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Offline LaSpino3

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Timeline for Head of Gold:
« on: Wed May 02, 2018 - 15:28:36 »
Timeline for Head of Gold:

In order to get a good grip on end time prophesy, we need to have a correct timeline. Daniel’s end time prophesies begin in Chapter 2 with king Nebuchadnezzar image of man. So, let’s begin with the head of gold. 

Daniel 2:32, “The image’s head was of fine gold.” Verse 37, Daniel said, “Thou, O King are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.” Verse 38, “Thou {king Nebuchadnezzar) are this head of gold.”

1.   Daniel was taken into captivity in 607 or 606 B.C.

2.   Nebuchadnezzar began his rule in 605, and died in 562 B.C. He ruled for some 42 or 43 years.

3.   Nebuchadnezzar has this dream in the second year of his reign, and Daniel is told to interpret that dream; the year, 603 B.C. At that time, Daniel was a young lad, maybe 15 to 17 years of age.

4.    In the year 598 B.C. king Nebuchadnezzar goes to Jerusalem; he carries away the sacred vessels of the temple and brings them back to the land of Shinar. He then puts them in the house of his god. From this point forward, we never hear again of the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat, the Urim and Thummin, as well as many other sacred vessels of the Temple. Also, from that moment forward, little is said of the Levite priests.
 
Daniel 1:2, “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God (598 B.C): which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) god.”
 
5.   Nebuchadnezzar gathers his armies, moves on Jerusalem; destroying it in 597 B.C. During his reign, there were three deportations of Israel 598—588 or 87 and 584 B.C.

6.   Solomon’s Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. B.C., ending the kingdom of Judah, the year, 586 B.C.
How sacred were these Temple vessels to the LORD God? So much so, that when king Belshazzar used these sacred vessels to throw a party for his friends, that very night, the LORD took away his kingdom and Belshazzar forfeited his life, the day, September 27th of 539 B.C. 
Scriptures reveal to us, “the Most-High God is a jealous God,” because He alone is to be worshiped.

7.   Belshazzar ruled from 549 B.C. to September 12th 539 B.C.

Also, some further information that may be important to the timeline. Obadiah prophesy about 585 B.C. the book of Ezekiel was written between 597 and 571 B.C. King Cyrus was born 600 B.C. Cambyses I or Cambyses the Elder was king of Anshan from c. 580 to 559 B.C.
So, the images head of Gold, covers a period of 66 years from Nebuchadnezzar 605 B.C., to Belshazzar 539 B.C.
In another tread, we’ll establish a timeline for the Chest and arms of silver, the Medes and Persians.

Laspino 3
« Last Edit: Fri Jul 13, 2018 - 08:33:57 by LaSpino3 »

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Timeline for Head of Gold:
« on: Wed May 02, 2018 - 15:28:36 »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #1 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 01:36:39 »
LaSpino3  -  Since you seem to have an affinity for checking out dates, you may find this point very interesting about Nebuchadnezzar.  Bear with me here, because this really does have to do with dating the significance of Nebuchadnezzar's actions on the prophetic timeline. 

I have recently been revisiting my position on just what the meaning of the "666" number is.  Previously on this forum I have voiced my opinion that this number of 666 was arrived at by using the process of gematria to come up with the numerical value of Nero's name as the emperor of the Sea Beast in power when Revelation was being written.  I still believe Nero actually WAS the emperor in power at that time, but the number 666 does not refer to Nero's name at all.  Rather, the number 666 refers to the AGE of the Sea Beast of Revelation - just how long it had been in existence in the world at the time of John's writing Revelation.

I have gone through a great deal of study on the internal evidence of Revelation and scripture itself to arrive at a compostion date for Revelation that is no earlier than late AD 59 (because of the tribulation John was experiencing that had started in Asia after the AD 59 riot in Ephesus), and also a date that is no later than early AD 60 (because John's letter to Laodicea had to have been written just before the AD 60 devastating Laodicean earthquake). 

If the 666 number represents how many YEARS that the Sea Beast of Revelation 13 had existed in the world (composed of the amalgamated features of lion, bear, and leopard, as in Rev. 13:2), and if we back the calendar up 666 years from AD 59 when Revelation was written, the year we arrive at is exactly 607 BC, the very year that Nebuchadnezzar's first deportation of Daniel and the Jewish nobility to Babylon took place.  Significantly, it was also the beginning year for the 70-year exile period for the Jews, as Daniel himself later figured out by using books; most probably including the book of Jeremiah, who had predicted the exact duration of the exile beforehand.  The combination of lion, bear, and leopard features in the Sea Beast simply shows that the Babylonian, Medes and Persians, and Greek empires had all been subsumed into the 4th empire - the Roman one.   

