Did the apostle John write Revelation?

3Resurrections
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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:18 pm

Hi Paidion,

Sorry this response is belated; I had out-of-town family visiting. After reading through your comment, as usual there are things we would both agree on, and other points where we would not. I guess the critical point where our views would diverge is based on what motives we would each attribute to God for allowing atrocities to take place daily all over this planet. The way you are describing God's attitude towards these evil actions being committed is a hopeful, expectant mindset, with God expressing a rather plaintive wish that mankind would rise above its baser, animal passions and decide voluntarily to perform works of righteousness in preference to making evil choices. This would seem to portray God as being at the mercy of the whims of His own creation. It would be similar to God running the earth like Jurassic Park with no gates or fences, optimistically hoping that the "dinosaurs" wouldn't decide to prey upon each other or the park visitors.

I do agree that mankind as originally created and placed in the Garden of Eden was given free will at the outset. Likewise the angels as originally created. But what is free will anyway? It's the opportunity to make a decision between committing a good act in obedience to God (which characterizes life), or an evil act in disobedience to God (which causes death). The mere possibility of an evil act being committed in God's universe, bringing death as an outcome, is NOT ultimately a desirable thing. Therefore, if God's universe is to be finally purified and made completely holy (as in our glorified, resurrected, eternal state in heaven), the possibility of any evil activities being chosen must be eradicated. In other words, I'm guessing that in our change to an incorruptible state of a glorified, resurrected body, that free will is no longer part of the picture, once all of the saints have been given a will that can perform only those things that please the Father. Jesus was the supreme example of this: "...the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (John 8:29).

Here's my theory for God's ultimate purpose in designing His human creation endowed with free will in the first place: to prove that only God Himself, the Creator, can ever be trusted with the dangerous power of free will. He is the only one who can be trusted to NEVER, change or to make an evil choice when exercising His free will. ("For I am the LORD, I change not..." - Mal. 3:6) However, in the case of God's created beings, (whether angel or human), even if originally created in an absolute state of perfection (as in the Garden of Eden), they will eventually decide to make a choice in disobedience to God their creator, thus bringing death and corruption upon what God created.

Free will is a sugar-coated poison pill, but it has been elevated and idolized as a sacred, inviolate right by virtually everyone. We are in love with our own chains of addiction to this substance. Words like "robot", "puppet", "slave", automaton", "the Borg", etc., etc. are all common epithets that are used to vilify this idea of a person having no ability to choose, where God is concerned.

I suspect that we are looking at free will upside down from the way God regards it. We think, "Wow! I can choose to do whatever I want, whether it's a good choice or a bad one. Isn't this freedom great!" God looks at this and says "Wow! How can fallen humankind think that the ability to choose doing something I hate is a great thing? What self-deception!"

Frankly, I believe all of human history is God giving us one long, extended display of what levels of evil can be achieved by fallen humanity having the dangerous power in their hands of being able to choose good or evil. Free will is a two-edged sword: we kill each other, and/or we kill ourselves with this weapon, which in our hands has become a corrupted, death-dealing power ever since the Fall. It took an outside Force beyond ourselves to lift us out of this state of death that mankind inflicted upon itself. Over the ages of time, God has been patiently teaching His saints this lesson of the extent of our own corruption, and consequently, of the extent of His mercy and holiness. To the praise of the glory of His grace.

And just to let you know, Paidion, my own fallen nature, which hates restraint of any kind, instinctively revolts against everything I just wrote above. That's how I know that what I wrote is probably as true as it gets.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi 3R wrote:The way you are describing God's attitude towards these evil actions being committed is a hopeful, expectant mindset, with God expressing a rather plaintive wish that mankind would rise above its baser, animal passions and decide voluntarily to perform works of righteousness in preference to making evil choices. This would seem to portray God as being at the mercy of the whims of His own creation.
Well—it wasn't my intention at all to suggest that God is merely wishing that man might eventually choose Him, and work righteousness. We who are Christians have freely chosen to do that. The others haven't. But when a Christian witnesses to non-believers of God's love, and instructs them as to the advantage of people serving one another rather than everyone merely maximizing his own interests, they will sometimes make the decision to become a Christian and to work righteousness rather than evil. But God Himself is a far stronger influence on the wrongdoer than any human being. One beloved brother once stated, "All of God's judgments are remedial." I think that is true. As I see it, hell itself is not a place or condition in order to punish sinners retributively, but to correct them. I think God Himself will minister to them, and in some cases this might mean considerable discomfort. But God will give them no more discomfort that what is absolutely necessary. He doesn't want to punish people in the sense of "You're going to get what you deserve" but God's "punishment" is for the purpose of is correction.

