John The Revelator, The Person and The Shng: Background information when reading John the Revelator

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

John the Revelator

A Novel

by Peter Murphy

John the Revelator by Peter Murphy X
John the Revelator by Peter Murphy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2009, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2010, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

John The Revelator, The Person and The Shng

This article relates to John the Revelator

Print Review


The title of Peter Murphy's book is taken from a traditional song about John of Patmos, the name given to the author of the biblical Book of Revelation, who identifies himself as living on the Greek island of Patmos. Scholars date Revelation to between AD 54 and 96 with most believing it to have been written around AD 95.

In the 2nd century AD, the early Christian apologist Justin of Caesarea (later Saint Justin Martyr) suggested that the author of Revelation was the same person as both Jesus' apostle, "John the Beloved", and "John the Evangelist", author of The Gospel of John. But, around the 3rd century this was called into question by church historians who identified the author of Revelation as "John the Presbyter", whose name appears elsewhere in ancient writings. Today, opinion varies with some believing Revelation, The Gospel of John and the epistles of John are all written by Jesus' apostle, while others believe they are authored by three or more distinct people.

John The Revelator, The Song
Blind Willie Johnson John the Revelator is a traditional gospel/blues song in call and response format. Its chorus refers to John writing about witnessing the opening of the seven seals (which bring about global catastrophes and ultimately the apocalypse). The verses contain short biblical allusions and it's believed the song was used for preaching to and educating the congregation. The first written version appeared in 1880, although it's possible the song is considerably older. It was first recorded by "Blind" Willie Johnson in 1930, and his version appears in the Anthology of American Folk Music (to which Peter Murphy contributed - see About the Author). Eddie James "Son" House is also credited with early performances of the song. Dozens of others have covered it since, including R.E.M., John Mellencamp and The Blues Brothers (in the movie Blues Brothers 2000, a sequel to the original Blues Brothers).

Lyrics (Son House version):

Chorus
[call] Who's that writin'?
[response] John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin'?
John the Revelator
Tell me who's that writin'?
John the Revelator
Wrote the book of the seven seals
Repeat

You know God walked down
in the cool of the day
Called Adam by his name
But he refused to answer
Because he's naked and ashamed

Chorus

You know Christ had twelve apostles
And three he led away
He said, "Watch with me one hour,
'till I go yonder and pray."

Chorus

Christ came on Easter morning
Mary and Martha went down to see
He said, "Go tell my disciples
To meet me in Galilee."

Chorus

Filed under Places, Cultures & Identities

Article by Kim Kovacs

This "beyond the book article" relates to John the Revelator. It originally ran in September 2009 and has been updated for the April 2010 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Killing Hills
    The Killing Hills
    by Chris Offutt
    The personified hills of the novel's title foreshadow the mood of this brooding and ominous tale. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vixen
    The Vixen
    by Francine Prose
    Recent Harvard graduate Simon Putnam has been rejected from grad school and has thus returned to his...
  • Book Jacket: How the Word Is Passed
    How the Word Is Passed
    by Clint Smith
    With legislatures around the U.S. rushing to ban the teaching of critical race theory, it's clear ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Vape
    Big Vape
    by Jamie Ducharme
    In Big Vape, TIME reporter Jamie Ducharme studies the short but inflammatory history of Juul. Her ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The War Nurse
by Tracey Enerson Wood
A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World War I story.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel

    An evocative coming-of-age World War II story from the author of The Book of Lost Names.

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.