We know that Daniel called Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold on the metal's-man statue, so the existence of that statue of a MAN (remember, 666 is called "the number of a MAN") actually started with Nebuchadnezzar.  John's Revelation told those with wisdom that they were to CALCULATE or COUNT the number of the Sea Beast.  Any person of Jewish ancestry that read John's letter, knowing their own history of exile to Babylon, would easily have been able to count the years from the time they received John's letter in AD 59 backwards 666 years to the date when they were first taken into exile by the first kingdom of gold in the metal's-man statue.

That means this Sea Beast of Revelation 13 had a lengthy history spanning the timeline from 607 BC until John's days.  Some example of those who had not worshipped this Sea Beast would be Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who had not bowed down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, even under threat of a fiery furnace death. 

Daniel himself also would be one who had not given homage to the Sea Beast when he refused to offer prayers to Darius (the Sea Beast as represented by the silver - the Medes and Persians empire in the metal's-man statue), and continued to pray 3 times a day to God.  Mordecai refusing to bow down to Haman, the representative of the Persian king Ahasuerus, would be another example.   

Hebrews "Hall of Faith" mentions those who remained faithful to God under torture and "trials of cruel mockings", referring to Maccabean times.  These were those who had not given homage to Antiochus Epiphanes when he attempted to corrupt Jewish worship - the Sea Beast as represented by the brass - the Greek empire in the metal's-man statue.

In the days of Christ's ministry, there were those who tried to trick him with questions about whether they should pay tribute to Caesar or not.  Christ's answer about "rendering to Caesar the things which are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" walked the fine line between rebellion against lawful authority and not giving homage to this Sea Beast as represented by the iron empire of Rome in the metal's-man statue. 

All this is quite a different way of looking at the Sea Beast of Revelation, but I think the interpretation of 666 as the YEARS this Sea Beast had been operating in the world (from 607 BC until AD 59 when Revelation was written) makes a strong case from scripture. 

Your thoughts?....
« Last Edit: Sun May 06, 2018 - 13:15:43 by 3 Resurrections »

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #1 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 01:36:39 »

Offline LaSpino3

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #2 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 12:38:43 »
3 Resurrections:

Interesting article. What I appreciate is the idea you're not closed minded on the subject. I believe there are still mysteries having already been written in scripture, but only now ready to be revealed to us in these last days. All we have to do is look for them. Closed minded people, what can anyone say about them? They act as if they know all there is to know, and any new idea put forth can't be right, especially if it doesn't meet their standards, Oh well!

My comment on your article, Your date concerning the writing of Revelation is the problem. In this I am old school, not saying you're incorrect, only saying there is a great deal of evidence saying it's much later. But I will reexamine the subject again.

Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Melito the bishop of Sardis, and Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation, and they agree on a later date then before the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

1. I find it's mostly modern scholars who have taken a different view, and they take a different view on most everything.

2. There are those who consider that nothing can be known about the author except the John who wrote Revelation was a Christian prophet. They often characterise Revelation's author as a figure whom they call "John of Patmos".

3. But the bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81–96), and the bulk of the evidence tends to confirm this. Several early writers have reported that the apostle John was exiled to Patmos for preaching the gospel of Christ during Domitian's persecution of Christians, 95 and 96 A.D.

Now concerning 666: It's a number meant to be better understood in these last days only. What do we know about it?

Were to count the number of the beast:

It's the number of a man:

It's the number of his name:

And it appears to be his mark:

Does it have anything to do with time??  Maybe, maybe not!  As for me, I say it does, and I, like you, still use my calculator. I found, when you take 9 periods of time (9 periods representing the length of time a woman carries her child,) connected with the often used Biblical term (a woman in travail) meaning when a woman is about to give birth after a 9 month pregnancy; with my calculator divided 6000 years by 9 periods of time, I came up with 9 periods of 666.666 years. Coincidence, maybe!  but anyway, I went even further,

Isaiah writes, Isa.9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." When was that? Sometime between October 15th to the 30th of 4 B.C.

