Abstract

This study explores how John constructs and utilizes authority in the Apocalypse to support his motivational argumentation. Four mutually reinforcing levels of authority support John's rhetorical goals: God's authority over the entire cosmos and the unfolding of human history; Christ's authority over the churches and the kingdoms of the world; John's authority as a Christian prophet through whom Christ was speaking to his church; and the derivative authority of the Apocalypse itself as a self-attested inspired text. These four levels of authority interact to increase the motivational power of the Apocalypse among hearers who share John's early Christian world view.

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