Am I the ONLY One Bothered by the Assumption Taken by BSF that John the Apostle Wrote Revelation?

I have said repeatedly how scholars and mankind are not 100% sure that John the Apostle wrote the book of Revelation.  Yet in the Notes given by BSF for Lesson 2 they flat out say John the Apostle wrote Revelation and they cite the reasoning/proof in verse 1 of Revelation.

I’m unsure what NIV version BSF is using, but Verse 1 of Revelation in my NIV Bible says this:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.  He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John”.

I’m not seeing how “servant” is the equivalent to “apostle” because it’s not.  It’s not in the original Greek in which Revelation was written and it’s obviously not in English into which this was translated or it would say “apostle.”  Both very different Greek words and English words.

I’m irritated and a bit irate (hence this post).  It bothers me that BSF if presenting this as fact (which they continue to say throughout the notes with such things as John the writer of the book said in his Gospel and the like).

It casts doubt for me on the rest of what BSF is going to tell me.  If I can’t trust them to tell me the truth about a simple fact as John the Apostle may not have written Revelation, then how can I trust anything else they say about anything?

It’s the same argument I use with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus.  If you lie to your kids about their existence, how can they trust you in the big things like there is a God?

This is proof you must use outside sources.  You must investigate yourself.  You must use other commentaries besides BSF (and, yes, BSF is a commentary on the Bible).  You must not believe everything you read.  You must pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you.

We will only discover the author of Revelation in heaven, and I’m fine with that.  What I’m not fine with is a bible organization that I love and cherish deceiving me.

What do you all think?  Am I wrong here?  Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on this matter and how it effects the rest of the study.

Advertisements

91 comments on “Am I the ONLY One Bothered by the Assumption Taken by BSF that John the Apostle Wrote Revelation?

    • maxleepel says:

      you think you’re the only one who is right the others are wrong

    • Elinda says:

      I just love reading your thoughts. They are very helpful in my grasping the direction of the question. Sometime, my answer is very close to yours. Other times, I can’t answer at all until I’ve read your response. Then I feel that I’ve figured out the question and can now answer.

      Am I bothered by bsfs’s not exploring John in greater detail? No, i’m not. This is about Jesus. Jesus is all that matters in the end, to me.

  1. Our commentator for the lecture explained it this way…Several scholars have different opinions of who “Servant John” is and listed the gamut of opinions, stating in the end that BSF is taking the stance that in BSF’s opinion John the Apostle wrote the book of Revelations.

  2. Denise Barton says:

    splitting hairs. whose to say that the use of the word angel in this passage isn’t referencing the apostle? With all the contradictions and doubt thrown at Christians over the scriptures, why get so over wrought over this particular interpretation? to answer your question: yes.

  3. Cathy says:

    I found several things in the notes that I did not agree with; however, I doubt if we will ever find a theologian or commentary that we will accept as 100% truth. This is going to be a difficult study as there are many of us that have studied Revelation and have developed our opinions. If we choose to focus only on our opinions, we will miss the overall purpose for our study, which is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He is the one our attention should be on.

  4. Andy says:

    For me, the answer to the question is academic. It makes little difference who wrote Revelation other than perhaps put some creditability to the words in our temporal minds. All scripture is God breathed and from God, and if we have faith in those words the author is God. We do not know for certainty who wrote Job or Hebrews but it is evident whoever the author was, he was a Godly person. I accept Revelation as a promise from God regardless of who penned the words.

    • Phyllis says:

      I agree with you, Andy. Our TL actually told us there was some question as to whether Revelation was written by the apostle John or John the elder. Like you I believe that whoever actually penned the words, they were filled with God’s Holy Spirit. God was the author.

    • mft says:

      Andy, beautifully said. One thought to consider is it will affect the date Revelation was written as to who wrote the book and thereby the interpretation.

    • mindaleigh says:

      I also agree with you Andy. In St. Louis, our TO also said the was some question as to the author, but based on tradition and the uncertainty of knowing the “true” author/John, they were going with the Apostle John. Does it really matter which John wrote Revelation? God/Holy Spirit put the words into the author’s mind to write down. Even if ,say,Bubbles the clown wrote Revelation, it would still be the same words because the Holy Spirit “dictated” the contents.

    • Lasaine says:

      Well said Andy! And I believe the enemy wants us to take the focus from Christ. I’m learning and enjoying the study.

  5. Debbie says:

    Will you please email me? I’ve been following you for a long time. I’m not doing this years study and I’m not comfortable posting my comments publicly

  6. MV says:

    My teaching leader went over the history of the time with the emperor’s persecuting of the Christians to the fact that the apostles were all dead except John who was exiled to the island by the emperor. I attending seminary for my degree in Christian education, and I can tell you first hand, “scholars,” can often be incredibly blind to the simplicity of the scriptures. They get their brains involved rather than their faith often times. I agree with the above comment; do not get sidetracked; keep your focus on Jesus throughout this study.

  7. mft says:

    Very well said. Thank you. God bless.

    P.S. What I also do not like is BSF puts the Scripture references at the end of the notes.

  8. SA says:

    i brought it up in fellowship and was slammed down. I was told not to disagree with the Bible. Other said I never heard that. My leader said “keep an open mind”
    So, I go with it . BSF can ask Apostle John questions and fill a day I think what is puzzling is BSF has a resposniblity to be impartial. Like the other reader said “we know it comes from God” It should not matter who penned the words and BSF should repect that view too.

  9. Kegs says:

    Doing our lecture, we were told which stance BSF was taking. I don’t agree with everything you say but I love you nevertheless. We have too much to focus on than to be getting our britches in a bunch about who is the author. Instead of being all over the place with whose report on earth to believe, and confusing us with all of the different viewpoints, BSF made a choice. Let’s just take a stance, back BSF in their stance, and believe the report of the Lord

  10. nva says:

    As someone has already said, my first thought was, “this seems like splitting hairs, and really doesn’t matter.”