From Christ's birth in 4 B.C. go back in time 6 periods of 666.666 years, it equal 4000 years. This is a date Bishop Usher, a 16th century theologian, and others like John Lightfoot and have calculated to be the birth of creation, October of 4004 B.C. This may also be coincidence!

At the age of 30 sometime between the 15th and 30th of the month of October of 26 A.D., Jesus was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit. It was at that very moment we read,

Matthew 3:17, And lo a voice (the Father's voice) from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well plesed." 

Now if we move forward in time from this date 10/ 26 A.D. with the remaing three periods of 666.666 years we arive in late September or early Otober of 2026 A.D.

Now this date agrees with another post of mine: In the year 598 B.C. when the temple in Jerusalem was raided by Nebuchadnezzar and the sacred vessels taken, then brought to Babylon and put into the house of there god, then move forward in time 1290 years and it brings us to the year 692 A.D. the year the Dome of the Rock was finished on God's Holy site, Mt. Moriah. Now move forward 1335 years and it brings us to October of 2026 A.D. i guess the skeptics would say it's just another coincidence: maybe, maybe not!

In May of 2019, Israel will complete a full 70 years as a nation. 2019 + 7 years of tribulation bring us to the year 2026 A.D.

David purchased the land on Mt. Moriah in 974 A.D. If we move ahead exactly 3000 years, we arrive in the year 2026 A.D.

Chronologist claim Abraham was born in the year, 1974 B.C. Move forward exactly 4000 years, and again we come to the year 2026.

Now from the time the Dome was finished, go back 1 period of 666 years we arrive in the year 26 A.D. when Jesus was baptized.

God back 4 periods of 666.666 it brings us to the year 1974 B.C. the year of Abraham's birth.

These may all be nothing but coincidences, but the dates are not mine, they belong to those who have studed the chronology of the Bible.

We know 666 is going to mark all who worship the beast:

We know those who don't receive the mark of the beast will be beheaded:

Anyway, keep searching! keep me informed on any new findings,

Phil




Offline soterion

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #3 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 13:13:32 »

Closed minded people, what can anyone say about them? They act as if they know all there is to know, and any new idea put forth can't be right, especially if it doesn't meet their standards, Oh well!


You should be careful not to say things about other people that can be said right back to you. The way you have been responding to folks lately who don't agree with you is an example of closed mindedness that goes along with arrogantly claiming to have the right answers.

As for your views being new, nope. It's the same kind of stuff having been put out by premillennialists for many years now. Trying to predict future events through the mishandling of scripture and misapplication of numbers. Premillennialists have always seemed so single-minded about making the events in the more figurative books of the Bible apply to our times or our future. Your posts resonate with that same single-mindedness.

The only things I know for sure that are future from now are the Second Coming of Christ and the judgment of all mankind, and the disposition of each person to his and her final destination.

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #3 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 13:13:32 »

Offline LaSpino3

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #4 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 15:36:54 »
Soterion, it would be nice if you would enter the conversation instead of throwing darts. My post only covered the Babylonian empire, nothing more, nothing less. I said nothing out of the way, you did. If you don't agree, write and tell me what you disagree with concerning my post. My other response was to Ressurrection3, not you.

Now you use the words and phrases like,

1. Arrogant
2. "Your views" meaning mine.
3. Premillennialists.
4. "Predicting future events". No I used the Bible and historical dates that are documented and well know to everyone except y---.
5. misleading:
6. Miss-application of numbers:
7. "Single-minded:

I wonder if the above is enough to have those who run this forum put you on notice? I  hope so!

Laspino

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #4 on: Sun May 06, 2018 - 15:36:54 »



Offline grandcentralstation

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #5 on: Sun Jun 03, 2018 - 22:18:59 »
3 Resurrections:

Interesting article. What I appreciate is the idea you're not closed minded on the subject. I believe there are still mysteries having already been written in scripture, but only now ready to be revealed to us in these last days. All we have to do is look for them. Closed minded people, what can anyone say about them? They act as if they know all there is to know, and any new idea put forth can't be right, especially if it doesn't meet their standards, Oh well!

My comment on your article, Your date concerning the writing of Revelation is the problem. In this I am old school, not saying you're incorrect, only saying there is a great deal of evidence saying it's much later. But I will reexamine the subject again.

Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Melito the bishop of Sardis, and Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation, and they agree on a later date then before the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

1. I find it's mostly modern scholars who have taken a different view, and they take a different view on most everything.

