The Book of Revelation Written Before 70 AD: An Illustration


So far this year I’ve posted three prophecy charts created by Jonathan Welton, regarding [1] the fulfillment of Daniel 2, [2] Revelation’s focus on the land of Israel in the first century, and [3] the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy

Jonathan’s newest illustration deals with the date when the book of Revelation was written (if you click on the chart, it should open in a new tab/window and you’ll be able to click it again to zoom in and see the words more clearly):

Revelation (Welton)

Photo Source: Weebly and Pinterest

The internal evidence, i.e. evidence within Scripture itself, is more important than anyone’s opinion about when Revelation was written. I’ll never forget how the truth of point #2 in Jonathan’s illustration hit me between the eyes a few years ago. The apostle John made it very clear during which time period he was in Patmos recording his visions and prophecies: “There are seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time” (Revelation 17:10). Nero was the sixth king, as Jonathan Welton pointed out, and as this chart also shows (Source – Study on Revelation 17:7-18):

Order of Emperors Name of Emperor Length of Reign Notes/Details
#1 Julius Caesar October 49 BC – March 44 BC “Perpetual Dictator”
#2 Augustus January 27 BC – August 14 AD -time of Jesus’ birth
#3 Tiberius August 14 AD – March 37 AD -time of Jesus’ ascension
#4 Caligula March 37 AD – January 41 AD Murdered
#5 Claudius January 41 AD – October 54 AD Assassinated
#6 Nero October 54 AD – June 68 AD Committed suicide
#7 Galba June 68 AD – January 69 AD Murdered
#8 Otho January 69 AD – April 69 AD Committed suicide
#9 Vitellius April 69 AD – December 69AD Murdered
#10 Vespasian December 69 AD – June 79 AD Destroyed Jerusalem

For more information on the external and internal evidence that Revelation was written prior to 70 AD, see these five posts:

[1] External Evidence for An Early Date
[2] Internal Evidence for An Early Date (Part 1)
[3] Internal Evidence for An Early Date (Part 2)
[4] Internal Evidence for An Early Date (Part 3)
[5] Internal Evidence for An Early Date (Part 4)

All of our posts on the book of Revelation, including chapter-by-chapter studies, can be found here.

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21 thoughts on “The Book of Revelation Written Before 70 AD: An Illustration

  1. Couple questions????
    Isn’t John describing the things which he saw in the vision not referencing current or past events referencing point #3? I.E. destruction of the Temple if Revelation was written after this took place.
    In context isn’t the Kings you mentioned in #2 referencing the Great Harlot and the beast with 7 heads(kings) and 10 horns(kings who haven’t yet received a kingdom) not the Kings of Rome? Being future seperate kingdoms.
    Also you have listed the 10 emperors of Rome, when only 8 are talked about in chapter 17.
    Are you saying that if Revelation was written before AD 70 that everything described in Revelation has already taken place?

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    • Hi Monte,

      I’m not sure I understand your first question, though I realize you’re talking about point #3 in Jonathan Welton’s illustration. Jonathan made the point that the angel spoke of the Jerusalem temple to the apostle John as if it was still standing:

      “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months'” (Revelation 11:1-2).

      If John was writing this around 96 AD, as some say, it sure seems that he wouldn’t have described the temple this way. Instead, one would expect him to have spoken of the temple’s dramatic downfall 26 years before that.

      Yes, I listed 10 Roman emperors in my chart, and I only listed numbers 8-10 (Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian) for further information, as an interesting extra side note. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius all reigned briefly during the “Year of the Four Emperors.” Vespasian was ruling when Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, and his son, Titus, led that final attack. Titus later became emperor as well. I could have included him in that chart, but I stopped at #10 and with the emperor who presided over Jerusalem’s destruction.

      As for the 10 horns, I don’t believe the text can possibly indicate that they are “future separate kingdoms.” They were to rule with the beast “for one hour as kings” (Rev. 17:12). Their rule would be very short-lived. There were 10 Senatorial Provinces during this time period in the first century: [1] Achaea [2] Africa [3] Asia [4] Creta et Cyrene [5] Cyprus [6] Gallia Narbonensis [7] Hispania Baetica [8] Macedonia [9] Pontus et Bithynia [10] Sicilia. They assisted Nero in his campaign of persecution against the church. I believe these were the 10 horns who ruled “for one hour.” More is written about this here:

      http://kloposmasm.com/2009/12/13/revelation-chapter-17-part-2-verses-7-18/

      Yes, I believe that everything described in Revelation has already taken place, or is ongoing (e.g. in the case of Revelation 14:13 – “Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on…”). I still don’t have a firm grip on Revelation 20, though, and the 1000 years followed by a rebellion.

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      • I apologize for the late response, I thought I would receive an email when someone else commented. I just checked back to see if there was any activity, and saw your comments.

        It is obvious that there is a huge difference in perspective depending on wether you are reading Revelation with the mindset of it being written before 70 AD and already fullfilled or being written later and unfulfilled.