The apostle John wrote that God IS love—not that love is one of His attributes, but that it is His very essence! Everything God does, He does for a loving purpose.

A good human father corrects his children. He doesn't lock them in a room and torture them for the rest of their lives. And God is MUCH more loving than any human father. "In Him is NO DARKNESS AT ALL!"
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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Homer » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:44 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
All of God's judgments are remedial." I think that is true. As I see it, hell itself is not a place or condition in order to punish sinners retributively, but to correct them. I think God Himself will minister to them, and in some cases this might mean considerable discomfort. But God will give them no more discomfort that what is absolutely necessary. He doesn't want to punish people in the sense of "You're going to get what you deserve" but God's "punishment" is for the purpose of is correction.

If what you say is so why wouldn't God remediate then now rather than wait until they are in hell? We know He wants them saved now.

If the concern is their free will, how would that be affected any differently if He corrected them now rather than later?

3Resurrections
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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:59 pm

Hi Paidion,

If you don't have a problem with wandering far afield from your original topic, I certainly don't mind meandering here and there over the landscape.

All God's judgments remedial? In a sense, yes, because God's judgment of all the wicked perishing in judgment is remedial for God's universe to eventually restore complete and utter righteousness by annihilating the wicked elements out of it. However, it isn't intended to be remedial for the wicked individuals themselves.

Remedial judgment is for God's sons and daughters in this life - not the next. And bastards are not included in this remedial chastisement, as Hebrews 12:6-8 tells us when it puts a dividing line between God's correction of sons for their profit in this life, versus bastards who are not of His family, and who are "without chastisement" of this sort.

Personally, I do not read anywhere in scripture where hell is taught as being a place or condition used for the punishing of sinners in a kind of torture chamber after death. This idea runs counter to all examples of God's OT patterns of judgment for lawbreakers. The maximum penalty ever imposed under Mosaic law was a death sentence; not perpetual imprisonment with endless flogging. The Psalmist described God's final solution of dealing with the wicked. Psalms 104:35 says, "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth and let the wicked be no more." And also Psalms 37:20: "But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." This fate of being consumed applies to the evil angelic realm as well as wicked humanity.

God does exercise longsuffering in this life with the wicked in order to demonstrate His mercy to all, but He also tells us that such benevolence on His part is thrown aside by the wicked. As Isaiah 26:10 says, "Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord."

In other words, not all humanity will become sons and daughters of God; some are bastards. In God's final analysis, not all are sheep; some are goats. Not all are considered wheat; some are tares. Not all will be classified as the "just", having Christ's imputed righteousness; some are the "unjust". The eventual fate of the bastards / goats / tares / and unjust is to "perish"(John 3:16) in a final judgment - not suffer torment.

Because God uses the word "perish" in regard to the eventual fate of the wicked, this also would exclude a kind of remedial judgment after death until these goats morph into sheep instead. The implications of that scenario would necessarily show that if a sinner after death suffered long enough, that they could eventually earn for themselves a place in glory. A works-based salvation; the equivalent of Purgatory. Sorry, it's called "the GIFT of God" that is eternal life (Rom. 6:23); it's not an "earned rewards" program that achieves a status of eternal life.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:07 pm

3R you wrote:Because God uses the word "perish" in regard to the eventual fate of the wicked, this also would exclude a kind of remedial judgment after death until these goats morph into sheep instead. The implications of that scenario would necessarily show that if a sinner after death suffered long enough, that they could eventually earn for themselves a place in glory. A works-based salvation; the equivalent of Purgatory. Sorry, it's called "the GIFT of God" that is eternal life (Rom. 6:23); it's not an "earned rewards" program that achieves a status of eternal life
.

3R I didn't suggest that the wicked could "earn for themselves a place in glory" in the afterlife. My position is that God (and perhaps also His redeemed children) will minister to them in a way that will lead them to repentance.
You also wrote:In other words, not all humanity will become sons and daughters of God; some are bastards. In God's final analysis, not all are sheep; some are goats. Not all are considered wheat; some are tares. Not all will be classified as the "just", having Christ's imputed righteousness; some are the "unjust".
It is true that this dichotomy exists in this life and will continue to exist in the afterlife until those "goat" and "tares" (figures of speech) have repented.

