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  1. #1
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    Evidence for dating the Book of Revelation

    This forum just has way too many interesting topics!!! I have been focusing in on a couple of other doctrinal matters and so what do I do...? I decided to take a break from those thoughts and stumbled into the thread titled "Was John Really Banished to Patmos". I was really moving along in the discussion when suddenly... out of nowhere this topic pops up referencing that character in Mark's Gospel who was following Jesus from a distance and ran right out of his garment, naked, into the dark. It was a very interesting thought but the main topic sputtered out from there on. So, to pick back up on the idea of how we arrive at "Dating" the Book of Revelation, I for one would like to hear more evidence on the topic.

    From what I gather so far, to have confidence in the Preterist view of AD70 being the date that fulfills all biblical prophecy, one must assume that Revelation was completed beforehand, otherwise it would seem to put the return of Christ beyond that date.

    Let's consider 2 evidences. Evidence 1 would be external. 2 would be internal. A possible 3rd could be the harmonious agreement of both 1 & 2.

    Let's begin with 1.

    Since there is some external dating evidence from history, although conflicting as to whether or not the book was completed and distributed prior to AD70, what test can be given to reach a verdict as to which account is "most reliable"? First, let's begin with the voices that seem to date the book pre AD70. Since this is not an area of expertise for me on either side of the issue, I invite you to state your external evidence case by wrapping the following expression in quotes for your reply with your evidence below the quote box (and please... be concise and stay on topic). Here is your quote:

    "External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD;"

    For the external evidence to the contrary please use this quote;

    External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia post 70 AD;"

    For internal evidence contained within the book itself please use this quote:

    Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD;"

    and again, for the opposing view;

    External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia post 70 AD;"

    If you have a "3rd Evidence" please include it in your post. I think this could be a meaningful way of presenting an argument and staying on topic, thereby avoiding the "personal" debates or the digressions that occur. Personally speaking, I would like to hear why you are persuaded one way or the other.

    John

  2. #2
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    Excellent thread John!

    But I would suggest that folks just use a bold header rather than a quote because anything quoted get's lost when another person quotes that post. Also, it might help to number them to keep track, like this:

    1: External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD

    Evidence blah blah ...


    2: External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia post 70 AD

    Evidence blah blah ...


    3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD

    Evidence blah blah ...

    4: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia post 70 AD

    Evidence blah blah ...

    Following this idea, here is my first response.

    =============================

    3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD

    1: The temple is mentioned as if still standing (Rev 11)
    2: No mention of the Temple as having been destroyed.

    I think these arguments are extremely compelling to date the entire NT prior to 70 AD.


    1: External evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD

    This page says there is a 2nd century manuscript that says it was written when Nero was Caesar. And I heard about a similar 5th century document that says the same thing. But I don't have links to the primary sources right now so I need to research it.

    That should be enough for a start.

    Again, great thread!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  3. #3
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    Hi John,
    This is always a good topic. I'll stay with #3.

    3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD.

    Adding to what Richard stated above, John opens and closes with words that clearly tell the reader that the contents of this letter are time sensitive:

    Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants -- things which must shortly take place. ..... 3 Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.

    22:6 Then he said to me, "These words [are] faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! ....... 10 And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.


    If the intent of these passages is that "these things" are NOT to occur soon after their revelation to John, this is the only place in Scripture where God says one thing, but means the opposite.

    Also, if written after AD70, the descriptions must have nothing to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. To what events AFTER the late date (AD95) do they refer? What "things shortly took place" after AD95?

    John, have you read "Before Jerusalem Fell" by Kenneth Gentry? Very detailed study on the arguments pre- and post- AD70 writing of Revelation. I highly recommend it for anyone serious about this subject.

    Peace to you,
    Dave

  4. #4
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    Hi John,

    I also will address question #3. Here is a link to a post I did on Does the Epistle of James help date the book of Revelation.

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi John,

    I also will address question #3. Here is a link to a post I did on Does the Epistle of James help date the book of Revelation.

    Rose
    Hi Rose,

    The epistle of James in fact totally refuted the fact that the book of Revelation was written pre AD 70.

    The epistle of James was believed to be written by Apostle James the Greater who was one of the son of Zebedee who was martyred in AD 44. Would he have read the book of Revelation which was written just before AD 70 as was claimed by the preterists? Some said it was written by James the Lesser/Just, son of Alphaeus who was martyred in AD 62. Would he have read the book of Revelation which was supposed to be written in late AD 60's according to the preterists?

    This led to the likelihood of Apostle John (who wrote Revelation) read the epistle of James and applied it to the book of Revelation. As such, it cannot prove that the epistle of James help date the book of Revelation.