        My first question is in response to #3 were you question why John didn’t mention the destruction of the Temple if it was written after the fact. What I was stating is that John isn’t giving a historical review of past events, he was describing what he saw in the vision. It’s not about what John in his own understanding wants to tell us, but what God wanted to show us.

        There is so much even just in the rest of Revelation ch. 11 that hasn’t taken place in my opinion. Verse 18 alone debunks the whole concept you present.

        I am not looking to argue about who’s right or wrong. It is ok to have different views on this subject. I also know there has been some seriously wacked out views concerning the pre-trib rapture(which is disagree with) because of some mens perspective of Revelation, Daniel, and treating the bible like a freakin word document were they cut & paste whatever they want wherever they want.

        What is the main reason for insisting that everything in Revelation has already taken place?

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      • Hi Monte,

        My response is quite late as well. You asked about “the main reason for insisting that everything in Revelation has already taken place.” Actually, I would almost say that, but not quite. Some prophecies I would say are ongoing (or fulfilled one person at a time), rather than having simply “already taken place.” For example, there is this one in Revelation 14:13.

        “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

        You and I haven’t died yet. This promise has been fulfilled for those who have gone before us, but will be fulfilled for believers living now and in the future when we pass on. The “stage was set” in the first century, though.

        The main reason, though, for my fulfilled view on the book of Revelation is the time statements found throughout the book, and especially at the beginning and the end. What John saw and heard was to take place quickly, for the time was at hand (Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6, 10, 12, 20). There was a reason why the believers in seven first century churches needed to read and hear what John had to say at that time. Things were already taking place, and were about to take place, which directly concerned them.

        There is also a great deal of internal evidence – in the text – pointing to the soon end and judgment of the old covenant system, a system which is no more and a system which Scripture elsewhere says was about to expire at that time (e.g. Hebrews 8:13). First century history (as recorded by Josephus, Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Suetonius, etc.) also confirms the fulfillment of so many things that John said. Much of this is shown in our series on Revelation here at this site:

        http://www.kloposmasm.com/revelation

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      • Hi Adam, Please excuse my exuberance and excitement at finally finding someone with nearly the same views on Revelation as I have. As the name of my blog states, pray for revelation, this is how I and anyone will receive true understanding and enlightenment of the word of God. I have so much to say and offer, and I hope you will have an ear for me? 2Peter 1:20 states: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Knowing this, we know that Revelation should not be interpretated, since Revelation itself is prophecy. Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. I prayed and prayed and asked God the Father and Jesus in the Name of Jesus to reveal to me the truth and understanding. To open my mind, my eyes and my heart to enlightenment of His word. I’m telling you, IT worked! This is my prayer for always reading his word before I start to read. This is not a shameful attempt to announce my blog, but a sincere request to view my post and page entitled, “Knowledge by Revelation”. It shows why we should pray for revelation as opposed to trying to interpret the word of God. It’s much easier than for me to make this blog the length of Noah’s Ark. 😉 One last hint, if we read Revelation, not just as a revealed vision of what John saw, but as a real experience to what John is seeing regarding events that happened, is about to happen shortly, i.e. ‘desolation of abomination’ and the ‘destruction of the temple’, and finally what John is witnessing when Jesus has come to mete out judgment to the unbelievers and to bring His saints home with him. I would like to exchange what we each have regarding Revelation with each other. Perhaps we can both put it all together based on what Jesus has given us. And Mr. PJMiller can join us as well.

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      • Hi Aagrove9,

        Welcome to this site, and your excitement is also allowed and welcomed here. 🙂 Yes, I’ll be glad to hear what you have to say and offer, and I imagine that others will as well. I will plan to take a look at your “Knowledge by Revelation” post. As time allows, I’m definitely open to exchanging views about the book of Revelation.

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  2. Rev. 20 is not hard to understand if you identify what is meant by the first resurrection. The first resurrection is Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-26). “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him 1000 years.” verse 6. So everyone who is in Christ also reigns with Christ. Col. 3:1. We have been made priests 1 Peter 2:9. Satan has been restrained by the cross, he can be resisted James 4:7. One thousand means a large number. 2 Peter 3:8, Eccl. 7:28, Psalms 50:10, not literal.

    So all who have part in the first resurrection will still be subject to the first death but not the second. This explains John 11:25-26. We are physically born spiritually dead, Christ raises us up and we are born spiritually but we physically die. At the end of the thousand years (an unspecified time only He knows) we will be raised physically. The unbeliever is born spiritually dead and then dies physically then is raised physically to die eternally.

    The one difficulty I have with Rev. 20 is how is Satan released? Do Christians stop resisting him? Do Christians retreat from exercising the authority Christ gave them? This has been happening through out Church history. My feeble speculation is that Jesus’ mandate to make disciples of all nations will be accomplished and the Church will break down the gates of hell and there will be a “peaceful millennium” of some length but eventually people will become complacent and Satan will not be resisted and will be able to influence people, who never really knew God, to rebel.

    The idea that the first resurrection is the rapture of the Church, leaving unbelievers behind, then Christ reigning on earth with His resurrected, immortal Church in Jerusalem over mortal unregenerate people for a literal thousand years is nonsensical. Do the people who missed out of the first resurrection get a second chance? If they become believers, are they immediately raptured?

