Tag Archives: early date of Revelation


PMW 2022-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.


Revelation 17:8–10 is an important passage that helps us determine the date in which John composed Revelation. That passage reads as follows:

[17:8] The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. [17:9] Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, [17:10] and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.

Since there is a serious debate over the dating of Revelation, and since we are in one of the passages that offers us evidence for its date (Rev. 15–19), I thought I would introduce you to the debate. Continue reading


Roman persecutionPMW 2021-056 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Revelation’s early date is generally held by modern postmillennialists of the preterist variety. I have argued elsewhere positively for the early date. So here I am offering a short series that briefly responds to late-date evidences. I am focusing on Leon Morris’ arguments, due to their cogency, succinctness, and his stature as a Revelation commentator.

Morris discovers “indications that Revelation was written in a time of persecution.” This evidence is felt to accord “much better with Domitian.” [1] W. G. Kümmel is quite confident that “the picture of the time which the Apocalypse sketches coincides with no epoch of the primitive history so well as with the period of Domitian’s persecution.” [2] Morris, Kümmel, and a number of other scholars list this as among their leading arguments for the A.D. 95-96 date. Continue reading


Gumerlock bookPMW 2020-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The preterist approach to Revelation holds that Revelation is to be understood as already fulfilled in the first century. Consequently, it has a strong historical interest.

Ironically though, many critics of the preterist approach to Revelation attempt to discredit it on an historical basis. They argue such things as:

“Preterism goes against the witness of the very early church” (Mal Couch).

“Alcazar, a [17th century] Spanish Jesuit, started the idea that the Apostle John . . . was writing about what was happening in his own day, and that his Antichrist was probably the Emperor Nero or some other early persecutor” (Duncan McDougall). Continue reading


PMW 2020-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.


An early-date composition is important for the preterist analysis of the Book of Revelation. For if Revelation were written prior to the destruction of the temple in AD 70, the way is at least open for considering the prospect that John’s great prophetic work is looking ahead to that dramatic redemptive-historical event. Unfortunately, the majority opinion of scholars today is that Revelation was written much later than AD 70, no earlier than Domitian’s reign some twenty years later.

But cracks in this dike of scholarly opposition to the early date are showing. A growing number of scholars from a broad array of religious convictions (spanning conservative-evangelicals to liberal-critical scholars) is turning back to the early-date view that was the majority opinion in the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. And for this shift, I am grateful. I also believe it is important to make this news known in our current setting. For the preterist analysis of Revelation is often written off with a wave of the hand that ends with the pointing of the finger to the majority of scholars. Continue reading


PMW 2018-053 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of my last edition of Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation. In that work I listed eight full pages of notable advocates for the early dating of Revelation, i.e., a date prior to AD 70. Before too long I hope to update the book altogether. But for now I would like to list some additional early date advocates beyond those found in the book.

More often than not, when a preterist mentions the early date of Revelation he is dismissed with the wave of a hand and the utterance: “the early date of Revelation is held only by a minority of scholars.” That may be true today, but the tide is slowly shifting. Thus, I thought it might be good to put some more scholars’ names in the mix. Of course, counting noses is not the answer to the problem. But it will be helpful in countering a common objection that attempts to cut discussion short. Continue reading


Ancient earthquakePMT 2015-025 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Many scholars argue that Jesus’ rebuke of Laodicea in Rev 3:17 is evidence for a late-date for Revelation. But the postmillennial preterist sees Revelation as being written in the mid-AD 60s, well before the mid-90s (late date). Let’s consider this alleged problem for the early-date.

Revelation 3:17 reads:

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Leon Morris notes that in the Laodicean letter “we are told that the church in Laodicea was ‘rich, and increased with goods’ (iii. 17). But as the city was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 60/61 this must have been considerably later” (Morris, Revelation, 37). Mounce and Kummel also endorse this observation, a major component of the complex of evidence derived from the Seven Letters (Robert Mounce, Revelation, 35 and W. G. Kummel, New Testament Introduction, 469). Continue reading


CandelabraPMT 2014-113 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my final installment for this brief series on Revelation’s date. If Revelation was written prior to the temple’s destruction in AD 70, then we might surmise that its judgments pointed to the temple’s destruction rather than the world’s end. And I believe that is the case. This would work well within the postmillennial system.

The final evidence from Revelation’s self-witness that I will consider is the relationship of the Jew to Christianity in Revelation. And although there are several aspects of this evidence, we will just briefly introduce it. Two important passages and their implications may be referred to illustratively. Continue reading