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THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Hello all,

This topic fascinates me, and I honestly feel that this book was written before 70AD, because it makes the rest of the Bible much easier to understand if this in fact is the case. I have researched this and found one good study that convinced me, but I had, what I thought were more important topics come up, and put this on a back burner, until today when I listened to Jonathan Welton explain Matt. 24, in his video "Understanding Matthew 24" that Steven put on this site.

Well, this opened the door to all manner of topics, but this issue of dating the Book of Revelation seems to be the best place to start unraveling more truth about the end-times, and what so much false doctrine has been based upon. Besides, this study is much better and more clearly written than the other I found.

Here is Mr. Welton's study into this issue:

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Link of article or video : http://www.raptureless.com


The Authorship Date of the Book of Revelation

By Jonathan Welton

I have come to understand that the majority of the Book of Revelation was written regarding events that took place at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The scope of the book in your hands is not able to adequately address this topic; however, I do want to briefly discuss the issue of authorship. To believe that Revelation is about the AD 70 destruction, the main issue that must be addressed is the date of authorship. If the book was written in AD 96, as many modern teachers claim, then there is no way that my point of view could be valid. Yet, I believe that the overwhelming body of evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that Revelation was more likely written before AD 68. Therefore, it is important to take a few minutes to establish the date of its writing.

The primary reason some Bible teachers claim that the Book of Revelation was written around AD 96 is because John noted in Revelation 1:9 that he was on the island of Patmos at the time he received the Revelation. There is some historical evidence that John was exiled to Patmos under the reign of Domitian between AD 81 and AD 96. Therefore, the book might have been written during that time—or so some claim. In reality, there are also historical documents that tell us that John was exiled to Patmos at a much earlier date. Here I will share ten evidences that Revelation was written before AD 68.

1. The Syriac

We have the witness of one of the most ancient versions of the New Testament, called The Syriac. The second-century Syriac Version, called the Pe****to, says the following on the title page of the Book of Revelation:

"Again the revelation which was upon the holy John the Evangelist from God when he was on the island of Patmos where he was thrown by the emperor Nero."

We know that Nero Caesar ruled over the Roman Empire from AD 54 to AD 68. Therefore, John had to have been on the island of Patmos during this earlier period. One of the oldest versions of the Bible tells us when Revelation was written! That alone is a very compelling argument.

2. Revelation 17:10

When we look at the internal evidence, we find that there is also a very clear indicator regarding the date of authorship, found in Revelation 17:10: "They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while" (Rev. 17:10).

This passage, which is speaking of the line of rulers in Rome, tells us exactly how many rulers had already come, which one was currently in power, and that the next one would only last a short while. Take a look at how that perfectly fits with Nero and the Roman Empire of the first century.

The rule of the first seven Roman Emperor's is as follows:

Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)

Augustus (27 BC-AD 14)

Tiberius (AD 14-37)

Caligula (AD 37-41)

Claudius (AD 41-54)

"Five have fallen..."

Nero (AD 54-68)

"One is..."

Galba (June AD 68-January AD 69, a six month ruler-ship)

"the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while."

Of the first seven kings, five had come (Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, and Claudius), one was now in power (Nero), and one had not yet come (Galba), but would only remain a little time (six months). The current Caesar at the time of John's writing was the sixth Caesar, Nero.

3. Those Who Pierced Him

Lo, he doth come with the clouds, and see him shall every eye, even those who did pierce him, and wail because of him shall all the tribes of the land. Yes! Amen (Revelation 1:7 YLT).

We already examined the Hebrew idiom, "coming on clouds," so we know that this speaks not of the return of Christ for the final judgment day, but of God coming to bring judgment on a city or nation (see Chapter 2 for more on this).

The phrase "those who did pierce him" refers to the people of the first century. According to this passage, they were expected to be alive at the time of Revelation's fulfillment. How is that possible if Revelation was not going to come to pass until 2,000 or more years later? Consider also that "those who did pierce him" weren't even alive in AD 96 because they would have been killed in the slaughter of AD 70. This verse is a clear indicator of Revelation being written before AD 70.

4. Jewish Persecution of Christians

The Jewish persecution of Christianity in Revelation 6 and 11 indicates a pre-AD 70 authorship. The Jews were not in a position to persecute the early Church after they were slaughtered in AD 70. In fact, since the AD 70 slaughter, the Jews have never been in a position to be able to persecute Christians.

5. Judaizing Heretics in the Church

The activity of the Judaizing heretics in the Church (see Rev. 2:6,9,15; 3:9) would not have been as large of an issue after Paul's epistles had been circulated. Therefore, an early date of authorship allows for the heretics to be a larger problem.

6. Existence of Jerusalem and the Temple

The existence and integrity of Jerusalem and the Temple (see Rev. 11) suggest a date before the destruction of AD 70.

7. Time-related Passages

The internal time-related portions of Revelation indicate that the events it foretells will come to pass shortly (see Rev. 1:1,3; 22:10,20). If this was read with an unbiased perspective, one would conclude that Revelation was not written about events 2,000 years in the future.

8. John's Appearance in AD 96

Another reason to believe that the Book of Revelation was written at the earlier date is because Jerome noted in his writings that John was seen in AD 96 and that he was so old and infirm that "he was with difficulty carried to the church, and could speak only a few words to the people."We must put this fact together with what Revelation 10:11 says: that John must "prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings." It is difficult to imagine that John would be able to speak to many nations and many kings at any date after AD 96 since he was already elderly and feeble.

9. Timetable Comparison with Daniel

In Daniel, the author was told to "seal up the vision, for it is a long way off" (Dan. 12:4)—which referred to a 483-year wait until Jesus came to fulfill the prophecy. By contrast, in Revelation, John was told to "not seal up the vision because it concerns things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev 22:10). If 483 years was considered a long way off, meaning that the vision should be sealed, it makes no sense that 2,000 plus years would be considered "shortly to come to pass" and not to be sealed up. Clearly, Revelation shouldn't be sealed because it was about to come to pass at the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.

10. Only Seven Churches

The existence of only seven churches in Asia Minor (see Rev. 1) indicates a writing date before the greater expansion of Christianity into that region.

The Other Perspective

Those who believe in the later date of authorship for the Book of Revelation are mainly leaning on the fact that Irenaeus the Bishop of Lyons (AD 120-202) claimed that John wrote while on Patmos under Domitian's reign. This alone could seem compelling, except that Irenaeus is notorious for being terrible at accurately recording dates and times in his writings. Irenaeus is the same Church father who claimed that Jesus' ministry lasted nearly twenty years, from the age of thirty until the age of fifty. There is no internal evidence for a later date of authorship; one must lean only upon external evidence to force this conclusion.

Because of the overwhelming body of evidence, I firmly believe that Revelation was written during Nero's reign and before his death in AD 68. I believe that Revelation was written regarding the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Yet, I also know that, at this time, I personally am not called to add my thoughts to the many great works written regarding the Book of Revelation from this point of view. For more information, I will suggest the writings of the experts in this regard:

The Great Tribulation by David Chilton

Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

Revelation by Gordon Fee

Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright

Conclusion

Considering the evidence used to support both the earlier date and the later date for the writing of the Book of Revelation brings us to a simple conclusion. The most logical and historically responsible conclusion, based on all the evidence, is that Revelation was, in fact, written prior to AD 68 and many of the events foretold in it may refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

#################

Wow! All I can say is I am glad I found Jonathan Welton, as his are the finest teachings I have seen on the most crucial issues in understanding the Bible.

Thanks again, Steven, for presenting his teaching on this site, for surely it opened a treasure trove of other teachings that clarify so much that was once very confusing. Bringing more light through that glass darkly.

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!

Patti C.


Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

The problem with preterisms understanding of the fulfillment of the revelation is a fatal one: none of it comes from the Word of God. A preterist- when asked how the revelation is fulfilled- should immediately be forthright and honest and say to those they are about to speak and say 'nothing I am about to say comes from the bible therefore be quite sure in knowledge that this doctrine I put forth is not of God' then hold up josephus jewish wars and say 'behold the word of man which establishes the understanding f these things'

Hopefully then by speaking truth the preterist himself hear the words and stop and think 'wait. Something not right about this understanding'

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Dear John;

We have had this discussion before in regards to everything being proven by the Bible and not history. You label this understanding as fatal, is not that a bit harsh? Let me ask you this, does the Bible tell us the Book of Revelation was written in 96AD? No! This information is gathered from history and historical events...so is that not also a fatal position?

I just spent the day reading history and all about the war between Rome and the Jews. What actually is recorded about this time is jaw dropping similar to the events that take place in the Book of Revelation!! To minute details, it fills in so much that has been questioned.

For centuries the church fathers understood this fulfillment and never put all this into the future. So, to me, the futuristic views of the dispensationists is much more fatal!!

Please watch the video by this same author entitled "Understanding Matthew 24" in it he proves using only the Bible that all this took place back in the First century. As to dating Revelation, he is using the Bible to prove what played out in history was prophesied in the last book.