    Also, why would you question the entire BSF study, and question if they’re lying to you now over this? Have you ever in the past questioned BSF as a whole over one thing? BSF isn’t the first organization to say John was the author of Revelation, and they won’t be the last. (to be fair, our TL stated in their lecture that it’s not 100% certain John was the author, but it’s fairly sure he was and most agree)

    I really like your blog, and nearly always agree with you as I can tell you have a good, heartfelt mind for Christ, and what he is teaching us weekly. But I do find it interesting, more so than any other year I have been in BSF, I have seen more questions raised in my group time, and now here at this blog about the legitimacy of this years study. The enemy wants to do anything and everything to discourage us and take our minds off what The Lord is doing in every one of our lives this year through this very important study.

    Don’t let this bother you. In the grande scheme of what we are studying, it’s not as important as others have said. All of these words are from God regardless.

  11. SR says:

    I agree with most of what is said above. If it makes you irate, possibly you shouldn’t do the study. I say that with great respect for the hours you put into this blog and the research you do. I always appreciate your input. BSF, I believe, takes that stance because it is the most agreed upon with bible scholars. Ultimately, Jesus is you Lord and Savior and the rest is for us to study and make up our own minds. Blessings.

  12. Lynn says:

    I am not bothered by their assumption. I am just focusing on the message of Revelation and looking at my life to see what areas need to be changed. Which John write the book of Revelation doesn’t matter to me.

  13. Rick says:

    Because BSF is a commentary on the Bible we have to question the validity of any “position” it takes especially when presenting supporting evidence ! Granted, Revelation is a difficult “study” but taking a firm position, as BSF obviously has, equates with dogma…a belief system laid down by an authority ! If we don’t question as intelligent “servants” how do we avoid false doctrine ?

  14. JJP says:

    There are a number of theories about who wrote Revelation. They are discussed in a number of places including here: http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/who-wrote-revelation/ and here: http://www.truthnet.org/Christianity/revelation/Introduction/, Our class at BSF discussed all the theories and the class leader said it was HIS belief that it was John the Apostle.

    The earlier epistles of John do differ in language style but they could have been dictated by John and transcribed by another – something that was common during those times. I tend to think that the two Johns are the same but, to me, it is not an important point. Rather, I listen to the message rather than the messenger.

  15. shereeclint says:

    As we go through Revelation there will be many topics which will raise questions. Such is the nature of prophecy. You do a wonderful job assisting us with your research and insight, however to take you, or anyone else, at face value is to turn our back on scripture which implores us to check out everything. Most theologians believe that Daniel was written during the Maccabee revolt, even though Daniel lived hundreds of years before. I do not take that view, however I am not upset that others do. Do not be discouraged. BSF is staffed with fallable people who bring their own agenda to the table. We all do. Persecution is coming, we must stick together.

  16. D Elsdon says:

    All Scripture is inspired by God; and the prophecy written in the Book of Revelation; well it is just that; the Revelation of Jesus Christ; penned by John (?) by the inspiration of God.

    We are NOT told who the author of Revelation is; Scholars openly state we think . . . but they also state; that they DO NOT know!

    Whom the Author is NOT to be discussed in a laymen’s Bible Study; other than, to state, we are NOT told we do NOT know!

    Do NOT Add or Take Away; SO BSF is ADDING to scripture (Altering what God is telling us; or in this case what He is NOT telling us) here!/?
    (Should make one tremble; as God commanded this NOT; at least twice; once in the OT & once in the NT)

    Revelation 22:18-19K (KJV)
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Deuteronomy 4: 2 (KJV)
    2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

    Be NOT DECEIVED; Take Heed . . . (KJV does not say ‘take Heart’!)
    Matthew 24:4 KJV
    4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    The Holy Spirit is Speaking to you –
    Review the study thus far; in four lessons there have been 26 ‘personal questions’ and most are not related to the passages assigned.

    Is this Bible Study; or a Bible social hour?/!
    (In Les 03 day 5 you posted:
    There is a TON here and BSF has barely touched on this passage as it deserves to be studied.
    Please see End Notes below for a more thorough analysis.)

    If your Bible Version is protected by ‘Copyright’; it is Not the inspired Word of GOD; but altered by MAN . . .

    Jesus and the Scriptures 1-4 0184-87 1023 COMPARING BIBLE VERSIONS 1024-026 THE NIV 1-6 Solid, sensible proof that this book (NIV) is NOT the word of God; A must for those who have tested NIV Positive.

    ‘God does not grade on the curve; but by the Cross’.
    Dr James Knox

    I Pray that you are serious about the Word of God, and studying His Word; that you get a non-copyrighted Bible and find a Bible Believing Church, and study HIS WORD; and pay not what Dick, Jane, Joe, or Susie has to say or think; we are to study and search for the truth revealed to us in Gods Word; if not, all is in vain!

    Pray fully,

    D Elsdon

  17. I am in complete agreement with you. We assume it was the apostle John. I have to be careful where BSF is concerned because of comments such as these. My teacher also made a comment on how we are all “hand picked” by Jesus after I stated that John was hand picked. Those kind of statements really bother me. Yes, we are all hand picked by God, but there was only one John. I also don’t accept people that state we need to stick together because there are so many different agendas. I am sticking with God.

  18. Shalene Germani says:

    You are wise to think critically of information you (and we) are being taught by any person or organization. However, the use of the word “deceived” may be a bit strong. Does your personal study of the book of Revelation completely rule out John the apostle? If not, then there is just a difference of opinion and probably not an attempt to deceive. But, if you are finding yourself uncomfortable with the overall message or process of the organization, then by all means, follow as the Spirit leads you. I am new to BSF and find myself being cautious and critical as well. If one was to conclude that John the apostle was the author of Revelation, and it were actually to be someone else, does that change the meaning of the message? Thanks for your willingness to share your thoughts with us.

