PMT 2015-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Milton Terry underscores the significance of the question of compositional date when interpreting Rev: “The great importance of ascertaining the historical standpoint of an author is notably illustrated by the controversy over the date of the Apocalypse of John. If that prophetical book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, a number of its particular allusions must most naturally be understood as referring to that city and its fall. If, however, it was written at the end of the reign of Domitian (about A.D. 96), as many have believed, another system of interpretation is necessary to explain the historical allusions.”
“Preterism,” as you well know, is the view that Rev deals with events that are in the near future — when John writes, but now lie in our distant past. Admittedly most preterists who see a large focus on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70 generally tend to adopt the early date. In fact, this becomes an integral part of the argument in that they prefer internal evidence over external.
However, despite common suspicions and confident complaints, such a commitment to the early date is not absolutely necessary for a preterist analysis. Continue reading