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ClayInHisHands
Feb 19th 2010, 05:26 PM
Revelation 1:9

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.


10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,


11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.


So he was banished before 70AD?

-SEEKING-
Feb 19th 2010, 05:34 PM
I got this from the ESV Study Bible

"Date

Irenaeus reports, on the basis of earlier sources, that “John received the Revelation almost in our own time, toward the end of the reign of Domitian” (Against Heresies 5.30.3). Since Domitian's reign ended in a.d. 96, most scholars date Revelation in the mid-90s. Some, however, have argued for a date during Nero's reign (a.d. 54–68) and before the fall of Jerusalem in 70, basing their conclusion in part on the belief that Revelation 11:1–2 is a predictive prophecy of the Roman siege and destruction of the earthly Jerusalem during the Jewish War. However, the conditions in the churches of chapters 2–3 and their cities favor a date around a.d. 95–96, and in Revelation “the holy city” does not seem to refer to the earthly Jerusalem (see note on 11:1–2). Assuming this later date, events relating to Nero's reign and Jerusalem's destruction, both of which would now have been in the past, are woven into John's visions as portents and prototypes of present pressures and coming traumas in the world's assault on Christ's church.

Radagast
Feb 19th 2010, 11:09 PM
According to Clement of Alexandria, John was one of the many people imprisoned by Domitian (emperor 81-96) who were freed by Trajan when he became emperor in 98.

billy-brown 2
Feb 19th 2010, 11:34 PM
Revelation 1:9

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.


10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,


11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.


So he was banished before 70AD?

An interesting question . . .

Perhaps the scriptures in your post give a clue: the seven Asia churches had to be functioning during John's banishment--since John was commanded by Jesus to send "the book" to them primarily.

So, when were the seven Asian churches functioning?

(PS I don't know the exact answer to this question:


So he was banished before 70AD?

at all.)

ClayInHisHands
Feb 19th 2010, 11:35 PM
So would this have meant that he visted Patmos in the 60's to preach the Gospel and then later returned in the 90's due to exile?

billy-brown 2
Feb 19th 2010, 11:55 PM
So would this have meant that he visted Patmos in the 60's to preach the Gospel and then later returned in the 90's due to exile?

Well, I'm thinking out loud here, but notice this verse below:


9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Why was John in exile on Patmos Island to begin with?

Well, it seems to me that John was on the island in exile because he had already been preaching the Word of God--and someone(s) did not want John to give out the Word--thus, John was given the "tribulation" of exile and so on.

And John was companion to the Asian churches in "tribulation" as well.

Interesting . . .

divaD
Feb 20th 2010, 12:02 AM
Here's something that I recently began pondering. If This is the same John that was around when Christ died, how old would he have been around 30-33 AD? Let's say he was in his mid 20s or 30s at the time. This means that if John wrote the book of Revelation in the 90s AD, he would have been an old old man by that time, possibly 80..90 yrs old. With that in mind, is it likely that John would have written this at such an old age? I don't know, but the more I think about it, it seems more logical that John would have written the book closer to the time of Christ's death, than to that of his own death. Even if it were 20 or 30 yrs after Christ's death, this seems more probable than 5 or 10 yrs before his own death. From what I can tell, most scholars agree that John was around 100 when he died, and that he died sometime at the beginning of the 2nd century.


Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.


I don't know, but this to me paints a picure of someone who still has some life left in them, and not someone who will be dead from old age in a few yrs, that's assuming he wrote this in the 90s AD.

But even if John wrote the Revelation prior to 70 AD, this doesn't automatically mean everything in the Revelation was fulfilled during that time, or that any of it was.

billy-brown 2
Feb 20th 2010, 12:21 AM
Here's something that I recently began pondering. If This is the same John that was around when Christ died, how old would he have been around 30-33 AD? Let's say he was in his mid 20s or 30s at the time. This means that if John wrote the book of Revelation in the 90s AD, he would have been an old old man by that time, possibly 80..90 yrs old. With that in mind, is it likely that John would have written this at such an old age? I don't know, but the more I think about it, it seems more logical that John would have written the book closer to the time of Christ's death, than to that of his own death. Even if it were 20 or 30 yrs after Christ's death, this seems more probable than 5 or 10 yrs before his own death. From what I can tell, most scholars agree that John was around 100 when he died, and that he died sometime at the beginning of the 2nd century.


Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.


I don't know, but this to me paints a picure of someone who still has some life left in them, and not someone who will be dead from old age in a few yrs, that's assuming he wrote this in the 90s AD.

But even if John wrote the Revelation prior to 70 AD, this doesn't automatically mean everything in the Revelation was fulfilled during that time, or that any of it was.


Very interesting . . . (as usual for you, congrats . . .)

Well, I am not one of those who speculate when Revelation was written per se (there are saints here that can do that better than I). About the only thing I can say is this: I don't know when Revelation was written.

On the other hand, Rev. 1:9-11 can tell us some things, yes?

Remember, Jesus commanded John to do some things while in exile on Patmos Island--and this was an imprisonment for John because of one "crime": he was proclaiming the Word of God against the wishes of someone(s).

And so, a few questions come up in my mind:

1) Who did not want John to preach the Word of God?

2) Did John go to Patmos because he wanted to?

3) Why did Jesus tell John to do the following when he got to the Island?


Rev. 1:11b
What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

markedward
Feb 20th 2010, 01:13 AM
Irenaeus reports, on the basis of earlier sources, that “John received the Revelation almost in our own time, toward the end of the reign of Domitian” (Against Heresies 5.30.3).Irenaeus didn't say that "John received the Revelation almost in our own time", he said that "it was seen almost in our own time". There is a major difference.

The reason the statement by Irenaeus is considered "ambiguous" by linguistic experts is because they have noticed that (a) the text of Irenaeus' writings are preserved in corrupted copies to begin with, and (b) this particular passage appears to have been corrupted, because Irenaeus' writing mannerisms more readily match his descriptions of men, not things... hence, it wasn't "the revelation" that was seen in Domitian's reign, it was John himself. All it took for this corruption of the text to take place was the misspelling of the word for "him" into "it"; you know, a "scribal error" (which were common enough for this to be an entirely credible explanation). This makes far more sense with what Irenaeus was saying anyway: the Christians were wondering who 666 referred to, and Irenaeus said, "If we were meant to know, we could easily have asked John, who was last seen in Domitian's reign."

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 [John] who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For he [John] was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.
Contextually, this translation makes far more sense: "If it were necessary that [the antichrist's name] should be distinctly revealed ... it would have been announced by him ... for he was seen ... towards the end of Domitian's reign".

Also, Irenaeus himself explicitly refers to "ancient copies" of the Revelation. If Domitian's reign (80-96 AD) was "almost in our day" as Irenaeus said, it is only reasonable to conclude that the "ancient copies" existed before Domitian's reign (70-80 AD), which would mean that the original book that the "ancient copies" were based upon was even older than that (60-70 AD). Again, we wind up in the same time frame as the rest of the external evidence (along with the internal evidence) comes to.

The internal testimony of the Revelation points toward the pre-70 AD authorship of the book, regarding the near-fulfillment of its prophecies, that John was taking part in the tribulation that was prophesied, and the identity of the sixth king/666/42 months of persecution with Nero Caesar. Likewise, several Christians writing before Irenaeus place John's exile to Patmos and/or the authorship of the book within the same time frame of Peter and Paul, which each happened in the 60s AD. Not to mention that several Christians writing before and after Irenaeus identified the book's prophecies with Nero's persecution of the Christians, and several of them explicitly place John's banishment to Patmos in the reign of Nero. And, in addition, the descriptions of Nero by various historians (pagan, Jewish, and Christian) are incredibly compatible with how the beast is described in the book.

There is also the matter of the seven churches. John was told by Jesus to write to seven contemporary churches just on the coast in Asia. Jesus explicitly tells John to write to these seven churches about things that had already happened, were in the process of happening, and were about to happen. (The Greek word mello is used in Revelation 1.19. The word mello means "to be on the point of happening".) Throughout the seven letters, Jesus repeatedly tells these seven churches about a time of trial that was coming upon them in their near future. He tells them about a time of judgment in their near future. In one case, Jesus explicitly says "I am coming soon". Another example is in Revelation 13, where John tells these seven churches that, with wisdom, they can determine the meaning of the number 666. If the prophecies of the Revelation are about events over 2000 years in their future, how can any amount of "wisdom" used by first-century Christians ever determine the meaning of 666? John's exhortation that seven first-century churches could use "wisdom" to decipher the number 666 would be nothing more than a cruel mockery of their current persecution. The number 666, then, could only refer to a first-century man, not a man from the 21st-century (or beyond).

