 Timothy as letters to Timothy. In 2 Timothy 3:15-16 Paul was clearing speaking about the books of Old Testament. However, even in Paul’s day, Christians recognized some New Testament books as inspired (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16).

  2. Lissette says:

    I think it is good to question the Word of God but most important is to ask why it has endured.

    The Word of Our God stands forever
    It certainly has endured. It has survived centuries of manual transcription, of persecution, of ever changing philosophies, of all kinds of critics, of doubt and disbelief – and still, it endures.
    For eighteen hundred years there have been people that have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before.
    In 303 A.D. the Roman Emperor demanded that every copy of the scriptures in Rome be burned.

    Comment: If this book had not been the Book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. There is so, so much more to it. The prophecies and the foreshadowing make it a miracle in itself. It builds up faith as you study it and makes me realize how much God loves us. He wants to have a love affair with us.

    I don’t know all the answers but I know what happened to me when I started reading it.

  3. Lissette says:

    Jack, I think the verse is more about the function and purpose of Scripture, and not about the origin.
    I love it when someone asks questions that make you dig all the more in the bible.
    Thank you.

  4. Darl says:

    Did something change in the format or am I missing something?

    Thanks.

    Darl

  5. Alice Roberts says:

    I’ve only received the Study Questions on Revelations Lesson 1, Day 5, but no other days. Have you sent Days 2-4?

    Thanks for replying. A. Roberts

  6. Lissette says:

    Jack, I have been looking for scripture that shows us that it did exist at that time.
    Paul reasoned with the use of scripture.

    Acts 17:2
    Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

    Acts 17:11
    These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

    How could they use scripture to test what Paul or anyone else was saying if the word of God (scripture) would not be given for a few hundred years yet?

  7. […] We’ve already discussed extensively who John is (See my post HERE and BSF’s Lesson 2, Day 3) […]

  8. Kathleen McNamara says:

    Who is writing this Atozblog? BSF international?

  9. CMCS says:

    Love the questions of authenticity. I question it because as versions of the Bible change, so does some of the meaning. Example Mark 1:41. In one version of the NIV (newer one) Jesus was “indignant” and in another he was *filled with compassion*. I answered with indignant, while the rest of the group was peppered with compassion. I was confused. To me, these two phases have different meaning at face value.
    Another one: Exodus 3:4 In the NIV version, Moses speaks to the burning bush and says, *Here I am*. In the TLB version he says, *Who is it?*. Those are very different replies to me. One he recognizes God and one he does not.
    My point: versions change the meaning. I do believe it is God-breathed, useful for teaching, etc. I think you really need to be Holy Spirit infused to get some understanding. Man errs, God does not.

    And some different perspectives on some of today questions:
    4a: John 21:20-25 Jesus loved, physically close, *leaned in* to Jesus at Last Supper-asked the pointed question: *Who is going to betray you?*.. (out of anger?curiosity?disbelief?sadness?)
    Acts 4:13 John was unschooled, ordinary.

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