Just a tiny bit… yes, a wee bit… on why I think Revelation is Markan

So, I am floated the idea verbally that Revelation is composed in the Markan Community.

I’ll give you just a few reasons.

First, the internal structure of Revelation 4 – 19 is one of circles within circles within a giant circle that is Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 21-22. This is a feature of Mark as well. There is also a┬ánoticeable┬ápivot in both books, with Mark’s pivot on the Mount of Transfiguration and Revelation’s in chapter 16.

But more than that – there are the parenthetical hidden messages. For instance, in Mark 13.14 when the author turns to the audience to remind them that they need to pay close attention to what he is saying. We see this likewise in Revelation 13.18 and 17.9, 15.

Not only that, but the style of the Greek is… butchered.

Anyway, there you.

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10 Replies to “Just a tiny bit… yes, a wee bit… on why I think Revelation is Markan”

  1. Color me intrigued. Those happen to be the two NT texts I have been studying a ton of late (the last couple of years). This will be the first I’ve considered such an idea, but, now, I guess it won’t get out of my head. Thanks.

    While you’re probably quite early in your thoughts on it, I’d wonder what your dates for their authorship would be given the idea of the same community.

    1. I am pondering the authorship now. Is it dealing with Nero or the Jewish War or Domitan? Concurrently or after the fact? It wouldn’t date it later than 96, but no earlier than 70.

      I would clarify the community aspect of it, however, to suggest that it could be a Markan scribe, a student of “Mark”

    1. I didn’t say the same author – I said Markan, as in Markan community, which I clarified later as a scribe or student of Mark. And as I also said, it it is not based just on speaking to the audience but other factors as well.

  2. Dr. Watts, I found this post while looking up the subject of markan connections in Revelation. How have you progressed on this subject since 2012? My own investigation into the possibility of markan infuence on Revelation is a bit round about.

    I became intrigued by the hypothesis that John Mark was the beloved disciple, which made since to because he and his mother had a house in Jerusalem, and the last supper was in a house in Jerusalem. If Mark was a youth when the last supper occurred, it could explain his reclining on Jesus, odd I think for a grown peer, and his presence at the cross. A child would not have the same scrutiny as an adult male follower. If he was known to the priests in Jerusalem, he may himself been of a priestly familly. I suspect that when The Gospel of John says the beloved disciple recorded these things, they are referring to some variety of the Gospel of Mark. Thus both John and Mark are named after the same person, John Mark. I suspect it is he and not the apostle that was involved with the “johnian” community. The other John the elder is a later individual. That leaves the question of who was the John of Revelation.

    I think it would be stretching to believe that this community had 3 notable Johns and ancient tradtion only supports two johns. Further, I think the acceptance of Revelation suggest its author was an important part of the asian church. If he was the beloved diciple that would explain that. Also Mark’s uncle was called bar nabbas, which suggest that in Mark’s familly there was a tradition of people claiming prophetic ability. We also know Mark and Paul part ways and I suspect that Revelation’s attack on those that eat food sacrificed to idols is an attack on Pauline Christians.

    I agree that both Mark and Revelation use circles in circles to tell their story. And there does seem to be a relation between Marks little apocalypse and the prophesy of the seals in Revelation. While I’m aware both works have poor Greek grammar, I don’t know Greek so I can’t check for specific word use, and I think your the first scholar I’ve encountered that has suggested a link between the two. If you like I can pass along my email for further correspondence.

    Micheal Wilson
    BA History and Religious studies Montana State University

    1. Mike, I’m not opposed to that line of thinking, except John was composed well after Mark, meaning well after the author of Mark’s death. However, given John’s use of Mark (and Luke), the beloved disciple could very well be a cue to Mark.

      Have you read Thomas Oden’s book on the african memory of Mark?

      1. Thanks for responding Dr Watts. I haven’t read Oden’s book, but will look into it on your recomendation. Yes, I do think John is using Mark, loosely or perhaps from memory and so when John 21 refers to the disciple that testified and wrote these things, he is referring to the author of Mark, which contains so much of what is found in John, and who is likely dead given the explanation given for Jesus’ quip that he may well live to the second coming.

        My primary interest through is the prospect of Revelation being Markan. Have you written more extensivly on this?

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