Evidence for Early Date of Revelation

timtams

Member

Taken from a blog:

Patristic Evidence for the Early Date of Revelation​

Irenaeus (c. 185)

Irenaeus claims that at the time of the writing of John’s Gospel, Cerinthus was actively disseminating his teachings, which the Nicolaitans had also disseminated “a long time previously” (Haer. 3.11.1). Elsewhere Irenaeus states that the Nicolaitans were active at the time of the writing of Revelation (Haer. 1.26.3), suggesting that he also placed the writing of Revelation “a long time previously” to the writing of the Gospel.

Irenaeus likely placed Cerinthus (who was, according to him, contemporary with the publication of John’s Gospel) at the end of the first century, since he relates that he was known by Polycarp (Haer. 3.3.4), who was martyred in the mid second century. Thus:

  • Time of Cerinthus = end of first century = time of John’s Gospel
  • Time of Nicolaitans = “a long time previous” to Cerinthus = time of Revelation
More on the Nicolaitans

According to Eusebius, the Nicolaitans “subsisted for a very short time” (Hist. eccl. 3.29.1). The chapter also notes that according to Hippolytus, Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim 2:17–18) were following the teaching of Nicolas, the founder of the sect (De resurr. fr. 1); these two were active in Asia at the end of Paul’s life (i.e. during Nero’s reign).

If this represented a common tradition, then Irenaeus would have placed the Nicolaitans—and Revelation—in the 60s and Cerinthus—and the Gospel of John—in the 90s of the common era.

He was Seen

Irenaeus is often believed to have claimed that the apocalyptic vision was seen (ἑωράθη) by John at the end of Domitian’s reign (προς τῷ τέλει τῆς Δομετιανοῦ ἀρχῆς). This passage was discussed in Chapter 6.

The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Luke (c. 190)

This second century work, while not direct evidence for the early date, does claim that “John first wrote Revelation in the island of Patmos, and afterwards the Gospel (Latin adds: “in Asia”), which is consistent with the evidence of Irenaeus discussed above.

Tertullian (c. 205)

Tertullian speaks of Rome as the place,

where Peter attains to the suffering of the Lord, where Paul is crowned with the departure of John [i.e. was beheaded], where the apostle John, after he was plunged into boiling oil, having suffered nothing, is exiled to an island.
Praescr. 36
Tertullian does not specifically say that John was exiled at the same time as Peter and Paul were martyred, though some scholars believe it is implied.

But Jerome records an otherwise lost statement of Tertullian which claimed that John was plunged into the boiling oil by Nero:

moreover, Tertullian relates that, having been thrown into a terracotta jar of burning oil by Nero (a Nerone missus in ferventis olei dolium), he came out cleaner and more vigorous than when he entered.
Jov. 1.26
The reading “by Nero,” found in all the manuscripts, was amended by an editor to read Romae (“at Rome”) because of its support for the Neronian exile (the editor justified this on the basis that we know the exile happened in Domitian’s reign).

Jerome’s source could not have been Tertullian’s extant Prescription of Heretics as he quotes details about the oil incident (e.g. that John came out more youthful) which are not found in that work. Instead, he probably quoted from one of Tertullian’s lost works.

Thus,

  • Tertullian states that “the apostle John, after he was plunged into boiling oil, having suffered nothing, is exiled to an island,” showing the close connection of the events.
  • Tertullian (as quoted by Jerome) states that John was thrown into the boiling oil in Nero’s reign.
  • Therefore, if Tertullian made both statements, he must have placed both the oil incident and the exile that followed it in the reign of Nero.
Jerome also cited unnamed “ecclesiastical histories” as relating that John was “immediately” (statim) sent into exile after surviving being plunged into the boiling oil.

The source could not have been Tertullian, as he did not write an ecclesiastical history. This thus seems to suggest yet another independent source of a tradition which associated the oil immersion with the exile. The chapter suggests Hegesippus’ Memoirs as the “histories” referred to and as Tertullian’s source for the tradition.

Clement of Alexandria (c. 200)​

The chapter discusses Clement’s story of the robber captain who fell from the faith and was later restored to it by John, which Clement places sometime after John’s return from exile. Indications in the text show that the story must have been envisioned as taking place over many years.

