Dating the Book of Revelation

By Jim Hopkins

     I don't know that I have any of the answers, but I'm not afraid to look. One of the ways that I have found to encourage looking is to have someone to share that search with. I'll write it down and you serve as my sounding board.

     In the early 1970's I found Foy E. Wallace, Jr.'s book on The Revelation. It was the first time that I knew of any of the brethren suggesting an early date for the book. I had read brother Wallace for years following mostly his debates on premillennialism, but for some reason I don't remember the question of the date for the book as being mentioned. As for teaching the book, I used the postmillennialist approach, Hendrickson's "More Than Conquerors". I also found that Alexander Campbell in his Millennial Harbinger was a postmillennialist looking for the coming Kingdom.

     But somewhere between Campbell and now, the concept of the "Kingdom Present" came into being. I have been unable to document where this amillenialist approach came from. But it did come and it has a strong presence in Christian and churches of Christ. It is one of the big things that really separates them from the other churches. It has the advantage of optimism over pessimism. With premillennialism the end of the world is at hand and the world is becoming worse and worse until the end comes. A very depressing outlook. With postmillennialism the outlook is much brighter with the little stone cut out of the mountain (Dan 2) becoming a great mountain and a period of increasing righteousness before the end comes ushering in the millennium. But with the "Kingdom Present" we have all things summed up in Christ. We have the Blessing appointed to Abraham's seed (Gal 3:8); we have God dwelling with his people (Ezek 37:27); we have the restoration of all things (Mt 19:28); we have a garden likened to Eden (Ezek 36:35; Isa 51:3); we have the Kingdom of God in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18).

     With the dating of Revelation you establish the true historical prospective. If you date it early you have its fulfillment in God's judgment on Israel. If you date it late you have every man's idea, from Napoleon to Hitler to Saddam Hussein. So dating plays a very important part in its interpretation.

     The external evidence centers around Irenaeus (130-202). He was commenting on the number 666 when he wrote: "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."

     If John saw the vision towards the end of Domitian's reign, then a date of 95 or 96 AD would fit very nicely, for Domitian was killed in 96 AD, after being Caesar for 14 years. But the statement is ambiguous as to what was seen. Was it John that was seen or did he see the vision then? If it was John that was seen, the vision had to have been seen earlier. If John, then he had been last seen 'almost in their day,' and if it had been necessary for them to have known the name of the Antichrist, John could have made it known to them. Therefore, a date earlier than 95 AD would be required. Another statement by Irenaeus seems to indicate the earlier date also. In his fifth book he speaks as follows concerning the Apocalypse of John and the number of the name of the Antichrist: "As these things are so, and this number is found in all the approved and ancient copies." Domitian's reign was almost in his own day, but now he speaks of the Revelation being written in ancient copies. His statement at least gives some doubt as to the "vision" being seen in 95 AD which was almost in his day, and even suggests a time somewhat removed from his own day for him to consider the copies available to him as ancient.

     But how much earlier? Let us look now to the internal evidence of the book.

     Most writers consider the theme of the book to be Rev 1:7: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they which pierced him: and all tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen." This verse is very similar in context to Mt 24:30: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." There is a cloud-coming, all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they will see him. It may not be conclusive standing alone, but you can see that just based on the language a case can be made that the two verses are speaking of the same event. I think you would concur with me that Mt 24:30 is a verse that speaks of the fall of Jerusalem. And that is just the case that I am making about the Revelation -- it speaks of the fall of Jerusalem.

     Notice also the language. It speaks of those who pierced him. Although we know that the Romans crucified him and pierced him, the apostles accused the Jews of the act. In Acts 2:23 and 36 Peter says that they crucified Jesus. He continues to state this in his following sermons (Acts 3:15; 4:10; 5:30). Stephen in 7:52 calls them murderers and Paul in I Thes 2:15 speaks of the Jews that killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets. So perhaps the book concerns itself with the Jews.

     This view is further reinforced with the phrase, "tribes of the earth." This is a direct allusion to the Jewish tribal system. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament notes that the Septuagint "with few exceptions . . . has 'PHULE' (tribes), so that this becomes a fixed term for the tribal system of Israel." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states that with few exceptions 'PHULE' "refer[s] exclusively to the tribes of Israel." Another term suggestive of the Jews.

