We need only go back to the turn of the present century to find (to our surprise) that what was then taken for granted as the scholarly conclusion about the date of Revelation was just the opposite of the claims made above.Consider, for instance, the standard reference work found in most theological libraries, the edited by James Hastings in five large volumes. notes how "the great Cambridge theologians of the last century, "Westcott, Lightfoot, and Hort, held the book to be a unity and assigned it to the time after Nero's death and before the destruction of Jerusalem.Research into the historical context of the book of Revelation is necessary in order to understand the message of this book properly. the Romans leveled Jerusalem and the temple, as we know from history. D., on the assumption that John's exile to Patmos was occasioned by the banishment of Jews from Rome by Claudius in 51  A. Moreover, Epiphanius seems to have spoken carelessly, many scholars believe; he probably was referring to Nero (whose full name was Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus) as "Claudius." At the other extreme for dating Revelation, Trajan's reign was advanced by the 6th century ascetic, Dorotheus (), and in the commentary at Matthew by Theophylact, an 11th century exegete.The reader ought to appreciate the concrete setting of the book and the historical perspective which its author would have had. We can see this if we but consider the reference in Revelation to the city of Jerusalem, its temple, and the Roman Empire - all of which, in their own order, are prophesied to be destroyed. What one thinks of the prophecies in Revelation will naturally be affected, then, by the choice of a date for the writing of the book either prior to, or subsequent to, this event in 70 A. Milton Terry observed: The great importance of ascertaining the historical standpoint of an author is notably illustrated by the controversy over the date of the Apocalypse of John. Such opinions are far too late and unargued to warrant serious attention.Christ pointed in his eschatological discourses to the destruction of Jerusalem and the preceding tribulation as the great crisis in the history of the theocracy and the type of the judgment of the world, and there never was a more alarming state of society. It was at this unique juncture in the history of mankind that St.John, with the consuming fire in Rome and the infernal spectacle of the Neronian persecution behind him, the terrors of the Jewish war and the Roman interregnum around him, and the catastrophe of Jerusalem and the Jewish theocracy before him, received those wonderful visions of the impending conflicts and final triumphs of the Christian church. . The "early" date for Revelation (often considered the "Neronian date") would roughly span the years 64-70 A.As Sanday saw, "It is a Choice of evils, and a choice also of attractions." There will be no benefits and drawbacks to each proposal (otherwise the voice of the church would be basically unified on this point by now), and the student will need to weigh the relative merits of each option with clarity and cogency of relative merits of each option with clarity and cogency of thought before settling responsibility on one position or the other.It cannot be stressed enough today that responsible scholarship must undergird one's choice concerning the time when Revelation was written.
Such a view might explain why Paul was forbidden to go into Asia (Acts 16:6) - since John was already laboring there - and why Revelation 1-3 mentions only seven churches in Asia (as yet).
At the turn of the century not only were the three most renowned Biblical scholars of the day - Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort - agreed as to the Neronian date for Revelation, the same conclusion was reached by the superb church historian, Philip Schaff, and by the acclaimed expert in hermeneutics, Milton Terry. An all-star cast of Christian scholars defended the early date for Revelation!
Terry asserted in 1898: "The preponderance of the best modern criticism is in favour of this view." The early date has always enjoyed important scholarly support.
So then, if one reads "the holy city shall they tread under foot" (Rev. One is the reign of Domitian, preferable the latter part, around the year 96. ) who brought recovery to the empire from the threat of civil war ("the death-stroke" of the beast "was healed," Rev. But this hardly differentiates the sixth and seventh kings in terms of the shortness of the latter's reign (Rev.
11:2) in a natural sense and as genuine prophecy he will need to decide whether John was speaking of the Jerusalem that is now past to us rather contemporaneous (perhaps future) to us. 13:2) and was followed by the two year reign of Titus ("the other," seventh king who will "continue a short while," Rev. The counting on this view commences with Augustus since he was the first official emperor, and the three rules of the anarchy are skipped because Seutonius wrote of their period as a mere interval and the provinces never recognized them as emperors. , "a little while") since Galba and his successor, Otho, reigned for only 2 matter of months.
On the other hand, having studied the case for the to offer their readers a fair assessment of the genuine extent of evidential support for that position.