Thursday, May 21, 2020

Revelation Day 4

When was the book of Revelation written and does this relate to the seventy weeks of Daniel?

Day 4

B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, May 21, 2020

Typically, there are two basic dates that are given as answers to this question:

1.     The Late Date: A.D. 95-96
2.     The Early Date: Prior to A.D. 70 (more in alignment with about A.D. 64-68)

See Table 1: Millennial Views in Day 2 for who believes which. One can find a few within each camp who do not necessarily hold to these dates. The sources of these two dates for the writing of the book of Revelation comes from:

1: Irenaeus, a church father in the second century (A.D. 175-180) claiming the date of mid A.D 90s during the end of the reign of Emperor Domitian.[1]
2: It comes from Revelation 17:7-11 for the date prior to A.D. 70, having the sixth king of the beast (Rome) currently in power and that the Temple was mentioned in Revelation and not destroyed yet (e.g., Revelation 11:1-2)—which occurred in A.D. 70.  

The sixth emperor of Rome was Nero who killed himself in A.D. 68. The emperor who followed after reigned a very short time (about 7 months). Note the difference, one date comes from a man separated from the events and author of the book of Revelation and the other date comes from the pages of Scripture.

Read Daniel 9.

This topic relates to Daniel as well (Daniel 9:24-27). Specifically, the vision God gave him to build on Jeremiah’s vision (Daniel 9:2) of 70 years. Daniel was told 70 weeks. But what was a week? By the context of Jeremiah and Daniel, it was 70 “sevens” or 490 years to be precise. Then God would seal up vision and prophecy (Daniel 9:24) and desolations would occur in both the Holy City (that is, Jerusalem per Nehemiah 11:1, Isaiah 52:1), and the sanctuary (that is, the Temple; e.g., 1 Kings 6:19) per Daniel 9:26. 

The commencement of the 70 weeks begins when the decree is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25), which occurred in Ezra 1:1 fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 44:28 and ending Jeremiah’s 70 years of captivity. The end is when the Temple and Jerusalem were left desolate in A.D. 70 (Mark 13:14, Matthew 22:7, Luke 21:20). Consider that in the book of Revelation, the Temple was still standing (e.g., Revelation 11:1-2).

This gives a timeframe for when vision and prophecy would stop [and hence, there would be no more Scripture after that date (Daniel 9:24)]. This is further elucidated in Psalm 74.

When Herod’s Temple (an expansion of the Second Temple/Zerubbabel’s Temple) was destroyed and things were smashed to pieces in the sanctuary and burned the Temple and its items were taken and destroyed. This was also when Judea was ravished with meeting places (synagogues) being obliterated. This fulfilled what is stated in Psalm 74:1-12 since there would no longer be any prophets after this desolation.

This is not in reference to the captivity, when the first Temple was destroyed since the items in the Temple were removed and carried away (2 Kings 24:11-13) [as opposed to being destroyed except the gold articles] by Nebuchadnezzar; and prophets, like Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Obadiah lived through this first destruction and continued prophesying in Babylon and Persia. Many items later returned to the Temple.

When the Temple and Jerusalem were left desolate in A.D. 70 with its articles destroyed or carried away and then destroyed, it would seal up vision and prophecy. Essentially, the canon of Scripture would be sealed from that point until Christ returns on that final day, the Second Coming (prophets and apostles were responsible for the prophetic Scripture through the Holy Spirit[2]). 

So Revelation, or any other book of Scripture, must have been written prior to this (A.D. 70) or they are not Scripture.[3] But they are Scripture so the conclusion is that Revelation, and any other New Testament book, must have been written prior to A.D. 70. These biblical evidences do not support the late date.

[1] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5:30:3 ~A.D. 175–180; Although, there has been some dispute as to the meaning of the Greek phrase as to whether it referred to the vision or to John being around in the reign of Domitian. Most take it as the vision since church historian Eusebius (4th century) took it that way. 
[2] Bodie Hodge, A Look at the Canon, Answers in Genesis, January 23, 2008,
[3] Thus any alleged prophetic book that came after this such as the Koran, Book of Mormon, Watchtower publication and so on are not Scripture. 

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