  19. Dave says:

    Hi have been a BSF for ten years and even though they do some strange things in the way they run the show the bottom line is a great bible study. From what I have gathered in my research it seems a consensus that the Apostle John wrote revelation. Does it really matter? It is the word from God sent through an Angel to a John.

    Love your commentaries and have been with you for a few years keep up the good work and lets move on.

  20. atozmom says:

    In BSF’s print material so far that I have read, no where is there a question; it is presented as fact as who the author is.

    My Teaching Leader presented it as fact and never mentioned it could be someone else. Obviously, you all have different classes with different experiences and different information disseminated.

    As I have said previously as well in some of my posts, I don’t care about who wrote it; all I care about is that it is from God, which I believe it is.

    My qualm is that it is presented as fact without mentioning there is an element of doubt (which there is). My qualm is when the notes says Verse 1 of Revelation says John the Apostle when it doesn’t. My qualm is the false information being printed and/or said.

    Me personally I know what I believe. I am posting this for those with my experience and my class and other classes without teaching leaders who have discussed this point.

    To me, it is important. Yes, it’s about God. It’s about His word. Does the messenger matter? No. And my point is BSF should say this without emphasizing and disseminating false information that John the Apostle wrote it and said he did (which is false).

    Does that make sense?

    Quibble? I’ll let you decide.

    • Agree .. if BSF would have just qualified their comment. They have been so careful to not take a stand (not yet anyway) that it would have been much easier to temper their declaration a bit.

    • Sack says:

      All what you and the rest have said is true in part. That is why we pray when our Pastor preaches and when we are being taught in our church Bible classes that God is speaking through the individual. It is all about God. Although you are the receiver, you should still pray for an understanding and for God to open your eyes so that you can focus on the things that is pleasing unto him.

    • Debbie says:

      I think BSF takes lots of stands on lots of issues, both scripturally and otherwise. I have a problem with them making this statement and agree with the blogger on this issue

  21. iloveu123 says:

    I think you should bring your concern to the BSF higher ups since this is a matter that obviously bothers you a whole lot. I took a course from Beth Moore this summer and she too teaches that John the apostle is the author of Revelation. It doesn’t bother me at all. Regardless of who happens to be the author, I know the Bible is accurate. Just my two cents worth.

    Blessings,

    Kathy

  22. lawrence stirtz says:

    I wont lose much sleep regardless of who the author is as most of the biblical sources are problematical at best. This in no way detracts from the message, for me at least. However you raise a great point BSF should disclose where such things may be in question so we can chose how we want to deal with them.

  23. Ed says:

    I too am bothered by the definitive nature of declaring John the apostle as author from Lesson 2’s BSF notes. What’s even more striking is the apparent inconsistency in BSF’s primary source of all knowledge; namely Dr Ryrie’s NIV Study Bible. The word ‘servant’ is the only word used to describe John, both in the scripture and the footnotes. Over the years, it seems to me, this version is quoted more than any other in the questions and in the notes. That said, attending BSF saved my life and brought me out of the darkness of unbelief. It’s been a blessing for me over the years, not only the fellowship, but through daily study gained understanding of the power of discernment of all scripture. We can have these conversations to edify the body, but one BSF quote from my lecture leader I’ll never forget, “…in cases of disagreement or inability to fully explain scripture, test it as being or not being a salvation issue.”

  24. Larry says:

    I believe you should take this up privately with BSF and not be broadcasting this as their commentary is just as good as anyone else, including yours. I was disappointed in you for sending something like this to your readers without discussing this with BSF direct. I will continue to use your notes as a help as long as they remain positive.

  25. None of know who you really are????? Because you choose to keep yourself anonymous, which makes me question your trustworthiness. I’m not sure where you go to BSF or who your Teaching Leader is. Perhaps you should go directly to your TL and speak to her about your concerns. My TL mentioned in our lecture that there is some disagreement about which John might have written the book…..but BSF like many, many, many other scholars and ancient writers find more weight and good sense that the Apostle John is the writer. So do me and your readers a huge favor and PLEASE stop creating dissension and distrust in BSF and their methods of study.

    • SA says:

      God does not hate disagreement. and asking questions to understand is not a sin. From reading her blog, I know she is a Christian who takes time to study and understand the Bible beyond most BSF people. She shares with us and does not really deserve unkindness..

      • Again the writer of this blog remains anonymous and hidden…but yet freely blasts BSF for being deceitful and untrustworthy. It is easy to condemn something when no one knows who you really are…..BE BRAVE and stand up for what you believe is truth, but do it openly and publicly. I feel this person is using their anonymous blog to purposely create dissension and distrust in BSF and that is why I’m upset. I’m sorry if that sounds ‘unkind’ to some, but honestly no one truly knows who this person is or what their agenda is against BSF. My name and photo are here for all to see….I am not hiding.

      • atozmom says:

        Candice,

        Your first comment on my blog was left in March 2015 so I’m going to assume you’ve only been around since then (you may correct me if I’m wrong).

        You were not around when I first started this blog in 2009 and first blogged my BSF answers in 2010. If you go back and read some of those posts, you will see what I went through starting this blog (although admittedly I have removed some of the posts. I was cleaning up my blog this summer and they were too painful to read). I was vilified, told I was “ruining BSF” by posting my answers, told I needed to seek God, was accused of subverting His Word and BSF, and many, many other personal attacks against me. I have cried so many times over this blog I’ve lost track. I almost quit because of people like you….

        But I believe firmly this is my calling from God to help others.

        I have posted many, many, many times before on this blog why I remain anonymous (because of those like you who don’t like what I do). With all the violence and escalation against Christians (did you see the recent shooting?), I cannot put my family at risk when there are psychos out there…

        I’m not at all accusing you of being a psycho. I’m just once again laying out my reasons for being anonymous. You may check my previous posts for further reasonings as I hate repeating myself.