Chrysostom, who apparently also knows the traditions, stated that the young man “first became a disciple of John, but later was a chief of robbers for a long time (ἐπὶ πολὺν χρόνον)” (ad Theod. 1. 17),1

Furthermore, this narrative cannot be fitted into the brief time between the death of Domitian in 96 and John’s death by the end of the first century. And according to Jerome, John could not even walk in his old age, whereas in this story John is said to have traveled on horseback and to have vigorously pursued the robber. Instead, this narrative was set sometime between John’s return from exile after Nero’s death and the onset of John’s extreme old age, during a decades-long ministry in Asia.

The Acts of John (c. 200)​

The extant text of this second- or third-century Gnostic work begins with John sailing to Ephesus from Miletus, after which it relates a lengthy account of John’s Asian ministry, culminating in the story of John’s death.

The exile is not mentioned in the extant text, but some scholars think it was probably related in the lost beginning of the work (especially since Miletus is a natural stopping point from Patmos to Ephesus). This narrative is consistent with that proposed for Clement, of a long ministry of John in Asia Minor following his return from exile.

The chapter also provides evidence that the Acts of John envisioned this ministry as occurring over decades, and it argues that John probably visited all seven churches of Revelation, in order, during this time, citing Tertullian, the Passio Iohannis, of Ps.-Melito, and other works in support.

Syriac Works​

The Neronian exile is attested in Syriac versions of Revelation which may date to as early as the fourth century. It is also attested in the Syriac work entitled the History of John, which may also have been written as early as the fourth century.

Tyconius of Carthage (fl. 380)​

Tyconius identified the sixth king of John’s vision (of whom it is said “one is”) as Nero, suggesting that he or his source placed the vision in Nero’s reign.

Other Writings​

The chapter also discusses the dating of John’s exile in the Acts of John by Prochorus, Acts of John in Rome (a late work occasionally confused with the far earlier Acts of John), Andreas of Caesarea, and Arethas of Caesarea.

Further Reading​

An earlier version can be found in chapter 6 of my dissertation, which you can read for free here.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member

Taken from a blog:​

Patristic Evidence for the Early Date of Revelation​

Irenaeus (c. 185)

Irenaeus claims that at the time of the writing of John’s Gospel, Cerinthus was actively disseminating his teachings, which the Nicolaitans had also disseminated “a long time previously” (Haer. 3.11.1). Elsewhere Irenaeus states that the Nicolaitans were active at the time of the writing of Revelation (Haer. 1.26.3), suggesting that he also placed the writing of Revelation “a long time previously” to the writing of the Gospel.

Irenaeus likely placed Cerinthus (who was, according to him, contemporary with the publication of John’s Gospel) at the end of the first century, since he relates that he was known by Polycarp (Haer. 3.3.4), who was martyred in the mid second century. Thus:

  • Time of Cerinthus = end of first century = time of John’s Gospel
  • Time of Nicolaitans = “a long time previous” to Cerinthus = time of Revelation
More on the Nicolaitans

According to Eusebius, the Nicolaitans “subsisted for a very short time” (Hist. eccl. 3.29.1). The chapter also notes that according to Hippolytus, Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim 2:17–18) were following the teaching of Nicolas, the founder of the sect (De resurr. fr. 1); these two were active in Asia at the end of Paul’s life (i.e. during Nero’s reign).

If this represented a common tradition, then Irenaeus would have placed the Nicolaitans—and Revelation—in the 60s and Cerinthus—and the Gospel of John—in the 90s of the common era.

He was Seen

Irenaeus is often believed to have claimed that the apocalyptic vision was seen (ἑωράθη) by John at the end of Domitian’s reign (προς τῷ τέλει τῆς Δομετιανοῦ ἀρχῆς). This passage was discussed in Chapter 6.

The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Luke (c. 190)

This second century work, while not direct evidence for the early date, does claim that “John first wrote Revelation in the island of Patmos, and afterwards the Gospel (Latin adds: “in Asia”), which is consistent with the evidence of Irenaeus discussed above.

Tertullian (c. 205)

Tertullian speaks of Rome as the place,


Tertullian does not specifically say that John was exiled at the same time as Peter and Paul were martyred, though some scholars believe it is implied.

