Another of Hitchcock’s “numerous other strong witnesses from church history for the Domitianic date of Revelation” (p. 38) is Clement of Alexandria. Does this writer support a late date … or an early date?
After discussing Hegesippus and Irenaeus, MH claims at the end of Chapter 2 of his dissertation (accessible here) that “There are numerous other strong witnesses from church history for the Domitianic date of Revelation” (p. 38). These alleged sources are the subject of Chapter 3 of his work.
Is Irenaeus supportive of the Domitianic dating of Revelation?
Chapter 2 of Mark Hitchcock’s dissertation examines the evidence provided by two early Christians: Hegesippus and Irenaeus (d. c. 200). We have already discussed Hegesippus and we shall now proceed to discuss the evidence of Irenaeus, whom Hitchcock refers to as “the most important ancient witness” to the late date.
Evaluating Hitchcock’s Evidence for the Late Date from Hegesippus
We now look at MH’s presentation of the external evidence for the dating; that is, the evidence from early Christian writers concerning when it was written. We shall begin with his discussion of Hegesippus (c. 150). His dissertation can be found here.
Mark Hitchcock’s Dallas Theological Seminary dissertation, entitled “A Defense of the Domitianic Date of the Book of Revelation” (accessible here) is considered by many as the last word in the discussion of the evidence for the dating of Revelation.
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?
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).