posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 04:25 PM
Is there an Embedded Jewish Text (Ur-Text) buried in the "Book of Revelation" that was later doctored by 'Christians' ?
The theory put forward by James Tabor and others before him in recent years amounts to this:
The Apocalypse of Yohanon the Levite (Book of Revelation) beginning in chapter 4 was originally a Jewish Apocalyptic book (possibly dating from the
time of Nero c. 67 CE) which was later doctored/commandeered by Jewish 'Christians' during the time of Domitian (c. 96 CE).
Certainly we do see a number of passages which 'interrupt the flow' of the mangled Greek of the book (some of the worst Greek in the New Testament -
almost as bad as the paltry Greek in the Gospel according to 'Mark' whoever he was).
In this regard we must look carefully at the text as we have it: for an example of the 'interpolations' which were added to the UrText (original
version) we have placed in brackets - this despite the warning at the end of the book that damns anyone who adds or subtracts from the text (see Rev.
In the references below I have put these [Christian Additions] in brackets. This exercise strongly suggests that these are later additions to an
original Jewish text inserted to “Christianize” a book that ORIGINALLY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH JESUS. This is a rather astounding phenomenon and
once one sees it, then it becomes clear that the underlying original text remains intact and makes complete sense without these references:
Rev 1:1 The revelation [of Jesus Christ,] which God gave [him] to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel
to his servant John,
2 who testified to the word of God [and to the testimony of Jesus Christ,] even to all that he saw.
3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who
are before his throne,
[5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us
from our sins by his blood,
6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.]
Rev 1:9 I, John, your brother who share with you [in Jesus] the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos
because of the word of God [and the testimony of Jesus.]
NRS Rev 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically known as Sodom and Egypt, [where also their Lord was
Rev 12:17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God [and
hold the testimony of Jesus.]
Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God [and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.]
Rev 17:6 And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints [and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.] When I saw her, I was greatly
Rev 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades
[who hold the testimony of Jesus.] Worship God! [For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.“]
Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded [for their
testimony to Jesus and] for the word of God.
The remaining references to the “Lord” or to the “Messiah,” such as those in 11:15, 12:10, and 20:6, are generic and fit easily into the
thought world of generic late 2nd Temple Jewish apocalypticism - with nothing implicitly “Christian,” while the reference to “the Lamb” that
is slain fits well into the generic image of the suffering “Son of Man,” returning triumphantly in the clouds of heaven, taken from Daniel
7:13-14, where it is understood to be the corporate people of the “saints of the Most High,” as well as the corporate nature of the “Suffering
Servant” in the four “Servant Songs” of Isaiah (42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12
In contrast to these references to Jesus, that so clearly exhibit a heavy hand of Christian interpolation, one finds multiple references to the YHWH
El Shaddai (God Almighty) as well as “his Messiah,” (see Psalm 2) that echoes closely the language of the prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible,
and although Messianic (like the Dead Sea Scroll Covenanters) are not specifically 'Christian'.
None of these UrTexts contain explicit references to Jesus and clearly exhibit a textual integrity that reflects the language and thought world of
pre-Christian thoroughly Jewish apocalypticism which is far closer to the language found in the Dead Sea Scroll corpus.:
Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the clan-god YHWH, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty One.
Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,
“Holy, holy, holy, YHWH El Shaddai, who was and is and is to come.”
Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, Adonenu v Elohei, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were
Rev 6:10 they cried out with a loud voice, “YHWH YHWH, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants
of the earth?”
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the LORD of the earth.
Rev 11:17 singing, “We give you thanks, YHWH El Shaddai, who are and who were, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
Rev 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and amazing are your deeds, YHWH El Shaddai - Just
and true are your ways, King of the goyim !
Rev 15:4 YHWH who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have
Rev 16:7 And I heard the altar respond, “Yes, O EL YHWH El Shaddai your judgments are true and just!”
Rev 18:8 therefore her plagues will come in a single day — pestilence and mourning and famine — and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is
clan-god YHWH who judges her.”
Rev 19:6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder peals,
crying out, “Hallelujah! For YHWH our clan god, the Almighty reigns.
Rev 21:22 I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is YHWH EL Shaddai [and the Lamb.]
Rev 22:5 And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for YHWH Elohim will be their light, and they will reign forever and
Rev 22:6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for YHWH, the EL of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his Messenger to show
his servants what must soon take place.”
The implications of this simple textual examination are quite profound. First, it appears that one can fairly easily recover a pre-Christian version
of this text, more or less, with very little change to the underlying text itself.