Author of the Apocalypse: A Review of the Prevailing Hypothesis of Jewish-Christian Authorship
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The view that John the Seer, if he was not the Apostle, was a Christian whose ethnic background was Jewish and probably Palestinian, has to date gone virtually unchallenged. R. H. Charles's old but still popular commentary has provided strong support for this position. This text is critical of Charles's assumptions, which pre-date modern concerns for the effect of social context on linguistic performance. This study examines John's work in the light of current research, and also considers the two chief supporting arguments in favour of John's Jewish background.
"Through a thorough review of the linguistic, cultural, generic, rhetorical and syntactical issues connected with this issue, MacKenzie concludes that 'the language of the Apocalypse would have been uncommon, even to the ears of those who first heard it'.. . . .This work is particularly strong where it maintains its modest goals - to question the prevailing assumptions of Jewish influence and language interference, and to suggest a plausible alternative. MacKenzie provides a thorough treatment of the secondary material influenced by this often-unquestioned consensus, and calls for a timely re-appraisal, given the current suggestions of Kraft and Schüssler Fiorenza. . . . This monograph provides a sober and thorough assessment of the issues, creatively fills out an alternate picture of hieratic style, and works through the necessary syntactical complexities with a welcome light touch - complete with a reference to Rumpole's 'She-who-must-be-obeyed.'" - Edith M. Humphrey
"He rightly calls attention to the fact that certain Jewish Christian issues (the Law, circumcision, purity rules, and dietary regulations) are conspicuous by their absence. He argues that all allusions to the OT are paraphrases of various (real and imagined) Greek versions. The most useful sections of the book are the discussions of 'alleged Semitisms,' many of which have parallels in texts written by native Greek-speakers, and the lists of grammatical peculiarities." - Religious Studies Review
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