Here is why I believe…
Revelation was written before 70 AD
By Greg Kiser
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass
1 – The time statements refer to soon events of cataclysmic Jewish importance. If it was written in 96 AD, there are no events soon from that time that could even remotely fit. If, however, it was before 70 AD, then the destruction of Jerusalem rises to the occasion as both Jewish and cataclysmic. The time statements demand we look here.
2 – The second century Syrian version of the book has the title of “John the Evangelist in the Isle of Patmos, where he was thrown by Nero Caesar.” Nero, of course, was dead by 68 AD.
3 – Some versions have a few manuscripts that have the number of the beast as 616 instead of the Hebrew 666. (You can find this stated in almost any Study Bible). What is shocking is that using gematria Caesar Nero’s name would add up to 616 in those versions, but in Hebrew, 666. This is very strong evidence that Caesar Nero really was the one being referred to as the beast and that the change from 666 to 616 in some manuscripts was intentional for that very reason. It is nearly impossible to find another person’s name in that time frame that would do this!
4 – According to the epistles to the churches, there were still Judaizers (Revelation 2:9; 3:9) presenting problems in the churches. This, would be ridiculous after 70 AD.
5 – The temple and the city were apparently still standing in Revelation 11, because John is sent to measure them. This would not be possible after 70 AD. And if John is referring to some rebuilt temple in the far distant future, and he is writing in 96 AD, then his complete silence about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD is deafening!
6 – There were “other apostles” still around according to Revelation 2:2. Tradition has it that all the apostles were dead before 70 AD and John was the only original surviving past that time.
7 – The 6th king in Revelation 17 is the one that persecutes the saints. Roman emperors are (1) Julius, (2) Augustus, (3) Tiberius, (4) Caligula, (5) Claudius, then (6) Nero. Nero was the first and only Roman Caesar of the Julian line to persecute Christians. Nero’s death ended the Julian dynasty. The one ruling after him reigned only a little while . . Galba, 6 months. If the 6th king is indeed Nero, he would be the one that “now is” according to the prophecy, and this would date the writing before 68 AD when Nero supposedly committed suicide. Nero also persecuted Christians for 42 months as is stated in the prophecy.
8 – Caesar Nero’s name in Hebrew gematria adds up to 666. Since this was written about soon events, no other person can be found within this time scope whose name fits this requirement and description. Especially none can be found in the soon future of 96 AD.
9 – What purpose would it serve for John to tell the first readers of his prophecy to “calculate” the number of the name of the beast if he was not to be born until 2000 years later? This would be completely ridiculous. This implies that the beast was living at the time of this writing, thus proving not necessarily the pre-70 AD writing, but definitely the “at hand” time statements of the book.
10 – The 7th king of Revelation 17 is not yet here. If Nero is the 6th, then the book was written before Galba, i.e. before 70 AD.
11 – In Revelation there seems to be only 7 churches in Asia. Historically, there seems to be many more than that after 70 AD as Christianity began to grow very rapidly.
12 – The incredible parallels of Matthew 24 and Revelation, which Jesus said would happen in “this generation” and “when . . . Jerusalem (is) surrounded with armies”. Most of that generation were dead in the time of 96 AD and Jerusalem was surrounded with armies in 70 AD.
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 23 Nov 2005
I think that Revelation was at least started before the burning of Rome on July, 18 64 AD. There are passages that refer to future tense like 18:8 “and she shall be utterly burned with fire”. 18:9 “when they shall see the smoke of her burning”. Later in the past tense like 18:18 “And when they saw the smoke of her burning” 19:3 “And her smoke rose up for ever and ever” again past tense. Was it started before 64 AD and finished later?
Date: 15 Aug 2006
a lot of people argue against preterism (I believe only in partial preterism) because Nero died before the fall in 70 AD. How do you address this issue?
Date: 29 Jun 2007
I believe in my studies thus far that prophecies fulfilled in the Jews serve as a model for future events–not a double fulfillment of the same prophecies, but to the Jew first and then to the world as a whole. We know that a judgment of the world is coming, that Christ will visibly return and the dead raised and judged. We know that rewards and inheritance are not dispensed until that time. The resurrection of the dead, central to the early gospel as the defining characteristic of the power of God is, in part, a key to the puzzle, as the events surrounding Christ’s ultimate Parousia–not the least of which is the total destruction of heaven and earth–bring this world system to a close, judge the wicked, reward the righteous, and usher in Christ’s everlasting kingdom. I have searched for 14 years for sound exegetical evidence for a seven year future tribulation, and have found it not only to be a farce but a distraction from the age we are in. I appreciate the above comments which are consistent with the partial preterist view. Although I am not so far along in my apologetic, I can only believe at this point that the millinneum of Revelation is an age when the gospel has been freed to the nations that will end with mounting persecution toward the people of God and a final cataclysmic judgement in conjunction with the Lord’s return. I have tried for years to make sense of the dispensational argument, and it miserably fails the test of balanced scriptural interpretation and comes off more as tabloid journalism. Christ is coming back, literally and visibly. The judgement upon Jerusalem was the first act, and His return in glory with His angels will be the final one. We have models going back to Noah and Lot. We should be prepared, but live godly and share the good news in this time of God’s patience toward us.
Date: 31 Jul 2007
You may want to visit the argument brought on by Patrick Conway’s “The Awful Truth”. This goes deeper on this subject. – Kenocom
Date: 09 Jun 2009
Hello, In point 6 you use Rev.2:2 as an indication that there were ” other Apostles ” These are false Apostles that could have made that claim after 7O A.D. Even as you still have some nutcases today that claim they are Apostles. Other than that, there is a good case made, though i have always been taught 96 A.D.for Revelations writing. Thanks.
I will raise one point for now ”The 6th king in Revelation 17 is the one that persecutes the saints.” No, it is not! it’s the HEALED head that persecutes the saints ruling out Nero instantly. In the vision John sees it is of a beast with seven heads and one of the heads is HEALED which makes the world wonder after the beast. its this healed head that wars against the saints, The Romans war was against apostate JEWS not Christians who had fled Jerusalem. In the vision, the ten horns are crowned in comparison to the seven heads in Rev 12. Therefore it is POST ad 70 for there were no ten kingdoms that came to power until the fall of Rome in ad 476,