Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.
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.