Dating the book of Revelation
by, 08-19-2016 at 10:40 AM (156 Views)
Currently, probably the majority of Bible scholars still believe the book of Revelation was authored in 96AD. This is based on this quote by a church father:
The 95-96AD date is derived from our knowlege of when Domitian ruled over Rome.Originally Posted by Irenaeus
The 96AD date is by no means the only theory, and there is another that I personally think makes better sense. And I said the majority of Bible scholars ďstill believeĒ the book was authored in 96 AD because from what I read, the 96AD date was not accepted widely until the 1800's and is being questioned more widely today.
"Redating the NEW TESTAMENT" by John A.T. Robinson is regarded as the seminal work on the topic, so I went there.
With the mods' kind permission, a link to the book online is here Redating the New Testament
Some fascinating points, from the book:
Regarding the 96AD date:Originally Posted by John A.T. Robinson
Regarding internal evidence for a pre-70AD authorship:Originally Posted by John A.T. Robinson
Robinson questions the way adherents of the 96 AD date deal with statements in the Revelation that indicate the temple and the city of Jerusalem still stood at the time it was written:Originally Posted by John A.T. Robinson
Originally Posted by John A.T. RobinsonThereís much more fascinating (and quite heady) material in the book.Originally Posted by John A.T. Robinson
Personally, I take a high view of the inspiration of scripture, and have a hard time with the theories that the Revelation as well as other books of the new testament were written by disciples a century or more after the birth of Christ. Robinson discusses why as he studied, he came to doubt these late dates more and more, and question why any of the new testament had to be written after 70AD. I think his arguments do a lot to support the authenticity of the new testament books we regard as Godís Word.
Robinson also points out that John would have had to be very, very old in 96AD. Granted, he is said to have survived being dipped in boiling oil, and perhaps the power of God supernaturally rejuvenated his mortal body, but I donít think Iíd hang my scholarly hat on that supposition.
And itís obvious (well, to me anyway) from reading Revelation that itís a VERY Jewish book. From the 7 candlesticks to the description of Babylon matching that of a high priest, and her destruction by fire matching the prescribed punishment for a priests daughter who had become a harlot (stuff I as a Gentile would never have picked up on unless someone pointed it out to me) to all the Edenic imagery in the last chapter, the book is addressed to those very familiar with Judaism. I fail to see how all those things would be in the book, yet no mention of the destruction of the very heart of Judaism as a past fact. In fact, all these references to Judaism wouldl indicate to me that the religion was alive and well at the time of John writing the book.
And I donít know if Robinson points this out, but some passages in Revelation seem specifically intended on showing how the Christian church, not the nation of Israel was Godís true chosen people and the heirs of the promises given of prophecy. Such passages would not have had nearly the same meaning after the nation of Israel was beaten, her people scattered, and the heart of her old covenant system of worship taken out. Such passages as Revelation 21, where the church is depicted as having high priestly qualities, as being the true city in which Godís temple and, His presence, and His name dwells, and as being the fulfillment of the prophecies in the old testament of the glorious messianic reign point to Judaism still being alive and well. Theyíd have been controversial, and to old testament Jews, quite inflammatory statements.
I tend to think the Revelation was written shortly before 70AD, and like Jesus' Olivet Discourse, even foretells events that were to happen to the nation of Israel and the "city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" in 70AD.