Home > Apologetics, End Times, Preterism, Preterism Refuted > The Date of the Book of Revelation- Refuting Preterism

The Date of the Book of Revelation- Refuting Preterism

by Thomas Ice

Preterists teach that the Book of Revelation is primarily a prophecy about the Roman war against the Jews in Israel that began in a.d. 67 and ended with the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70. In order for Revelation to be a prediction of the future (Rev. 1:1, 3, 11, 19; 22:6-10, 16, 18-20) and if it was fulfilled by August a.d. 70, then it had to have been written by a.d. 65 or 66 for the preterist interpretation to even be a possibility. Preterist Ken Gentry has noted this major weakness when he said of fellow early date advocate David Chilton, ” if it could be demonstrated that Revelation were written 25 years after the Fall of Jerusalem, Chilton’s entire labor would go up in smoke.” [1] Actually, all one would have to do is to show that Revelation was written any time after the destruction of Jerusalem.

The futurists interpretation is not dependant upon the date of Revelation since it does not matter when these events take place since they are still future to our own time. However, the date of Revelation is essential to the preterist position and explains why they are so focused upon defending an early date. There are two lines of evidence: external (evidence from outside the Revelation) and internal (evidence from inside the Revelation).

External Evidence

Today, the overwhelming consensus of scholarship believes that Revelation was written well after a.d. 70. Most have concluded that Revelation was written around a.d. 95, primarily because of the statement by early church father Irenaeus (a.d. 120-202) around a.d. 180.

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 was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.[2]

via The Thomas Ice Collection.

via The Thomas Ice Collection.

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