Your seem to think that there are no scriptures that teach this universal reconciliation to God. Then how do you explain the following?

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:19,20)

For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the secret of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:9,10)

Therefore God has highly exalted him [Christ] and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe. (I Timothy 4:10)

But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20,21)

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.ut each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one. (1 Corinthians 15:22-28)


Also Origen, in the third century, wrote the following about the reconciliation of all to God:

Origen (185-255)

The Reconciliation of All things to God (Including the Devil!)

The restoration to unity must not be imagined as a sudden happening. Rather it is to be thought of as gradually effected by stages during the passing of countless ages. Little by little and individually the correction and purification will be accomplished. Some will lead the way and climb to the heights with swifter progress, others following hard upon them; yet others will be far behind. Thus multitudes of individuals and countless orders will advance and reconcile themselves to God, who once were enemies; and so at length the last enemy will be reached... De Principiis, III.vi.6

Through His Repentance, the Devil Shall Be Destroyed

When it is said that ‘the last enemy shall be destroyed’, it is not to be understood as meaning that his substance, which is God’s creation, perishes, but that his purpose and hostile will perishes; for this does not come from God but from himself. Therefore his destruction means not his ceasing to exist but ceasing to be an enemy and ceasing to be death. Nothing is impossible to omnipotence; there is nothing that cannot be healed by its Maker. De Principiis, 1.vi.1-4

The Remedial Judgments of God

[Isa. I. II … ‘the fire which you have kindled’.] This seems to indicate that the individual sinner kindles the flame of his persona! fire and that he is not plunged into some fire kindled by another, … God acts in dealing with sinners as a physician … the fury of his anger is profitable for the purging of souls. Even that penalty which is said to be imposed by way of fire is understood as applied to assist a sinner to health …[cf. Isa. xlvii. 14,15, x. 17, Ixvi. 16; Mal. iii. 3] De Principiis, II.x.4,6
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:00 pm

Hi again Paidion,

Didn't mean to ignore your comment - been working on a custom-drapery deadline. You know, I may be one of the few who still has job security in the after-life. All those "windows of heaven" need draperies, I'm thinking...Dorcas the seamstress and I get to work on them for all eternity.

I'm sure you have engaged others on this issue of universal redemption before, and at length, so it's not likely I will be contributing something new that hasn't already been stated. But I will offer my own understanding of the texts you supplied, since scripture is a homogenous whole, and apparent contradictions within it should be able to find agreement somehow.

Why don't I start at the bottom of your comment and address one of Origen's points first. This is the simplest to refute. If Origen claimed that redemption for the Devil and his angels was scheduled sometime in the distant future, his view has a real problem to overcome when we consider Hebrews 2:16. Christ did not take up the nature or the cause of the angels. Instead, "He took on Him the seed of Abraham". To redeem Satan and the fallen angels, the Son of God would have had to become an angel Himself in order to pay the price of redemption for the fallen angels as their advocate. But He didn't do this. He left them in their fallen state, and instead took on human flesh to redeem His brethren, the seed of Abraham.

NOTICE: If universal redemption were true, Christ would have taken hold of the seed of Adam. But it doesn't say that. He took hold of the seed of Abraham in particular, who is the Father of the Faithful. Christ took hold of human flesh for the sake of the children of faith - the children of the promise. And not all have faith, as Paul said in II Thess. 3:2. And not all of humankind are the children of the promise, as Romans 9:8 tells us. Some are of their father the Devil (John 8:44).

Christ still retains His glorified, incarnate, human form today, and "continueth ever" (Heb. 7:24) in that same human form to serve as our high priest mediator. He will never abandon that identity He shares with humanity to adopt an angel's form of celestial flesh, which He would have to do in order to redeem fallen angels. So, there is no possible means by which Satan or fallen angels could be offered redemption, either now or at any time in the future. It's the angels or us. Redemption can't be available to both simultaneously.

Besides, Ezekiel 28:18-19 predicted when Satan, the former "anointed cherub", would be consumed by fire and turned into ashes upon the earth. The LXX tells us that his fate of destruction would result in "...Thou shalt not exist any more". This means annihilation was predicted for Satan, and he was thrown into Jerusalem's AD 70 "Lake of Fire" as the city experienced its "second death" (compared to Jerusalem and the Jewish nation's first death, which took place under Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians).