I am into finding out the truth, not invested in a dispensation. I see nothing wrong with looking at historical facts in regards to the fulfillment of prophecy...especially regarding the end-times.

We will have to agree to disagree. Although I appreciate your "spiritual vs carnal" look at the Scriptures, that stance can be taken overboard too, just like all others.

Thanks for your comments!

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!

Patti C.

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Patti when I say fatal flaw I'm saying the doctrine is clearly not of God since 70 ad roman invasions are not in the bible. If you're teaching things not in the bible then the teaching is clearly not in the bible

Concerning the date of the writing of the book it has as much relevence to me as when any of itwas written. Which is zero relevance. I can also say that no one will ever know when it was really written and it doesn't matter

I have read jewish wars I have read the writings of the early church I was raised in a church of Christ and am very familiar with preterism as it was my position for my youth. Then I suddenly realized none of it was of the scripture and therefore not of God.. anyone can like jewish wars all they want it doesn't change the fact it is not the Word of God and that the doctrine is established by the word of man and it is not written in vain let God be true and every man a liar

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION




Hi,

I am not trying to interrupt but just want to ask if you have viewed the entire video?

I just want to remind everyone that it is HIGHLY recommended to watch or read an article before commenting.


Also NO ONE video, article will be able to have the fullness of revelation the bible has. However: " 'here a little, there a little " can help to move forward in our understanding of scripture.

Let the Holy Spirit teach you all things..

Thanks for posting.

God Bless

Steven

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Patti if the removal of ALL leaven from the house is taking things overboard then I am guilty ohtaking things overboard in the removal of the carnal from my understanding and leaving only the spiritual remaining in my house. But we can either remove it or God will burn it out of His temple with fire

From the dust the carnal was formed, and to the dusr he will certainly return. You say you're looking for truth, then why are you wandering around outside the camp of God and the sanctuary of His Word- and yet to bring these things within when the Lord has said take these things hence

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

About a video, I'm not seeing a video but only a post about the dating of the book. Patti has mentioned a video in the last post saying it is entirely from the bible so I am going to watch it concerning matt24.

Since it is said the understanding taught is all from the bible alone so I presume there is no teaching of 70 ad roman seiges and lines of emporers not in the bible and such.

Nevertheless the post in this thread is about these things

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Hi John,

The reason the Jewish wars of 66-70 AD are not, as you say, directly talked about by the the first century Church is because they did not take place before the Books were written, even the Book of Revelation. To me this is actually proof that the Book of Revelation was written before 70AD!

Actually the letters to the churches were sent and the Book of Revelation was read before 70 AD by these churches, and may have had a great deal to do with the saving of all those Christians before these wars began. In that regard it makes a MAJOR difference in when this book was written!!

The whole Revelation to John is Jesus talking about 70AD! At least a major portion of it. So, I for one cannot dismiss this lightly! The ending of the Old Covenant was earthshaking and changed heaven and earth as the old system died and the New spiritual system took its place. The Jews rejected Christ and the New Covenant and continued in their old ways for 40 years until Jesus destroyed everything on earth that had to do with this system.

Actually when we understand this we see that the days right before this destruction, the disciples were warning of this going to happen, and that is why it is said "as in the days of Noah" they were trying to save as many as would be saved. Stephen was stoned because of his warning the Jewish leaders.

No, thinking that the Book of Revelation was written after 70AD totally perverts the Truth of what the Bible is teaching. And to me...THIS MAKES A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE!!

In this instance I have to say I passionately disagree with you. But I do appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on this teaching.

God Bless!

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!

Patti C.

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Hi again John,

Boy, a lot went on while I was writing that last response to your first response!! So I want to address what you said here:

######
Quote:

"Patti if the removal of ALL leaven from the house is taking things overboard then I am guilty ohtaking things overboard in the removal of the carnal from my understanding and leaving only the spiritual remaining in my house. But we can either remove it or God will burn it out of His temple with fire

From the dust the carnal was formed, and to the dusr he will certainly return. You say you're looking for truth, then why are you wandering around outside the camp of God and the sanctuary of His Word- and yet to bring these things within when the Lord has said take these things hence"

######

I am not saying that understanding the Scriptures in a spiritual way is by any means wrong as that is what the New Covenant is all about!! The Kingdom of God starts slowly in a person and grows just like it has in the world. I agree with you we need to get the leaven out, and Jesus is doing that work in us once we are IN CHRIST. But, that is not to say that the Book of Revelation was not part of the Scriptures that warned of the Old Covenant coming to an end in the physical world in the first century.

To say the the Book was written after the events of 70 AD is actually putting that book outside of the rest of Scripture and saying it applies either in a distant future, or can only be taken spiritually. Both of these do not line up in any way with the rest of the Bible.