But Jerome records an otherwise lost statement of Tertullian which claimed that John was plunged into the boiling oil by Nero:


The reading “by Nero,” found in all the manuscripts, was amended by an editor to read Romae (“at Rome”) because of its support for the Neronian exile (the editor justified this on the basis that we know the exile happened in Domitian’s reign).

Jerome’s source could not have been Tertullian’s extant Prescription of Heretics as he quotes details about the oil incident (e.g. that John came out more youthful) which are not found in that work. Instead, he probably quoted from one of Tertullian’s lost works.

Thus,

  • Tertullian states that “the apostle John, after he was plunged into boiling oil, having suffered nothing, is exiled to an island,” showing the close connection of the events.
  • Tertullian (as quoted by Jerome) states that John was thrown into the boiling oil in Nero’s reign.
  • Therefore, if Tertullian made both statements, he must have placed both the oil incident and the exile that followed it in the reign of Nero.
Jerome also cited unnamed “ecclesiastical histories” as relating that John was “immediately” (statim) sent into exile after surviving being plunged into the boiling oil.

The source could not have been Tertullian, as he did not write an ecclesiastical history. This thus seems to suggest yet another independent source of a tradition which associated the oil immersion with the exile. The chapter suggests Hegesippus’ Memoirs as the “histories” referred to and as Tertullian’s source for the tradition.

Clement of Alexandria (c. 200)​

The chapter discusses Clement’s story of the robber captain who fell from the faith and was later restored to it by John, which Clement places sometime after John’s return from exile. Indications in the text show that the story must have been envisioned as taking place over many years.

Chrysostom, who apparently also knows the traditions, stated that the young man “first became a disciple of John, but later was a chief of robbers for a long time (ἐπὶ πολὺν χρόνον)” (ad Theod. 1. 17),1

Furthermore, this narrative cannot be fitted into the brief time between the death of Domitian in 96 and John’s death by the end of the first century. And according to Jerome, John could not even walk in his old age, whereas in this story John is said to have traveled on horseback and to have vigorously pursued the robber. Instead, this narrative was set sometime between John’s return from exile after Nero’s death and the onset of John’s extreme old age, during a decades-long ministry in Asia.

The Acts of John (c. 200)​

The extant text of this second- or third-century Gnostic work begins with John sailing to Ephesus from Miletus, after which it relates a lengthy account of John’s Asian ministry, culminating in the story of John’s death.

The exile is not mentioned in the extant text, but some scholars think it was probably related in the lost beginning of the work (especially since Miletus is a natural stopping point from Patmos to Ephesus). This narrative is consistent with that proposed for Clement, of a long ministry of John in Asia Minor following his return from exile.

The chapter also provides evidence that the Acts of John envisioned this ministry as occurring over decades, and it argues that John probably visited all seven churches of Revelation, in order, during this time, citing Tertullian, the Passio Iohannis, of Ps.-Melito, and other works in support.

Syriac Works​

The Neronian exile is attested in Syriac versions of Revelation which may date to as early as the fourth century. It is also attested in the Syriac work entitled the History of John, which may also have been written as early as the fourth century.

Tyconius of Carthage (fl. 380)​

Tyconius identified the sixth king of John’s vision (of whom it is said “one is”) as Nero, suggesting that he or his source placed the vision in Nero’s reign.

Other Writings​

The chapter also discusses the dating of John’s exile in the Acts of John by Prochorus, Acts of John in Rome (a late work occasionally confused with the far earlier Acts of John), Andreas of Caesarea, and Arethas of Caesarea.

Further Reading​

An earlier version can be found in chapter 6 of my dissertation, which you can read for free here.
I wonder if this would get more traction over on the Early Church Fathers forum. I suspect most lay readers interested in the Bible are as familiar with patristic literature as they are of the non-biblical Qumran scrolls, which is to say not very much. I've taken graduate-level courses in both corpuses so I have a good base from which to hold my own in a discussion, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert in either... at conferences, I've sat in on a handful of DSS sessions, but never one with a focus on patristics --- just not an area of much interest to me and in terms of evidence for dating New Testament documents, I consider citations in the earlier writers valuable for fixing a latest possible date, but not valuable for particular claims about their authorship and/or date as I consider them to be guesses if not outright fabrications serving apologetic ends. In terms of method, I think internal indicators are really all we have to reliably go on...

