Dating the writing of Revelation

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bro Tony, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    This may have been covered before, but I would like input concerning the views and reasons for the date that the book of Revelation was written. It seems to me that the preterist must hold to an early writing, say 50-60 AD or their theories hold no water. Traditionally, the approximately 90 AD date has been put forth. If the date of the writing in the later than at least everything from Chapter 4 would be future, as John is clearly not speaking historically but prophetically.
    The view that Jesus has already returned is comical to my understanding of the Scripture. If Paul was trying to comfort the church at Thessalonica because they were concerned they had missed the return of Christ, and Christ later returned in AD 70 (as the preterist believe) then where is our comfort? I even had a preterist state that he believed we are already in our spiritual bodies :D Man I hope not [​IMG]
    The dating of the Book of Revelation is an important issue in MHO.
     
  2. DeafPosttrib

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    To preterists:

    Does Revelation 1:7 already fulfilled in 70 A.D.?

    Did the 200 million army from the east already across dried Euphrate River in 70 A.D.?

    Did the world see Christ ride on white horse with his army marching down to earth in 70 A.D.?

    Then, preterism doctrine is vain and worthless, because we not yet see Christ in flesh and physical yet. He is still in the heaven now.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
     
  3. Tim

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    Bro. Tony,

    As a partial-preterist, I believe that Revelation was written prior to 70 AD. IMHO, the judgement of Christ upon Israel was a type of the final judgement upon the earth, and that much of Revelation points to that first judgment (i.e. coming) of Christ upon unbelievers in 70.

    The text simply doesn't justify pushing the bulk of fulfillment into the distant future (Rev. 1:3, 22:10). And making it all far future creates some sticky problems throughout the book, like:

    --Are modern-day Jews guilty of putting Christ to death? (Rev. 1:7) Or was it the unbelieving Jews of Christ's generation?

    --Are the "firstfruits" of the Lamb really the "last fruits"? (Rev. 14:4) Even though the term "firstfruits" is used of early Jewish believers in the book of James? (Js. 1:18)

    Obviously, I don't believe that all of Rev. should be interpreted "literally", i.e. at face value, but that it it is full of "signs" as Rev. 1:1 indicates.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    The preterist position is an interesting one. In fact there are alot of reasons to see the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD as the subject of Jesus' predictions in the "little apocalypse" in Mark. This really does not fly as well for Revelation for alot of reasons. It's a bit of the square peg in a round hole to try to date Revelation at or before 70 AD. IMHO! ;)
     
  5. Daniel David

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    Preterism rises and falls upon the dating of Revelation. It is a sine qua non (sp?).

    However, the premill can date it before 70 or 95 AD. It really has no effect upon the meaning John had.
     
  6. Bro Tony

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    Tim,

    Thanks for the reply. I hold a pre-millenial position, although I find weekness in most manmade theological positions. I don't like being painted in the corner. I find the a-millenial and partial preterest view quite fasinating. Do you believe one could hold to a partial preterist view and still hold to a late date for the book of Revelation? There really is no way that a full-preterist can logically hold to a late date for Revelation. As a partial preterist where do you draw the line between what has happen and what will happen? While I believe there is much symbolic language in the book of Revelation, I still believe that the events will literally happen. How do you draw the line between what is merely figurative and not literally going to happen and that which will happen like the coming of Christ? Or do you hold that Rev 19 refers also to AD 70?
    I would still like to know how a person arrives at an early date for Revelations, other than that is what the want or need to believe. Thanks for the discussion and I hope more will join in.

    Bro Tony
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    True

    I believe the early date was the tradition pre-1800's.

    Those were my previous thoughts as well. Check out the "comings" and the "coming in the clouds" in the Old Testament and see if that dampens the humor.

    If the Thessalonians viewed the return of Christ as futurist today do, how could they possibly believe they missed it? Could not they just look out thier window? Perhaps they understood the "nature" of the second coming better than 21st century gentiles.

    Me too.

    Bingo. Pick up the book "Before Jerusalem Fell" by Kenneth Gentry.

    Do a litter reading to get an idea of the early date beliefs:

    http://www.eschatology.org/articles/revelation/datingdocs1.htm

    http://www.eschatology.org/articles/revelation/datingrevelation.htm

    http://www.preterism-eschatology.com/Dating%20the%20Apocalypse.htm

    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/curtis-david_p_01.html

    http://www.preteristcentral.com/articles-preterist-farrar-earlydays-ii.htm

    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/hopkins-jim_p_06.html
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Preterism is coming back into vogue among baptists who do not want to believe Revelation as literal prophecy. They MUST allegorize or spiritualize (pick and choose, of course) a great deal of the Revelation.