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    • Jesus is described as the first fruits of the ressurection. That’s why in Revelation it describes those who are ressurected having been beheaded for not worshipping the beast or taking the mark. Yes baptism is symbolic of the ressurection of Jesus, but this passage in Revelation 20 describes something totally different in my opinion.

      Also not everyone will experience the first death. Those who are alive and remain at Christ’s second coming will not see death. Yes there is no description of how many it will be, but it is crystal clear that some will remain.

      I don’t think there has been a time period were satan hasn’t been on the loose since the fall of man. We have never experienced a time when he was bound. Not even in the dark ages when the kingdom of darkness had it’s greatest reign in suppressing the truth.

      I totally agree with your statement in the last paragraph. This is a modern day travesty of biblical interpretation, and a complete mockery with the intention to motivate with fear to make a profit by selling books and movies.

      The language used in the biblical accounts to describe Jesus’s second coming is the same language used in the culture of that day to describe when a King or Emporer would come to a city. The people would travel miles outside of the city to meet the coming King, and celebrate the ushering in of His Majesty. How do we know this? Because it’s the same thing that happened when Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey before Passover, and was crucified. The people came out to meet Him, layed down Palm leaves, an ushered the King into Jerusalem.

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    • “Rev. 20 is not hard to understand if you identify what is meant by the first resurrection”.

      I agree. However, you haven’t defined the class of people who take part in the first resurrection in the way that the passage does so.

      Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

      The people who are raised are those who are beheaded for not taking the mark of the Beast. That mark isn’t required until the 42 months leading up to the Second Coming. Therefore, the first resurrection has nothing directly to do with John 11.

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  3. Quote: “I don’t think there has been a time period were satan hasn’t been on the loose since the fall of man. We have never experienced a time when he was bound”

    Forgive my jumping into the ongoing discussion. I read through all but don’t usually become actively involved. Just happened to read your (above) new comment Monte and had a question.

    Don’t you think the fact of the Gospel being able to go forth, is proof of some ‘type’ of at least partial binding of satan?

    just a thought…

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    • No worries, Thanks for jumping in.

      Hmmm, interesting question. I guess it depends on one’s perspective of God’s providence.

      Does the Godhead have complete reign over all creation including satan?

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  4. “Does the Godhead have complete reign over all creation including satan?”

    Yes. I believe the bible is clear on this.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18

    and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:10

    I believe satan’s power is limited, restricted, and temporal. Satan’s power was dealt a great blow at Calvary.

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  5. So the Godhead has all authority yet there is still sickness, disease, and death in this age. All which are results of the fall of man. Satan clearly isn’t currently bound in the pit, nor has he ever been bound in the pit in this age.

    The beauty of the gospel is that God still reveals Himself to sinful mankind regardless of our imperfections, and receives all glory despite the influences of Satan and our sinful fleshly tendencies. All because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. A covenant made between God the Father & God the Son. A covenant unlike any covenant God has made with mankind in that it can’t be broken because the God man Jesus established it with His own blood.

    In my opinion the gospel doesn’t go forth because Satan is bound in any measure, but because Jesus is alive and sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is the super hero in every story. If not we might want to reevaluate our perspective.

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  6. Monte, i don’t believe anyone said satan was “bound in a pit”. But i do believe the word backs up the fact of him being restricted, limited, or as i wrote earlier, “partially” bound, in the sense of the Gospel being able to go forth.

    John 12: 31,32 “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

    Mark 3:20-27 – Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables:

    “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house….”

    Col. 2:9-15 – For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

    1 John 3:8 – He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

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  7. Adam,

    With all due respect to J. Welton for the labor that went into the production of his chart, I would like to propose an alternative, which narrows the date down to even earlier than 70 AD. I have recently noted what I believe to be a combination of internal evidence in Revelation pointing to a composition date of just prior to AD 60. I would be interested to find out if you, or those of your acquaintance, have encountered this particular grouping of evidences before, and if you think they should be given any serious consideration. I must beg your indulgence for the length of this, but I couldn’t abbreviate it and still make my point.

    A pre-AD 60 date is proved by triangulating the dates for the following events or time periods:

    #1) the persecution of the church at Smyrna from AD 60-70
    #2) the Laodicean earthquake of AD 60
    #3) the identity and time in office for the 7th king of Rev. 17 in AD 62
    #4) the time interval necessary for the dispersion throughout the Christian world of John’s 7 church letters

    To begin with #1), Smyrna’s church, as of John’s writing, had some of her members who were ABOUT TO BE THROWN INTO PRISON by Satan/the adversary, and she was ABOUT TO SUFFER TRIBULATION FOR 10 DAYS (Rev. 2:10). This “ten days” cannot be a literal number of 10 twenty-four hour days, anymore than the fall of Babylon/Jerusalem took “one hour” of 60 minutes to accomplish (Rev. 18:10).

