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Revelation: Outline and Comments (Introduction and Chapter 1, Part 1)

I.) Chapter 1. Salutations and Introduction. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants things which must shortly take place. And he sent and signified it by his angel to his servants.” The order of the revelation is - God through Christ, to His angel, to John, then to His servants. The first portion is given to seven identified angels and seven identified assemblies. Chapter 1:1-3 testifies to the nearness of the pending events. The…

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Revelation: Two Theories (Pt 5)

5 Several teachers and scholars have suggested the construction of the four gospels points to an early date for the writing. One of the first to do so was Dr. Philip Schaaf a renowned linguist and historian of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Another, the late Luther W. Martin, evangelist and author, published an article on this subject in Faith and Facts Quarterly in April 1992. The basics of the theory were that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark,…

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Revelation: Two Theories (Part 4) (Edited)

4   The general statements of some historical records are considered to support a late date (96 AD) rather than one prior to 70 AD. However, the testimony of history rests solely upon a single account: A short statement from the religious historian Irenaeus. His record is the only historical argument for the late date; and without it there simply is no historical platform for a late date.  Irenaeus wrote near the end of the second century. In his fifth…

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Revelation: Two Theories (Part 3 Concluded) (Edited)

There are no known detailed records of persecutions of Christians dating from the 1st century in the annals of Rome aside from those attributed to Nero. Tacitus wrote his History of Rome 50 years beyond Nero’s reign, and his is the sole complete historical source from near to that time. He recorded from Octavian through Nero and included Nero's persecutions. He mentions that he had access to the records, or that the information had been directly told him by witnesses – but…

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Revelation: Two Theories… (Part 2 and 3)

2 Some commentators (including the late Homer Hailey and earlier, B. W. Johnson) wrote that a decade of false teaching (or a generation as Johnson supposed), would be needed to lead a church into error. This they list as part of their support for a late first century date. Both state that with an early date, that there was not sufficient time from the time these churches had been founded to corrupt their doctrine. This logic opposes itself. It is…

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Revelation: Two Theories on the Date (Revised and Edited)

There are two principal theories concerning when the Revelation was written. I will note right away (as others have), that the matter will never be settled to everyone’s satisfaction. So, pick one or none. That does not mean that I have wasted my time by defining a crystal-clear argument for accepting the early date. This is thoroughly vetted and footnoted and I have read every source. The time spent reading and documenting the emperors of Rome was paramount in my…

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Revelation: The Severans to the Constantines

Lucius Septimius Severus, was appointed Caesar following the brief reigns of Pertinax, Julianus, and Clodius Albinus all of whom he had a hand in dispatching. Severus was Caesar from 192 to 211. Edward Gibbon credits Severus as the first of the emperors of the decline of the Roman Empire. However, we should pause to note the timeline is now nearly 200 years beyond the resurrection of Christ. Severus had been appointed by the Praetorian Guard and would later be assassinated…

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Rome: Domitian, the Flavians and Antonine Emperors (Edited)

Titus was followed on the throne by his brother Domitian who ruled from 81 to 96. Domitian was an egotist like Nero, and as his father Vespasian was now dead, when the youngest Flavian acceded to the throne - there was no force for restraint. Some historians state that the persecution of Christians expanded dramatically during his reign. However, noting that he maintained debaucheries, there is no record of persecutions against anyone or any group despite the mention of a…

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Revelation: Nero (Edited)

Nero, the last of the Julians and the end of Israel Nero is the most readily recognized of the emperors of Rome, excepting (possibly) Julius Caesar. He reigned from 54 until his suicide in 68 and was the last of the Julians. Though not mentioned by name in any of the ancient biblical manuscripts, it was undoubtedly Nero, to whom Paul had appealed as recorded in the book of Acts. It was noted by the historian Seutonius that to deflect…

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Revelation: The Claudians (Edited)

Octavian was succeeded by Tiberius Claudius Nero (court name indicating his status as a god: Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti Filius). He was legally granted to be Octavian’s adopted son, and was also, Octavian’s first consort, Livia’s lover (keeping it all in the family). Tiberius reigned from 17 to 37. Tiberius was Caesar during the beginning of the Church of Christ (Luke 3:1), and we should pay some attention to the period of his reign. As noted above, he too assumed…

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