Early in Nero’s time or Late in Domitian’s?
The placement of the book by early writers at the end of the New Testament says late date. Also the advanced development of the 7 churches says late date. And another weighty point for the Late Date in Domitian’s days is that the early church held to it. Leon Morris says in his 1969 commentary on Revelation “the early tradition of the church strong favours Domitian’s reign, i.e. c.90-95”. What I have noted is that older commentaries, say 19th century or early 20th century hold to the Late Date for Revelation. It is in Domitian’s era that emperor worship reached the prime which is addressed in Revelation. It’s true that in Caligula’s time he required the worship of his image, but Morris says this was not required by Nero during his reign.
The Early Date in Nero’s era is a modern view that supports some new approaches to Scripture. For example, the defeatist view that everything in the Bible is fulfilled since Jesus’ literal return in 70a.d. and, surprise, you and I are in Paradise and in the New Heaven and Earth of Revelation 21ff.
It is said by the Early Date people that the time of Domitian doesn’t work because Revelation mentions the temple. The mention of the temple in Revelation 11 being measured and not measuring the outer court is symbolic for where God is and where dwell Christians. See Rev 11:9 and 15:8. In a book of symbols to reveal deeper truths, concluding the Herodian temple is still standing and under consideration is off the mark.
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