PMW 2020-109 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I continue my series on the dating of Revelation, I will present two of the leading external witnesses for the late date: Irenaeus and Origen.
Irenaeus (A.D. 130-202)
Undoubtedly the most commonly used and strongest external objection to the early date of Revelation is the famous statement by Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 180) in book 5 of his Against Heresies. This statement is very early and seems clear and to the point. It occurs at the end of a section in which he is dealing with the identification of Revelation’s “666,” which Irenaeus applies to the Antichrist:
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 no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.
Nevertheless, several problems reduce the usefulness of this statement for late date advocacy. Continue reading →
PMW 2020-108 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am continuing a study on the dating Revelation. In this article I will I provide some evidence from church history and tradition. I will begin with the positive indicators for an early date. After that, in the next article I will review the contrary evidence, which is so influential in the late date argument.
The Shepherd of Hermas
1. The Shepherd of Hermas is little known among evangelical laymen today. But in the first three centuries of the Christian era it was so influential that Irenaeus, Origen, Jerome and many others deemed it canonical.  It even appears in the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the best preserved ancient copies of the whole Bible.
Virtually all scholars agree that The Shepherd of Hermas draws upon Revelation as the source of its imagery — even late date advocates like H. B. Swete, R. H. Charles, and Robert Mounce. This would demand that Revelation be written, copied, and circulated prior to the composition of the Shepherd. Continue reading →
PMW 2020-107 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The final evidence from Revelation’s self-witness that I will mention focuses on the relationship of the Jew to Christianity in Revelation. And although there are several aspects of this evidence, I will just briefly introduce it. We may illustratively refer to two important passages and their implications regarding:
Christianity and Israel
First, when John writes Revelation, by all appearances Christianity is in its early, formative, “Jewish” stage. Initially Christians tended to mingle with the Jews (since most of them were Jewish), considering themselves members of the true Israel, the “continuing Israel,” as it were. Continue reading →