    I believe it is symbolic of 10 YEARS, with a probable ending point of no later than AD 70. This would indicate a tribulation starting around AD 60. Although this could not apply to the Neronic period of oppression, which started in AD 64 after Rome’s “deadly wound” by the fire, it most definitely applies to the persecution originating from Ephesus, as a result of Paul’s intense 3 years of ministry to that area (Acts 20:31), and which also saturated all of Asia with its effect (Acts 19:10).

    This persecution was perpetrated not only by the Jewish population who hated Paul’s message (Acts 19:9), but also by the league of silversmiths led by Demetrius. This man jump-started that riot against Paul, whose teaching was endangering their craft which served the temple of Diana (Acts 19:24-27). This riot occurred in AD 59, and the seriousness of this “tribulation” is described by Paul to the Corinthians in II Cor. 1:8 (Interlinear), “For not do we wish you to be ignorant brethren, as to our tribulation which happened to us in Asia, that excessively we were burdened beyond our power, so as to despair even of living.” This persecution originating from Ephesus would soon have affected all the nearby 7 churches of Asia, INCLUDING SMYRNA, some 30 miles or so away. This is when her 10 days/years of persecution would have originated, after the AD 59 Ephesian riot. This tribulation period is the vastly-understated “no small stir about That Way” found in Acts 19:23. Priscilla and Aquila in their ministry to Paul in this area were said by him to have “laid down their necks” for his life’s sake (Rom. 16:3-4).

    Next, as to point #2), the Laodicean earthquake is often used as proof of a late date for Revelation, but I contend that this earthquake date of AD 60, according to Tacitus, is proof that Revelation is written just prior to the AD 60 quake. The Laodicean church was rebuked by John for voicing her self-satisfied assurance of wealth and comfort. The language they were using to prove how well-off they were is hardly the manner that would be used by a church recuperating from a disastrous earthquake a few years earlier.

    Christ’s warning to this church is that “I am ABOUT TO SPUE YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH.” This imminent “spueing her out of His mouth” is speaking of this earthquake in AD 60, which was about to shake up this smug, wealthy church, so that she would realize how ill-equipped she really was, spiritually speaking, to face the up-coming end of the age in AD 70 and its accompanying disasters.

    For point #3), the following is used to prove a composition date prior to, but NO LATER than AD 62. It involves the much-discussed list of kings on the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. The 6th king on the list of these 7 kings of Revelation 17 is not nearly as important as the 7th king for the purpose of dating Revelation. I’m afraid the list of 7 kings has absolutely nothing to do with the emperors of Rome, and everything to do with the HIGH PRIESTS OF THE HOUSE OF ANNAS. There were exactly 7 of them, with an 8th, a grandson of Annas, who also served as high priest in AD 65-66.

    Why should this particular family of high priests be distinguished from all other high priests who ever served? Because Annas, as the patriarch of this conniving avaricious family that is excoriated in the Talmud for their corruption, was ultimately the one responsible for conspiring to put Christ to death. This family of high priests was the main feature of the rich man and Lazarus parable, which Christ gave as a condemning example of supreme greed. Caiphas, the son-in-law of Annas, played the role of the rich man. He wished to have Abraham send someone to “his father’s house” (which would be Annas and the temple) to warn him and Caiphas’ “5 brothers” (Annas’ 5 sons, who also served as high priests, one after another, as they monopolized the high priesthood in the years leading up to the AD 70 era). Israel was, after all, called a “kingdom of priests” by God.

    I can claim that these high priests are called “kings of the earth” (GE – the land of Israel – not kings of Rome) by quoting Christ himself from Matthew 17:25, “of whom do the KINGS OF THE EARTH take custom or tribute? of their own children (sons) or of strangers (others)?” The entire thrust of Christ’s question to Peter was to demonstrate that Christ, (who would become our high priest), as a true Son of His Father’s House (the temple), had every right to be exempt from paying the half-shekel temple tax collected by the agents of the “kings of the earth” – the high priests. These high priests and their sons were exempt from paying this half-shekel temple tax themselves – they were “free” from that obligation. To demonstrate His utter humility, Christ used the coin Peter pried out of the fish’s mouth to pay it anyway.

    Using this true definition of “kings” as high priests, the list of kings in Rev. 17 and the rather odd language describing their actions aligns perfectly with the appointment and tenure of each of the 7 and the 8th high priest coming from the House of Annas. Here is how Revelation 17 reads, (with this understanding of “kings”/high priests in place), when it is held up side by side with a chronology of the dates of appointments for the high priests of the 1st century.

    Revelation 17:8 – “The (scarlet) beast that thou sawest WAS” (in a position of power headed by the House of Annas from AD 6-44), “and IS NOT” (the House of Annas temporarily lost power after AD 44, which means Revelation has to have been written some time after AD 44) “and IS ABOUT TO ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT” (the abyss being the equivalent of a state of death, as it is compared to in Rom. 10:7 – by this we can see that the 7th king, Ananus son of Annas, was about to reinstate the power of the House of Annas when he came into office in AD 62) “and go into destruction” (since Ananus son of Annas would die in the Idumean-led attack on Jerusalem in AD 68).