With respect to Revelation, I consider it to have had at least two editorial stages, which I briefly touched on in my post here as it regards chapters 13 and 17 reflecting different stages of the Nero redivivus myth. I thus have no objection to dating its first layer in the years after Nero's demise... a dating for the other layer during the reign of Domitian seems reasonable.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Tonyg

Member
For posting this. I have shared it with other circles. The primary data for the early date perspective has traditionally been eusebius'translation of Irenaus' work of book v chapter 30 of against heresies.

This article indicates that there is much more going on in eusebiusea mind then just translating the earlier Church fathers. Eusebius has a agenda, perspective or belief that he is using statements by the church fathers to support, at least according to what I've read in this dissertation.

But back to his interpretation of irenaus, book 5 chapter 30.

Multitudes of scholars intent and predisposed on using the Revelation to support a futurist perspective of eschatology have appealed to eusebius translation of irenaus were there support.

In quoting the key sentence I have read several times where the futurist scholar or commentator has declared that there is an axiom of grammar which indicates that the nearest previous antecedent must be the subject of the pronoun.

The sentence is in context of irenaus discussion of the number 666 which is, in his mind, associated with a future, in his mind, antichrist. the sentence goes something like this..!;
We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [or he] was seen not so long ago, almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

As this dissertation affirms and which Kenneth Gentry had brought out and possibly others before him; the word translated as that in the last sentence is indistinguishable in the Greek as to whether it should be he or that or she or it.

This is where futurist scholars and commentators, attempting to support their predisposed theory or agenda make the claim that the pronoun (that) must refer to the next nearest previous noun or antecedent which is the vision.

Not being able to recall this alleged rule of grammar from those days when grammar and sentence construction was taught and after consulting several academic sources for rules of grammar it is readily evident at this alleged axiom of grammar which declares that a pronoun must refer to its next nearest previous noun as the antecedent is false and fabricated.

The rule of grammer is that context rather than proximity declares the antecedent of the pronoun. In the context especially including the following sentence, the body of the chapter and the first sentence of the chapter it's quite apparent that the pronoun is referring to John and not the vision.

I don't know if this writer went into explaining or commenting on the various scholarly commentators who have made this claim but I believe he does a real good job on the topic.

Thanks again for posting this dissertation. He seems very objective.
 
Last edited:

Timtofly

Member
If it was John or his "vision", it does not matter. His "vision" was the "that". John was the he. John only had one apocalyptic Revelation.

If it was distributed at the end of Domitian's reign, that would be after 90AD. How would it be fulfilled 20 years before it was distributed to the 7 churches? Was it an historical account 20 years later, and not a prophetic "vision"?
 
Last edited:

timtams

Member
I don't know if this writer went into explaining or commenting on the various scholarly commentators who have made this claim but I believe he does a real good job on the topic.
There is another book in the works by the same author which will have an entire chapter devoted to scholarly interpretations of Irenaeus' statement, from the 1700s to today, though the book is a few years away.
 

Tonyg

Member
If it was John or his "vision", it does not matter. His "vision" was the "that". John was the he. John only had one apocalyptic Revelation.

If it was distributed at the end of Domitian's reign, that would be after 90AD. How would it be fulfilled 20 years before it was distributed to the 7 churches? Was it an historical account 20 years later, and not a prophetic "vision"?
Hi Timothy. It might help you to search for chapter 30 of book V of irenaus against heresies.
The two dates of authorship are commonly suggested to be either @95AD or @65-68AD. 75 AD isn't often suggested.

The thoughts on the early days are either that the things contained in the letter were most applicable to the persons enduring and coming through the 65 75 experience in Jerusalem/Judea or that it would be a progressively filled prophecy from 65 AD onward, the same as typically thought as if it was written in 95 ad.

The language of the things to occur imminently meaning immediately lend some people to believe that the revelation addressed issues at the end of Judaism and the nation of Moses that had been prophesied by him as far back as Genesis 49 and especially in Deuteronomy chapters 31:32 and others. In fact remember how Peter said in Acts 3, that all the prophets from Samuel onward have spoken of these days referring to the days in which they were living.

