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Featured A study of the "Revelation" - date & significance, then & now

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Covenanter, Feb 27, 2017.

?
  1. Before AD 70

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  2. After AD 70

    8 vote(s)
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  1. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    This follows the threads discussing (partial) Preterism, where I posted several times on the book of the Revelation, but there were no specific replies. I propose to repost them here as appropriate.

    We need to understand -
    When John saw his visions - before or after AD 70
    Who they were for
    Who they were about
    What is the relevance to living believers - or is it distant past or future end times
     
  2. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    The dating of Revelation is widely discussed.
    This - http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pb057.htm appears to be a thorough discussion without a definite conclusion.

    I will assume an early date from the inspired evidence of the text itself.

    The late date is normally inferred from a quote from the writings of Irenaeus - http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pb057.htm - but that is ambiguous.

    The relevance of the date is the key to understanding the prophecy.

    Is it largely fulfilled by the AD 70 destruction, with (amillennial) application to the church down the ages?
    or
    Is it yet future with rapture/tribulation/millennial fulfilment?
    or
    Is it specifically being fulfilled down the ages, with respect to to rise of Catholicism, Islam, the Reformation, the black death, world wars, etc?
     
  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    In the Amillennial understanding of Revelation, it matters not at all whether the book was written before or after AD 70. However, it seems to be that a post-AD 70 date is the most likely, for the following reasons:
    1. The earliest writers are unanimous that the Apostle John lived to a great age, and therefore a later date is possible.
    2. Although Irenaeus is unclear, Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 3.18.1 and 3.20.8-9) quotes an early writer called Hegesippus who seems to say that John was banished to Patmos by the Emperor Domitian and freed to go to Ephesus by Nerva.
    3. A literal rather than symbolic interpretation of the 1,260 days/42 months to prove an early date causes problems. There are places where a literal interpretation seems to fail (12:6; 13:5). Next, the other dates don't fit. The Jewish revolt broke out in Spring AD 66, and the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in Aug-Sept of 70. The trampling of the city could only begin when the Roman soldiers occupied it in 70; what happened 3 and a half years later?
    4. To point to Nero as the fulfilment of the number 666 leads to all sorts of problems. Details on request.
    5. Preterists point to the measuring of the Temple in 11:1-3 as evidence that the Temple must still have been standing. The N.T. uses the Greek word hieron for the Temple complex (eg. Matthew 24:1; Acts 3:1) and naos for the inner sanctuary (eg. Matthew 27:51). John only uses naos (16 times!). Christians are now the Temple of God (naos. 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16) and we, in Christ, enter into the naos, the holiest place (Hebrews 9:24; 10:19ff).
    Some of the Olivet Discourse was obviously fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem, though other parts were not. I do not believe that Revelation has any connection to AD 70. This, in fact, is one of the main reasons why I am Amil. I reject the Dispensationalist interpretation because what help would it have been to struggling Christians in the 1st Century to know that this or that was going to happen thousands of years later? Likewise, what help is it to us today if almost all prophecy was fulfilled 2,000 years ago? I do not believe that Revelation speaks directly of the Church of Rome, Black Death or Islam, though it certainly speaks of false religion, State religion, anti-Christian government, persecution, the 'world' ( in the 1 John 2:15 sense of the word) and the judgements of God upon the wickedness of Man. These are things that were going on at the time the book was written and will continue until our Lord returns.
     
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  4. Baptist Brother

    Baptist Brother Active Member

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    The earliest writers are unanimous that the Apostle John lived most of his life before 70 AD, therefor an early date is possible.

    It has been argued that John had been banished to Patmos twice.

    The 7-year war concluded in 73 AD with the fall of Masada.

    Refutation available on request.

    Naos is the word meaning Temple. It is used numerous times in the NT without reference to Christians themselves. It is used more than a dozen times in Revelation and mostly it is clearly speaking of a structure, and never suggesting Christians themselves. And, not one of those mentions imply the Temple was already destroyed. Calling our bodies the temple of God is figurative speech that is not used or implied in Revelation.

    There is nothing within the Olivet Discourse to suggest that Jesus is speaking of two separate times. On the contrary, he says all those things will happen within a generation.