        Again, as I’ve said many, many, many times on this blog, I don’t force anyone to read it. If you don’t like what I say here, don’t come. Don’t read it. Don’t participate.

        That being said, it is my forum. My right to free speech. My calling from God. You can accept that or not as you are questioning my faith and motivation here as well and you don’t know me. You are judging me–again for God to do.

        You can voice your opinion here, feel I’m creating dissension or what have you. I am merely questioning why BSF is presenting something as fact when it’s not 100% sure. That is it. You can read all you want into it, but that’s all I’m doing.

        Nothing changes without questioning. Nothing. America wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t questioned King George. Empires would never have toppled (Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon, etc). There is nothing wrong with questioning something. I teach my kids this every day. Don’t believe something just because it’s written or someone tells it to you. Go and find out for yourself. That is what I am encouraging on my blog. Investigating. This excludes the Word, of course.

        Knowing BSF’ers like I do, some don’t. I’m gently nudging them to.

        You may not like how I say it and that’s fine. But accusing me of having an “agenda against BSF”? Seriously? This tells me you haven’t been around very long…

        Questioning is who I am. This has been my style since the beginning. And it will continue to be. When I see something that bothers me, I tell you all. I WANT to know your opinions. I WANT to know if I’m the only one. And, yes, you can ask my kids, their mother is a bit crazy and off her rocker at times. We all have our idiosyncrasies…

        I posed a concern. You all answered. And for that I am grateful….It’s why I’m still here. You all….and why I love each and every one of you. Why I pray for you every day. Why I post prayer requests and leap for joy when you share. My heart breaks when yours does and skips a beat alongside yours.

        Even if you don’t agree with me, I love you all. It’s such a blessing to be here. To have this little world I’ve worked hard to create. To have God bless it when you all come. To have you all tell me when I’ve jogged something. To tell me God loves me. Because I need to hear that too. Like we all do…His amazing love, grace, and mercy brings us together–to question, to learn, to go deeper, to seek Him always and forever…

        I’m near tears….of joy…

        Much love to you all!!! God bless!!!

      • SA says:

        Many people do not like personal info on the internet. I don’t. I understand her position.

  26. bonnie says:

    In BSF, We touched on the fact that there could be another John but really, God is the author giving words to his chosen scribe and I do not want to get sidetracked by this. Does it change the message? no, Does it change the validity? No. Relax and enjoy the study because I have a feeling there are lots more points that will be questioned before the study is completed.
    When it is all said and done, if you are asking God to show you His Word by the Holy Spirit and He will do that!

  27. SA says:

    People!! This person that we read for her notes and observation is Christian as all of us are. No one is slamming anything. We study, We learn. Hopefully, live a life in Christ. God does not condemn those who question and look for answers. His Love is big enough for all questions. Lighten up. This MOM does not deserve your blasts.

    • JJP says:

      You are absolutely correct. She expressed her concern and she is entitled to it and we should respect it even though we may disagree. She has clarified her position and I respect that.

      It is ironic but a men’s Bible Study Group I belong to also is reading and discussing Revelation (although we started from 1:1 and don’t delve in other sections of the Bible). A number of us read commentaries and the ones that were mentioned (Bridgeway, Bullinger, Constable, Guzik, and Spurgeon, among others) thought it was written by the apostle John. However, one individual in our group – who attended a seminary – disagreed. However, as said earlier it’s all opinion and there is no concrete proof either way.

      It appears that some GL simply read their lectures from what is given to them by BSF without expressing any contrary view. The GL I had in another state at times would specifically state that something was the “official position of BSF” but also said there was disagreement among others.

      • Joseph Zavada says:

        Saying it makes no difference whether BSF pronounces that Revelation was written by the Apostle John is akin to stating that it makes no difference that the Catholic bible contains several more books than the King James version. Did God withhold information from Protestants that He intended only for Catholics? I agree that this is not what BSF is all about. It is dedicated to bringing God’s word to all who want to study it. But any information disseminated via BSF should always carry the caveat about dissenting views when that is the case. Especially when that information is not considered dogma.

    • Sharon says:

      It doesn’t matter to me who you are, you are a real mom, with a real life, real concerns and week after week post your answers for all to see. I wouldn’t expect anyone to do this with their name on it. You and others in the past have been slammed in the comments section in hurtful, mean ways. Teaching leaders and pastors have to face this after lectures and sermons on a weekly basis too.
      BSF is bravely going where many pastors and a pastor I know said he will never go. Why? Well, if the spiritual attacks and tragic events in the lives of our class members are any indication I can now understand. I believe the enemy does NOT want over half a million people to be blessed by studying this book together. Things are happening today that indicate Christ will soon return. What we will be studying is powerful. I believe GOD does want Revelation studied at this time so His people can know what is about to happen in a way it could have never even happened in history until now or even been studied before.
      I will be praying for you and BSF and hope everyone reading these comments and blog will also speak with a spirit of truth, kindness and prayer. I believe people have for the most part tried to today. We live at a time when evil and wickedness are rampant and causing hearts to become cold and numb. I hope you don’t feel disrespected or hurt today. You have been open with your concerns but I don’t believe BSF would ever desire to be deceptive nor would you.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not sure about your TL, but ours has continued to mention in her lectures that as we go through Revelation there will be many different viewpoints and she has stressed the need to learn to disagree agreeably as we go through this study together. I love how she shares stories from the training institute that she attended–sharing how scholars disagree, how one leader changed their views of Revelation by the time he got to the end of his preparing to teach them and how despite differences they were able to teach different views while respecting each other and getting along.

    I do think you are forgetting that the notes are commentary and contain a specific viewpoint from one group. It is no different from Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz or any other bible teacher teaching from their biblical viewpoint. After research, prayer and study by very knowledgeable people, BSF has chosen to take the view that the Apostle John is the author of Revelation–it’s not an obscure view, it is based on sound and commonly held beliefs–but we don’t know for certain and there are other views. As we go through Revelations we will be hearing many different opinions and I think both online and in our groups we need to learn to disagree agreeably.