2. There are those who consider that nothing can be known about the author except the John who wrote Revelation was a Christian prophet. They often characterise Revelation's author as a figure whom they call "John of Patmos".

3. But the bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81–96), and the bulk of the evidence tends to confirm this. Several early writers have reported that the apostle John was exiled to Patmos for preaching the gospel of Christ during Domitian's persecution of Christians, 95 and 96 A.D.

Now concerning 666: It's a number meant to be better understood in these last days only. What do we know about it?

Were to count the number of the beast:

It's the number of a man:

It's the number of his name:

And it appears to be his mark:

Does it have anything to do with time??  Maybe, maybe not!  As for me, I say it does, and I, like you, still use my calculator. I found, when you take 9 periods of time (9 periods representing the length of time a woman carries her child,) connected with the often used Biblical term (a woman in travail) meaning when a woman is about to give birth after a 9 month pregnancy; with my calculator divided 6000 years by 9 periods of time, I came up with 9 periods of 666.666 years. Coincidence, maybe!  but anyway, I went even further,

Isaiah writes, Isa.9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." When was that? Sometime between October 15th to the 30th of 4 B.C.

From Christ's birth in 4 B.C. go back in time 6 periods of 666.666 years, it equal 4000 years. This is a date Bishop Usher, a 16th century theologian, and others like John Lightfoot and have calculated to be the birth of creation, October of 4004 B.C. This may also be coincidence!

At the age of 30 sometime between the 15th and 30th of the month of October of 26 A.D., Jesus was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit. It was at that very moment we read,

Matthew 3:17, And lo a voice (the Father's voice) from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well plesed." 

Now if we move forward in time from this date 10/ 26 A.D. with the remaing three periods of 666.666 years we arive in late September or early Otober of 2026 A.D.

Now this date agrees with another post of mine: In the year 598 B.C. when the temple in Jerusalem was raided by Nebuchadnezzar and the sacred vessels taken, then brought to Babylon and put into the house of there god, then move forward in time 1290 years and it brings us to the year 692 A.D. the year the Dome of the Rock was finished on God's Holy site, Mt. Moriah. Now move forward 1335 years and it brings us to October of 2026 A.D. i guess the skeptics would say it's just another coincidence: maybe, maybe not!

In May of 2019, Israel will complete a full 70 years as a nation. 2019 + 7 years of tribulation bring us to the year 2026 A.D.

David purchased the land on Mt. Moriah in 974 A.D. If we move ahead exactly 3000 years, we arrive in the year 2026 A.D.

Chronologist claim Abraham was born in the year, 1974 B.C. Move forward exactly 4000 years, and again we come to the year 2026.

Now from the time the Dome was finished, go back 1 period of 666 years we arrive in the year 26 A.D. when Jesus was baptized.

God back 4 periods of 666.666 it brings us to the year 1974 B.C. the year of Abraham's birth.

These may all be nothing but coincidences, but the dates are not mine, they belong to those who have studed the chronology of the Bible.

We know 666 is going to mark all who worship the beast:

We know those who don't receive the mark of the beast will be beheaded:

Anyway, keep searching! keep me informed on any new findings,

Phil


Phil, I agree with you about mysteries that are still to be discovered within Scripture and that we should not be closed minded on other perspectives. In other words due diligence should be conducted on all views proposed.

I disagree with those who hold to the most popular view that the Book of Revelation was written approx. 95AD which is based on one extremely vague statement by Irenaeus. If Revelation was truly written around 95AD then the cataclysms described (such as 1/3 of the trees being burnt) cannot be pinpointed to the entire planet, the Roman empire, a particular nation, or group at that time(95AD) and thus must be, if true, in our future.

In my own due diligence there are certain bits of information that stand out that seemingly refute a later date:

1.) (and I believe this may be the strongest evidence for an early date) In Revelation 2:9-10 the church at Smyrna had a Jewish problem. I cannot imagine in 95Ad Christians having any issues at all regarding persecution from Jews. Just didn't happen after 70AD.

2.) the Greek word translated as "Earth" in most of Revelation is "ge". It is very different than kosmos or oikumene. "Ge" refers to a particular region not the whole planet.

3.) Another commonly mistranslated Greek word "mello" meaning "to be about to" in English is contained in a few verses within Revelation but was translated as "shall". It was properly translated in Hebrews 8:5(This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle )http://biblehub.com/interlinear/hebrews/8-5.htm In Revelation 17:8 the KJV states: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition If the translators considered the Greek more closely the translation would have been: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition. http://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/17-8.htm Imo, that changes the meaning of Rev 17:8 in a huge way. 