Radagast
Feb 20th 2010, 01:15 AM
1) Who did not want John to preach the Word of God?

The emperor Domitian, a big persecutor of Christians. Domitian announced that he was "Lord and God," and wanted people to worship him, which Christians could not do.


2) Did John go to Patmos because he wanted to?

No, he seems to have been sent to a prison colony there by Domitian (as a political prisoner) and freed, along with many others, by the emperor Trajan (or by Nerva, who reigned briefly between Domitian and Trajan). According to tradition, John was a slave in a salt mine there.

Beckrl
Feb 20th 2010, 03:31 AM
The emperor Domitian, a big persecutor of Christians. Domitian announced that he was "Lord and God," and wanted people to worship him, which Christians could not do.

Where did you find that info about Domitian being a big persecutor of Christians? and announcedthat he was "Lord and God" and to worship him?

My heart's Desire
Feb 20th 2010, 03:34 AM
Appears to me that if he was banished to Patmos by Domitian (emperor 81-96) and he wrote revelation on Patmos then it must have a date between 81-96 or is my logic wrong?

markedward
Feb 20th 2010, 04:16 AM
The emperor Domitian, a big persecutor of Christians.There is no contemporary evidence that Domitian ever persecuted Christians. This is chalked up to "Christian legend", not historical fact.


Domitian announced that he was "Lord and God," and wanted people to worship him, which Christians could not do.This was typical of all of the emperors in the first-century. Julius Caesar was deified after his death, but beginning with Augustus Caesar, each emperor was declared to be a god while they ruled. Domitian was in no way unique for claiming to be "Lord and God".

dworthington
Feb 20th 2010, 10:54 AM
Foxes book of mayrters (sp) speaks about John and many others.

Butch5
Feb 20th 2010, 01:25 PM
Irenaeus didn't say that "John received the Revelation almost in our own time", he said that "it was seen almost in our own time". There is a major difference.

The reason the statement by Irenaeus is considered "ambiguous" by linguistic experts is because they have noticed that (a) the text of Irenaeus' writings are preserved in corrupted copies to begin with, and (b) this particular passage appears to have been corrupted, because Irenaeus' writing mannerisms more readily match his descriptions of men, not things... hence, it wasn't "the revelation" that was seen in Domitian's reign, it was John himself. All it took for this corruption of the text to take place was the misspelling of the word for "him" into "it"; you know, a "scribal error" (which were common enough for this to be an entirely credible explanation). This makes far more sense with what Irenaeus was saying anyway: the Christians were wondering who 666 referred to, and Irenaeus said, "If we were meant to know, we could easily have asked John, who was last seen in Domitian's reign."

Contextually, this translation makes far more sense: "If it were necessary that [the antichrist's name] should be distinctly revealed ... it would have been announced by him ... for he was seen ... towards the end of Domitian's reign".

Also, Irenaeus himself explicitly refers to "ancient copies" of the Revelation. If Domitian's reign (80-96 AD) was "almost in our day" as Irenaeus said, it is only reasonable to conclude that the "ancient copies" existed before Domitian's reign (70-80 AD), which would mean that the original book that the "ancient copies" were based upon was even older than that (60-70 AD). Again, we wind up in the same time frame as the rest of the external evidence (along with the internal evidence) comes to.

The internal testimony of the Revelation points toward the pre-70 AD authorship of the book, regarding the near-fulfillment of its prophecies, that John was taking part in the tribulation that was prophesied, and the identity of the sixth king/666/42 months of persecution with Nero Caesar. Likewise, several Christians writing before Irenaeus place John's exile to Patmos and/or the authorship of the book within the same time frame of Peter and Paul, which each happened in the 60s AD. Not to mention that several Christians writing before and after Irenaeus identified the book's prophecies with Nero's persecution of the Christians, and several of them explicitly place John's banishment to Patmos in the reign of Nero. And, in addition, the descriptions of Nero by various historians (pagan, Jewish, and Christian) are incredibly compatible with how the beast is described in the book.