    I appreciate that you share your answers and views with us, but I think occasionally your tone comes across as condemning of BSF and that’s what gets everyone’s knickers in a twist. Maybe this year, with a study that is going to stretch us all, we can learn to have more compassion and understanding for BSF and each other.

    • SA says:

      BSF is supposed to be non denominational. The other studies you mentioned are associated with churches and certain beliefs. I am not sure what the answer is but feel that BSF did not have to take a stand in order to study Revelations.

  29. Loretta says:

    John physically wrote the book inspired by the Spirit as told by Jesus to John. Not sure why you are so bothered by how it is presented?

  30. Sunshine says:

    Did not bother me at all. It really does not matter as long as it was inspired by God. Love your blog and you have every right to bring up questions.

  31. Lissette says:

    Revelation 1:9
    “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering
    and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours
    in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because
    of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

    I agree with Atoz that the bible does not specifically say that it was John the apostle, however after reading this verse it makes me more inclined to think it was John the apostle.

    The apostle John knew Jesus better than any of the other disciples. There was something very special about John’s relationship with Jesus. John was the only disciple present at Jesus’ crucifixion (that the Bible mentions).

    Most of the comments here about this are right on target. I think that any question that makes us dig more in the bible is a good question.

    Atoz made us all think and search the bible and for that I am grateful.

  32. Susie Nicholson says:

    My bible say four time the author identifies himself as john ,John the apostle the son of zebedee,an African bishop name Dionysius say that could not have been written by John,if you notice Bsf don’t want you to look up any thing in other contrary,which I don’t agree with

    Sent from my iPhone

  33. Michael King says:

    Hank Hanegraaff and, more importantly, R.C. Sproul definitely state it was John the Apostle that wrote The Book of Revelation so that’s good enough for me. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

  34. Jennifer Beauman says:

    I’ve never heard someone say they love BSF so much but rip it apart the way that you do. If you feel deceived make room for someone else who wants to be there and learn about the Lord.

  35. Lissette says:

    Like Atoz said if you don’t like her site don’t come here. We all come here to learn, she doesn’t expect us to agree with everything she says. But knocking her for speaking her mind does not serve a purpose. I love it when she poses questions that make me look at the bible closer. Isn’t that what this site is about? .

  36. Just like you I have the freedom and right to express my concerns and questions here or wherever I chose. There is a HUGE difference between questioning and accusing. You’ve openly and publicly accused BSF of being deceitful and not trustworthy. Then you slam me for being upset. We all need to do our own investigation and pray regarding this issue, but to bash BSF repeatedly because they made a choice that you don’t agree with is neither fair, nor loving. That is an agenda. Your motive is to plant seeds of doubt in those you claim to love. Yet your words against BSF are not loving, they create dissension and discord.

    In response to your statement from an above reply “because of those like you who don’t like what I do” you remain anonymous. First I NEVER once inferred or stated that I don’t ‘like’ that you answer BSF questions on a blog. Any one of us has the power and freedom of speech to share our BSF answers publicly. Secondly, I am sincerely sorry that feel that you must remain hidden and anonymous because you are so fearful of violence against you or your family. That is truly sad. ONCE AGAIN what I DON’T like is the way you’ve repeatedly bashed BSF and the theology they’ve chosen to apply to this study.

    • Sweet Mama says:

      Plenty of us have been with AtoZ Mom from the very beginning. Some of us are leaders. It’s easy to say, “Contact headquarters.” Really? That’s not the way BSF works. It’s not like we get to meet and go out to dinner with our area teams. It’s not like our area teams spend one on one time with the BSF board of directors or officials. They pray and make decisions. Sometimes we like those decisions and sometimes we don’t. Either way, those of us on the ground implement those decisions. We’re there an hour and a half early setting up on training days and class days. We are there afterwards hauling bins of toys up and down stairs to out of the way closets and putting classrooms back exactly as we found them and collecting messy soap bottles and picking up the toilet paper shreds people leave on the floor. We wipe down wet counters. We drag stacks of chairs back to the classrooms we found them in and put them back exactly as we found them. We pick up the candy wrappers people leave on the pews and put hymnals back. I happen to agree with AtoZ mom on this. It’s a quibble. There are some things I would change but I’m not in a position to speak my mind. I toe the line because what I get out of BSF is more important than me agreeing with every single decision they make, whether on the lesson notes, the wording of the group questions, or the wording on the children’s lessons. Clearly some teaching leaders felt it was important to share the possibility of another John author and some felt threatened or did not want to introduce doubt. Sounds like BSF made the same call on the notes. I’m not saying what my TL did or did not do. Clearly, you are new to this site if you are challenging AtoZ mom on her anonymity. This is not just a BSF fan site. This is also a homeschooling site. It is a writer’s site. She has children. She has a husband who travels. What if she is a military wife? Would you be so quick to admonish her? I happen to have figured out what her husband does for a living and a pretty good idea what state she resides in but I would never share that with anyone. People associated with the military have to think about the SAFETY of loved ones. People whose husbands travel frequently for weeks at a time certainly don’t put their names out on the internet or if they do, they’re foolish. Those of us in leadership have to be loyal to those who give up 20 plus hours of their weeks to BSF. Every email I write to respond to questions, every phone call I make that takes 30 minutes or an hour, every prayer request I pray over takes times from my family and my work. If I don’t want to “out” my identity, that is MY CHOICE. This is AtoZ Mom’s blog. I come here for my own fellowship. Our leaders’ circle is so large that our discussions are hard to hear and it’s rare you even get to participate in any way. At least the Group Leaders get to be part of and facilitate discussion with a smaller group. Children’s Leaders and Admin only get that one shot at hearing the lesson discussed. If there are fifty or sixty leaders or more in weekly training circles, chances are, you just sit there and keep your mouth shut. I wish leaders split up for discussion but that’s not how it’s done. So for me, AtoZ Mom has always been MY safe discussion place to share or not. I’m sorry our choices bother some of you. There are other BSF blogs out there or you can start your own.