Satan and all the wicked angels were imprisoned in Jerusalem (Rev. 18:2 and Is. 24:21-22), for the length of time it took to utterly destroy the city and that wicked and perverse generation along with it. God's consuming fire reduced wicked humanity and wicked angels to ashes (Mal. 4:1) within that city's walls. By using the word "ashes", we are to understand an utter extinction of existence: ashes cannot exercise repentance. God told us in Hebrews 10:27 that He was "about to devour the adversaries", and it would occur during those AD 70 "days of vengeance". That wicked generation paid its debt down to the last mite. If God eats you up, you aren't coming back into existence again: you have been turned into a waste product, symbolically speaking. Both Death and Hades were thrown into that AD 70 "furnace in Jerusalem" (Is. 31:9 cp. Matt. 13:42,50), to be consumed by God in Jerusalem's "Lake of Fire". (It's the fulfillment and the location of the "Lazarus and the rich man" parable.) That is, the wicked souls of humanity that had been in Hades were somehow consumed in Jerusalem's inferno during those days.

Before those days, Hades (or the grave) had already been emptied of all the souls of the righteous dead when Christ arose and ascended to the Father, taking with Him the spirits of the righteous dead. Ever since that point of time in AD 33, the spirits of the righteous dead did not go to Paradise, but instead went directly to Christ in heaven, as Paul affirmed in I Thess. 5:10, Phil. 2:23, and II Cor. 4:8. This AD 33 change in the post-mortem destination for the spirits of the righteous is the reason we have Revelation 14:13 saying "...write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord FROM HENCEFORTH," (after Christ's ascension in AD 33), "Yea, saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." The context then goes immediately into describing the crowned Son of Man harvesting the earth's dried harvest with a sickle (the Matthew 27:52-53 saints), which was the AD 33 "First Resurrection" event being described in Rev. 14:14-16.

It was these righteous spirits of the OT brethren that were called "ye that dwell in heaven" (Revelation 12:12), who rejoiced when Satan the accuser of the brethren and his angels were cast out of heaven to the earth in AD 33. This happened at the time Christ ascended on His resurrection day. It was these righteous spirits dwelling in heaven from AD 33 onward who were the "all things in heaven" who would be joined to their resurrected bodies which were the "all things under the earth". (Phil. 2:10).

Paidion, the verses you supply that speak of God reconciling "all things unto Himself" in Col. 1:19-20 we have already proved cannot possibly include the demonic realm. Neither does the "all things" include the incinerated wicked who existed no more after their judgment. The gathering together of "all things" which specifically were "IN HIM" (Eph. 1:9-10) did not apply to those who were NOT "in Him". Those "things in earth or things in heaven" being reconciled included both Old Testament righteous spirits dwelling in heaven and the New Testament saints which were alive then on earth, all of them being brought together into the "one new man" reality under the New Covenant. This was Jews and Gentiles being gathered together in the church and both being reconciled to God by Christ; "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Eph. 4:5-6). It was the "whole family in heaven and earth" (OT righteous spirits in heaven and NT saints on earth) which were being called by Christ's name under the conditions of the New Covenant (Eph. 3:15).

You have to read terms like "the Savior of ALL MEN" in I Tim. 4:10 from the perspective of the audience this was originally written to. What was the one main, overriding debate in the first-century church which was founded in Jerusalem? It was the question of the inclusion of Gentiles along with Jews as being considered children of God. This was a revolutionary concept for the believing Jews of that time to comprehend and accept. This ancient "mystery" which Paul was constantly emphasizing in his writings was that God had always intended believing Gentiles to share in the inheritance of eternal life along with Jewish children of faith. These "ALL MEN" texts, or "ALL THE WORLD" verses, or Christ drawing "ALL MEN TO MYSELF", etc. meant that the author was joining Jews and Gentiles into the "one new man" category of all believers being the "Israel of God". It meant "ALL" varieties, without distinction of nationality or ethnicity - not "ALL" of humanity without a single exception who would inherit salvation.