    Revelation 17:10 – “and there are 7 kings: five are fallen” (the first 5 high priests of the House of Annas would have died as of John’s writing – we know Jonathan son of Annas was murdered by the Sicarii around AD 55/56) “and ONE IS” (still living – which would probably be Matthias son of Annas, the youngest son), “and the other IS NOT YET COME;” (into office), “and WHEN HE COMETH” (Ananus son of Annas was appointed as high priest in AD 62) “he must continue a SHORT SPACE” (because he was deposed after serving a brief 3 months. His offense was in overstepping the bounds of his office’s authority by executing James the Just, Christ’s half brother.) “And the beast that WAS” (the House of Annas that was in power almost continuously from AD 6-44) “and IS NOT” (is not in power from AD 44-62 – which means John was writing Revelation at a time prior to AD 62) “even he is AN EIGHTH” (because the 7-member House of Annas briefly resurfaced again in AD 65 through the grandson of Annas – the high priest Matthias son of Theophilus) “and is OF THE SEVEN” (Matthias was in the genetic line of the House of Annas) “and goes into destruction” (because this Matthias was also murdered during the Zealot’s temple siege in AD 66).

    To my mind, all of this above fits the description of Revelation 17’s group of 7 and the 8th king so much better than the rather awkward fit of the list of 10 emperors that belong on the SEA BEAST. These 7 and 8 kings are actually on a different beast – the scarlet colored one in the wilderness (the wilderness is always indicative of Israel, not Rome). THIS MEANS THAT THERE ARE ACTUALLY A TOTAL OF 3 BEASTS IN REVELATION – not just two. The Sea Beast is Roman in origin, and the Land Beast (false prophet) and the Scarlet Beast are both Judaic in origin. There are too many differences between the Sea Beast and the Scarlet Beast for them to be one and the same. They are counterparts of each other.

    My last #4) point is another indication to me that Revelation could NOT have been written in the mid-60’s while the Neronic persecution was in full swing. The main purpose of John was to prepare the believers for the upcoming days of vengeance on the Jews and the war to come on the saints under Nero. There would need to be some time for these letters of warning to filter through the churches in all the Mediterranean world for this to be beneficial. To warn them of upcoming trials that had already begun under Nero would be similar to sending a warning of icebergs in the area to a sinking Titanic.

    A date prior to AD 60 for Revelation would give time for this information to work its way through the Christian “postal service”, starting from the churches in Asia, and spreading to those believers nearer to Rome and to those living in Judea. The Christian “pony express” would not have been in any kind of efficient working order after Nero had begun his AD 64 persecution. Dead people and those in hiding can’t deliver mail very well.

    All this tells me that the “tribulation” that John said he was in (Rev. 1:9) should not be attributed to the Neronic persecution of AD 64, but to the tribulation’s after-effects in Asia from the Ephesus riot in AD 59. This is why John’s epistle is addressed to the 7 churches in Asia, and not to those in Judea.

    Patmos is just off the coast of Ephesus, and was under the jurisdiction of the Ephesian authorities. If John truly was unsuccessfully boiled in oil, as testified by Tertullian’s writing, and then kicked out of Ephesus since that didn’t succeed in killing him, I can see why he would have ended up at Patmos, which would have been another way to dispose of his influence. The city evidently was so inflamed at that point against Paul’s teaching that Paul was forced to “sail by Ephesus” on his voyage to Jerusalem’s Pentecost feast, to avoid being arrested in Ephesus and consequently miss the feast. He stopped at Miletus instead, just below Ephesus, and sent messengers to the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus and bid them a final farewell from that location, knowing he would never see them again in this world.

    Ephesus apparently was a powder-keg at that point. The Ephesian Jews who also traveled to the Pentecost feast at this same time were the very ones who recognized Paul and his Ephesian traveling companion, Trophimus , in the city (Acts 21:27-29). Their level of hatred for Paul and his message was still so intense that they attempted to kill him, then and there, outside of the very doors of the temple. Which ultimately led to Paul’s imprisonment and his voyage to Rome to testify of Christ at the seat of Satan’s influence. As God fully intended.

    Apologies for the length of this, Adam. I have attempted to accomplish in one comment what others have devoted entire books to prove. I am willing to alter any of this above, if necessary, to fit scripture’s requirements. And if there are any gaping holes in the points laid out above, it would be a kindness to bring them up for me to correct them.

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    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for your comment/question. It’s long, but it’s well-written and well-organized. I definitely want to consider what you’ve brought up here. At the outset, I’ll give the main reason why I have believed that John wrote Revelation after 60 AD (and, of course, before 70 AD). As you mentioned, Tertullian (155-240 AD) tells us that John was exiled to Patmos by Nero after Nero first attempted to boil John alive in oil, but by a miracle John survived. Nero began persecuting the Church in November 64 AD, so I have assumed that John was exiled to Patmos only after that time. (I took note of your thoughts on Patmos being under the jurisdiction of Ephesus.)

      Thank you for your very interesting thoughts on point #1, the persecution of the Church at Smyrna. That’s a lot of good material to consider. I hadn’t thought of the “10 days” representing 10 years.

