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8. Style of Writing

It has been observed that the style of the Greek within the book of Revelation differs significantly from that of the gospel of John. This has been frequently used to intimate that the author, although describing himself as John (Rev. Rev. 1:1+, Rev. 1:4+, Rev. 1:9+; Rev. 21:2+; Rev. 22:8+), is a different John than the Apostle. (See the discussion concerning the authorship of the book.) Our purpose here is to briefly discuss these differences in style and to suggest possible reasons why this is so.

2 Ibid., 101-102.

3 Merrill C. Tenney, Interpreting Revelation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1957), 14.

4 “The gospel of John was probably written between A.D. 85 and 90, the epistles of John in the early nineties, and the Apocalypse about A.D. 95.”—Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992), 18.

5 Tenney, Interpreting Revelation, 14.

6 Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, 101.

7 “It is not so much particular Hebraisms that meet us in the Apocalypse as the flavor of the LXX whose words are interwoven in the text at every turn.”—A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek NT in the Light of HistoricalResearch (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1934), 135.

8 “Some have suggested that the message was so emotional and vivid that John struggled to keep up with the flashes of dramatic revelation coming on him.”—Mal Couch, “The Literary Structure of Revelation,” in Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 69.

9 “It is also possible that John used an amanuensis (secretary) when he wrote the gospel and the epistles (as Paul did; Rom. Rom. 16:22)—something he could not have done while writing Revelation in exile on Patmos.”—John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1999), 6. “There is plausibility in the suggestion that the superior smoothness of the Greek of the Gospel and various linguistic differences are due at least in part to the employment of a Greek amanuensis. . . . Paul wrote most of his epistles by the hand of another.”—Isbon T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001), 356.

10 “While the solecistic anacolutha of the Apocalypse have no parallel on any large scale in the Gospel, there is a considerable number of unusual constructions which are common to the two books.”—Henry Barclay Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998, 1906), cxxiii.

11 Thomas, Revelation 1-7, 7-8.

12 “his departures from Greek usage are pretty certainly not due to ignorance; his general correctness and his Greek vocabulary show him to have possessed an adequate command of the language.”—Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John, 345.

13 Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John, cxx.

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