Dating the book of revelation

The book of Revelation was written by the apostle John on the island of Patmos.

A common dating of the book is toward the end of Domitian's reign, at about the year 95 A. This is based largely on the following comment by Irenaeus (emphasis added): "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.

And we cannot tell if he meant the book was written at the time.

Why grasp for this straw to propose that Revelation was written in 96 AD? It's certainly not something to put your interpretive stocks in.

It is well recognized that even the Gospel of John, from beginning to end, is never flattering to the Jews. Another reason for suggesting an early writing is the mention that some heretics were calling themselves apostles (Revelation 2:2).

Indeed, the Book of Barnabas, which was written near the end of the 1st century by a Jewish/Christian, was decidedly anti-Jewish in its themes.

It is important to date the times of composition of the various New Testament books because this is the first step in providing a benchmark to help determine when the final canonization took place. It is noteworthy that later Christendom, after 70 C. times, this was a major problem (2 Corinthians 15). For example, John wrote in the Book of Revelation that five rulers had already ceased to have power and that a sixth was then within his sovereignty (Revelation ).

The apostles Peter and John may have waited until after the miraculous events in the spring of 66 C. concerning the Temple before they decided for certain that Christ was not returning in that generation, but whatever the case, the period before C. The second was Augustus; the third, Tiberius; the fourth, Gaius (Caligula); the fifth, Claudius; and the sixth was Nero. From all of this, it seems reasonable that Revelation could have been written from about 56 to 60 C.

it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation, for it is not long since it was seen, but almost in our own generation, at the close of Domitian's reign." (Eusebius, III, XVII) At any rate, it is absolutely inconclusive to say the book was written then.

We cannot tell if he meant that he saw John then, or saw the book at the time.

For one, it was essential that each apostle had to have seen Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1) and there had to be many miraculous signs associated with their ministries (2 Corinthians ). If one will observe closely the historical features that seem to be found in the book, one has to look within the emperorship of Nero or the rule of King Agrippa the Second to find such occurrences.

So the references in the Book of Revelation that people were still desiring to be identified with Jews is evidence a post-70 C. To imagine that one could be an apostle like the original ones selected by Christ was seldom, if ever, imposed upon the Christian community after 70 C. This is because there were special New Testament requirements to become an apostle that later people had no hope of meeting.


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