     The next term is the word "earth". The word has the meaning of earth or land and depending on context is translated earth or land. Some contexts are easy enough when the text is speaking of the "land of Judah" or "they brought their boats to the land." Some passages like Ps 37:11 "the meek shall inherit the land" are translated in Mt 5:5 as "the meek shall inherit the earth." showing an interrelation between the two words. If the context is Jewish, it could be translated "the tribes of the land" just as well. Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible translates it just this way. Not conclusive, but still holding its place.

     Next consider the expectations of the author, Jesus Christ. He tells John to expect the fulfillment of the prophecy soon. In verse 1 he is showing John the "things which must shortly come to pass." In verse 3, "the time is at hand." At the end of the book in chapter 22:6,10 these phrases appear again. In order to illustrate this further consider the verses which use the Greek word, TACHOS.

     Revelation 1:1 "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:"

     Revelation 2:16 "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."

     Revelation 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

     Revelation 22:6 "And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done."

     Revelation 22:7 "Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book."

     Revelation 22:12 "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

     Revelation 22:20 "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

     TACHOS in its various tenses is translated in Rev 1:1 and 22:6 as "shortly" as in the sense of at hand or soon. In all other places it is translated "quickly." For the premillennialist TACHOS has the meaning: to indicate suddenly coming to pass or rapidity of execution after the beginning takes place. But Rev 1:1 and 22:6 are translated soon or shortly by most versions and with this the lexicographers seem to be in agreement and concur that the word in all other places has the idea of "quickly, at once, without delay." Kurt Aland, a noted Greek scholar, is even more specific as he comments on the word in Rev 22:12:

     "In the original text, the Greek word used is TACHU, and this does not mean "soon," in the sense of "sometime," but rather "now," immediately." Therefore, we must understand Rev 22:12 in this way: "I am coming now, bringing my recompense." The concluding word of Rev 22:20 is: "He who testifies to these things says, 'surely I am coming soon.'" Here we again find the word, TACHU, so this means: I am coming quickly, immediately. This is followed by the prayer: "Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!" . . . The Apocalypse expresses the fervent waiting for the end within the circles in which the writer lived - not an expectation that will happen at some unknown point X in time (just to repeat this), but one in the immediate present."

     Another word which suggests immanency is not disputed among authorities. It is the Greek word ENGUS. In all translations it is either translated 'at hand' or 'near.' It occurs in the following verses:

     Revelation 1:3 "Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand."

Revelation 22:10 "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand."

     The next Greek word, MELLO, means 'is about to come' but is never translated in the literal fashion by major translations. The NASB is one exception in Rev 3:10. Only Marshall's The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament and Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible translate it in this manner in both occurrences. This word occurs in the following verses:

     Revelation 1:19 "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;"

     Revelation 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

     MELLO is translated in the two verses above by the word, 'shall'. It is true that the verb MELLO can indicate simply 'destined' or a word for the future. Gentry in his book, 'Before Jerusalem Fell,' makes this comment: "Nevertheless, when used with the aorist infinitive - as in Revelation 1:19 - the word's preponderate usage and preferred meaning is: 'be on the point of, be about to.' The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in Rev. 3:10. The basic meaning in both Thayer's and Abbott-Smith is: 'to be about to.' Indeed, MELLEIN with the infinitive expresses imminence (like the future)."

     Gentry continues: "All of this is particularly significant when the contexts of these two occurrences of MELLO in Revelation are considered: the words appear in near proximity with statements made up of the two other word groups indicating 'nearness.' Revelation 1:19 is preceded by Revelation 1:1 and 1:3 (which contain representatives of both the TACHOS and ENGUS word groups). Revelation 3:10 is followed by Revelation 3:11 (which contains a representative of the TACHOS word group). Clearly, then, the Revelation 1:19 and 3:10 references hold forth an excited expectation of soon occurrence."

     Well, what do you think so far? Is there anything to be said for the early date? A close friend of mine who also holds to the early date makes this statement: "If a person doesn't believe the first three verses (i.e., the near expectation of the events), neither will he believe the rest of the book." That may be a little harsh but I think it is on the right track. For if a person is unwilling to accept the time constraints of the text, the rest of the document can mean anything that the reader desires.