Here is part of an article I wrote that might help to understand the issue of Irenaus statement and how it has been misconstrued by persons such as Eusebius' onward.

"The majority opinion in the 20th century has been that the revelation was written in Domitian's reign, sometime around 95AD. The opinion of 14th through 19th century theologians (and somewhat before) were somewhat split on a pre-70 or post 70 AD authorship. The primary source for the opinion of a ©95 Ad authorship was from a mis-translation by 4th century historian Eusebuis of a sentence in book V. ch 30 of Irenaus' work titled "Against Heresies". The key sentence is;
"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [or he] was seen not so long ago, almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

A difficulty arises in the words of Irenaeus’ statement in paragraph 3, as translated above by the words “…that was seen …” The Greek text simply reads "eJwravqh". The subject of the statement, "______ was seen", is subsumed in the verb, and there is therefore no grammatical indicator as to the referent. The subject could be the Apocalypse, or it could be John himself. In other words, the English could just as easily be, “…he was seen …". [the paragraph above is taken from Kenneth Gentry's book, "before Jerusalem fell".]

There are many theologians and 'scholars' who have declared that there is an axiom of grammer which states that the subject (antecedent) of a pronoun must refer to the nearest previous possible antecedent. After consulting several academic sources for "rules of grammer", it is readily evident that this alledged rule of grammer simply does not exist.! ........Context rather than proximity determines which noun is subject of the pronoun.

The following sub-points (1a-1c) will show that the surrounding paragraphical context and overall topic of the chapter strongly supports if not demands that Ireneaus was referring to when John (him) was seen, not when the vision was seen. The same contextual reading will suggest that the vision was seen much earlier than when John was last seen.

1a. In book V, chapter 30 of Irenaus' "Against Heresies", in the very first sentence, Irenaus refers to copies of the revelation as 'ancient', This is in contrast with how he later refers to John (allegedly the vision) as being seen face to face, "not so long ago", and "almost in our day". This contrast of 'ancient' copies with more recent sightings of John, (alledgedly the vision) mentioned in the end of the third paragraph indicates a witnessing, recording and copying of the vision much earlier than when John was last seen and living.

[paragraph 1] 1. Such, then, being the state of the case, and this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies [of the Apocalypse], and those men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony [to it- the number];

[paragraph 3] " We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For [that/he] was seen not so long ago, almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

1b. The first sentence of the fourth paragraph further supports that the last sentence of the third paragraph referred to when JOHN was seen, not when the vision was seen. That sentence continues to talk of John as 'he' without having to reintroduce his name.

[paragraph 3 again]. " We will not however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [or he] was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

[paragraph 4]. "But he (John) indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit",

1c. This early date perspective and when John, not the vision was seen, is further supported by the topic of discussion in this chapter of Ireneous. In the chapter Ireneaus is discussing if it is important for them of the latter part of the second century (©175 ad) to attempt to decipher the name of the beast of the sea (also thought of as "anti-christ" by Ireneaus) that is associated with the number 666 in rev 13. In the previous chapter Ireneaus has speculated as to what this name might be, offering various forms of Titan as possibilities. He eventually concludes, here in ch 30, that if it were necessary for them of the late second century to know the name associated with the number, it (the name) would have been given to those who last saw John face to face while he was yet living. The matter of when john was last alive and in convesation with others is part of the context of the topic of needing to know the name, but not as much the matter of when the vision was seen.

Thus both the paragraphical context and topical theme of the chapter declare that the grammatical antecedent of the pronoun in question in the last sentence of paragraph 3 is him (John), not the vision, and that the statement should be rightly translated "he was seen" and the sentences should then read;

" We will not however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For HE was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign".

The first time that someone is exposed to the idea of an early date of the writing and of its application being fulfilled in the first century, if they have had been indoctrinated and taught that the end times are now or in the short future or associated with the restoration of Israel, it may be shocking to them. I wish you Grace in considering the topic.
 

Timtofly

Member
Hi Timothy. It might help you to search for chapter 30 of book V of irenaus against heresies.
The two dates of authorship are commonly suggested to be either @95AD or @65-68AD. 75 AD isn't often suggested.

