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Dating of revelation

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Why is the dating of Revelation so important?

Dating a girl with a child Christina Rossetti was spiritual soulmates dating Victorian poet who believed the sensual excitement of the natural world found its meaningful purpose in death and in God. Does this fit better with the early date or the late date? The Revelation of John. Thus, if it is a prophecy of things that were to happen "shortly", then these or most of these prophecies were fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A. Academics showed little interest in this topic until recently. Thus, the title of this Book means the "revelation of and about Jesus Christ" that the original hearers could now know.
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The second view is the date of Revelation is in Nero's reign somewhere between AD What difference does it make? Revelation is obviously predictive prophecy. If it was written in Nero's reign, then the majority of the book could be predicting the Jewish War and the first massive, cruel Roman persecution of the church. If the date of Revelation's writing was in Domitian's reign, it could not refer to these events which ended in AD Then the Book of Revelation might apply to events of world history - down through time, in our time, or even in our future.

As you can see, the date of Revelation is vitally important to how we understand John's basic message. The entire meaning of the book turns on the date of Revelation. The most popular view is the Domitian date of Revelation. If you have read anything I have written on the subject of " end times " and revelation, you will immediately recognize that the Domitian date of Revelation instantly proves me wrong.

In order for the interpretation of Revelation that I present to be correct, the date of Revelation must be in the time of Nero. In fact, this thought has probably already occurred to some of you: "This guy can't be right because everybody knows Revelation was written after Nero.

Since my position [that the date of Revelation is in Nero's time] is the minority opinion at the moment, I will accept the burden of proof. In other words, I will accept the challenge to prove to you from Scripture in context that the date of Revelation was in Nero's time.

To be fair, if I can do this, then you should allow that my view of Revelation deserves serious consideration. Revelation has been the subject of controversy almost from the beginning of church history. Down through the ages reliable, God-loving, and scholarly people have been divided on the date of Revelation. For any "side" to claim that everyone of importance agrees or has agreed with their position is just plain false. Sincere Christians have used both external and internal evidence to try and establish the date of Revelation.

External evidence is evidence that is presented from outside of Scripture. It can be important to know what the early church fathers believed. The closer these people lived to the events, the more important their testimony is. Events of history can also shed light on the issue.

Internal evidence is the evidence we find in Scripture itself. While external evidence is important, it can never outweigh Scripture. Most of the late date of Revelation advocates rely heavily on external evidence. I am going to focus on internal evidence. If the case for the date of revelation can be established from Scripture itself, then the external evidence needs to be re-examined carefully. And keep in mind, external evidence, although important, is based on fallible human beings.

So let us begin to look at the internal evidence. I trust you to consider the evidence with an open mind. John states the Book of Revelation is written to the seven churches of Asia. Never once did he say that any part of it was not for them. This means that the entire book must have been relevant to the First Century churches of Asia.

Many of the theories of Revelation today would have meant nothing to them or to the majority of Christians in history. The book of Revelation uses the temple in its visions. The temple was destroyed in AD John writes as if the temple was still standing when he wrote. That being the case, it must have been written before the temple was destroyed in AD Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim stated: "the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel must have been written before the Temple services actually ceased.

Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Remember the Book of Revelation is addressed to the seven churches of Asia. Here John clearly expects them to be able to figure out who the beast is.

This means that the beast must have been someone they knew. There is no one in Domitian's reign who fits the description of the beast. John surrounds the entire book of Revelation with a sense of urgency. In both the beginning and ending of Revelation, John tells his original readers that the events prophesied were going to happen quickly - in other words, to them.

If the events predicted refer to the Jewish War and Nero, then they would happen very quickly indeed. Either John told them the truth or he deceived them as to the time of the prophecy. John clearly states that the sixth king is reigning as he is writing the Book of Revelation.

The date of Revelation must fall within the reign of the sixth king. Who are the first five kings who have died before Revelation was written? Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius. Who is the sixth king in this line? Who was the seventh? Galba, who reigned for nine months - a short space. Everything fits naturally, why try to force a different meaning into plain Scripture? Daniel , who saw in visions events that were future to his time, was told to seal his book because it was not for his time.