    There are so many powerful reasons to reject Dispensational theology that I don't know how you picked one out... Not only no help to a struggling Christian today, but that doctrine of demons proclaims the church will be defeated, and the rapture is the lifeboat, as if proclaiming the synagogue of Satan is God's people isn't bad enough.

    I think eschatology is primarily for the jewish audience. It was the end of their world. We have all the help we need, knowing that Jesus died for our sins and overcame death. And, that God has established a new covenant to replace the one that ended with the Jewish world.
     
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  5. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna, was, according to both Irenaeus and Tertullian, a disciple of John. Jerome says that John ordained Polycarp as Bishop of Smyrna.

    As Polycarp was born in 70 AD, either John ordained an infant to be Bishop of Smyrna or that portion of John's ministry took place in the closing days of the 1st century and the first two years of the 2nd century.

    John was probably born in 10 AD or shortly before, and died in or around 102 AD at Ephesus.
     
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  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    So, when do you believe the book was written?
     
  7. Baptist Brother

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    Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. The Temple was still standing, else how could the Temple be measured.

    Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. The verse implies the Temple is still standing and a prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem is given.


    Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. A prophesy of the New Jerusalem sans Temple, implicitly contrasted to the Temple still standing when Revelation was written.

    The late date argument about the temple, "5. Preterists point to the measuring of the Temple in 11:1-3 as evidence that the Temple must still have been standing. The N.T. uses the Greek word hieron for the Temple complex (eg. Matthew 24:1; Acts 3:1) and naos for the inner sanctuary (eg. Matthew 27:51). John only uses naos (16 times!). Christians are now the Temple of God (naos. 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16) and we, in Christ, enter into the naos, the holiest place (Hebrews 9:24; 10:19ff)."

    Not one bit of evidence in that quote supports the claim that the Temple means the claimed Christians. Naos is the word for the Temple itself. Hieron is the word for the Temple complex, which includes surrounding land and buildings. There's no reason to expect Revelation to use Heiron if it's talking specifically about the temple that was standing in the first century. The temple is excluded from being Christians themselves because we're told it has worshipers inside of it. And, it makes no sense to speak of measuring a Temple that is people. In the many mentions of the Temple in Revelation, there is no suggestion, let alone assertion, that the word ever means people. Nor, does the book show any clue that the temple had already been destroyed when it was written.

    Dispensationalts believe the temple mentioned in Rev 11:2 is an actual temple, but not yet built. [False personal attack edited] they have to take eschatological references to the Temple as applying to a not yet built temple. But, any attempt to support that position is shamelessly ridiculous.

    [Personal attack edited]
     
    #7 Baptist Brother, Feb 27, 2017
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  8. TCassidy

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    As John was exiled by Emperor Domitian who was Roman Emperor from 81 AD to 96 AD, John would have been on Patmos between those years.

    As such an exile was for life, either the life of the person exiled or the life of the Emperor, John was released when Domitian died in 96 AD.

    As Revelation was written from Patmos, it was probably written in the period immediately prior to 96 AD. Most scholars set the date of his exile around 94-95 AD.
     
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  9. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    Was John in exile on Patmos, or was he there:
    9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
     
  10. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    I suggest that further discussion of the dating itself is unlikely to be fruitful.
    However the understanding & application of the visions will be helpful as we see them in the light of the Lordship of Christ & the fulfillment of prophecy.

    I think, regardless of our views on the dating, & whether the visions specifically relate to first century Israel, or some dispensational interpretation, we can apply an amillennial interpretation to encourage the suffering & witnessing church down the ages until our Lord comes for resurrection & judgment.
     
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  11. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    If we begin with Scripture, we will look at what John was inspired to write, rather than what people have written about it.
    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; .... for the time is at hand.
    It is written for John's immediate readers - his companions in tribulation for their encouragement & blessing.
    While of course all readers benefit from the study of Scripture, there is an immediate relevance to John's readers.

    7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen
    That relates to:
    Mat. 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.

    "Clouds" are significant - his coming is evident by the clouds, as is his presence with his people in e.g. the dedication of the tabernacle & temple.