4.) "Nero" was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Robert Young of Young's Analytical Concordance wrote this in 1885:

It was written in Patmos about A.D. 68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syriac version of the book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus in A.D. 175, who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou – i.e., Domitius (Nero).  Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Dimitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the early date.


There is more evidence for an early date but don't have the time to continue right now...

Offline LaSpino3

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #6 on: Thu Jul 05, 2018 - 19:19:27 »
Grandcentralstation" Question, are you from N.Y.? If so, so am I, only it's upstate, Rochester. But I did race horses at Yonkers for several years.   

In regards to your post, early tradition declares that John was exiled to Patmos by Domitian in 95 or 96 A.D. This is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses.

Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category as the practice of magic and astrology, be it Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy had political implications and would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power. I'm going to stick with 95 r 96 A.D.

Laspino3

Offline grandcentralstation

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #7 on: Fri Jul 06, 2018 - 21:36:39 »
Grandcentralstation" Question, are you from N.Y.? If so, so am I, only it's upstate, Rochester. But I did race horses at Yonkers for several years.   

In regards to your post, early tradition declares that John was exiled to Patmos by Domitian in 95 or 96 A.D. This is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses.

Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category as the practice of magic and astrology, be it Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy had political implications and would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power. I'm going to stick with 95 r 96 A.D.

Laspino3

LaSpino3, no I'm not from N.Y. I came up with that name because where I work it is like "grand central station" LOL. Been to NYC several times though and always enjoyed my visits there.

The 95-96 AD dating for Revelation has been challenged by many credible theologians. Robert Young was one of the 1st in the late 1880's. His research discovered a possible mistranslation of Irenaeus writings relating specifically to the Greek of the name where it has been assumed Irenaeus was referring to "Domitian" but Irenaeus may have actually been referring to "Domitius" Nero. This was also proposed by Heinrich Guericke who was a reputable scholar. Now here is another point of view:

Because of the ambiguity of the statement a question arises. Was Irenaeus talking about the vision itself or John that was seen? Here is the quote in English: for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign. Looking at the context of the statement, Irenaus said that if the name of "Antichrist" should be revealed in that time, St. John would have announced it to others. The logical flow of the next sentence appears to be referring to John himself. If you expand the the sentences logically it appears Irenaus is saying "Had it been needful that the explanation of the name should be revealed to the people of our day, that explanation would have been given by the one who beheld the vision, because the author (John) was seen on earth not so very long ago but almost in our own generation toward the end of Domitian's reign".

This late date theory of 95-96AD is based upon this 1 extremely vague statement by Iraneaus. It seems odd to me that modern scholars will disregard the internal evidence such as the time statements "shortly", "near", "quickly", "about to" and base the date of writing on this one statement.






Offline Amo

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Re: Timeline for Head of Gold:
« Reply #8 on: Sun Jul 08, 2018 - 19:34:28 »
Irenaeus
The First Witness
The first witness who claims our attention is undoubtedly Irenaeus, appointed Bishop of Lyons, A.D. 177, in succession to Pothinus, whose age, ninety years, takes us back to the generation that saw the last of the Apostles, and with whom Irenaeus, as one of his Presbyters, can scarcely have failed to have had familiar intercourse. The words of Irenaeus have been preserved by Eusebius, “for no long time ago was it (the Revelation) seen, but almost in our generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian.”

An effort no doubt has been made to evade the force of the conclusion to which these words lead, by suggesting that the subject of [the Greek word] in the sentence is not “the Revelation” but St. John himself – not “it” but “he” was seen.

Argument against such a supposition may be dispensed with. Although supported by an able writer (generally supposed to be Dr. Goodwin) on the Apocalypse in the Biblical Review, and by Dr. Macdonald in his Life and Writings of t. John, no Greek scholar would for a moment endeavour to defend it.

Weiss has indeed recently advanced another proposal for getting rid of the testimony of Irenaeus. Proceeding upon the supposition that the beast of chapter 17:11, who is the eighth and of the seven, is Domitian he concludes that Iranaeus, believing St. John to be a prophet, could entertain no other idea than an Apocalypse so associated with the terrors of that reign must have been written at that time.

