MONDAY, August 30
The issue of dating the book of Revelation is important if we believe it is applicable to our current season. Revelation is very important for the end-time church, therefore we need to examine its origin. The early church Fathers pretty much agreed on the origin of the book of Revelation. When looking at the origin of a book it is important to consider both the external and internal clues to its dating. First the external deals with historical evidence that is written about this very issue. Irenaeus the Bishop of Lyons in Gaul was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John. He could not have been mistaken on the issue of the writing of the book of Revelation. He said, “The Apocalypse was seen not long ago, by almost everyone in our own generation, near the end of the reign of Domitian.” Victorinus declares repeatedly that John was banished by Domitian and saw the Revelation. Hippolytus talks of John as having been exiled to Patmos under Domitian where he saw the Apocalypse. Jerome in his book of Illustrious Men says: “Domitian in the 14th year of his reign raised the next persecution after Nero, when John was banished to the isle of Patmos where he wrote The Revelation.” Sulpicius Severus says, that “John, the Apostle and Evangelist, was banished by Domitian to the isle of Patmos, where he had visions, and where he wrote The Revelation.” The consistent testimony of the church Fathers is that John was exiled under Domitian and wrote The Revelation. This means because Domitian reigned from 81 to 96 AD that the book of Revelation was written after the destruction of Jerusalem and cannot be applied to it as the fulfillment of chapters 4-20. The external witnesses are very hard to refute. They clearly state that the book of Revelation has a whole lot to say about where we are today and out of it should come our faith to face what is coming.