    "kindreds/tribes" is significant - φυλή / phylē is translated "tribes" (of Israel) throughout the NC Scriptures;

    "ge" is translated "earth" or "land" so it is probable in the context, "tribes of the land" is the meaning.

    Thus Jesus is referring to his coming for judgment on all the tribes of Israel still in the land. The believing Jews will have seen the signs & fled.

    Ex. 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
    The presence of the LORD was evident from the thunders, lightnings & cloud, though they did not see him with their eyes.

    While Mat. 24:30 & Rev. 1:7 is often taken as the coming in final judgment, as in Charles Wesley's hymn "Lo, he comes in clouds descending," the judgment on this generation indicates a coming before AD 70. A coming apparent by the fulfillment of prophesied events, but not seen with human eyes.
     
    #11 Covenanter, Feb 28, 2017
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  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    This is a disgraceful statement. You should be ashamed of yourself. I do not agree with Dispensationalism, but they are our brothers and sisters, and you should either show respect or, if you can't answer without being abusive, get off the board.
     
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  13. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    MM's right, you need to tone it down. I believe most Dispies are well meaning but [Personal attack edited]
     
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  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The Greek for "for the testimony" is dia + accusative, which any of my first year Greek students can tell you (I hope) means "on account of." John was not on Patmos in order to give testimony (that would probably have been a "hina clause") but because he had given testimony. He was in exile, not on an evangelistic trip.
     
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  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Dispensationalism does NOT "heavily favor Zionism." Quit spouting this. It's untrue.

    I dare you to actually read scholarly works on dispensationalism by men such as Ryrie, Vlach, Chafer, Bock, Blaising--any of them. You will find no mention of Zionism in their works. For that matter, I dare you to go through the Scofield Bible and find even one single mention of Zionism, though it was in full flower when he wrote his notes.

    Chafer's 8 volume Systematic Theology is copyright 1948, right at the very apex of Zionism, but he has not a single word about Zionism in the eight volumes.

    Put up or shut up.
     
    #15 John of Japan, Feb 28, 2017
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  16. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    He was there because of his preaching of the word of God and because of his testimony of Jesus Christ. Just like it says.
     
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  17. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I strongly disagree with dispensational theology, but it is not in the same category as the Book of Mormon. Good women and men who want to be informed of the theological world that we are immersed in here in the United States need to be familiar with the basics of dispensational theology so they can properly interact in the Christian subculture.

    Faithful Christians often buy into dispensational theology because of its nearly overwhelming support by more conservative Christians bodies since the Scofield Bible became popular. In my own experience, I was brought up with Chick tracts and the "Late, Great Planet Earth" as essential reading in my church. In recent years, the wildly popular "Left Behind" series has brought new generations into the dispensationalist fold. Even at a secular private high school where I worked for a number of years, non-Christians were introduced to the "gospel" of dispensationalism as true Christianity by their friends as a substitute for biblical Christianity. To my great frustration, as a member of the staff, I had to be very careful about my critique of the book. It is only within the last generation or so that there have been voices in popular Christian culture that reject that viewpoint.

    So your attitude of "banning" the theology is totally inadequate for the situation at hand. You must show why dispensationalism is wrong and replace it with what is true, since for many people, dispensationalism IS the heart of the gospel.
     
  18. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    The late date theory for the writing of Revelation is a house of cards that won't bear scrutiny:

    "It was written in Patmos about A.D.68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syriac version of the Book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus (A.D.175), who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou, ie., Domitius (Nero). Sulpicius Severus, Orosius, &c., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the earlier date." Concise Critical Comments on the Holy Bible, by Robert Young.”

    In other words a 'stupid mistake' by Sulpicius Severus and others has resulted in a domino effect of bad information being passed down through the centuries.

    "It was written in Patmos about A.D.68".
     
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  19. Baptist Believer

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    As a practical matter, the dispensationalism that requires Israel to be gathered back into their historical homeland and rebuild the temple DOES mesh nicely with the goals of Zionism and has provided significant political support for Zionism by Great Britain and the United States.

    I'm sure you are correct. although I haven't read Vlach and Chafer.
     
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  20. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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