That is, however, inconsistent with the conclusion to which the belief of Irenaeus in the prophetic character of St. John would have naturally led him. The apostle he thought was a true prophet of God. Why then should he have waited till the end of Domitian’s reign, for it is of “the end of the Reign” that Irenaeus speaks, before he beheld the visions and uttered the prophecy? Would not he have more clearly revealed his prophetic character had he both seen and spoken at an earlier date?

The supposition of Weiss, so far from accounting for the mistakes thought to have been committed by Irenaeus, is the very thing that would have led that Father to an entirely different conclusion had the circumstances of the case not been too strong for him.

The testimony of Irenaeus is therefore clear. The meaning of his statement is indisputable; and we must either accept it or all (what may certainly have happened) that he was mistaken. Yet he was not likely to be mistaken, and several other considerations lay weight to the witness he bears with so much precision.

The following may be mentioned:
1) His nearness to the apostolic age; for he cannot have been born later that A.D. 130, while many have contended that his birth should be placed at least twenty or twenty-five years earlier this century.

2) The well-known fact that he had been a disciple and friend of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who had been a contemporary of the apostle John himself, who had held intercourse with him and who was wont to relate in the circle of his friends incidents out of that deeply interesting past. In this respect Irenaeus’s own letter to Florius, in which he details the nature of his intercourse with Polycarp, will always remain one of the most precious monuments of Christian antiquity, showing as it does in the clearest manner the spirit of inquiry, the intelligence, the vivacity, and the effort to form distinct conceptions of times anterior to their own, by which these old Fathers of the Church were marked. 3) The object which Irenaeus had in view in making the statement now commented on. He had been discussing the number of the beast as given in Rev. 13:18, and it goes on to explain that it was only at some risk that anyone could endeavour to interpret it; for, had the Apostle desired “the present time” to know the interpretation, he could himself have given it, inasmuch as the vision had been granted him on the very borders of the generation to which Irenaeus spoke.
 
The date of the book was thus no trifling matter in the eyes of this Father, for it powerfully affected the relation in which he stood to one of the most difficult mysteries of the Apocalypse. 4) The confidence of Eusebius in the statement made by him. This confidence, it will not be denied, appears in all that Eusebius has said upon the point; and no one could have know better than he any counter opinions which are supposed to have existed long before his day, and to have formed another and wholly different current of tradition.

It is unnecessary to say more. There need be no hesitation in asserting that in regard to few facts of early Christian antiquity have we a statement more positively or clearly given than that of Irenaeus, that the Seer beheld the visions of his book at the end of Domitian’s reign, that is, about A.D. 96.

Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse, Macmillan and Co., 1893, pp 77-79.



Clement of Alexandria
The Second Witness
We turn next to the testimony of Clement of Alexandria who flourished towards the close of the second and early part of the third century. For this we are again indebted to Eusebius, who quotes from Clement the beautiful story of the young robber, in order to prove that, after the death of Domitian, the Apostle John returned from his exile in Patmos to Ephesus, and presided over the churches there.

It is true that, in his account of the story, Clement does not name Domitian, saying merely that John had returned “after the death of the tyrant”. But no one can read Eusebius without seeing that he at least distinctly understood Clement to mean that John had been banished to Patmos by Domitian, and that, at a period subsequent to that Emperor’s death, he had presided over the church in the neighborhood of Ephesus.

Nor is there any force in the objection that, if so, the Apostle must have lived into the second century, because the incidents of that story, beginning only about A.D. 95, would require some years for their complete development.

Nothing is told that might not have happened in the course of a single year; while, if we suppose, and it is the only other possible supposition, that St. John’s return took place after the death of Nero, when he was in all probability not more than sixty years of age, and when he may have been in reality nearly ten years less, many expressions of the narrative of Clement, such as “forgetful of his age,” and “thy aged father,” lose their force, and the whole object of its quotation by Eusebius is destroyed.At the close of the second century, therefore, the impression certainly prevailed in Alexandria that St. John’s banishment to Patmos had taken place under Domitian, and that before that date the Book of Revelation could not have been penned.
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse, Macmillan and Co., 1893, pp 80,81.



Tertullian
The Third Witness
The evidence of Tertullian, but little later than that of Clement, for he died A.D. 240, may appropriately follow. His own words indeed will hardly justify any positive conclusion upon the point, for, after having spoken of Nero as the first persecutor of the Christians, he merely adds, “Domitian, too, a man of Nero’s type in cruelty, tried his hand at persecution; but as he had something of the human in him, he soon put an end to what he had begun, even restoring again those whom he had banished.”