The thoughts on the early days are either that the things contained in the letter were most applicable to the persons enduring and coming through the 65 75 experience in Jerusalem/Judea or that it would be a progressively filled prophecy from 65 AD onward, the same as typically thought as if it was written in 95 ad.

The language of the things to occur imminently meaning immediately lend some people to believe that the revelation addressed issues at the end of Judaism and the nation of Moses that had been prophesied by him as far back as Genesis 49 and especially in Deuteronomy chapters 31:32 and others. In fact remember how Peter said in Acts 3, that all the prophets from Samuel onward have spoken of these days referring to the days in which they were living.

Here is part of an article I wrote that might help to understand the issue of Irenaus statement and how it has been misconstrued by persons such as Eusebius' onward.

"The majority opinion in the 20th century has been that the revelation was written in Domitian's reign, sometime around 95AD. The opinion of 14th through 19th century theologians (and somewhat before) were somewhat split on a pre-70 or post 70 AD authorship. The primary source for the opinion of a ©95 Ad authorship was from a mis-translation by 4th century historian Eusebuis of a sentence in book V. ch 30 of Irenaus' work titled "Against Heresies". The key sentence is;
"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [or he] was seen not so long ago, almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

A difficulty arises in the words of Irenaeus’ statement in paragraph 3, as translated above by the words “…that was seen …” The Greek text simply reads "eJwravqh". The subject of the statement, "______ was seen", is subsumed in the verb, and there is therefore no grammatical indicator as to the referent. The subject could be the Apocalypse, or it could be John himself. In other words, the English could just as easily be, “…he was seen …". [the paragraph above is taken from Kenneth Gentry's book, "before Jerusalem fell".]

There are many theologians and 'scholars' who have declared that there is an axiom of grammer which states that the subject (antecedent) of a pronoun must refer to the nearest previous possible antecedent. After consulting several academic sources for "rules of grammer", it is readily evident that this alledged rule of grammer simply does not exist.! ........Context rather than proximity determines which noun is subject of the pronoun.

The following sub-points (1a-1c) will show that the surrounding paragraphical context and overall topic of the chapter strongly supports if not demands that Ireneaus was referring to when John (him) was seen, not when the vision was seen. The same contextual reading will suggest that the vision was seen much earlier than when John was last seen.

1a. In book V, chapter 30 of Irenaus' "Against Heresies", in the very first sentence, Irenaus refers to copies of the revelation as 'ancient', This is in contrast with how he later refers to John (allegedly the vision) as being seen face to face, "not so long ago", and "almost in our day". This contrast of 'ancient' copies with more recent sightings of John, (alledgedly the vision) mentioned in the end of the third paragraph indicates a witnessing, recording and copying of the vision much earlier than when John was last seen and living.

[paragraph 1] 1. Such, then, being the state of the case, and this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies [of the Apocalypse], and those men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony [to it- the number];

[paragraph 3] " We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For [that/he] was seen not so long ago, almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

1b. The first sentence of the fourth paragraph further supports that the last sentence of the third paragraph referred to when JOHN was seen, not when the vision was seen. That sentence continues to talk of John as 'he' without having to reintroduce his name.

[paragraph 3 again]. " We will not however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [or he] was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.

[paragraph 4]. "But he (John) indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit",

1c. This early date perspective and when John, not the vision was seen, is further supported by the topic of discussion in this chapter of Ireneous. In the chapter Ireneaus is discussing if it is important for them of the latter part of the second century (©175 ad) to attempt to decipher the name of the beast of the sea (also thought of as "anti-christ" by Ireneaus) that is associated with the number 666 in rev 13. In the previous chapter Ireneaus has speculated as to what this name might be, offering various forms of Titan as possibilities. He eventually concludes, here in ch 30, that if it were necessary for them of the late second century to know the name associated with the number, it (the name) would have been given to those who last saw John face to face while he was yet living. The matter of when john was last alive and in convesation with others is part of the context of the topic of needing to know the name, but not as much the matter of when the vision was seen.

Thus both the paragraphical context and topical theme of the chapter declare that the grammatical antecedent of the pronoun in question in the last sentence of paragraph 3 is him (John), not the vision, and that the statement should be rightly translated "he was seen" and the sentences should then read;

" We will not however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For HE was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign".