    A few friends of mine that have shifted to such a position mentioned that they no longer walk about "afraid" of a rapture or looking over their shoulder. They can live the way they desire, knowing that Jesus ISN'T coming soon.

    I find that thinking only slightly abnormal.
     
  9. Ed Edwards

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    I believe that John the Apostile
    was born in 18AD. He died in 96AD
    after writing THE REVELATION.
    When Jesus gave John the responsibility
    for His Mother, Mary, John
    was a 15-year-old fuzz chinned youth.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. just-want-peace

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    Afraid?? Afraid?? :confused: I anxiously await the event!! [​IMG]
     
  11. Grasshopper

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    Define literal Dr. Bob. Will there be a literal Lamb opening a literal scroll? Is the Harlot a symbol or a real woman.

    Dr. Bob, you are better than this. Don't those who believe in losing salvation say that about you? Is that your motivation for "living right". FEAR? I don't know you but I would bet anything your motivation is love for Christ, not a fear of getting "caught in sin" at the rapture.
     
  12. DeafPosttrib

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    Grasshopper,

    Huh??? What are you talking about? Why do you believe it was before 1800's?

    I don't care which date of year 70 A.D. or around 95 A.D. was written Revelation is correct.

    Preterism desires book of Revelation was written pre-70 A.D. because of base upon Matthew chapter 24 about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to prove that Christ already arrived at the second advent.

    I read at few preterism sites as you given about the date of Revelation. One of them saying that Rev. 1:7 speaks of Old Testament clouds.

    It makes me laugh.

    There is NO record in the history tells us, a person or any nation already see Jesus Christ come in the clouds with power and glory - visible and physical.

    Obivously, Matt 24:30 & Rev. 1:7 speak of future second coming shall be visible and physical, EVERY person on earth shall SEE Christ coming in the clouds with power and glory. His coming shall NOT be a "secert" coming. His coming shall be a NOISY and visible like as announcment upon all nations over the world, that would be the second coming. Matt 24:30 & Rev. 1:7 both not yet fulfilled, it will be fulfilled, when we shall SEE Christ coming to earth.

    I ask you, would you mind to fly to Israel, go visit Jerusalem, and look at Mt. Olivet, to see if it is now a great valley - Zechariah 14:4?

    Is Mt. Olivet, a great valley of Zech 14:4 already???

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
     
  13. go2church

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    In fact Ray Summers in his book "Worthy is the Lamb" holds such a view as just one example of many. Although as much as he is partial preterist he could easily be identified as amillennial as well, which is a form of partial preterism.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    I used the quotation because this is exactly what my friends said to me. It was shocking (note my response) as they looked upon the "Blessed Hope" in a totally different way than I ever have.

    My motivation is not in question. I love the Lord and look forward to His soon coming. Then the terrible days of His wrath on earth while His bride feasts at the marriage supper.

    And then to live and reign with Christ for ever and ever? Wow. Want to start singing the Hallelujah Chorus! :D
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    BTW, Preterism is a failed doctrine, without proof, skewering history, and might as well toss the Bible out as an allegory because it sure didn't come to pass as promised.

    Partial Preterism is in vogue because it can say
    *PART of Revelation was fulfilled in AD70
    *PART of Revelation will be fulfilled in the future
    *PART of Revelation is mystical allegory and not to be believed

    Anybody could believe Anything and still fit into that bunch! No wonder it has adherents.

    But not among historic ifb baptists like me. Sorry.
     
  16. Tim

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    Certainly it's possible to hold to a late date for Rev. and still be a partial-preterist. There are many NT scriptures that point towards first-century fulfillments (unless one redefines dozens of NT time indicators--as many here on BB do without hesitation). I simply believe Rev. has an earlier date because the text leads me to believe so. The evidence of a later date has never been solid anyway.

    Bro. Tony, to address your question specifically, I'd say that Rev. is not straightforwardly chronological. It backtracks, takes overviews, etc. But I think that the famous "thousand years" of Rev. 20 is essentially the so-called "church age" we live in today. If you read it so, you'll get the gist of my percieved "timeline".

    Of course, the knee-jerk reaction to my statement will be that I have no right to make the "1000" metaphorical (even though it is clearly so used elsewhere in the scripture).

