The writer of this Epistle was the beloved Apostle, John, a fisherman from Kahpehrnah-oúm and the brother of James, the son of Zebedee. He was the youngest disciple, who later owned his own house in Jerusalem (John 19:27). He was an eye witness to the life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ. He also wrote the Gospel and three Epistles bearing his name. Only Paul wrote more N. T. Books than John, but Luke wrote greater volume.
Internal evidence to John's authorship is dependent upon the accepted title that bears his name which was placed at ‘the head of the scroll' of the circulated copies; and the use of his name as the writer in verses 1:1,2,4 and the identification of himself as the one who bare record of The Word of God (Jn. 1:1,2,14 cf. 1 Jn. 1:1). Additionally John identifies himself as the writer of the contents of Revelation (1:9 cf. 1:19; 22:8). Since the writer of John's Gospel and Epistles did not use his name, but the writer of Revelation did, some have questioned that the same person is the author. However the writer of Revelation described The One he saw on Páhtmohs as "a like One to The Son Of Man" (1:12,13 cf. Jn. 1:51; 13:31) and external evidence gives ample attestation.
External evidence comes from the Muratorian Canon (A.D. 160-200): ‘‘We receive also the Apocalypse.'' Noted church fathers, Irenaeus (c. A.D. 185), disciple of Polycarp (John's disciple), Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 155-216), Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, and many others referred to the Apostle John as the writer of Revelation. Justin Martyr especially wrote, ‘‘John prophesied in Revelation as further witness to the millennium'' (Dialogue with Trypho, ch. lxxxi).
Dating is based upon the time of persecution of Christians and Jews by Domitian (A.D. 90-96). John indicated that he wrote from the Isle of Páhtmohs, where he was incarcerated for the testimony for Jesus Christ. So since his later years before banishment to Patmos, were spent at Ephesus from where His Gospel and Epistles were written and his banishment most likely occurred in A.D. 96; and since Revelation was written later than Third John, the date for writing Revelation would be late A.D. 96 or later (A.D. 99?).
The Purpose of John in writing Revelation is clearly stated as, ‘‘to show to His (Jesus Christ's) bondslaves what things are absolutely necessary to come to pass speedily'' (1:1). Revelation is the capstone of the Bible to reveal Jesus Christ in all His Glory and what the future holds, which he describes as ‘‘what things are about to come to pass after these things.''
The destination of this Epistle was to the seven churches of Asia minor: Ephesus, Smúrnah, Péhr-gahmohs, Thu-áhteh-eerah, Sáhrdeh-ees, Feeladélfeh-eeah, and Lah-ohdeekehée-ah.
Characteristics include: exhortative, cautionary, and prophetic. It is Judaistic in nature. Every symbol and figure is drawn from the Old Testament. Language is difficult from standpoint of grammatical congruence. Revelation is the culmination of all God's purposes and glory in the person of Jesus Christ. Out of 404 verses, 265 contain Old Testament language with 550 references to Old Testament passages.
The Book may be outlined as follows:
According to Rev. 1:19 According to ‘‘Vision''
I. The Things That Are Beheld (1:1-20) . I. The Vision of Grace (1-3).
II. The Things That Continue Being (2:1-3:22). II. The Vision of Govern-
III. The Things That are about to Be (4:1-22:5). ment (4-18)
IV. Conclusion and Warning (22:6-11). III. The Vision of Glory (19-22).