Re: revelation and John

From: Peter Phillips (
Date: Sun Jun 22 1997 - 05:29:23 EDT

In reply to the postings so far, I wonder whether we will ever get to the bottom of this one. Why would John dictate in Hebrew anyway - he probably spoke Aramaic rather than Hebrew as his first language if he was a Galilean fisherman. Hebrew would have been used for religious and liturgical purposes rather than dictating a letter. Also the possibilities of someone hearing in Hebrew and immediately writing it down in Greek are surely very slight. And although Hebrew and Aramaic are close most would agree that Revelation is Hebraeo-Greek and not Aramaio-Greek.

However, there is also the whole literary perspective as well as the linguistic. Not only is Revelation written different linguistically it is also a different kind of literature and written in a different style entirely than the gospel. The linguistic problem is one of the problems concerning Johannine authorship of Revelation - not the only one!

Pete Phillips
Lecturer in New Testament
Cliff College, Near Sheffield, England

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