Friday, January 16, 2009

Revelation Bonanza - Part 3: Gospel and Apocalypse

What relationship does the Apocalypse have to the Fourth Gospel? Both are clearly in the Johannine "school" (if such a thing existed) as they share a similar christology on Jesus as the Messiah, Son of Man, Lamb of God, etc. Yet obviously the Apocalypse is fully into apocalyptic eschatology while the Fourth Gospel emphasizes a distinctively realized eschatology. The links between the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse of John are probed by Jorg Frey in an appendix to the revised edition of Martin Hengel's Die Johanneische Frage. John's Gospel is not necessarily a rejection of apocalyptic thinking since the main thrust of it has an affinity with an apocalyptic theology. In both books the revelation of heavenly mysteries is found in Jesus. Likewise, the Gospel's emphases on dualism, determinism, election, messianism, revelation, hostility with the world, wisdom, and judgment all have points of contact with apocalyptic writings like the Apocalypse of John.


Alan Bandy said...


I see you are coming to the light! :)

Jorg Frey's work is outstanding. He is judicious and comprehensive. There are few works give such a detailed assessment of the relationship between these two books.

I would say, however, that I am not sure one can say that the FG could only be viewed as realized eschatology. Likewise, I am not sure that we could say that Revelation omits any sense of realized eschatology. Clearly, they are not the same and the eschatological distinctions do exist, but I wonder if these differences have overshadowed the similarities.

Thanks for all that you do, my friend. It is good to be back on the web and staying current with your blog. Congratulations, also, on all the recent publications.

Patrick George McCullough said...

"Both are clearly in the Johannine 'school' (if such a thing existed) . . ."

I think you need to remove the word "clearly." Your parenthetical comment already casts doubt on its clarity. I personally think it's a stretch to connect the two anyway.