The Revelation of St. John in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Authorship and authenticity. The writer calls himself John
(Revelation 1:1; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:9; Revelation
22:8). Justin Martyr (Dial. 308, A.D. 139-161) quotes it as
the apostle John's work, referring to the millennium and
general resurrection and judgment. Justin held his
controversy with the learned Jew Trypho at Ephesus, John's
residence 35 years previously; he says "the Revelation was
given to John, one of the twelve apostles of Christ."
Melito, bishop of Sardis (A.D. 171), one of the seven
churches whose angel was reproved (Revelation 3:1), is said
by Eusebius (H.E. iv. 26) to have written on the Revelation
of John. So, Theophilus of Antioch (A.D. 180) quoted from
the Revelation of John (Eusebius iv. 26), also Apollonius of
Asia Minor in the end of the second century. Irenaeus (A.D.
195), a hearer of Polycarp (John's disciple, probably the
angel of the Smyrnean church, Usher), quotes repeatedly
Revelation as the apostle John's writing (Haer. iv. 20,
section 11; 21, section 3; 30, section 4; 5:26, section 1;
30, section 3; 35, section 2).
In v. 30, section 1 he quotes the beast's number 666
(Revelation 13:18) as in all the old copies, and orally
confirmed to him by persons who had seen John, adding "we do
not hazard a confident theory as to Antichrist's name, for
if it had been necessary that his name should be proclaimed
openly at this present time it would have been declared by
him who saw the apocalyptic vision, for it was seen not long
ago, but almost in our generation, toward the end of
Domitian's reign." In writing "against heresies" ten years
after Polycarp's martyrdom he quotes Revelation 20 times as
inspired Scripture. These are testimonies of those
contemporary with John's immediate successors, and connected
with the region of the seven churches to which Revelation is
addressed. Tertullian of northern Africa (A.D. 220, Adv.
Marcion iii. 14, 24) quotes the apostle John's description
of the sword proceeding out of Christ's mouth (Revelation
19:15), and the heavenly city (Revelation 21). See also De
Resurr. 27; De Anima 8:9; De Praescr. Haeretic, 33...