      • Jennifer Beauman says:

        I’m glad to see that there is someone backing this blogger for ripping BSF apart. I am merely saying I find it ridiculous that she is missing the big picture here and only focusing on who wrote the book of revelation. God wrote the book, PERIOD. There are so many women out there on a waiting list for BSF, step aside and let them in. And I can guarantee you they won’t argue about who wrote the book.

      • Shelly says:

        I agree with everything you said, as I too am a leader and I spend 20 hours a week to facilitate our group. I’m the first one to arrive and the last one to leave every week. I need the extra discussion the blog provides because I don’t get the one on one as much because of all the work getting it off the ground each week so our 400 ladies can study. The issue I have with Ato Z’s posts at times are not that her opinions differ from mine occasionally, it’s the way she differs. Her spirit seems argumentative and lacks humility. I have no trouble with her anonymity or that she questions. I just feel there’s a way to do that where it offers questions in love but instead there’s an anger in them that causes division. Perhaps I’m sensitive to it because serving as I have these last year’s has refined me greatly. It is so easy to criticize when all you’re doing is taking, when your serving selflessly you realize how important all the aspects of the study are and it changes the way you approach the whole thing. This post in my opinion shows immaturity. Not the question she raised but the way in which she raised it. Surely you must see that….

  37. Teresa says:

    I think you’re over reacting. Does it really matter which John wrote it? How does it change the redemption story? Besides, there’s more to determining authorship than one Greek word.

  38. Audrey C-S says:

    Never responded before – until now. Thank you Atozmom for all you do to spread God’s truth to an online world. Question away, stay anonymous, and above all, keep seeking the truth from God and HIs Holy Spirit. We can agree to disagree on anything, but as believers it should be done in grace and love. The enemy is roaring and would love nothing more than to divide us. I pray that we are vigilant and aware of that at all times, and definitely with this Revelation study.Thank you SweetMama for your information and support for this blog and it’s writer, and thank you for all you do for the Lord as well. I too think I’ve been with Atozmom since the beginning, and I’m very grateful for all the time and effort she spends on this blog. While my answers are often very different from hers, I always come away from here feeling the love of God and more excited than ever to keep studying His word. And isn’t that what we seek? The joy of the Lord is our strength. We are family. And we are His. Forever.

  39. Jack says:

    When Jesus washed the disciples feet = What did he say? We wash one another’s feet! We are called to be servants.

    “What I’m about to tell you is true. A servant is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them. – John 13:12b-17
    Don’t attack the messenger> What is more important? The message or the messenger? Is there any question who sent the message? I think not.

  40. […] More and more scholars merely refer to John here as John of Patmos.  All we know for sure is he was a prophet (being given a vision by God/Jesus) and he was known to the churches he was writing to.  He was on the Island of Patmos (which the reasons exactly why are unclear besides “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”).  And the text probably dates between 90-100 AD although some scholars say earlier in the 60’s AD.  See more thorough discussion HERE […]

  41. Jan Mulroy says:

    You say you love BSF but you deceive yourself. You allow Satan to use you and you blog to attack the work this organization is doing for God. You grumble, you complain, you criticize at every point. You want people to listen to you yet you don’t have a teachable heart. You obviously know more than anyone associated with BSF which makes it clear to me that your motive for continuing this group is so you can have something to grumble and tear down in this blog. The choice I have to make is do I continue to read this trash talk, or do I make sure I never read anything you write again. Easy choice for me.

    • Jennifer Beauman says:

      I agree with you, Jan. I have responded twice to this bloggers complaining of BSF and homeschooling and how she criticized her “friend” because she can’t homeschool. I’m Christian and obviously sin everyday but to blatantly rip BSF and your “friend” apart for the whole world to see is not Christian like in my book.

  42. Shelly says:

    Several of the posts you have made over the years have had flesh, arrogance and anger dripping off of them. This one is no exception. I think it’s a little reckless in tone and one of the worst I’ve read from you.

    Raising this question isn’t what I have issue with, not at all. It’s a good point. It’s the way you raised it, there’s a lack of humility. You write as if your view is right and BSF is wrong, nevermind the years of prayer, research and theological imput they’ve received. You’re post sounds like you’re assuming BSF is intentionally misleading people.

    Be careful AtoZ. The bible says that it is better for a millstone to be placed around someone’s neck and thrown to the bottom of the sea than to cause a little one to stumble. Questioning the entire study because of your one opinion is going to cause someone who reads here to give up on this study instead of fighting through it. Is your opinion so important that the risk of that doesn’t matter? You have a responsibility to the young in the faith who come here whether you like it or not. Calling the whole study into question because of your own personal opinion is careless. There’s a way you could have addressed it by saying “these are my thoughts on this and these are the reasons why but perhaps in this area we disagree”, there’s a way to raise your concerns with humility and grace. The way you did it sounded as if you’re sounding a warning alarm and the entire thing is now tainted. That’s a horrible shame in my opinion. I’m sincere honesty I am really disappointed in your recent posts of commentary. Remember pride God before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction.

    • atozmom says:

      Admonishments accepted.

      Lately, I’ve been battling despondency and cynicism sneaks in when it’s least expected.

      I’ve explained what I meant to say and perhaps the tone was a bit divisive. Due to incidents in my past I don’t wish to divulge but am aware of how they affect me from counseling, I am not one to trust easily and little things can trigger major reactions…

      Points taken and with prayer should improve in all the above traits…that’s why I asked for comments…to set my thinking straight again…thanks to all the respondents

      • Tj says:

        I’m sorry to hear that you suffer from despondency and trust issues but your words carry a lot of weight as you can see from the huge response to your question. Please remember this and prayerfully consider your words before you make a mountain out of a molehill.