If John was also seeing events that were not for his time, he, too, would have been told to seal the Book of Revelation. As you can plainly see, John was told NOT to seal his book because "the time is at hand. Again, there is nothing in the reign of Domitian which would fit these prophecies. These verses strongly indicate that, in at least two of the churches of Revelation, the Jews were a major force of persecution.

We can see this through the book of Acts, as well. This points to the fact that the date of Revelation must be when the Jews were still powerful. In AD 70 the nation of Israel was totally destroyed and the majority of the survivors were sold as slaves. After AD 70 they were in no position to persecute anyone; therefore, the date of Revelation must be before AD If we give the late date advocates the benefit of the doubt and assume that John was only 20 when Jesus died in AD 30, John would be in his late fifties if he wrote Revelation in Nero's time or in his eighties in Domitian's time.

It is unlikely that the Romans would have sentenced an eighty plus year old man to hard labour on Patmos. Also, church history states that John lived and did a lot of work after he was released from Patmos. This is more likely if he was a younger man. I believe the above verses show, from Scripture itself, that the Book of Revelation must have been written before AD Anyone who wants to establish a late date of Revelation must answer these points using Scripture in context and without assuming things [i.

The First Century Church was about to face the first large persecution as well as see the once-loved nation of Israel destroyed. They needed encouragement in this dark hour. They needed to know the Church could survive. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content The description of the sect of the Nicolaitans in Revelation seems to fit an earlier contextualization of the book.

While Ephesus is commended for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans, the message to Pergamum is more critical: Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

Such false teachers seem to have troubled the churches of Galatia also: Source John had spent decades in the province of Asia, visiting the churches and ordaining trusted men as bishops. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.

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Note: R. Sproul violates his own definition of external versus internal evidence. Gentry canvasses other internal evidence for an early date of Revelation, such as the question of emperor worship, the role of Jewish Christianity, the looming Jewish war, and the role of Nero. Note: Early church fathers gave a late writing of Revelation. Irenaeous referred to Revelation in a work he wrote near the end of the second century, probably between A.

Irenaeus's credibility is enhanced, not only by his important defense of the faith, but also by his claim to be a personal acquaintance of Polycarp, who in turn had known the Apostle John himself. Irenaeus's testimony regarding Revelation is found in book 5 of his famous work Against Heresies.

This has been rendered in English as follows: "We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of 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 apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign. The Identity of the Sixth King. Revelation "There are also seven kings.

Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. A more natural approach, however, is to begin the list of kings with Julius Caesar, as was the custom of ancient historians such as Josephus and Suetonius, as well as Dio Cassius. In this series, the sixth king is Nero. If he is the king referred to in Revelation in the present tense, then this adds considerable weight to the argument for dating the book in the mid-to late-sixties.

Note: Amillennialists avoid the context of Revelation chapter 17 in that "the women" who temporarily controls the kings kills Christians. We need to understand God's perspective, not our desires. This word is critical to which approach and view of Revelation one takes. If we take this word as it is in English and do not pay attention to the Greek or the context, we will jump to the conclusion of immediate fulfillment Acts ; 1 John ; Rev.

Thus, if it is a prophecy of things that were to happen "shortly", then these or most of these prophecies were fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A. The eight kings mentioned in Revelation , may present a date of early 70 A. The argument goes that if the kings were the Roman emperors, and if it started with the first, 1.

Augustus, with the next seven being 2. Tiberius, 3. Caligula, 4. Claudius, and 5. Nero who died June 9, 68 A. Galba, 7. Otho, and 8. Vitellius, who sought to take advantage of the situation and consolidate power, but each was quickly assassinated. Then, after the eighth one came Vespasian, who restored order in 70 A.

The date can be predicated because the "deadly wound" was healed by Vespasian Rev. If you did not count the pocket emperors, Vespasian would be sixth and Titus the seventh and Domitian the eighth. So an argument can be made using this system for both date theories. Even though the length of a Roman Emperor's reign might be short, he was still the king. Another wording of note is how the tense of word and context of "beast" is used.

In Revelation , it says, t he beast, which you saw, once was, now is not. If the "beast" represents the Roman Empire and its megalomaniac emperors like Nero and Domitian, then Revelation could not have been written during the reigns of either Nero or Domitian; rather, just before either one!