    Ultimately, this argument always boils down to hermenuetics, literal vs. figurative. Ever since the liberals of a century ago brought disrepute upon amillenialism by linking it with higher criticism in many other's perception, amil's are considered closet-liberals, and any suggestion that one should utilize figurative interpretation (albeit with appropriate guidelines) is generally scorned by IFB's (witness Dr. Bob's post).

    If I really want to get people fired up here on BB, all I have to do is point out some ways in which NT writers explained the OT figuratively. So either they weren't supposed to do that, or we have no right to follow their pattern and example.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  17. Bro Tony

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    I really have no problem with figurative language. I certainly don't believe Jesus is a piece of bread or a rock or a cornerstone. He used figurative language to describe a literal truth about himself. I don't have any problems with word pictures, like Jesus being called a lamb or the locusts coming out of the pit. I guess where I have a concern, and it is genuine not one just to cause an argument, is where the whole message of the book of Rev. is turned into one big allegory. In this way of interpretation it is completely left up to the individual to make it say whatever they desire. I believe John uses alot of figurative language and word pictures, but I also believe he was speaking of literal events that were going to happen. Events that understood in their full scope could not have taken place in AD 70, but still must occur. I do not deny that historically we have the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 and that it was a judgment of God, but it is a huge leap to place all of Matt 24 and Rev in that time period. Especially, for the full preterist to teach that Jesus has already returned. We have no blessed hope and we are not actually waiting for His return if their view is true.
    Thanks for all the imput. It is good to consider these things with other believers.

    Bro Tony
     
  18. Grasshopper

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    Just what I said. I believe the traditional view before 1800 was that Revelation was written before AD70.

    Nor do I. Just the truth.

    Yes Preterism is based on the assumption of an early dating.

    Yes, that is a common respose. I wonder if Red Skelton started as a Preterist.

    I guess it wasn’t physical then. Just like the OT comings weren’t physical.

    Do a word study on "world" and see what you come up with. If it is a noisy and visible coming and the whole world will know it, why did the thessolonians think they missed it?

    Again metaphoric figurtive language. You cannot take this type of language as literal and be consistent in your interpretation.

    Notice:

    Judgement on Nineveh
    Nahum 1

    1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
    2 Jehovah is a jealous God and avengeth; Jehovah avengeth and is full of wrath; Jehovah taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
    5 The mountains quake at him , and the hills melt ; and the earth is upheaved at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

    According to you this must be literal. So did these things happen?

    Lets see some more:

    Fall of Babylon(539BC)
    Is. 13: 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not cause its light to shine.

    Literal? This His how the destruction of Babylon is described. Are you going to force your literalism on this also? Seems you must to be consistent.

    Compare Is. 13 to this:

    Matt. 24: 29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light , and the stars shall fall from heaven , and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    Exactly the same language. Is.13 describes the destrution of Babylon and Matt. 24 describes the destruction of Jesusalem. Consistent interpretation.

    Another one:

    Judgement on Edom
    Is. 34: 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fade away, as the leaf fadeth from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig-tree.
    5 For my sword hath drunk its fill in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

    Judgement on Edom, another PAST event. Now notice the verse in Revelation that you and Dr. Bob insist MUST be literal.

    Rev. 6:14 And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

    So if you are to insist on taking this type of language literal, you have some major problems dealing with past events in the OT.

    Dr. Bob
    Failed according to whom? Preterism is the only doctrine that states all the promises were kept and at the time they were promised. As far as metaphoric language, the OT is full of it. Have you thrown that part of your bible away?

    I find Partial Preterism to be inconsistent. However many of our Baptist forefathers were Partial Preterist. Spurgeon comes to mind.
    Speaking of fitting anything into a system, that is exactly what is happening in the futurist camp. Bar-codes on the forehead, Revived Roman Empire, one-world government, nuclear holocaust, etc..... I bet you've preached many a sermon trying to fit the pieces together in a futuristic system. Preterism has no equals when it comes to Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Jack Van Impe and their ability to put prophetic puzzles together.

    I've gotten to the point I could care less what my denomination has believed through the years, my filter is the scriptures, not creeds or statements of faith.

    As far as interpreting Revelation I know of no view that doesn't understand the book to be metaphoric and symoblic in part.
     
  19. DeafPosttrib

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    Not every Christians before 18th Century believe Revelation was written before 70 A.D. Many believers before 18th Century believed it was written around 90's A.D.

    You think Christ CANNOT touch and cause Mt. Olivet into a great valley? Christ is not omnipotent?

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
     
  20. DeafPosttrib

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    Hey, look at the situation in Haiti right now.

    Are we in a finally REAL perfect peace in the world now?

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
     

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