     My study is getting to be a little lengthy, but I would like to mention a few more areas. The seven kings of Rev 17:10 help us date the book. With the early date approach, they are considered the emperors of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar is considered by some to be the first emperor (Josepheus calls Augustus the second emperor which implies that Julius was first, Ant. xvii, II, 2). We then have Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero, and Galba as the seven kings. The verse says that five have fallen, one is and one is yet to come and remains a little while. This would place the vision in the time of Nero (54 to 68 AD) with Galba to follow who reigns but six months.

     Historically, Nero is the one that persecuted Christians beyond all comparison. One of the things that doesn't fit is the persecution of Domitian. There is very little evidence for any involved persecution. And even if there was, the vision takes place after the persecution! So where is the fulfillment?

     It was interesting to me to see a major historian change his mind. In Philip Schaff's, "History of the Christian Church," Vol. I, Preface to the Revised Edition, 1882, he makes this statement: "On two points I have changed my opinion -- the second Roman captivity of Paul (which I am disposed to admit in the interest of the Pastoral Epistles), and the date of the Apocalypse (which I now assign, with the majority of modern critics, to the year 68 or 69 instead of 95, as before)."

     The word "witness," (MARTUS in the Greek), is very revealing. Antipas was a witness of Christ as one who had seen and heard him. He was also killed because he was a witness. But he did not become a witness because of his death. This definition has come into being after the New Testament. We call one a martyr if one dies for his faith. But this definition and spelling is foreign to the scriptures. The word, martyr, is found in the KJV in Acts 22:20 where it speaks of Stephen; Rev 2:13 in speaking of Antipas; and in Rev 17:6 it sees a plurality of martyrs. Their death did not cause them to be martyrs! But because of this inconsistent translation, we miss the fact that some of the witnesses of Jesus were still alive at the time of the vision. It makes the early date more plausible.

Also a Jewish problem was present in the church at Smyrna (2:9) and in the church at Philadelphia (3:9) which makes an early date more consistent.

     The temple seems to be present in Rev 11 which places the writing before 70 AD.

     That should give you some places to start looking. Now I would like to ask some general questions.

     In Daniel 2 the fourth kingdom is a divided kingdom. Identify the time that the God of Heaven set up the Kingdom.

     In Daniel 7 identify the four beasts. Identify the little horn of the fourth beast. Identify the time of the judgment of the little horn. What is the time of the one like the son of man coming before the Ancient of Days and receiving a kingdom that shall not pass away. Does he ever receive a kingdom that does pass away (I Cor. 15:24)? Does he ever quit reigning (Lk 1.33)? What is his inheritance and when does he receive it (Ps 2:8: Heb 1:2)? Who is the little horn that makes war on the saints (Dan 7:21)? When do the saints possess the kingdom (7:23)? What kingdom do the saints possess (7:27)? In the NT when do the saints receive the Kingdom (Lk 21:31)? When do they inherit the kingdom (Mt 25:34)? In Heb 12:28 what kingdom are they receiving after the shaking of heaven and earth? In Heb 2:5 what earth is ruled over by Christ and when? Is the earth presently under the reign, authority and subjection of Christ (Heb 2:8)?

     In Daniel 9:24 to whom does the 70 weeks apply? When do the 70 weeks terminate? How many of the six items are left to be fulfilled. Were they all fulfilled at the cross? If not, when?

     In Daniel 11:31 what is the time of the abomination that makes desolate? Who are the wise among the people that instruct many in vs 32? To what time does the 'time of the end' refer in vss 35, 40, and 45? What is the time of trouble in 12:1? Is it the same as Christ mentions in Mt 24:21? What kind of deliverance is received, physical or spiritual? Is the kingdom in view? Those that come from the dust in vs 2, are they referred to by Christ in Mt 24:31 as the ones gathered from the four corners of the earth? Or John 5:28?

     In 12:7 all things are finished when an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people. Is this the same as the end of the 70 weeks? When is the time of the end in vs 9? Who opens his book at that time? Does Christ open it in Mt 24:15? Is the abomination of desolation fulfilled? Is the time of the end fulfilled? Did Daniel stand in his lot at the end of days?

