Upcoming Debate on the Dating of Revelation

When was Revelation written?

March 21st at 2pm Central Time

James Rochford (MTS Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) of Xenos Christian Fellowship will be defending the view that Revelation was written late in Domitian’s reign (c. 95). He has written a popular web article defending this view.

I, Dean Furlong (PhD VU Amsterdam, MTS Notre Dame), will be arguing that the early Christians placed Revelation/John’s exile in Nero’s reign.

Call in with your questions at 816-866-0025.

Click here for venue and further information.

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The Debate between Hanegraaff and Hitchcock

Was this debate a definitive defeat for the early date? Some thoughts.

I recently had cause to listen once again–the first time in years–to the debate between Hanegraaff and Hitchcock on the dating of Revelation. First off, it is clear that Hanegraaff was out of his depth when it came to the external evidence for the date of Revelation. One wonders what kind of edifying discussion it could have been had it been held with Kenneth Gentry instead, who could have presented a case for both the external and internal evidence for the early date (though I don’t accept his preterist interpretations).

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The “Ancient Copies” of Revelation

Kenneth Gentry and others have argued for the early date of Revelation from Irenaeus’ reference to the “ancient copies” of it in existence in his day. Is this correct?

One argument that Irenaeus dated Revelation early is that he referred to the “ancient copies” of the book of Revelation as those containing the number 666, rather than 616 (Haer. 5.30.1).1.

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The Muratorian Canon on the Date of Revelation

The Muratorian Canon’s non-Domitianic exile tradition

source

The Muratorian Canon, which is usually dated to around 170 (before Irenaeus),* provides a list of canonical books that were accepted by the church at Rome at the time of writing.

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Did Irenaeus claim that Revelation was seen at the end of Nero’s reign?

Examining the claim that “Domitian’s reign” in Irenaeus referred to Nero (Domitius), not Domitian

The most cited passage employed as evidence that the early Christians placed John’s exile and apocalyptic vision (of Revelation) late in the first century, late in Domitian’s reign, is found in Irenaeus:

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The Early Christians and the Dating of Revelation: Are We Too Late?

Sources do not support a Domitianic Dating

Four factors have contributed to the consensus opinion that early sources dated John’s apocalyptic vision late in Domitian’s reign:

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John and the Bishops of the Asian Churches

John’s ministry in Asia Minor and the Dating of John’s Gospel and Revelation

According to a number of ancient writers, John founded the bishoprics in the churches of the province of Asia.

What was the historical situation of these ordinations, according to early Christian tradition, and what can it tell us about when early sources placed the writing of the Gospel and Revelation of John?


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Polycarp, Smyrna, and the Date of Revelation

Was the church of Smyrna founded too late for an early dating of Revelation?

Some claim that according to Polycarp, the Christians at Smyrna (one of the seven churches of Asia addressed in Revelation) had not known the Lord at the time of Paul’s ministry, which ended with his death (c. 66).[1]

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The Martyrdom of Antipas and the Dating of Revelation

What do we know about the martyr Antipas, and does this affect our dating of Revelation?

Antipas , who is remembered on April 11th in the calendar of the Eastern churches, is spoken of as a faithful martyr in Revelation’s letter to the church at Pergamon in Asia (Rev 2:13).

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