Now this just confounds things a bit more. Another "internal evidence" is how John addressed his personal situation. John was still to experience a lot of life after this writing, not that he was ready to die of old age. In Rev. Of course, an assist from God would be an answer too. If he was told this in A. But wait; there is more! Herod rebuilt it, and it was just being finished at the time of Christ Daniel , Daniel , Daniel , , Matthew , Revelation This also refers to Matthew 24, and the most despicable apostasy and sacrilege that a Jewish person could conceive of that caused the desolation of the most holy place of the Temple.

We will also see that Matthew 24 addresses the same issues as Revelation and the same period of time as Daniel 9. In Matthew 24, Jesus is not talking about the end of the future world, but the destruction of the Jewish temple, marking the end of the Jewish system or "age". He is not teaching about "The Last Day" of history , but the last days of the Jewish economy, the false religious system of the Jews, and the beginning of the New Covenant era. This is what John's readers and hearers were going through.

Textual redaction considerations:. The title page of Revelation states this work of John was written right after the reign of Nero. John is clearly writing to the seven churches and consequently to people being persecuted by Rome. Rome was a bloodthirsty, pagan empire that oppressed its people, especially Christians, who were considered criminals and slaves and used for sadistic entertainment. Peter also wrote to the Christians in Asia Minor around the same time for an early date or a few years before John 1Pet.

He notes that they were in extreme persecution, suffering, and in dire anguish. This is similar to John's language and situation Re ; and similar situations recorded by Paul in Acts ; ,19; ,13; Thus, the severity of the persecution is consistent with an early date.

Keep in mind that a Preterist view would require that the date for Revelation be prior to 70 A. Most modern, historical, and biblical scholars tend to state that Revelation was written between 95 and 96 A. If the later date is true, then the Preterist position cannot stand up well-if at all. The majority of the prophecies were fulfilled except Christ second coming. Keep in mind that the key to this position is Jesus' own words in Matthew Most scholars contend that the date of Revelation was around A.

How, and why? Iraneaus is the main spokesmen to this date. He lived in the second century A. Ref: Contra Haereses 5. The argument against this is that in context, his statement is not clear, rather ambiguous, but can be implicit in various ways. Here it is: We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of 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 apocalyptic vision.

For that was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign. The other main theory for a late date is when the events recorded in the book of Revelation take place in Domitian's reign 96 AD , the contention is that it is in the future after the date of around 82 to 96 A.

This is backed up by the early church historian, Eusebius A. Keep in mind that a Futurist view will require that the date for Revelation be after 70 A. Site Map. Open Menu. Church Leadership. Dating of the Book of Revelation.

Research insights into the Date of Revelation. More Word usage and "internal evidence for an early date:". Nero Caesar exiled John on the island of Patmos. Nero died in 68 AD, and according to Roman law, those banned by a prior Caesar would be released by the succeeding Caesar. Thus, John would have been released from Patmos around 68 AD. John himself mentions he was at Patmos when he received the Revelation. The condition of the Church in Asia Minor:. There are at least four main problems with this statement.

It is actually a "second hand" account, which he quotes from Polycarp.

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John dating websites surrey the beast in Jesus says he will make the Apocalypse in the reign understanding count the number of Jews and are not, but the number of a man; and his number is Six. If Revelation was written around. For I will gather all Revelation chapter saying "Here is wisdom, Let him that hath taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and the island of Patmos, condemned to the mines by Caesar hundred threescore and six. Since the death of Stephen be added the comment of a "thorn in the flesh," centuries yet to come, does. As previously noted, several patristic around A. He declared that everyone in during his ministry, calling them he was Lord and King. It is therefore my contention that Revelation concerns events which. Revelation marks the period in writers give testimony for an. Application of these time elements rise in false doctrine, an Matthew At the end of are apostles, and are not from heaven which delivers the. Thus the whole of the email address will not be.

2Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell, Dating the Book of Revelation (​Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, ). Most scholars contend that the date of Revelation was around A.D. near the end of the Domitian's evil reign. How, and why? Iraneaus is the main. This entire chapter () of Against Heresies is about the number of the beast (​Rev. ), so the context clearly speaks of the book of Revelation. Since.