     When are the last days? When did they begin? Of what age are they part of? Did the Mosaic age have any last days? Is the Christian age the last days of the Mosaic age? Did Jesus die in the end of the ages (Heb 9:26)? What age did he die in the end of? Did the apostles live in the end of the ages (I Cor 10:11)? What end of the ages? Did a new age begin at the cross? Did the old age end at the cross? If not when? Do we live in a new age? Did the apostles? Their age was evil and ruled over by Satan (Gal 1:4; II Cor 4:4). Is ours?

     In Heb 10:1 the law was a shadow of the good things that were coming. In Col 2:16,17 the good things are coming. In Heb 9:11 Jesus is the High Priest over good things to come. Did they ever come? If not, do we live in a time in which Jesus is not High Priest?

Another Perspective - Revelation Date

By Don K. Preston

     A prominent writer and preacher has recently written an article on the date of the Apocalypse in which he advocates the "traditional" late date, ie 95 AD. He sets forth his defense of same as an objection to the "bizarre theories that have surfaced in recent times [e.g. the notion that all 'end time' prophecies were fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70." We would observe that there are a host of scholars and students that advocate the early date of Revelation who do not hold to these "bizarre theories." We believe this writer has done as good a job as possible to uphold the late date of Revelation but we believe the evidence will not support his thesis. We are convinced Revelation was written as a prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Surely, an examination of all the evidence is necessary to any honest inquiry into truth. Our purpose here is to examine the evidence presented by the above mentioned writer and show the fallacy of the late date for Revelation.


     External Evidence


     Our friend cites five external sources as supportive of a late [94-96 A.D.], date for Revelation. One, Eusebius, is admittedly dependent upon Irenaeus for his information. [1] This means our friend really has only four "independent" sources. 2

     Irenaeus, second generation from John the Apostle, maintained that John saw the Revelation late in Domitian's reign. As Daniel Denham states, "The testimony of Irenaeus is considered the bastion of the evidence for the Late Date." [2] But Denham admits some problems with this "bastion of evidence." First, the Greek language of Irenaeus can be understood to refer not to the Revelation, but to John being seen on Patmos. Second, he observes it is possible that Irenaeus has been misunderstood. Robert Young stated that the name Domitianou, referring actually to Nero, was mistaken by later writers for Domitian. Denham, although a late date advocate, is therefore forced to admit, "The obscurity of the testimony, as it has come down to us, must be considered as weak and inconclusive to demand the Late Date." [3] Clement of Alexandria says John returned from Patmos after being exiled there by "the tyrant;" and citing Eusebius, the author under review says the tyrant is undoubtedly Domitian. The trouble is, Eusebius is far removed from the historical and chronological context of the Apocalypse! Eusebius wrote in approximately 324 A.D.. But we have much earlier testimony as to the identity of "the tyrant."

     Gary Gentry, [4], cites Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Elder, the Roman satirist Juvenal, and others, all of whom predate Eusebius as calling Nero the tyrant. Miriam Griffin, [5], calls Nero "the proverbial tyrant." Our brother also notes that Clement calls John an "old man" when released from Patmos and says this would not apply if said when he was only in his sixties, [prior to 70 A.D.]. But Paul the apostle called himself Paul the aged, Philemon verse 9, and he was only about 60 years old! [6] Further, our late date advocate fails to inform the reader of the problems associated with accepting Clement's testimony and also fails to note a serious contradiction in his other writings.

     Had John returned from Patmos at age 90+, [in 95A.D.], consider: Clement claims John went into the wilderness on horseback and chased down a former convert turned criminal, physically capturing him, and taught him once again the truth! [7] Could John do this at age 90+; the age he would have been if Revelation was written in 94-95?

     Why did our brother not inform his readers that Clement maintained that all divine revelation ceased in the time of Nero?!? Clement definitely believed John wrote the Apocalypse. But "How could he have made this statement if John's Revelation had been written about thirty years after Nero?" [8] If late date advocates are going to accept the external testimony of Clement, they are faced with a genuine dilemma here.

