The Debate between Hanegraaff and Hitchcock

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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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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