        And I am curious what your creditials are. I can tell you aren’t just parroting other commentators in your opinions. Did you go to seminary? Are you a textual critic? Do you know Greek? Do you know for certain that there was more than 1 John exiled on Patmos in 65 or 90 AD? If so, how? Is Bsf the only bible study you blog about or have you blogged about others?

  43. Carolyn says:

    Move on people!!!
    May you have a blessed Sunday.
    This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

  44. M Davidson says:

    It is my understanding that the reason some scholars and BSF assume the author of Revelation is the Apostle John is because the other apostle had died from persecution. The apostle John died of natural causes and would have been the only one left to write it. I don’t have a problem presuming the Apostle John gets credit for being author because it doesn’t change the message.

  45. SA says:

    This is a blog. So far there are not any rules governig blogging. She puts her research and ideas out in the world. She created a dialog. We all have many things in common: BSF, study and knowledge, freedom and not the least, but greatest is the Lord.

  46. JE says:

    My TL stated that there may be differences in opinion on who wrote it and on the timing of it. I have no trouble that they went with John the Apostle or stated it in the notes, because based on what I’ve read and studied, that’s where I landed too. As others have stated, God spoke through “John the servant” and that’s good enough for me. As far as viewpoints, after 8 years in BSF, I feel like they do a pretty good job or explaining different view points and then stating they are going with one. That didn’t happen in these notes and based on AtoZ’s comment here (I’m sure this question was raised in their Revelation committee!), maybe they will refine their notes next time around. I did want to add that I was a GL and was blessed enough to go to the Leaders Conference years ago and attend seminars. BSF has some of the foremost biblical scholars, professors and theologians today writing their notes and I was blessed enough to meet some of them and be able to ask questions in sessions about divisive things and to get honest answers. They don’t always know, after years of studying, and they will say that. I will also tell you that the notes take years to write and a staff of many and they are prayed over and prayed over as I went to a seminar that talked about just that process. This organization will be under attack for undertaking Revelation such a large scale. You can count on it. But as we learn in Revelation….LOVE WINS.

  47. JLS says:

    I am also under that same assumption!

  48. brdybnch0401 says:

    I tread cautiously when it comes to BSF. In fact I tread cautiously with any religious organizations. I have spent what seems the majority of my life being made to feel unworthy and that includes amongst so called Christians. So you can see why I don’t trust the church 100%. The church should be some place for all to feel welcome.

    I understand why BSF has some of their rules pertaining to kids. But being a single mom on a very limited income, when BSF got in my face for bringing my 14 year old daughter to one session. I saw right there just how cold BSF truly was. She was in no way shape or form disrupting anything, causing a scene or anything else along those lines. Yes, they have other family sessions. But my daughter in involved in youth group. The BSF is 30 miles away from me, I ride with other members. I can not afford to drive on my own every week. Does this mean that because I am a single parent on a fixed income that I shouldn’t be allowed to attend? Does this mean I forget that I am a parent? I don’t think God or Jesus would have ever thrown anyone out of a church and I don’t entirely agree with BSF’s stance on children.

    I mentioned that because I already had my personal doubts regarding BSF. As far as who did or did not write it. It could have been Jack, John, Jeronimo. I think the bigger picture here is not so much who but what is written. If all scripture is God breathed, what does it matter who it was breathed to? As long as we know that it is the word of God.

    Does this mean I doubt BSF? I do and will continue to. But not in regards to who wrote Revelation. I think we’re missing the whole point and that is what is written more than who wrote it. I guess you could also argue was the angel that delivered this really even an angel. No one living now was there. So we have to take what is written as fact and not quibble over which John it was but more so over what is being said.

    • Joe says:

      Lesson 3 notes suggest that the vocabulary and grammar of Revelation echo the language of
      John’s Gospel and his letters, according to “scholars”. I do not see how this question can be answered two thousand years later.

  49. birdies06 says:

    I do agree with you here especially when it comes to the baby Christians in BSF. They are coming in to learn about the bible from one of the best and most trustworthy bible teaching organizations there is (or suppose to be). When BSF holds onto one interpretation it can lead to careless stewardship of the sheep who get lost in the one interpretation and forget to broaden their horizons. This is where the fellowship in BSF comes in and we help one another out and guide accordingly. Love your straight forward notes and questions. Helps us think outside the box. Iron sharpens iron.

  50. Rebecca says:

    Dear, Sincere, Earnest AtoZMom: NO, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE. I have been in BSF since 2004. Many times I have found things in the notes so lacking in Biblical foundation that I’ve literally crossed them out. Many, MANY times the ONLY thing that kept me going was your blogging about frustration or disagreement with BSF notes, questions, and commentary. You reassured me that I wasn’t crazy, and I wasn’t alone. YOU HAVE BEEN A BLESSING to me and to my study of God’s word. So has BSF, or I wouldn’t continue. And while I have disagreed with them, they have been a God given tool in my growth, especially their class on homiletics, which changed the way I study, and expanded my understanding. To those who are concerned about your impact on new Christians, I believe that ESPECIALLY new Christians need to be warned that they should question ALL sources except their Bibles. The Bible repeatedly warns us to beware false teaching and to test the spirits.To those who didn’t care for your tone or presentation, they come across as far less loving and open than do you. For those of us who have followed you for several years (and have obviously been blessed, as evidenced in the myriad of comments above) we KNOW that your power of discernment is a gift and God is using you for His purpose. Be a Berean. Don’t stop. Much love and many thanks!

  51. Joni S says:

    I ditto EVERYTHING that Rebecca said!!! I have learned so much here, from you and from some of the others who comment. Much love to you and thank you for your heartfelt and honest sharing!

