Identifying the False Prophet of the Book of Revelation
The phrase “false prophet” is mentioned three times in the Book of Revelation (see 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10). The phrase draws particular attention to itself because its singular form distinguishes it from the plural phrase “false prophets” which Jesus warned against and which is found in six different New Testament passages. Since John himself refers to the “many false prophets” in 1 John 4:1, his use of the singular term in Revelation, preceded by the word “the,” suggests he is referring to one man who is the most famous and dangerous of all false prophets who would threaten Christianity. John appears to expect the reader will naturally identify one false prophet among many anonymous and generic ones because of the former’s superior notoriety.