The I Corinthians 15:22-28 passage you brought up? This has already been fulfilled. The "end of the age" came upon those Paul was writing to in I Cor. 10:11, and it occurred back in AD 70. The part about "Then cometh the end..." in I Cor. 15:24 was already fulfilled in AD 70 when Christ put down all the "rule, authority and power" when He "shattered the power of the holy people" (Dan. 12:7) along with their temple. The enemies put under His feet at that time also included the utter destruction of the Satanic realm, which was promised "soon" to be crushed under the feet of the Roman believers of that period (Rom. 16:20). God already is the "head of all things to THE CHURCH", with the church being subjected to her head. She has God's Spirit "in ALL" of her individual members. Those who do not have this Spirit of God within them are "none of His" (Rom. 8:9). This I Corinthians 15:22-28 passage is echoed in Ephesians 1:19-23, which speaks of Christ's relationship to His church - not to an all-inclusive humanity. "And hath put all things under His feet", (past tense), "and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all" (of the church).

Universal redemption concepts cannot answer why we have those who are called "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3), with that wrath of God "remaining on them" (John 3:36). They cannot explain why there are "vessels unto dishonor" (Rom. 9:21), and people for whom "the Lord hath indignation forever" (Mal. 1:4). They cannot answer why "the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous", or why the ungodly are "like the chaff which the wind driveth away" whose "way of the ungodly shall perish" (Ps. 1:4-6). Neither can they address why Christ would pray in John 17:9: "...I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."

Neither can they offer an explanation of the wicked dead who will NOT RISE in Isaiah 26:13-14. "O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore thou hast visited and destroyed them and made all their memory to perish." Isaiah then gave a direct contrast to those who would not rise by mentioning the righteous in Isaiah 26:19: "THY dead men SHALL LIVE, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." If universal redemption is true, why would Isaiah contrast the fate of those righteous like himself who do rise from the dead versus those who won't be resurrected to eternal life? Indeed, why do we have phrases like "the resurrection from AMONG the dead", such as in Luke 20:35, if that resurrection did not also entail a portion of the dead who are left behind in the grave and do not rise to eternal life?

Paidion, your paradigm and mine both conclude with a universe ultimately purified of any rebellious elements (which the typical belief does not allow, with an ongoing, perpetual Lake of Fire tormenting the ungodly for all eternity, and which I reject as a false doctrine). My own natural instincts as a pathetic hoarder who cannot seem to throw anything away makes me wish that universal redemption were true. I would much prefer to fix or recycle anything rather than pitch it into the garbage. But I also cannot deny the parable that Christ gave about the kingdom of heaven being like a net cast into the sea which resulted in the good being gathered into vessels, but the bad being CAST AWAY (Matt. 13:47-50). God is apparently willing to permanently dispose of wicked humanity by casting it away, though that discarded category is always represented as a minority of the complete whole.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Sun May 17, 2020 5:59 pm

Just today, I discovered some evidence in support of the position that the apostle John did not write the book of Revelation.

The writer of Revelation spelled "Jerusalem" (in Greek) that is different from the way the apostle John spelled it in his gospel.

I am not talking about the variations in endings, which are defined by case. I am talking about the words themselves (which do not have the same Strongs number).

The apostle John was consistent in his spelling of the word. In his gospel, he spelled Jerusalem "ιεροσολυμα" (Strongs 2424) twelve times, and in no other way.

The writer of Revelation was consistent in his spelling as well. The word he used was
"ιερουσαλημ" (Strongs 2419) He wrote this word three times in Revelation, and in no other way.
Paidion

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by darinhouston » Sun May 17, 2020 11:12 pm

Different amanuensis perhaps?

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Tue May 19, 2020 5:58 pm

That's an interesting thought, Darin!

I have always presumed that the NT writers physically wrote their own writings.

But John may have dictated both his gospel and Revelation to two different persons who wrote it down, and who spelled the Greek word for "Jerusalem" differently.
Paidion

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Homer » Tue May 19, 2020 9:58 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
I have always presumed that the NT writers physically wrote their own writings.
At the conclusion of Romans we find that Paul had used an amanuensis:

Romans 16:22
I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.


And this at least hints that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 16:19-21
19. The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20. All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21. The greeting is in my own hand—Paul.


Perhaps Paul had an eyesight problem that made writing difficult:

Galatians 6:11
11. See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand


Here is some interesting stuff you may not have read:

https://christianity.stackexchange.com/ ... revelation

Blessings, Homer

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