  52. Kathleen says:

    Keep your focus on God and Jesus. Don’t focus on what you think on who wrote the book or BSF thinks, We are all here to learn and grow. I read your answers and comments after I finish my lessons. Sometimes our aswers don’t agree, but that doesnt mean you are right or wrong or I am right or wrong. I especially love your take on the lessons other than the questions, your comments. I have learned a lot from you. We will meet in hevean. much love

  53. jim cradduck says:

    Only the Lord knows the answer. We will know when we get to heaven. We are all servants of God, no one higher than the other. I am sure any of the apostles would be honored to be called servants of God, I know I am. Always let the Bible interpret the Bible, and have faith till we all meet in the sweet bye and bye, on that beautiful shore.

  54. Florence Driscoll says:

    Who BSF claims john is does not impact me as strongly as the comments about the Lord’s Day………..did any one stumble on the sentence about the DIDACHE??? it states that it COMMANDED Christians to meet “on the Lord’s Day” Where did men get this authority to COMMAND another day to worship????????I always wondered where SUNDAY worship came from as I find no basis for it in the bible……………..I am troubled because right from the beginning we read Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

    Revelation 1:3 ………….it says to take what is written to heart……………………….from the lesson of the life of Moses I took to heart that GOD was very serious about the Sabbath and that it was the 7th day from creation on. I looked and looked and he did not change that anywhere I can see………………..but now I see I was looking in vain because he didn’t! By BSF referring to the DIDACHE, I see now that MEN did……….they commanded……………………….what else are we doing out of tradition mindlessly following our parents their parents and their parents and not even bothering to find out why sunday is now the Sabbath! I digging deeper………………………I have a feeling this revelation study is going to seal the deal for me…………….I canI must take what the bible says to heart……………………conviction from life of moses is resurfacing…………..sunday worship is part of the deception……………………..two systems of worship vowing for our attention. Are we going to worship him who made heaven and earth, our creator? The answer for me is already clear…………………………..I must obey

    • atozmom says:

      Florence,

      I did not see anywhere the Didache mentioned. Is that in the Notes? Nor am I seeing a command to meet on the Lord’s Day.

      Sunday is tradition only. We have to pick a day to rest and it has become Sunday throughout history since as you say Sunday wasn’t even named when God rested.

      • brdybnch0401 says:

        No a certain day was never named. But if you look at the week as it is set up then Saturday would be the 7th day.

        Genesis 2: 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

        3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

        Exodus 20: 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

        9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

        10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

        11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

        In reading all this. God rested on the 7th day and we are instructed to do as God and keep the 7th day as sabbath. So in terms of today’s week then that should make Saturday a day of rest and the sabbath.

        So, yes I would have to agree, when did mankind decide to change the Bible and make Sunday the sabbath?

      • Tj says:

        From got questions.org: (we should all pay attention the the last sentence here)

        Scripture never mentions any Sabbath (Saturday) gatherings by believers for fellowship or worship. However, there are clear passages that mention the first day of the week, Sunday. For instance, Acts 20:7 states that “on the first day of the week we came together to break bread.” Paul also urges the Corinthian believers, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Since Paul designates this offering as “service” in 2 Corinthians 9:12, this collection may have been linked with the Sunday worship service of the Christian assembly. Historically, Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.

        Christians worship on Sundays in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is very important to remember, though, Sunday worship is not commanded in the Bible, and Sunday has not replaced Saturday and become the Christian Sabbath. While the New Testament describes Christians gathering and worshipping on Sundays, it nowhere states that Sunday has replaced Saturday as the Sabbath. They key point in all of this is that we are not to limit our worship to any particular day of the week. We are to rest in the Lord every day. We are to worship the Lord every day.

    • brdybnch0401 says:

      Sadly, I think there are a lot of things that people want to twist and turn and say because the majority do it, they will call it the norm and some how ok it. Unfortunately I find a lot of people to be highly judgemental, that goes for Christians as much as it does for non Christians. The Bible is very clear that it is wrong and we are not supposed to judge people. Unfortunately, I have lived a vast amount of my life being on the side of being judged and it has left me not only questioning Christianity/religion but even questioning my own self especially when that judgement has came at the hands of people that claimed to be Christians and even Christians within the Church that several looked up to. I even have found BSF to be somewhat judgemental in their actions. When they go to the extent of trying to make single parents feel unwelcome. I myself was raised to be very family oriented. I was raised to believe that church and religion was a thing that the family did together. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my time with the ‘girls’ for BSF. But when on the few occasions where I am made to feel unwelcomed because I chose to bring my teenage daughter with me so we could go to a doctors appointment after BSF, I find that to be very judgemental to the extent of being hypocritical. When the classes do social get togethers and children are not welcome, then again I feel they are being judgemental against those that are raising kids. I don’t think God would ever look favorably on any religious entity turning away kids, single parents or anything.

      I know this is not what the original question was. But I see more than one area where I truly question the teachings of BSF. If our hearts and minds are not right with God, then how can we teach the Bible correctly? Clearly there is room for doubt as to exactly where the hearts/minds of BSF is if they are going to resort to this sort of judgement

  55. Jacqueline says:

    I am not an official BSFer yet, but trying to keep up until I am called into a class. It is a bit difficult since I don’t hear the lectures. I stumbled onto your site and it has been such a great blessing! Thank you. I have NRSV 4th edition and read the questions about authorship before beginning. But the message was loud and clear from BSF discouraging debates over opinions or beliefs. The outcome we all seek is to discern God’s message for each of us. Does it really matter from whom or where the truth comes?
    You have so much to offer so please don’t fret about this issue. Just keep sharing and listening for his voice. We know the outcome regardless of the author, don’t we?

  56. Karen says:

    Am glad I found this post as the same thing was bothering me. Thank you for the time & effort you put into this blog. As a new Christian I find it very helpful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s