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later editions. And he expresses his suspicions that these violations of grammar were probably yet more abundant in former times, having undergone the correction of transcribers. But if this supposition can be allowed, it may also be surmised, that other books of the New Testament have probably undergone this kind of correction. And why not the Gospel and Episțles of Saint John, even before the Apocalypse was, written? But taking it for granted, that the Apocalypse abounds with Hebraisms, and even with solecisms, more than any other book of the New Testament,—what can we hence infer, but that we probably have the original text of the sacred writer, as preserved in the early ages with scrupulous care? A forger, an impostor, would have written another kind of Greek, more closely resembling that of Saint John's Gospel and Epistles.
And although we cannot shew the Apocalypse to be written in precisely the same Greek, as the Gospel and Epistles of St. John; yet, I trusţ, we must be convinced that this circumstance is very far from being entitled to any decisive influence in favour of the opinion that it was not written by that Apostle, to whom the united voice of antiquity has ascribed it. Of all the arguments which have been advanced to support this opinion, there is none, which it will not be presumptuous to oppose to such au, thority
Having now advanced what I deem neccessary to say in answer to these objections of Dionysius, repeated by Michaelis, I shall add a few words concerning an objection of later date, to which this learned critic seems inclined to give his sanction, though he has not formally avowed it. He distinguishes between John the Evangelist and John the Divine, as if he believed them to be two separate persons; and the latter to be the author, or the reputed author of the Apocalypse. But the title, prefixed to the Apocalypse, in which it is called, “ the Revelation “ of John the Divine," does not properly belong to the book. It is not to be found in the most ancient and authentic MSS. and is therefore rejected by Griesbach in his edition. The true title of the book is seen in the first verses of it: it is “ the Revelation of Jesus Christ," not of John. But as it was communicated to the Church by St. John, and as other Revelations were afterwards written in imitation of this, and ascribed to other Apostles, so by degrees this Revelation was distinguished in the Church by the name of John. The Apocalypse of John was the title by which it was known in the times of Dionysius*. In the following century, when many contests had arisen concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Orthodox had found their firm support in the writings of this Apostle, (who alone of the sacred writers had described * Euseb. E. II. lib, vii. c. 94.
the Son of God as O:8 noyos *), they began to apply to this Apostle the title of Theologus, a title expressive both of John's doctrine t, and of his eminent knowledge in divine subjects. Athanasius calls St. John ó Occroyos amp.
In the decrees of the Council held at Ephesus, in 431, that city is mentioned as the burial place of John the Theologus, which agrees with the account of the ancients, that John the Evangelist was buried there 1. Andreas Cesariensis, commenting on Rev. xvii. quotes the Evangelist John by the title of Theologus g; and, although the same title was applied by Andreas and others, to Gregory Nazianzen, and to other able defenders of the Theologic doctrine, yet John the Evangelist was ó O:coyos nat' sçoxny, the Divine, and no other John appears to have had this title. So we may be assured, that, at whatever time this title was prefixed to the Apocalypse, he who prefixed it, intended by it John the Evangelist; who was
* The Word of God,
+ See the word sedoya, as used in Euseb. H. E. lib. iii. c. 24, and applied to the beginning of St. John's Gospel. The Christians are described as worshipping Christ, with reference to this name tow reisor jureor Orologerles. Euseb. H. E. lib. v. c. 28. And the Alogi, as we have seen, received that appellation, from deny, ing the Doctrine of St. John, for ev ae xn erlas son (@se) Rogov. Epiph, Hær. 54. Eusebius quoting the beginning of St. John's Gospel says, ade on Frodoyar. Præp. Evang. lib. xi. c. 19.
# Euseb. H. E. lib, iii. c. 1. 20.
§ Commenting on chap. iii. 21, he calls John Pearsos xas Bgolong bres. And on 1 Joh. v. 8, he says, xato Toy ®rodoyou.
well known, and celebrated in the fourth and succeeding centuries, by this appellation.
Having thus afforded some answer to the ohjections urged from internal evidence against the authenticity of the Apocalypse, I shall conclude with adding a positive evidence in favour of the notion generally received, that it was written by St. John.
In chap. i. 13, he who is ordered to write the book, beholds in the vision “ one like unto the Son of Man.” Now, who but an eye-witness of our Lord's person upon earth, could pronounce, from the likeness, that it was he? St. John had lived familiarly with Jesus during his abode upon earth; and had seen him likewise in his glorified appearances, at his transfiguration, and after his resurrection, No other John had enjoyed this privilege. No other eye-witness of our Lord's person appears to have been living in this late period of the Apostolical age, when the visions of the Apocalypse were seen.
We may, therefore, I trust, fairly conclude, that to the impregnable force of external evidence, which has been seen to protect the divine claims of the Apocalypse, a considerable acquisition of internal evidence may be added ; or, at least, that this avenue, by which its overthrow has been so often attempted, is not so unguarded as its adversaries imagine. And the future labours of judicious commentators will probably add a continual accession to this weight of evidence; for,
every prediction of this prophetical book, which shall be shewn to be clearly accomplished, will prove it to be divine; and, this being proved, there will then remain little or no doubt but that it proceeded from the pen of the beloved Apostle, to whom the early Fathers of the Church uniformly ascribe it.
I shall conclude with examining the pretensions of the Apocalypse by the rules laid down even by Michaelis himself, whereby to determine whether a scriptural book be authentic or spurious *.
1. Were doubts entertained, from the first ap: pearance of the Apocalypse in the world, whether it proceeded from the pen of Saint John ?
To this we are now enabled to answer, (see chap. iii. iv. v. of this Dissertation) that no such doubts appear upon record in the true Church, during the important period of one hundred years after its publication; but that all the ecclesiastical writers of that time who speak of its author, attribute it uniformly to Saint John. If any persons held a contrary opinion, they were heretics, who appear to have assigned no plausible ground for their notions.
II. Did the friends or disciples of the supposed author deny it to be his?
Answer. There is no such denial from Polycarp, Papias, Ignatius, &c. who appear all to have received it as divine Scripture. (See chap. iii. of this Dissertation.) • Introduction to N. Test. chap. ii. sect. 3, p. 27, &c.