Dating Revelation

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
When was Revelation written and why do you believe that?

Yours in the Lord,

jm
 

Jonathan95

Puritan Board Sophomore
My question is, how does being before or after 70AD affect one's eschatology? I think the issue comes in seeing some parts of Revelation as referring to the fall of Jerusalem.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
My question is, how does being before or after 70AD affect one's eschatology? I think the issue comes in seeing some parts of Revelation as referring to the fall of Jerusalem.
That's right. It makes a difference for preterists, but not for any other of the major eschatological views.

There are very few people who are not preterists who argue for the early date.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Do the earlier date proponents address the issue of who was pastor at Ephesus to whom Christ was directing John to write?
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Prior to 70 AD.

To me, it is quite compelling that the Jerusalem Temple is still assumed to be standing at the time of its writing, and the destruction of it is to be a future event.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
Post Mills usually argue for prior to 70AD because they interpret Revelation to be mostly about the fall of Jerusalem, minus the last couple of chapters.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Right. My main exposure to Post Mill is Jeff Durbin and his crew. I believe they are all partial preterists.
It's definitely the most popular form of postmillennialism today, but in the past the others were much more common (they're still very prevalent in certain circles, though).
 

Frosty

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yeah, I dated her back in middle school for a week and a half. A week and a half I'd like to forget.

Actually, that could make a cool reality show. A dating show with premill dispensational 'end times' themes.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's definitely the most popular form of postmillennialism today, but in the past the others were much more common (they're still very prevalent in certain circles, though).

Question for you.

So, from reading the Bible and listening to Kim Riddlebarger on the subject, his brand of Amill is really what seems to make the most sense to me. Besides being Amill, which one of the above labels does that view fall under?
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
Yeah, I dated her back in middle school for a week and a half. A week and a half I'd like to forget.

Actually, that could make a cool reality show. A dating show with premill dispensational 'end times' themes.
You mean you dated for time, times and half a time?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Question for you.

So, from reading the Bible and listening to Kim Riddlebarger on the subject, his brand of Amill is really what seems to make the most sense to me. Besides being Amill, which one of the above labels does that view fall under?
I haven't read him, but I think he'd fall into the idealist camp.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's worth it, in my humble opinion, to examine the reasons why people consider a LATE date for Revelation. As far as I can tell, the evidence is very shaky indeed.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Sean,

Not at all shaky. For starters I'd like to quote from Richard D. Phillips', Revelation, Reformed Expository Commentary. If pressed I'll show further evidence to demonstrate its solidity.

'Equally important is the date of Revelation’s writing. The strong consensus among evangelical scholars holds that John wrote Revelation during the last years of the emperor Domitian’s reign, probably around A.D. 95. This dating agrees with the early church tradition through Irenaeus, who said that it was given “not a very long time since, but almost in our own day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign” [Ante-Nicene Fathers, Roberts and Donaldson, eds., 1:416].

'Some scholars argue instead that Revelation was written much earlier, before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. Most who hold this view argue that Revelation does not look forward to the return of Christ but only prophesies Jerusalem’s destruction. Important to this argument is the assignment of the symbolic number 666 to the mad emperor Nero, who first persecuted Christian in Rome.

'There are important reasons, along with Irenaeus’s testimony, for giving Revelation the later date of A.D. 95. First, the persecution described in Revelation involves the beast’s demand for worship, which corresponds not to Nero’s but to Domitian’s reign. Second, while there was no empirewide persecution in Domitian’s reign, there is evidence that severe persecution took place in the province of Asia, where the churches of Revelation were located, whereas there was no persecution in Asia during Nero’s reign. Finally, the description of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 fits into the circumstances of the later date; indeed, at least one of the churches, Smyrna, may not have existed during the earlier period of Nero’s persecution.' (pp 11, 12)​
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello Steve,

I believe that Irenaeus's comment IS the shaky evidence. It's not at all clear that he was talking about the Book of Revelation vs. John himself.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I haven't read him, but I think he'd fall into the idealist camp.

KR is eclectic. He understands the main fatal problem with idealism, that it disregards all the specific time texts and historical particulars in the book. His book Man of Sin is outstanding and he goes through the problems with preterism.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From Riddlebarger. He starts with an argument in favor and then responds

1) Rev. 11 seems to mention a physical temple, which would imply it was still standing.
Response: The language in Revelation is symbolic. If it is literal, then we have the odd case of the Gentiles’ occupying the outer court for 3 ½ years but leaving the inner court undefiled.

2) The seven heads and sevens clearly suggest Rome, so we have six kings before AD 70, the last of which is Nero.
Response: With which emperor do you begin counting? If we start with Julius Caesar, then we get Nero. But if we start with the first official emperor, Augustus, we do not get Nero.