     Victorinus and Jerome constitute the remainder of our brother's external evidence. But note that Victorinus wrote in the late 3rd and Jerome in the early 4th century. Their testimony is therefore somewhat late. Not to mention they both seem to be dependent on Irenaeus. In addition, Victorinus in his citation, insists that John was working in the mines of Patmos when exiled there. How could this be the case if John was well into his nineties? [9] One should be very cautious then, in maintaining the strength of the external testimony in regard to the date of the Apocalypse. The testimony is at best debatable, scant and interdependent. Further, external evidence cannot militate against the internal evidence especially when that external testimony is subject to serious objection.


     Internal Evidence


     Our friend contends that the spiritual conditions of the churches mentioned in Revelation favor a late date. We believe the evidence indicates otherwise. He says the fact the church at Ephesus had left its first love demands more time than demanded between the complimentary letter of Ephesians, approximately 61, and the early date, 67-69. But it certainly was not long between the establishment of the Galatian churches and their "so soon" removal from the faith, Galatians 1:6-7. Further, Paul warned the Ephesian elders of impending trouble in Acts 20 and in I Timothy [65A.D.] he tells the young evangelist how to cope with the false teachers which abounded in Ephesus at the very time.

     It is insisted that since Laodicea was destroyed by earthquake in 60 A.D. it would have taken more than the eight or nine years to recover between the earthquake and reconstruction. But the historian Tacitus [10] reports that the city was so wealthy that they rebuilt their city "without any subvention from Rome."

     It is suggested that the "full-fledged sect" of the Nicolaitans, Revelation 2:6,15 demands a late date since these groups are only "hinted at" in 2 Peter and Jude. But the reader is urged to read 2 Peter and Jude for yourself. Peter writes an entire chapter, and Jude's entire letter is written to combat the then present reality of those heresies! That is a little more than a "hint"!

     Nero's persecution was limited to the city of Rome, we are told, but the seven letters suggest a wide spread persecution more in keeping with a later date. It is only assumed Nero's persecution was confined to Rome, however.

     Eminent historian William Ramsey, [11] well notes "When Nero had once established the principle [of persecution, DKP] in Rome, his action served as precedent in every province."

     Our friend would say the persecution in Revelation agrees better with that of Domitian than of Nero. Yet modern scholarship is becoming skeptical about the reality of any systematic or prolonged persecution instigated by Domitian. Leon Morris [12], says "While later Christians sometimes speak of a persecution under Domitian the evidence is not easy to find." George Ladd says "there is no evidence that during the last decade of the first century there occurred any open and systematic persecution of the church." [12]


     Arguments Against Early Date


     We come then to consider some of our brother's responses to early date arguments. He notes the contention that it would be strange indeed for this book to be written after Jerusalem's demise and contain no mention of the catastrophe. He responds by saying "some scholars see a veiled reference to Jerusalem's destruction in 11:8 where the 'great city,' in which the Savior was crucified [Jerusalem] is called Sodom-- not merely because of wickedness, but due to the fact that it was a DESTROYED city." But in chapter 11 the city under consideration [Jerusalem, by our friend's own admission] had patently not been destroyed! See Revelation 11:11-14. John was not looking back; he was anticipating "things which must shortly come to pass!" See chapter 1:1-3.

     Further, if this reference to Jerusalem is "post facto" then the appearance of the two witnesses was as well; but in verses 3ff we are told clearly that the witnesses had not yet come! He says the insistence that "the literal city and temple were still standing, based on chapter 11, ignores the express symbolic nature of the narrative." At first blush this sounds convincing but he has contradicted himself. He has already acknowledged that "where our Lord was crucified" is advert to literal Jerusalem. Now he wants to deny this. The fact is, chapter 11 is symbolic. Yet in the midst of the symbology we find the interpretive phrase "where our Lord was crucified" to clear away the confusion. "Where our Lord was crucified" is not symbolic, it is interpretive!

     Our friend cites, with approval, Salmon who expresses amazement that anyone could see a reference to literal Jerusalem since "the whole scene is laid in heaven." Carried to its logical extension this means Jesus was crucified in heaven! The witnesses, symbolic we are certain, were to be killed in the same city where Jesus was crucified. But if this was all only going to happen in heaven then Jesus must have died in heaven!

