Friday, January 25, 2013

Revelation Intro - Lecture 2, Part 2 - Date of Writing | Steve Gregg | This is the 2nd half of the 2nd lecture of Steve Gregg's intro on Revelation. This is the 2012 module of The New Great Commission School in Monroe, WA. Steve takes a fair look at all the major views of Revelation.

At about 18 minutes into the video, Steve begins to focus on the evidence for the date of the writing of Revelation, which is very important to its interpretation.

The entire second lecture is on MP3 here

You may download Steve's notes for the 3 introductory lectures here. I've pasted the a portion below.

by Steve Gregg

V. Date and Historical Setting

  A. A Time of Persecution (1:9/ 2:10, 13/ 3:10/ 6:9/ 17:6)

  B. Two Theories:

1. Early Date: The reign of Nero   (54-68 AD)

a. Adherents to this date include: Jay Adams, Adam Clarke, Alfred Edersheim, J.B. Lightfoot, John A.T. Robinson, Philip Schaff, and many others.

b. The current "king" (17:9-10)

c. The existing temple (11:1-2)

d. The church/Jewish situation

e. Identification of "666" (13:18) with Caesar Nero (Heb. Kaisar Neron )

2. Late Date: The reign of Domitian  (81-96 AD)

a. Adherents to this date include: Robert Mounce, Albert Barnes, B.B. Warfield, Donald Guthrie, John Walvoord, Merrill Tenney, and perhaps most other commentators since 1900.

b. Emperor worship (chapter 13)

c. Extent of persecution

d. "Nero redidivus" myth

e. Condition of the churches

  1) Wealth of Laodicea (3:17)

  2) Existence of church in Smyrna
Polycarp wrote in a letter to the church at Philippi:"...among [you] the blessed Paul  labored, who are praised in the beginning of his epistle. For concerning you he boasts in all the churches who then alone had known the Lord, for we had not yet known him."  (Letter to the Philippians, 11:3).

 3) Spiritual decline of Ephesus, Sardis & Laodicea

f. Testimony of Irenaeus:

"Now since this is so, and since this number [666] is found in all the good and ancient copies, and since those who have seen John face to face testify, and reason teaches us that the number of the name of the beast appears according to the numeration of the Greeks by the letters in it...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." (Against Heresies, 5:30:1, 3)

[the quote is ambiguous, and may idicate that it was John (not his vision) that had been seen in the reign of Domitian. Also, Irenaeus' historical accuracy may be questioned in view of his assertion that Jesus lived to be over fifty years of age (Against Heresies , 2:22:5)]

If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)

Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary