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. Hitchcock produced a doctoral degree in the subject area, whereas Hanegraaff has no formal academic training. It is unfortunate that Hitchcock didn’t debate Kenneth Gentry instead, who could have presented a strong case for both the external and internal evidence for the early date (though I don’t accept his preterist interpretations).
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).