Dating of revelation

As Sanday saw, "It is a Choice of evils, and a choice also of attractions."[12] There will be no benefits and drawbacks to each proposal (otherwise the voice of the church would be basically unified on this point by now), and the student will need to weigh the relative merits of each option with clarity and cogency of relative merits of each option with clarity and cogency of thought before settling responsibility on one position or the other.

dating of revelation-18

Even if we were to fall into such a logical fallacy, can we accept a census of secondary opinions which is limited in its scope (say, to the commentaries read by one author)?

Questions could be multiplied regarding the common, exaggerated claims about the scholarly support for the late date of Revelation. One need only get beyond the cocoon of his own circles of contact and his own lifetime to find that the preceding overstated claims for the late date of Revelation are unbelievable.

If that prophetical book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, a number of its particular allusions must most naturally be understood as referring to that city and its fall. The correct date for the writing of Revelation lies somewhere between the extremes of Claudius and Trajan.

If, however, it was written at the end of the reign of Domitian (about A. 96), as many have believed, another system of interpretation is necessary to explain the historical allusions.[1] An interpreter who is committed to the unerring authority of God's word and to the reality of predictive prophecy must ask whether John was speaking in Revelation of the ancient city of Jerusalem, the Herodian temple, and the Roman Empire of the Caesars, 70 A. Throughout the history of the church only two general views regarding the date of Revelation have been credible and consistently forwarded.

On the other hand, having studied the case for the to offer their readers a fair assessment of the genuine extent of evidential support for that position.

Many simply assert - without qualm or qualification - that Revelation was definitely written during the last decade of the first century under Domitian,[19] or else they assume it without any reservation or question as a premise in further studies.[20] Despite the extensive and clear counter-evidence which has often been cited against the late date for Revelation, there are authors who suppress, prejudicially characterize, or merely ignore the true state of the debate on this subject, telling their unwary readers that the Domitian date "can hardly be doubtful"[21] since "most evidence"[22] favors it and since "not a single, really cogent argument" can be found for the early date,[23] (or simplistically dismissing the early date by calling it "unlikely").[24] The early date is even (mindlessly) called an "immoral heresy" in at least one polemic!Are we to believe that Boer knows or has interviewed "Most students" of the book? If New Testament criticism has "most generally accepted" the late date for Revelation, how do we account for the fact that debate over the date for Revelation, given so much attention and analysis in reputable works on Revelation?Besides, are we to think that questions of truth can be decided by a census of personal opinions rather than an analysis of the evidence pro and con?[25] One could easily get the impression from such categorical statements and indictments (as I did early as a student) that the late date for Revelation is virtually an points to a Domitian date for the book.Indeed, attempting to sway their readers with an all too easy appeal to a (selective) "consensus" on the question, Summers says that "the Domitian period is the date most generally accepted by New Testament criticism for the writing of Revelation,"[26] and it is described as "the majority opinion" by Walvoord,[27] while Mounce claims that it is "accepted by most writers"[28] and Boer says it is "favoured by most students of the book."[29] Such sweeping claims are initially implausible.There is no question about the superabundance of eager prophecy popularizers in our day who jump at the "obvious" opportunity to make Revelation relevant today by choosing the second option. The difficulty with this view, even if one is not struck with the artificiality of the counting technique, is that martyrdoms can be definitely placed with the reign of Vespasian, [6] and the relative calm of his reign (which is out of line with the tumultuous picture in Revelation) was not marked by his pressing of claims to deity or by his persecuting of the church[7] - both of which characterize the beast in Revelation 13. At any rate, even though I do not favor the preceding two specific interpretations of the internal evidence in Revelation, the suggestions of Galba's or Vespasian's reigns for the date of Revelation would fall within that general period which we will call "the early date" for the Book's composition.

Tags: , ,