There is also the matter of the seven churches. John was told by Jesus to write to seven contemporary churches just on the coast in Asia. Jesus explicitly tells John to write to these seven churches about things that had already happened, were in the process of happening, and were about to happen. (The Greek word mello is used in Revelation 1.19. The word mello means "to be on the point of happening".) Throughout the seven letters, Jesus repeatedly tells these seven churches about a time of trial that was coming upon them in their near future. He tells them about a time of judgment in their near future. In one case, Jesus explicitly says "I am coming soon". Another example is in Revelation 13, where John tells these seven churches that, with wisdom, they can determine the meaning of the number 666. If the prophecies of the Revelation are about events over 2000 years in their future, how can any amount of "wisdom" used by first-century Christians ever determine the meaning of 666? John's exhortation that seven first-century churches could use "wisdom" to decipher the number 666 would be nothing more than a cruel mockery of their current persecution. The number 666, then, could only refer to a first-century man, not a man from the 21st-century (or beyond).


Hi Mark
edward,

Can you give some references for these other early writers?

markedward
Feb 20th 2010, 07:09 PM
Can you give some references for these other early writers?Yep, will do.


The blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John, writes to no more than seven churches by name.
The Muratorian Canon clearly states that Paul wrote to seven churches (Rome, Thessalonica, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae) because of the example John set in chapter 2-3 of the Revelation. Since Paul likely died sometime between 65-68 AD, John necessarily must have written the Revelation before Paul's death.


For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the middle of the times of Tiberius. And that of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul, end with Nero.This statement is clear. "The teaching ... of the apostles ... end with Nero".


But if thou art near to Italy, thou hast Rome, where we also have an authority close at hand. What an happy Church is that! on which the Apostles poured out all their doctrine, with their blood: where Peter had a like Passion with the Lord; where Paul bath for his crown the same death with John; where the Apostle John was plunged into boiling oil, and suffered nothing, and was afterwards banished to an island.Tertullian clearly places the banishment of John to Patmos in the same era as Peter and Paul's death, which are universally agreed to have taken place during the reign of Nero. This is how Tertullian's statement was understood (for example, by Jerome). Not to mention that the dipping of people into oil was more consistent with Nero's method of persecuting the Christians than Domitian's (non-existent) persecution. The Roman historian Tacitus records that Nero had the Christians burnt as torches for street-lights at night; John being dipped in oil would have been part of this method of using Christians for torches. Eusebius (who did appear to believe that John was exiled by Domitian, later contradicts himself when he) also grouped Peter's and Paul's martyrdoms under the reign of Nero in the same sentence as John's banishment.


And the fame of the teaching of John was spread abroad in Rome; and it came to the ears of Domitian that there was a certain Hebrew in Ephesus, John by name, who spread a report about the seat of empire [sic] of the Romans, saying that it would quickly be rooted out, and that the kingdom of the Romans would be given over to another. And Domitian, troubled by what was said, sent a centurion with soldiers to seize John, and bring him ... And Domitian, astonished at all the wonders, sent him away to an island, appointing for him a set time. ... And straightway John sailed to Patmos.It is easily admitted that The Acts of John teaches that John was exiled to Patmos by Domitian... but it seems to have the events backwards from what we usually find: John is exiled to Patmos because he had prophesied that the Roman Empire would fall to "another [kingdom]" (the Kingdom of God). This is clearly following the tradition that the Revelation describes the fall of Rome, which would necessitate that the Revelation was written before an exile by Domitian... as Kenneth Gentry writes, "Why not in Nero's reign, as indicated in other traditions?"


who prophesied in the time of Claudius ... the prophetic word according to the Apocalypse being disclosedEpiphanies reference to John having the Revelation under the reign of "Claudius" is altogether unique (since the emperor we commonly call Claudius Caesar ruled just before Nero Caesar). However, Nero's full name was "Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus", and there are a few inscriptions referring to him as "Nero Claudius Caesar". As such, it is entirely possible that Epiphanies may have been referring to Nero when he said "Claudius", but it is not certain. However, if he was referring to Nero, it is again consistent with the Revelation's internal evidence and the evidence given by others. But whether it was Claudius or Nero, Epiphanies irrefutably argues in favor of a pre-70 AD authorship of the book, not a 95 AD one.