Just like Steven says, there is no one teaching that will bring us all truth, and it is learning "here a little there a little". I guess my main point here is finding out the major impact the bringing of this New Covenant had on the whole world of that day, and how that major impact is still being discovered today!!

I so appreciate your "spiritual" understanding of the Word, and did not mean to put that down in anyway...in fact what happened in 70AD just proves what you are saying in regards to the carnal and the spiritual as this is when the carnal totally ended in regards to the Kingdom of God, and the spiritual took its place.

YSIC

Patti C.

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Patti you keep using the word 'disagree' when disagreement isn't an option unless you're sayong jewish wars by josephus is part of the bible. If you agree with me that it is not a part of the bible then you agree its not of the WORD OF GOD.

Without adding the word of man to the Revelation and the Olivet prophecies you would not be 'seeing' a 70ad event or a list of roman emporers or late century political upheavals- the only reason you're able to 'see' these things is because josephus and preterism put them in your mind to begin with.

Preterism does what john specifically warned against- do not add anything to the words of the prophecy, and preterism adds books to it, and without those additional word of man no one would be preaching reterist understanding of the revelation. The word of man is the very foundation of the doctrine.

Bear in mind I agree the old passed away and the new was established, and this happened at the cross, but the revelation is not about the finishing of the old but the finishing of the new. Any alleged carnal events of 70ad are irrelevant to understanding the WORD OF GOD. So irrelevant that God didn't even bother to mention the destruction of herods temple and the.ensuing politics of the empire of rome

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

a quick comment to assist:

Hi John,

Here is the link to the video ....I pray you will take the time to view it.....Do I agree with it 100%?...:)

I hope you will take a look at the video.

http://pub39.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=3330765498&frmid=8549&msgid=935111&cmd=show


God Bless

Steven
Side Note: I do not subscribe to DOMINION NOW or KINGDOM NOW theology just incase someone wants to "PEG" me in a "hole". ( people like to assume I have found )

Did I mention:

1. THE BIBLE IS THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD

2. JESUS IS GOD'S SON ( JESUS IS GOD )

3. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS

4. PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater...:)


Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Hi John,

I have to say that I believe that the dating of the Book of Revelation is an important issue, and you say it makes no difference when it was written. That is where we agree or disagree.

If this study has no relevance to your understanding of what is true, then don't believe it, you have that right. There is nothing wrong with what is being shown here.

Labeling me as someone that only believes in preterism, puts me in a box that you can define and one that you obviously have a great deal of prejudice against. Fortunately, finding out the Truth means more to me than your opinion, or accusations.

Like Steven commented, I, too, am neither into Kingdom Now or Dominion Theology, or Charismatic Theology or any other organized religious groups, I am a truth seeker that is willing to see it as a little here and a little there when rightly dividing the Word.

From what you have shared on other threads leads me to see you as having an Idealist theology, in that the whole of the Bible should be viewed as having only "spiritual" relevance. This may not be true of you, but you get my point.

We disagree on the importance of knowing when the Book of Revelation was written, and on that we can agree to disagree. But, you know what would be nice? For you to put on some of your own studies into what you do believe, so that others could comment on your understanding. I for one would find that very interesting, as you seem very wise on many theological issues.

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!

Patti C.

Re: THE DATING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Well at least we agree the doctrine isn't of God and is founded on the word of man. Since its clearly not of faith since faith comes by hearing the Word of God of which jewish wars is clearly not , preterism can't even be on the table of possibility

About the date I can also conclude that its irrelevant to understanding because no one will everbe able to know when it was written. I give you your guesses but the fact that you are having to post about it plainly shows it is uncertain. For God to require us to know something we can never know in orde to understand His teachings would make God into a bad teacher butHe is the greatest of teachers and therefore cannot cause confusion, which is what is being caused by founding a teaching on uncertainty

Also understand that I'm saying these things not to offend, but simply because you are able to understan them because in you I see an understanding beyond the proverbial curve. Which is a very good thing. but this worldly doctrine and these words of men- if we agree these words are not of God is it pleasing to God to bring these in to the sanctuary of His understanding?

As for my position I would be a furuist and the revelation hasn't begun and the only way God can fulfill it now is if the fulfillment is witnessed by the entire creation because God hasn't testified to the fulfillment in His Word so it must be an all-encompassing event

As for writing threads its beyond my ability most of the time as I am on a roaming tablet deviceand it takes a long time to even type these responses. So I must post here a little there a little. But at the time I am sure we will be able to move faster and hear in a greater fullness