The first time that someone is exposed to the idea of an early date of the writing and of its application being fulfilled in the first century, if they have had been indoctrinated and taught that the end times are now or in the short future or associated with the restoration of Israel, it may be shocking to them. I wish you Grace in considering the topic.
You raise a point here. Do you think an AC was named, but totally forgotten?

I am not sure how that would work. Have you done a study of Pan? Because the early Christians were allegedly martyred and any mention of the name was struck from history. According to what I have studied, Pan would be the only name of a beast that would match Revelation 13. One coming out of the earth having two horns and spoke like a dragon.

This tends to point to the second beast as Satan and the first beast "healed" of a deadly wound, a man, as the FP. This would be the same alliance mentioned in Daniel 11. This alliance was with Pan and Antiochus Epiphanies. Seems to me these two trying to ignite something in the first century was "jumping the gun". Any one trying to expose Satan at that time was silenced, not that prophecy being fulfilled was silenced.

To me only Satan would act as an AC, in the first century. All would have known the difference between a normal human and Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As pointed out, there is no need to even pinpoint an early nor late date. Revelation is about now, and could never be about then. Paul was already correcting the church himself about a return and resurrection. He claimed it had not happened. This is also proof that some were spreading false teachings that it had happened. Even if there is written proof from the first century, newly brought forth, how would it not be just the false teachings, that have been suppressed? I would not trust any knew findings from the first century at all. Their happenstance sudden appearing would be just as questionable now, as the first century's questioning of them, and rejecting them as false teaching.
 

Tonyg

Member
I understand and read Revelation 13 as the beast who comes from the sea as the one to whom 666 applies. I also one time wondered if it was the beast from the Earth but after rereading it and discussing it with some friends on content that it is the beast of the sea.

As for a first century Antichrist, I diverge from my fellow preterist in understanding a first-century Antichrist. Many associate the beast of the sea as the antichrist. Many also associate the false prophet and the man of lawlessness as antichrist. I think all these different entities may have to been different characters I also think that they all had a previous source in the old testament though I do not know where all of them are I believe I understand where a few of them are.

For the last close to a hundred years and maybe before the church has been taught that there is a gap in the fulfillment of Daniel 70 weeks. Then we are taught that an antichrist is to come and part of the last seven years.

I do not believe that there is a gap in the 70 weeks. Some of my preterist colleagues project the fulfillment of the 70 weeks to 70 AD. Some of us project the fulfillment of the 70 weeks to 33 ad. I am one that is confident in the idea that the 70 weeks were fulfilled by 33 ad.

The prince who was to come is not the primary subject matter of that phrase. The people meaning the Romans are the subject who destroy the city. The prince in our understanding would be Titus but he is not the one who makes a covenant. We understand that the covenant referred to the everlasting or New covenant confirmed by Christ in Jerusalem and Judea by his teachings his work on the cross and his indwelling the apostles and disciples for the three and a half years after the cross, all in Judea and among Daniels people first before it's continuation into Judea Samaria and into the Israeli/Greek tribes.

The occurrences in say 60 to 75 ad or the fruit or the result of the new ordinances that were fully established by Christ in 27 to 33 ad. That is why in the King James version it says about the Messiah and his covenant that he shall cause a sacrifice and ablation to cease. The word cause is taken from idioms? In the Hebrew text. The verb has a causative action associated to it. And thus the King James interpreters and others include that idea when they translate the passage of Daniel 9.

I particularly find the Antichrist which only John mentions to be sourced from Isaiah 7:8, 8:1,3, 8, and as GOG in Ezekiel 37 and 38. I believe that John's understanding of a coming Antichrist (as anti-Emmanuel) was fulfilled 65 years (Is 7:8) after Christ completed the 70ad desolation of the Temple in 135 ad in Simon bar- kockbah.

I believe John's Epistles, not the gospel, but the epistles, were written sometime after 70 AD likely around 80 to 90-95 ad. And it is these people to whom he says you meaning the original receivers of his letters have heard that Antichrist is coming. It is possible that the teaching of a Antichrist coming in the next generation was part of John's ministry and charge to "prophesy again" (after release from Patmos) as he was told in Revelation chapter 10, likely in semi secret among the believing.