      Regarding the earthquake in Laodicea in 60 AD, I know that I had read that Laodicea rebuilt itself without the aid of Rome. I have read that the rebuilding took place during the reign of Nero (54 – 68 AD), or at least began during that time, but I’m not sure exactly how quickly it took place. So far, I have believed that this was confirmation of Laodicea’s pride and self-reliance as spoken of by John. This is what Tacitus said: “One of the most famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was in the same year overthrown by an earthquake and without any relief from us recovered itself by its own resources” (Tacitus, Annals, 14:27). Do you know any details about the rebuilding, how long it took, whether it extended beyond the time of Nero, etc.?

      The details that you provided for point #3 are incredibly fascinating. Wow. Thank you. I may create a post with just this information – and give you credit for it, of course. There are several details in there that I did not know, and they’re enlightening.

      On point #4, I see what you’re saying. Do you believe that John was exiled to Patmos twice, once by the rulers of Ephesus and another time by Nero (as recorded by Tertullian)? Thanks!

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  8. Adam,

    You have my profound gratitude for offering a listening ear, when some of this material flies in the face of some well-established Preterist teaching. It is not my intention to sow discord in the ranks – Preterism tends to be fractured enough. But I do think that an open discussion that further refines Preterist positions will help us all work toward getting the bugs out of the system, and present a more unified standard to the public eye. Thankfully, your site provides that opportunity, Adam.

    As to your 1st response with regard to the Laodicean earthquake, at least there doesn’t seem to be much historical disagreement on the actual date of this event – AD 60 appears to be pretty firmly established. What is debatable is the statement by the Laodiceans in Rev. 3:17 (Interlinear) that “…I have GROWN rich” (over an extended period of time) “and of nothing need have.” To me, if John’s rebuke to them is written BEFORE the AD 60 quake, it removes the need to assess how long the rebuilding process took, or how long it took for this level of cocky, self-satisfaction to develop in the church after the rebuilding process was completed.

    If we know that just before AD 62 is the absolute latest time that Revelation could have been written, according to the year of the 7th king/high priest taking office (as in point #3), then a time period from AD 60 – late AD 61 for earthquake recuperation and time to “grow rich” and complacent again seems too improbably short. Because of that improbability, I believe a pre-earthquake, AD 60 rebuke to Laodicea is the more likely fit.

    You are very generous in your offer to give personal credit for some of these points, but that’s really not necessary. If God’s truth is in any of it, then His name is on it – not mine. Feel free to use it in any way you think would be of benefit. In fact, considering the area I live in, (just down the Boulevard from Dr. Gentry’s church), I have found that if you want to introduce a novel idea, it is a deterrent to have a woman’s name attached to it, no matter how senior she may be. The attitude is not always verbalized, but it is there under the radar nonetheless.

    If you are at all interested in a more detailed account I have written regarding the differences I see in the 3 beasts of Revelation, you have only to Google “The Sea Beast….The Land Beast…and the Scarlet Beast” to find it on grace centered forum’s website. I have also had the unmitigated gall to dump an abbreviated version of it on Dr. Gentry’s doorstep, even as he is about to release his magnum opus, his Revelation commentary, which I intend to purchase if possible.

    For your last question on point #4 – no, I can’t see that 2 exiles of John to Patmos are really necessary to reconcile the records. Going by your J. Welton chart notes above, where he shows the Syriac Peshitta’s title page inscription asserting that John the Evangelist wrote Revelation on Patmos where he was “thrown by the Emperor Nero” – this is good, solid evidence for positioning Revelation’s date to anywhere from AD 54-68 (Nero’s reign). But we can’t extrapolate from this sentence alone that the raging, widespread persecution of ALL the Christians after AD 64 was also taking place at the same time. That’s reading too much into this record that speaks of a single man running afoul of the authorities under Nero’s reign.

    It is helpful if we can nail down the likely date on the calendar when the light bulb finally went on for Nero that the Christians were NOT just another sect of Judaism (such as the Essenes, Pharisees, etc.). Up until AD 63, I believe Nero was still considering Christianity and Judaism in the same category as a protected religio licita. In that year, Josephus’ visit to the Empress Poppaea, (who favored the Jewish religion), probably provided the inevitable awareness of how much Judaism was in opposition to the Christian faith.

    We have no record of Josephus’ conversation with Poppaea as he attempted to obtain a release for the high priest Ishmael and a temple treasurer in imperial custody who had been accused by Felix. Apparently, though, he was received with favor by both Nero and Poppaea. By her intervention, not only were the priests released, but Josephus was also presented with many gifts. Surely it is not just coincidence that the following year of AD 64 saw the launch of Nero’s imperial persecution of the saints. It would seem that the Emperor had finally realized just how diametrically opposed to Christianity Judaism was, and in agreement with his wife’s Jewish sympathies, he took the opportunity to shift the blame onto the Christians for the fire’s damage to the city of Rome.