3) Some preterists argue that Jerusalem is Babylon, since it was the “city in which our Lord was crucified.”
Response: That same city is also called “Sodom and Egypt,” so we probably aren’t dealing with literal terms.

4) He is coming with the clouds, and the reference in Zechariah clearly refers to the generation who pierced him.
Response: The reference in Zech. is to Israel’s final salvation, not her final judgment.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Re Irenaeus' testimony being "shaky" evidence:

From G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, in The New International Greek Testament Commentary series (his larger commentary) :

‘The consensus among twentieth-century scholars is that the Apocalypse was written during the reign of Domitian around 94 A.D. A minority of commentators have dated it immediately prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.’ (p 4)​
___​
‘The testimony of the earliest patristic authors supports a date during the time of Domitian. The most important of these witnesses are Irenaeus, Victorinus of Pettau, Eusebius, and possibly Clement of Alexandria and Origen.​
‘The most decisive witness is Irenaeus, who, in discussing the identity of the Antichrist in Revelation, writes, “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of the Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the Apocalypse. For it was seen not very long ago, but almost in our day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign.” [italics GKB’s] A few commentators have suggested that “it was seen” should be translated “he [John] was seen,” so that the phrase does not mean that the Apocalypse was written during Domitian’s time but only that John was seen during Domitian’s time. But the Apocalypse is the closest antecedent, and the Latin translation of Irenaeus supports this understanding of the clause. The majority of patristic writers and subsequent commentators up to the present understand Irenaeus’s words as referring to the time when the Apocalypse “was seen.” [GKB footnote: Even many espousing an early date for Revelation acknowledge this translation; e.g., Robinson, Redating, 221; Hort (Swete, Apocalypse).]’ (pp 19, 20)​
___

I should add to this that every time Paul speaks of the temple of God in New Testament times he refers to a spiritual – figurative – application of it, for example: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor 3:6).* Likewise in Revelation, it is only and always figuratively that John uses the word temple. With respect to Rev 11:1, when John is told, “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein”, we get the clear clue in the last phrase that this is symbolic: the measuring them that worship. In the OT the measuring by divine command has significance. I’ll briefly quote from William Hendriksen’s More Than Conquerors to illustrate:

‘Why this measuring? What does it mean? On the basis of the immediate context, the parallel expression (Rev 21:15), and the Old Testament background (Ezk. 40:5; 42:20; Zec. 2:1), we arrive at the conclusion that measuring the sanctuary means to set it apart from that which is profane; in order that, thus separated, it may be perfectly safe and protected from all harm. The sanctuary is “accepted” while the court is “rejected”.’ (p 126)​

* With regard to 1 Cor 9:13, “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?” This pertains to the OT practices / laws applicable to the priests and Levites in the temple while its worship was legitimate and (sometimes) acceptable to God. In Paul’s day – even though he mentions this – in spirit and truth the Levitical worship was null and void, unacceptable to God. The true temple was the people of God, the body of Christ (John 2:19,20,21), and that temple in God’s heaven.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
And to add onto Jacob's post #23,

"TylerRay said: I haven't read him [Riddlebarger], but I think he'd fall into the idealist camp."

True, but it needs to be qualified to distinguish it from the older form of idealism (per Wm. Milligan of the 18th century). All of the contemporary amil commentators are "modified" or "eclectic" idealist (G.K. Beale's terms), correcting the early idealism in "that it disregards all the specific time texts and historical particulars in the book", to quote Jacob.
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
And to add onto Jacob's post #23,

"TylerRay said: I haven't read him [Riddlebarger], but I think he'd fall into the idealist camp."

True, but it needs to be qualified to distinguish it from the older form of idealism (per Wm. Milligan of the 18th century). All of the contemporary amil commentators are "modified" or "eclectic" idealist (G.K. Beale's terms), correcting the early idealism in "that it disregards all the specific time texts and historical particulars in the book", to quote Jacob.
I think it's time to reread Riddlebarger.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And to add onto Jacob's post #23,

"TylerRay said: I haven't read him [Riddlebarger], but I think he'd fall into the idealist camp."

True, but it needs to be qualified to distinguish it from the older form of idealism (per Wm. Milligan of the 18th century). All of the contemporary amil commentators are "modified" or "eclectic" idealist (G.K. Beale's terms), correcting the early idealism in "that it disregards all the specific time texts and historical particulars in the book", to quote Jacob.

Correct, and any academic commentary on Revelation today, regardless of which camp it is in, will say, "Of course there are some idealist/preterist/futurist elements in Revelation."

I freely grant there are ideals in Revelation. No one really disputes that.
 

MSH

Puritan Board Freshman
Dr. Ken Gentry Jr.’s book,” Before Jerusalem Fell” is a good read on this subject. I believe it is from his dissertation.


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