Study Series 16 Lesson 1: Dating of Revelation
There are a significant number of traditions and opinions from the patristic writers, which have been used on both sides of this debate about the date of the book of Revelation. But very little of that uninspired patristic testimony carries any weight, simply because most of it cannot be confirmed at the mouth of two or more reliable first century eyewitnesses. Most of it is merely external hearsay evidence and opinion, and some of it even tends to contradict scripture. Over 130 authors, most of whom are futurists, have advocated a pre-AD 70 date for the book of Revelation. And almost all of them place it during the reign of Nero (AD 54-68). But even with such a long list of writers it is still not the argument a student of the Word should use for the early date. Truth is never to be determined by a majority vote or a popularity contest. It does not matter how many names we can stack up on either side of this debate.
What does matter, however, are the reasons that these writers give to support the early date, and especially the evidence inside the book of Revelation which points most clearly and forcefully to a pre-70 date. The only kind of evidence that can decide this issue is biblical evidence, and especially that evidence which comes from inside the book of Revelation itself. So, in this Study Series we will be focusing a lot of our attention on the internal evidence for a pre-70 date of the book of Revelation.
As we all know, the interpretation of most Biblical books is not significantly affected by differences of opinion about its date of composition. But the book of Revelation is a clear exception to that. Its meaning and application is radically affected by its date of writing.
After this first section on the dating of Revelation we begin our chapter by chapter study starting with Revelation 1:1 – 4:11.
Download the full Study Series as a PDF: Study Series 16 Lesson 1 Revelation Dating Intro and Revelation Chpts 1 thru 4
Listen to the weekly Bible study audio and study along with the PDF: