One clue to the date of Revelation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, May 12, 2010.

  1. ReformedBaptist

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    As I mentioned in a previous thread, I have been investigating the evidence for the date of the book of Revelation. I have been looking primarily to internal evidence as such evidence comes from the infallible Word of God.

    Of course, my interpretation is not infallible, but I do think priority should be given to the Scriptures above all else. So, of course, I have been reading through Revelation looking for such internal clues and I think I found one.

    Why is this a clue?

    This is a clue because it has reference to a city and events, namely the murder of Antipas. History then can be consulted to understand the times to which Jesus is speaking.

    From a website called bibleplaces.com I found the following information regarding this city's history:

    As an aside, we can see from the history why the Lord called this place the throne or dwelling of Satan. What I found as an interesting clue, if this history be accurate, is that it was Domitian who made the temples, and the worship of those deities, a test for civic loyalty. If this was the case, then it seems likely that any Christian persecution at pergamum would have mostly likley had its zenith under Domitian and likely who is the murderer of Antipas.

    As a clue then, this would lend the evidence, beginning with internal evidence, toward the Domitian date, or latter date for the book of Revelation.

    Edited in: The history source is http://www.ctsp.co.il/LBS pages/LBS_pergamon.htm which is not the bibleplaces.com website, but a link from it to the above source.
     
  2. kyredneck

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    ......and this is INTERNAL evidence?

    I gave you some sound internal evidence concerning the Song of Moses in your other thread.
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    I appreciate your reply, but it seems to be just a retort. Nothing useful here.

    Gentry does the same thing with Rev 17. By the same thing I mean, he begins with Scripture and then looks at a whole world of external history and facts related to the passage of Scripture.

    Let's avoid knee jerk reactions to thoughts that may disagree with your own.
     
    #3 ReformedBaptist, May 12, 2010
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  4. kyredneck

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    RB, it wasn't a knee jerk retort; I reiterate, I gave you some sound internal evidence concerning the Song of Moses in your other thread. Do you also consider Gentry as internal evidence? Evidently, we're not on the same page as to the meaning of internal evidence.
     
  5. RAdam

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    I've seen sources that believe Antipas was killed in the early 90's AD. Of course, that is secular history, and as such is uncertain.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    We are definately not on the same page. I used Gentry because he holds to an early date, and is a preterist, but that my study pointed in a different direction. However, we both used the same method in looking at internal evidence.

    In Rev 17 kings are discussed and Gentry sought to look at history to determine which king was the "now is" king. With my OP I looked at the internal evidence of a martyr in pergamos and then looked at a surface history to see who might have perpetrated a persecution in that city.

    It's not conclusive, hence a clue.

    So yes, it seems I and Gentry are using internal evidence differently.
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    I tried to look also to see if there was some history regarding Antipas. I really couldn't find anything conclusive.
     
  8. asterisktom

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    I would like to see an original source that mentions Antipas, placing him in time. I don't remember reading any (Tacitus, Livy, Clement, etc.).

    Philip Schaff, a late convert to the early date of Revelation, wrote this:

    "The heathen historians, if we are to judge from their silence, seem to confine the persecution to the city of Rome, but later Christian writers extend it to the provinces. The example set by the emperor in the capital could hardly be without influence in the provinces, and would justify the outbreak of popular hatred. If the Apocalypse was written under Nero, or shortly after his death, John's exile to Patmos must be connected with this persecution. It mentions imprisonments in Smyrna, the martyrdom of Antipas in Pergamus, and speaks of the murder of prophets and saints and all that have been slain on the earth. The Epistle to the Hebrews 10:32-34, which was written in Italy, probably in the year 64, likewise alludes to bloody persecutions, and to the release of Timothy from prison, 13:23. And Peter, in his first Epistle, which may be assigned to the same year, immediately after the outbreak of the persecution, and shortly before his death, warns the Christians in Asia Minor of a fiery trial which is to try them, and of sufferings already endured or to be endured, not for any crime, but for the name of "Christians." The name "Babylon" for Rome is most easily explained by the time and circumstances of composition."