After these things, when the Gospel was increasing by the hands of the Apostles, Nero, the unclean and impure and wicked king, heard all that had happened at Ephesus. And he sent [and] took all that the procurator had, and imprisoned him; and laid hold of St. John and drove him into exile; and passed sentence on the city that it should be laid waste.This is the Syriac History of John, the Son of Zebedee. Most notably, "both of the Syriac Versions of the Revelation give in the title the statement that John was banished by Nero."


There are not wanting those who apply this passage to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.Andreas believed that John wrote the Revelation under Domitian's reign, but he explicitly refers to other Christians who believe that the Revelation was a prediction of "the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus", which necessarily means that Andreas knew of many Christians who believed that the Revelation was written before 70 AD (in order to predict the destruction of Jerusalem).


Some refer this to the siege of Jerusalem by Vespasian. ... Here, then, were manifestly shown to the Evangelist what things were to befall the Jews in their war against the Romans, in the way of avenging the sufferings inflicted upon Christ. ... When the Evangelist received these oracles, the destruction in which the Jews were involved was not yet inflicted by the Remans.Like Andreas, Arethas knew of the common belief that the Revelation contained prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which again would necessitate that many believed the book was written before 70 AD. His final statement quoted here seems to indicate that he also believed in the pre-70 AD authorship, especially in that he "goes on to note that Josephus records the fulfillment of the predictions in the [seven] seals."


[John wrote Revelation] under Trajan, but elsewhere gives a date which would bring it into the time of Nero.In the one case, Theophylact wrote elsewhere that John wrote the Revelation under the reign of Trajan, but in another place Theophylact wrote that John was exiled 32 years after Jesus' crucifixion, which would be about 62-66 AD, in the reign of Nero. Theophylact either couldn't make up his mind, or he didn't know his history. Regardless, he mentions at least twice the belief that John was exiled in the time of Nero.

There is also consideration of the non-canonical book The Shepherd of Hermas. While many assume that it was written about 150 AD because of a confused statement in the Muratorian Canon (who claimed that Hermas was the brother of the bishop of Rome, Pius, despite Hermas' own claims to have been a "foster-child" who was sold into slavery), the internal evidence of The Shepherd and the testimony of early Christian writers sets The Shepherd's authorship roughly between 75-85 AD. The reason this should be considered is because The Shepherd was undeniably influenced by the Revelation, which would necessitate that the Revelation was written before 75-80 AD... bringing us to sometime in 60-70 AD.

Butch5
Feb 20th 2010, 10:44 PM
Yep, will do.

Thanks, I appreciate it!

billy-brown 2
Feb 21st 2010, 02:55 PM
//

There is also the matter of the seven churches. John was told by Jesus to write to seven contemporary churches just on the coast in Asia. Jesus explicitly tells John to write to these seven churches about things that had already happened, were in the process of happening, and were about to happen. (The Greek word mello is used in Revelation 1.19. The word mello means "to be on the point of happening".) Throughout the seven letters, Jesus repeatedly tells these seven churches about a time of trial that was coming upon them in their near future. He tells them about a time of judgment in their near future. In one case, Jesus explicitly says "I am coming soon". Another example is in Revelation 13, where John tells these seven churches that, with wisdom, they can determine the meaning of the number 666. If the prophecies of the Revelation are about events over 2000 years in their future, how can any amount of "wisdom" used by first-century Christians ever determine the meaning of 666? John's exhortation that seven first-century churches could use "wisdom" to decipher the number 666 would be nothing more than a cruel mockery of their current persecution. The number 666, then, could only refer to a first-century man, not a man from the 21st-century (or beyond).

Markedward,

What you are sharing here is critical to the OP.

So, might you have any insight into the history of the Asia churches of Revelation?

I assume that these churches were suffering similar "tribulation" with John, and that these churches are the primary receipts of John's book--by command of Jesus:


Rev. 1:11b
" . . . What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And of course, we have this from Jesus also:


Rev. 22
16 I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.

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