     Our studied brother says we have only to compare Ezekiel's vision and measuring of the temple to realize that [John's] Jerusalem could in fact have been already destroyed. Ezekiel was told to measure the temple, Ezekiel 40, but our brother observes the literal temple had been destroyed some 14 years earlier. The suggested analogy is that John was to measure the temple that had already been destroyed. But Ezekiel was measuring a FUTURE temple, not the one destroyed earlier. And John was told to measure a temple that was about to be destroyed, 11:1-2. One might also ask why John is being asked to measure a temple that was destroyed some 25 years earlier since in our brother's words "there would be little need to focus upon the destruction of Jerusalem since the lessons of that catastrophe would have been well learned in the preceding quarter century." ?

     The Bible sometimes spoke of future events in the past tense, Isaiah 46:9-10. But where does the Bible ever speak of past events in the future tense? Yet this is precisely what our brother demands in Revelation 11 to avoid the obvious i.e. Jerusalem was still standing but was about to fall.

     He insists it is "the most irresponsible form of exegesis" to assert that Nero fulfills the enigmatic 666 of Revelation 13:6. He objects to adding "Caesar" to Nero's name. We would only ask in response, who in the first century world would think of omitting it? Nero was Caesar! He also objects to calculating the 666 based on the Hebrew instead of the Greek. But this would be consistent with his own observation that Revelation contains over 500 references and allusions to the Old Testament. While written in Greek, Revelation has a Hebrew background!


Significant Omissions


     Perhaps the most disturbing thing about our brother's article is that he seems to ignore some of the very strongest internal evidence for a pre-70 date and carefully chooses evidence which may seem easier to discredit. This is excellent debating tactic, but unbecoming an honest inquiry for truth. Revelation concerns "things which must shortly take place", Revelation 1:1. Chief among those coming events was the destruction of the city which was full of the "blood of the prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth," 18:24. [Jesus clearly identified this city in Matthew 23:29-39 as Jerusalem]. Now, how can we maintain Revelation spoke of the fall of Rome when that happened almost four hundred years after John wrote, given a 95 date? Four hundred years is not "shortly!" [For interesting historical and Biblical confirmation of this compare the vision of Daniel 8 which spanned a period of 386 years from beginning to end. [12] Daniel was told to seal the vision because it would be a long time, 8:26. In Revelation 22:10 John was told not to seal his vision because it was "at hand." Now was 386 years a "long time" for Daniel, but 381 years, until the fall of Rome, only a "short time?!?"] And this is even more devastating to the traditional identification of Babylon with the Papacy! These two considerations alone, the specific time frame of Revelation and the identity of the persecuting city should cause a careful student to pause and reconsider before accepting the traditional late date of the book.

     We have but touched the hem of the garment of this most fascinating subject. Space considerations forbid further discussion. We urge the reader to be careful students and investigate for themselves the evidence for the late or early date of the book. Truly, some "bizarre theories" are based on improper interpretation of the Apocalypse. But we need not make bad arguments or present faulty evidence to defeat them. We must accept evidence as it is presented, properly interpret it, and thereby determine truth.

     We hope this brief excursus will aid in presentation of some of that evidence.




1. The Beast of Revelation, Kenneth Gentry, Institute For Christian Economics, Tyler, Texas, 1989, page 164.

2. "Date of the Book Of Revelation???", H. Daniel Denham, Part 1 of a three part series carried in the Defender, January, 1979, 4850 Saufley Rd. Pensecola, Florida.

3. Ibid.

4. Gentry, p. 42.

5. Nero, The End of a Dynasty, Miriam Griffin, Yale University Press, 1985, page 100.

6. Interpretation of Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, R.C.H.Lenski, Augsburg Publishing, 1964, page 961.

7. Redating The New Testament, John A.T. Robinson, Westminster Press, 1976, page 223. 8. Gentry, page 162.

9. Gentry, page 163.

10. Annals of Imperial Rome, Tacitus, Dorsett Press, 1984, page 326.

11. The Church in The Roman Empire, Before A.D. 170, William Ramsey, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1892, page 245.

12. The Revelation of St. John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Leon Morris, Eerdmans, 1980, page 36.