    History of the Christian Church, chapter 6

    The early date for Revelation has always been believed by a good-sized percentage of Christendom, like the Greek orthodox Church:
    http://molonlabe70.blogspot.com/2008/04/hieromartyr-antipas-bishop-of-pergamum.html
    http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/04/saint-antipas-martyr-of-apocalypse.html

    This doesn't solve the case conclusively, but - at least in my case - caused me to look into this a little more deeply than I had. Finally, the evidence all told just seemed too strong for that earlier date.
     
    #8 asterisktom, May 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2010
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    There is no original source.
     
  10. ReformedBaptist

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    Does anyone know the length of the Neronian persecution?
     
  11. asterisktom

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    From the fires of Rome (where he blamed the Christians) to AD 68 (when he died). There was no indication, in any of the sources that I read, that Nero ever slacked off on being his evil self so it stands to reason that he persecuted the Christians as long as he had the means and opportunity.

    Suetonius gives us an almost humorous example of Nero being Nero to the bitter end: Seeing his avengers closing in on him, and having only a a few slaves who hadn't deserted him, he forced one of them to kill himself "to set him an example by committing suicide first".

    If we use those events as markers of his persecution of Christians we would have a period from July 64 to June 68, almost four years.
     
    #11 asterisktom, May 12, 2010
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  12. ReformedBaptist

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    If Nero's persecution lasted 4 years or so, how can Smyrna be persecuted by him 10 days, i.e. 10 years?
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    Just so folks know, I am trying to look at the text of revelation and use what is known about history to date this book. I find it hard to believe that the Lord would not have us to know this information.

    I cannot be convinced of an interpretation of the book until I am convinced of its date. Sometimes working backwards helps though. I am convinced, without any doubt, that the papacy is that Antichrist, the Man of Sin, foretold in Scripture. All the evidence points to this.

    Does this fact eliminate some eschatological positions such as futurism? I think preterism holds that Nero was the Antichrist. Would the view then, as the whole Reformed churches and pre-reformers believed and taught concerning the papacy eliminate both futurism and preterism?
     
  14. asterisktom

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    Short answer for now - as I let my wife have her time on the comp - is that ten days is not ten years for me anymore than 1000 years is 1000 years.
     
  15. Grasshopper

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  16. ReformedBaptist

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    If this is indicative of preterist ideas...I will have nothing to do with them.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    As is customary with these boards, which is why you no longer see me post often, most of you are just pushing your views rather than seeking to help someone like me who is trying to make an honest investigation. Not only that, but one of you insinuated a bad intent on my part already. This is disgusting to me, but what I expect from discussion boards.

    Nevertheless, the info has been helpful albeit...distasteful.
     
  18. Logos1

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    One good possible clue to the time Revelation was written

    One verse in Revelation provides one good possible clue to the time it was written.
    Rev 17:8 HCSV
    The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present [again].

    Nero ruled from 54 - 68 AD. The Roman campaign to put down the Jewish rebellion started in 67, but when Nero committed suicide civil war broke out in Rome and Vespasian who had been leading the campaign and was at Jerusalem withdrew to attend to the unsettled situation in Rome. Rome went through three rulers in a years time before Vespasian consolidated power and became the new ruler. Then he dispatched his son Titus back to Jerusalem to finish the job there.

    During his departure the Zealots thought they had beaten off the Romans and were unpleasantly surprised to see them return to finish the job.

    This would provide fulfillment of the "will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present [again]."

    Was: The initial Roman movement against Jerusalem by Vespasian.
    and is not: Vespasian's leaving Jerusalem.
    and will be present again: Titus returns to finish the job

    Simple, straight forward, and historically accurate interpretation for dating the writing of Revelation--This could mean Revelation was written during the lull between the Roman campaigns against Jerusalem. They were there, they are not there now and they will be there again.

    Or given that all that precedes this verse in the first 16 chapters it most likely simply dates Revelation before 67 AD and John's vision was describing the coming and going and coming again of the Roman's campaigning against Judea/Jerusalem.

    Thoughts any one?
     
  19. asterisktom

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    I was really surprised to see this, as if my preterism has nothing to do with "honest investigation". It was honest investigation that led me eventually to the very view that you now - and I used to - demonize. This doesn't make those who have other views dishonest, but neither does it make me dishonest.
     
  20. RAdam

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    There is not a single person in history that fills all the predictions of both Daniel and Paul regarding the man of sin/son of perdition/antichrist.
     

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