I believe the beast of the sea had its source in Daniel chapter 7 and a few other of the prophetic chapters of daniel. In that chapter 7 there's a part that says that the horn (associated with the fourth beast or the Roman empire) waged war against the saints for 3 and 1/2 years until the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Or until the time in which the power switched from the Jews and Romans ability to persecute the Christians until their release from Judea . So the beast of the sea we Believe would be neron Caesar. His name calculates to 666.

One thing to remember or to be informed about is that multitudes of letters and documents were destroyed by the Roman government in the time period of say 250 to 310 ad more or less... What has survived may have been intentionally left to survive or escaped that censorship. We don't know what stories those destroyed documents told. For an example we have the statement by Justin Martyr I believe it is that he holds to a literal 1,000 year meaning of Revelationb 20, but he knows of many Noble brothers who do not hold to that meaning. They apparently held to an allegoric meaning. And yet we don't have many people or many documents which profess a allegory meaning to revelation 20.

Irenaus in chapter 28 and 29 of the same work of book five in against heresies speculates that the name might be related to Titan or some similar name as that had been I believe a Greek god and possibly the name of that huge statue that had fallen on the southern border of greece.

Another point to remember is that Iranians was from the area of Spain. He was not in close contact with the first generation disciples.

It's hard for me to understand how the idea of Simon bar Cokebah as the Antichrist would not have been passed along somehow in documentation or verbally.

But proving him as an anti-immanuel which was prophesied to come 65 years after Emmanuel and implied as a antithesis of Emmanuel by its close proximity in Isaiah's prophecies would completely annihilate any belief in a continuation of Judaism or the mosaic nation. It was the confirmation or second honor of the truth of the incarnation of Christ as God and of the validity of his new covenants.

The existence of Simon barkoga and his failure further confirmed Christ as Emmanuel. The people who would benefit from destroying the records of any mention of Simon bar Copa as anti Emmanuel would be any remaining or re-forming san hedrain and Pharisees and those in continuation of disbelief.

Some of the Romans who maybe didn't want to completely give up their ancestral beliefs may have also participated in the culling of documents which would have mentioned the powerful fulfillment of the prophecy of maherbshal al hash baz and Gog... This is partly hypothetical and theoretical.but it is confirmed by supporting prophecies.

I have a few articles which develops the idea that Simon barkova was Antichrist. If you're interested in them let me know in a PM or here and I'll send you them.

Grace to you in considering these topics
 
Last edited:

Tonyg

Member
The website that contains the blog which tim tams opens this thread with contains other chapters and articles which talk a little bit about hymenaus and Philatus. . They were part of the nicolaitans I believe. And thus they were in the time of 55 to 60 AD or so so they may have been declaring that the resurrection already occurred and yet the resurrection from the death and sadness instilled by the Mosaic covenant instructions, had not yet been publicly affirmed. That public affirmation occurred with the destruction of the Temple.

It's a tough concept to sell to someone who believes that we are living in the last days. but take note that every generation for 2,000 years has thought we are living in the last days just as sincerely as what we do. Some say that well they didn't live in the restoration of israel. But the prophecy is regarding the return of Israel were prophesied from the context of either Babylonian or Assyrian conquest and captivity. The next time that Israel returned to her land was after the Babylonian captivity.

The idea of Israel being never plucked from her land again must refer to the tenants of the everlasting covenant because the everlasting covenant is prophesied in Deuteronomy chapter 30 6 through 8 and 11 through 14.

God's grace to you
 
There are many theologians and 'scholars' who have declared that there is an axiom of grammer which states that the subject (antecedent) of a pronoun must refer to the nearest previous possible antecedent. After consulting several academic sources for "rules of grammer", it is readily evident that this alledged rule of grammer simply does not exist.! ........Context rather than proximity determines which noun is subject of the pronoun.
This particular employment of a syntax rule reflects pedagogy of highly influential exegetical textbooks published in America written by professors at institutions historically associated with futuristic interpretations of the Apocalypse.
 
Last edited:
This particular employment of a syntax rule reflects pedagogy of highly influential exegetical textbooks published in America written by professors at institutions historically associated with futuristic interpretations of the Apocalypse.
I made a blunder here, I didn't correctly evaluate the significance of the question about the antecedent of the pronoun.
 
Last edited:
Top