    I believe the riot in the city of Ephesus and the resulting persecution in Asia was the leading cause of the even greater imperial tribulation of the saints after AD 64. After all, Christ had promised them that they would be “hated by all men” (first by the Jews, then the Romans) for His name’s sake. The hatred and turmoil stirred up first by the apostate Jews and then the Ephesian silversmith’s guild would have provided ample fuel for the later accusation that Christians were the enemies of mankind, and deserved to be eliminated after Nero’s trumped-up charge of arson.

    As an aside, I used to think that the Tertullian record of John’s miraculous escape from being boiled in oil was a case of fanciful exaggeration. But not since I read Pastor David Curtis’ sermons on identifying the true author of Revelation. His position is that John was none other than John Eleazar (aka, Lazarus of Bethany, the brother beloved by Jesus). If this ID is correct – and Pastor Curtis’ sermon transcripts appear to cover all the scripture bases to prove it – that would mean a resurrected John Eleazar/Lazarus was incapable of dying again, including being boiled in oil. So perhaps it wasn’t so “miraculous” after all, but simply proof that the flesh and bones of a resurrected saint actually are indestructible. And as I have presented elsewhere on your site, Adam, I believe a resurrected John Eleazar/Lazarus would have “remained” or “tarried” (John 21:22) until he was finally “raptured” with the other newly-resurrected believers in AD 70 at Christ’s physical coming in the clouds.
    But I digress…

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    • Hi Patricia. I want to let you know that I created a post earlier today presenting this idea that the seven kings of Revelation 17 were the high priests of the house of Ananus:

      https://adammaarschalk.com/2016/07/09/the-seven-kings-of-revelation-17-were-the-high-priests-of-the-house-of-ananus/

      I also have a question for you regarding the beast in Revelation 19:19-20, which reads:

      “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

      As you’ll see in my new post, I’ve acknowledged the presence of three beasts in Revelation, and the distinction between the sea (Roman) beast of Revelation 13:1-10 and the scarlet (Jewish) beast of Revelation 17. At first it appears that Revelation 19:19-20 is speaking of the scarlet beast, as Revelation 17:14 clearly predicts that the scarlet beast, along with 10 kings, would “make war with the Lamb” (same language as in Rev. 19:19).

      However, Rev. 19:20 speaks of “the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast…” That’s a description of the land beast’s partnership with the sea beast in Revelation 13:11-18.

      So it’s hard to tell which beast is thrown into the lake of fire with the false prophet in Revelation 19. If you have any insight that can clear this up, it would be greatly appreciated.

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      • Thank you so much, Adam, for taking the time to post that. You certainly are a man of your word. With your stamp on it, the credibility factor can only increase. And also, I am thankful to see that you mentioned the gentleman in Indonesia’s post that follows along the same lines of thought. That means others independent of me have noticed the same thing.

        (Psst……. do you want to change the title of the post to “The House of Annas” instead of “The House of Ananus”? Just checking. And I sure hope I have that 7th high priest’s name spelled right. My husband is laughing at it. There were some variations of his name.)

        Now, to your question about Rev. 19:20 and trying to determine just which Beast is being thrown into the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet. You have picked the very verse that made me scratch my brain, trying to figure which of the three Beasts matched with which activity. Here’s how I arrive at a conclusion that the SCARLET Beast from the wilderness is the one joining the False Prophet / the Land Beast in the Lake of Fire.

        You have your combatants listed in Rev. 19:19 – (#1) the Beast and the kings of the earth and THEIR armies squared off against (#2) the King of Kings and HIS army. Who is this army of the King of Kings? I believe that, in the physical sense, it’s the armies under Roman authority that God used to do His avenging work against the Scarlet Beast with its kings of the earth. We have Christ’s parable in Matt 22:7 of the king who made a marriage for his son and sent invitations by his servants who were rejected and killed. In judgment for this, the king sent forth HIS ARMIES and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city (Jerusalem in AD 70). When it says HIS ARMIES, it speaks of the Roman legions that are connected to the Sea Beast. God used them as a tool to perform His purposes, just as He used the Babylonians for the same purpose in 586 BC.

        So the paired off combatants would have to be (#1) the Scarlet Beast and its “kings of the earth and their armies” battling against (#2) the King of Kings and the Roman armies from the Sea Beast. If the Sea Beast is “HIS army”, they can’t very well be identified as the other Beast with its “kings of the earth and their armies”. The Roman Sea Beast is NOT the one that was “taken / captured / seized / or taken prisoner – depending on the version you are reading. They were the ones DOING the “taking / capturing / seizing, etc.

        Rev. 19:20 is the tricky verse that takes a little more to figure out. The phrase that tripped me up, as you emphasized, Adam, was “the False Prophet who in HIS presence ( or in the sight of HIM) had done the signs.” (The “HIM” in this case being the Beast that was “taken”.) When compared with the Rev. 13:14 verse you brought up, the False Prophet did signs in the presence of (enopion) the Sea Beast. So, on the surface, when you compare these two verses, it would seem that the Sea Beast is the one being taken who joins the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire.

