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.
Many simply assert - without qualm or qualification - that Revelation was definitely written during the last decade of the first century under Domitian, or else they assume it without any reservation or question as a premise in further studies. Despite the extensive and clear counter-evidence which has often been cited against the late date for Revelation, there are authors who suppress, prejudicially characterize, or merely ignore the true state of the debate on this subject, telling their unwary readers that the Domitian date "can hardly be doubtful" since "most evidence" favors it and since "not a single, really cogent argument" can be found for the early date, (or simplistically dismissing the early date by calling it "unlikely"). The early date is even (mindlessly) called an "immoral heresy" in at least one polemic!
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.
It is simply inadequate to rest in the (unfounded) claim that virtually "everybody" knows that Revelation dates from this or that time. A number of distinguished authors can be cited as supporters of the late date for Revelation.
Cohen and Hendriksen list Alford, Godet, Hengstenberg, Lenski, Zahn, Lange, Swete, Holtzmann, Moffatt, Ramsey, Warfield, Barnes, Orr, Porter, Theissen, and Hoyt. We could easily swell the list by adding the names of Elliott, David Brown, Milligan, Harmack, Bousset, Beckwith, Tenney, Ladd, Summers, Caird, Walvoord, Mooris, Mounce, and others.
There is no question but that some very respectable scholars have favored the Domitian date for the writing of Revelation, and that fact should motivate us to be thorough and cautious in our research and analysis.
Our esteem for such writers should lead us to hear those among them who, like Leon Morris, say "the evidence is far from being so conclusive that no other view is possible." Ray Summers asserts that "all critics agree that Revelation was written during a period of severe persecution in the first century"; G. Ladd admits "there is no evidence that during the last decade of the first century there occurred any open and systematic persecution of the church." Turning the other direction for evidence, Merrill Tenney observes that "internal evidence for the late date is confused and not very clear." The late date has notorious weaknesses.
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.
This work was published 1898-1904, when the dominating opinion regarding the book of Revelation was indicated in these words: "the majority of modern critics are of the opinion that the book was written in the time of Nero." That Nero is denoted by the beast and its number is "the almost a fixed assumption of critics," "the ruling critical opinion," and "almost a fixed assumption of critics." Having endorsed the preterist approach to the book as most correct, an author says "In general these [preterist] writers date the book before 70"; indeed , as to the date for Revelation, the "ruling view of critics" has been 66-69 A. Torrey observes that, if there are few dissenting voices from the late date in our generation, It was not so in former years, Swete. Many of the foremost German scholars of the same period were in essential agreement with this dating, as is well known.