Revelation studies have extensively explored the relationship between John’s Apocalypse and the OT. Recent studies by Baucham and Tabb have leaned into that relationship and suggest that John may have knowingly intended to write a capstone to OT prophecy. However, evangelicals have wrestled less with the relationship between John’s Apocalypse and the NT.
This paper considers the presence of well-developed NT themes such as the Trinity and Jesus-as-Lamb-of-God in the Apocalypse. The book employs these themes in such a way that looks like an intentional melding of both NT and OT themes. This observation is the first of several that may imply that John both knows and intends to complete both the OT and NT canons.
This paper further considers two textual examples of possible literary links between the Apocalypse and the book of Matthew (Matt 17:2 with Rev 1:16,10:1; Matt 24:30 with Rev 1:7). Following Hays’ seven criteria, John’s repeated reference to Jesus’ face like the sun (ὡς ὁ ἥλιος) is compared to Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. The explicit connection of theophanic language from both the OT and the NT marks John’s literary masterpiece as a conclusion with both canonical units in view.
The second textual study considers the implementation of Dan 7:13 and the paraphrastic use of the Hebrew of Zec 12:10 in Rev 1:7. It draws attention to the similarity, noted by Vos, between the Matthean use of the same two passages (Matt 24:30) suggesting that such specific similarity implies dependence.
These suggestions will be considered in juxtaposition to the traditional external evidence that appears in fourth-century lists noting that the quality of evidence in Revelation is far superior since it is a canonical source. In turn, it suggests that internal links between the Apocalypse and the NT provide evidence of canon formation awareness among the Apostles themselves. Specifically, it argues that John was not only writing the Apocalypse as an intentional OT capstone but also as a capstone work for all Christian Scripture.