    Many Blessings.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheow Wee Hock View Post
    Hi Rose,

    The epistle of James in fact totally refuted the fact that the book of Revelation was written pre AD 70.

    The epistle of James was believed to be written by Apostle James the Greater who was one of the son of Zebedee who was martyred in AD 44. Would he have read the book of Revelation which was written just before AD 70 as was claimed by the preterists? Some said it was written by James the Lesser/Just, son of Alphaeus who was martyred in AD 62. Would he have read the book of Revelation which was supposed to be written in late AD 60's according to the preterists?

    This led to the likelihood of Apostle John (who wrote Revelation) read the epistle of James and applied it to the book of Revelation. As such, it cannot prove that the epistle of James help date the book of Revelation.

    Many Blessings.
    Hi Cheow,

    The question I was addressing is: 3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD.

    The post I linked to draws solely from internal evidence, displaying the similarities between the book of James and the book of Revelation....showing how James addresses the same contemporaneous issues that John received in his vision to send to the seven churches. I was not focusing on external speculation.

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  7. #7
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    3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD.

    Back in 2008 I discovered a host of connections between Peter's Epistles and the Book of Revelation that convinced me that Peter had read that book. I shared the results of my study in this thread:

    Did the Apostle Peter read the Book of Revelation?

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    3: Internal evidence that the Book of Revelation was completed and distributed to the seven churches in Asia prior to 70 AD.

    Back in 2008 I discovered a host of connections between Peter's Epistles and the Book of Revelation that convinced me that Peter had read that book. I shared the results of my study in this thread:

    Did the Apostle Peter read the Book of Revelation?

    Richard
    Hi RAM,

    I think it would be fairer (so as not to skew to one side) to state the question as "Did the Apostle Peter read the Book of Revelation? or Did Apostle John read the epistles of Peter?".

    I have responded that Apostle John outlived Peter and chances was that Apostle John read the epistles Peter and applied to his Book of Revelation. There is also a slim chance that both may have read each other's works.

    Any takers?

    Many Blessings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheow Wee Hock View Post
    Hi RAM,

    I think it would be fairer (so as not to skew to one side) to state the question as "Did the Apostle Peter read the Book of Revelation? or Did Apostle John read the epistles of Peter?".

    I have responded that Apostle John outlived Peter and chances was that Apostle John read the epistles Peter and applied to his Book of Revelation. There is also a slim chance that both may have read each other's works.

    Any takers?

    Many Blessings.
    Hey there Cheow,

    John received a vision from God. He was told to write what he saw. He was not freely composing a message drawing from a letter he received from Peter.

    Peter, on the other hand, was freely composing a message under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and could easily have drawn from the inspired vision he received from John.

    The books on not in a symmetric relationship with each other. Revelation was a vision given in toto from God whereas Peter's letter was composed under inspiration and could have been derived from any number of sources.

    Furthermore, Peter only referenced the "revelation of Jesus Christ" whereas that was the point of the entire Book of Revelation. Again, there is no symmetry here.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey there Cheow,

    John received a vision from God. He was told to write what he saw. He was not freely composing a message drawing from a letter he received from Peter.

    Peter, on the other hand, was freely composing a message under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and could easily have drawn from the inspired vision he received from John.

    The books on not in a symmetric relationship with each other. Revelation was a vision given in toto from God whereas Peter's letter was composed under inspiration and could have been derived from any number of sources.

    Furthermore, Peter only referenced the "revelation of Jesus Christ" whereas that was the point of the entire Book of Revelation. Again, there is no symmetry here.

    Richard
    There are several reasons why there is a high possibility that Apostle John read the epistles of Peter:

    1. Peter was awaiting death in prison in AD 67 and he died in the same year. If Revelation was written in AD 67, Peter probably have not much time left to read it and not to say, managed to receive the book of Revelaton in prison.
    2. During the opening of Revelation, and John wrote the words. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", he wasn't in a vision then.
    3. The Book of Revelation seemed to expand on Peter's comments on the one thousand years, the fervent heat, the false prophet, the day of the Lord etc.
    4. Based on who mentioned what first, it seemed Peter was the first to mention Sodom and Gomorrah, the thousand years etc.
    5. John mentioned about the antichrist four times in his epistles and one in Revelation which was believed by preterists to be Nero Caesar (definitely not my view) who died in AD 68 when he persecuted the Christians, this "antichrist" was not mentioned in the epistles of Peter. Peter would have used the word "antichrist" if he had read the book of Revelation:

    1 John 2:18
    [ Warning Against Antichrists ] Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

    1 John 2:22
    Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

    1 John 4:3
    but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

    2 John 1:7
    Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.


    Many Blessings

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