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Revelation: Chapter 2 and 3 – The Seven Churches (2)

Ephesus was the most prominent city of Asia and the eventual capital of the Roman province. It was home to the Temple of Artemis (Greek: Diana) considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, which was at the center of the controversy involving Paul as was recorded in Acts 19. The temple was important because it was the major bank for the Mediterranean world. This simple fact should make clear to students the center and seriousness of the…

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Revelation: Chapter 2 and 3 – The Seven Churches

Why churches in these seven cities were identified first recipients of the first set of visions is, as noted, a subject of conjecture. These seven cities also act as a type for the churches in Asia rather than being the only churches worthy of address. While the letters are specific to these seven, the letters may be viewed certainly today as representative of problems common to many assemblies. It is again useful to note that the letters are listed in all texts…

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Revelation: Outline and Comments (Introduction and Chapter 1, Part 2)

The addressing to the angels of the seven churches is noted in verse 11. The vision is revealed to John and is to be delivered to the identified assemblies; and he was told to write the message in each case “to the angel of the church...” Why these are recorded to seven angels has always been viewed with some imposed difficulty by us groundlings. As has been noted, the word for angel may also correctly be translated as a messenger.…

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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)

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 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 argument. Irenaeus wrote near the end of the second century. In his fifth treatise against Gnosticism…

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Revelation: Two Theories (Part 3 Concluded)

There are no known 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 the persecutions of Nero. He mentions that he had access to the records, or that the information had been directly told him by witnesses…

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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

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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