        Here’s what straightens out the confusion. Look just one verse above Rev. 13:14. Verse 13-14a says that the False Prophet ALSO does these great signs “in the sight of men” (enopion), to “deceive them that dwell on the EARTH. This EARTH is Israel, where the Scarlet Beast originates. The False Prophet does these signs both in the sight of (enopion) men that dwell on the earth (the Scarlet Beast’s domain), as well as in the sight of (enopion) the Sea Beast. So, it is possible to interpret the tricky Rev. 19:20 phrase using the Scarlet Beast as the referent.

        Here is how Rev. 19:20 (Interlinear) reads with each of the three Beasts in their proper position in the passage. “And was taken the (Scarlet) Beast, and with him the False Prophet (the Land Beast) who wrought the signs before him (before the Scarlet Beast and its dwellers on the earth) by which he (the False Prophet) misled those who received the mark of the (Sea) Beast, and those who do homage to his image. And were cast the two (the Scarlet Beast with its False Messiahs and the False Prophet who tried to promote them) into the Lake of Fire which burns with brimstone (the AD 70 holocaust in Jerusalem).”

        Here is one more reason I see for the Judean Scarlet Beast to be the one cast into the Lake of Fire that is in AD 70 Jerusalem. We know that the whore riding this Scarlet Beast is Jerusalem who had committed fornication with the “kings of the earth” / high priests (Rev. 18:3). In the Old Testament, both the adulteress AND the one committing adultery with her are both to be put to death. See Lev. 20:10, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, THE ADULTERER AND THE ADULTERESS SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH.”

        In addition, it it were a priest’s daughter who was guilty of this, she was to be burned with fire. See Lev. 21:9, “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father; she shall be burnt with fire.” This was fulfilled literally and symbolically in the case of the whore that rode the Scarlet Beast. And since the “kings of the earth” on this SCARLET Beast were her partners in adultery, they also share in the death sentence along with her in the Lake of Fire in Jerusalem. Literally, these “kings of the earth” / high priests were shut up within the city and lost their lives in the ensuing chaos. Josephus records examples of this for us.

        Hope that this helps, Adam. If you see some holes in my reasoning, please make a note of them so that if need be, I can revise my views.

        P.S. – Realizing that there are three Beasts instead of two also helps to identify who the Two Witnesses are in Rev. 11, and when they appear. The SCARLET Judean Beast who was “about to arise from the bottomless pit” in John’s day is the one who makes war on them and kills them, so the Two Witnesses have to be individuals and/or an entity that are killed and resurrected BEFORE the SCARLET Judean Beast goes into destruction itself.

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      • Thank you very much, Patricia, for your explanation of these things. It does help some, but I’m still wrestling with Revelation 19:20 and how to reconcile it with Revelation 13. I’ll keep looking at it and considering what you’ve said.

        I definitely see the squaring off of the armies of the kings of the earth/scarlet beast against the Roman armies sent by God (Matthew 22:7). I presented this scenario in a new post that was published earlier this evening, which is a follow-up to the last one and covers Revelation 17:12-14. I believe Josephus tells us exactly who the 10 horns were, and I’ll be glad to hear what you think.

        To summarize, Josephus, in War of the Jews (Book 2, Chapter 20), listed 10 Jewish leaders, including high priests, who were appointed as generals to prepare for the full-scale Roman attack they knew was coming. This appointment took place in December 66 AD or January 67 AD after Cestius Gallus, the Roman general and Governor of Syria, was defeated by the Jews. A month or two later, in February 67 AD, Nero officially declared war on Israel and dispatched Vespasian as his general to lead this war (see Revelation 6:1-2).

        Here’s a list of these 10 Jewish generals and the territories they were to oversee in preparation for war with Rome:

        1. Joseph, the son of Gorion (Governor of Jerusalem)
        2. Ananus, the high priest (Governor of Jerusalem)
        3. Jesus, the son of Sapphias, one of the high priests (Idumaea)
        4. Eleazar, the son of Ananias, the high priest (Idumaea)
        5. Niger, the then governor of Idumea (Idumaea)
        6. Joseph, the son of Simon (Jericho)
        7. Manasseh (Perea)
        8. John, the Esscue (toparchy of Thamna; “Lydda was also added to his portion, and Joppa, and Emmaus”)
        9. John, the son of Matthias (toparchies of Gophnitica and Acrabattene)
        10. Josephus, the son of Matthias (both the Galilees; “Gamala also, which was the strongest city in those parts, was put under his command”)

        They received authority as kings with a kingdom for “one hour,” the same expression used in Revelation 18:10, 17, 19 to describe Israel’s judgment.

        They made war with the Lamb (Rev. 17:14) when:

        [1] they worked together to try to defeat the Roman armies that were sent by God as His instrument of judgment in the coming of His Son (Matthew 22:7)
        [2] they made a desperate attempt to maintain Jerusalem as the center of the old covenant system which Jesus had already made obsolete (Hebrews 8:6, 13, etc.).
        [3] they were aware of Jesus’ predictions, and they tried to use their power and authority to prevent them from coming true.

        The Lamb overcame them when they all perished in the fiery destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the words of God were fulfilled (Rev. 17:17).

        https://adammaarschalk.com/2016/07/11/josephus-lists-the-10-horns-who-received-authority-for-one-hour-revelation-1712/

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