But Eusebius notices the passage in such a manner as to show that he believed St. John to be included among those to whom Tertullian refers.
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse, London, 1893. p 81.


Victorinus
The Fourth Witness
Passing to another region of the Church, we are met by the testimony of Victorinus, Bishop of Pettau, in Pannonia, who was martyred under Diocletian, A.D. 303. So far as is known he is the earliest commentator on the Apocalypse; and it is natural to think that, as a commentator, he would take a greater than ordinary interest in such question as is now before us.

His testimony is of the most specific kind, for, commenting on Chapter 10:11, he says that “when John said these things he was in the island of Patmos, condemned to the labour of the mines by Caesar Domitian. There, he saw the Apocalypse.”
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on theApocalypse, London, 1893. p 82.


Eusebius
The Fifth Witness
In still another quarter we meet Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (A,D. 260 to A.D. 339), a man whose inquiring spirit led him to search out, and to preserve in his writings, many ancient documents of incalculable value to the student of early Christian antiquity.

Of his opinion there can be no doubt. We have already found him citing Irenaeus and Clement as authorities in favour of everything in connexion with this matter for which we need to contend; and, in his own historical account of the fourteenth year of Domitian’s reign, he says of the Apostle John that “he was banished” at that time “to Patmos, where he saw the Apocalypse, as Irenaeus shows.” 
Nor is there any ground for the assertion that Eusebius simply repeated what Irenaeus had said more than a century before. That he relied greatly upon Irenaeus is unquestionable. His very object was to collect and preserve the testimonies which seemed to him to warrant a definite conclusion.

But he did not depend upon Irenaeus alone. Referring to the point before us, he in one place names also Clement of Alexandria as his authority, and in another the “tradition of the ancients”.
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse, Macmillan and Co., 1893, pp 82.


Jerome
The Sixth Witness
This list of witnesses may be fitly closed with Jerome, who died A.D. 420, the most learned of all the Fathers except Origen, and one who, as is well known, devoted himself to the study of Scripture with a zeal not even surpassed by that of his illustrious predecessor in the same field. Speaking of St. John in his Treatise on IllustriousMen, he says of him that “having been banished in the fourteenth year of Domitian to the island of  Patmos, he wrote the Apocalypse.”

Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse, London, 1893. pp 83.


Ephiphanius
A Discordant Voice
Thus far the evidence adduced on behalf of the composition of the Apocalypse before the fall of Jerusalem may without impropriety be spoken of as unworthy of regard. It is somewhat different when we come to Epiphanius, appointed Bishop of Salamis A.D. 367, and one of the most voluminous writers of his age.

Lucke, anxious as he is to find proof of the earlier date, speaks of him as the first to interrupt the Irenaeus tradition. What does the interruption amount to? Epiphanius has spoken upon the point in two passages. In the first, he says that John, though he shrank from the task, was constrained by the Holy Spirit to write a Gospel, “in his old age, when he had spent ninety years of life, after his return from Patmos, which took place in the reign of the Emperor Claudius.”

In the second, he speaks of the Apostle as having prophesied in the time of Emperor Claudius,  when he went to the island of Patmos.

The impossibility of receiving these statements must be at once apparent. The Emperor Claudius died in A.D. 54, so that St. John was even then  ninety years old, and that he wrote his Gospel at  that time.

Besides this, it is to be observed that Claudius did not persecute the Christians generally, though  they may be included among “the Jews” whom  he banished from Rome. The universal voice of  early Christian antiquity is that Nero was the first  persecutor, Domitian the second.

How Epiphanius was led into his mistake, whether by that general inaccuracy and want of  critical acumen for which he is noted, or by some  misapprehension connected with the words of  Acts 18:2, it is impossible to say; but that there is  error either on his part or on the part of those  who copied him there can be hardly a moment’s  doubt.

This is rendered the more probable by the singular fact that the story of Epiphanius appears  never to have made the slightest impression upon  those that came after him. No tradition in that  form exists; the statement seems to have been  forgotten until revived by Grotius and Hammond;  and it now stands in the pages of its author, a striking instance of the perplexity which  one single inaccuracy may introduce into our  efforts to reconstruct the past.
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the Apocalypse,  London, 1893. pp 89,90

Milligan was the professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism  at The University of Aberdeen. His comments on the dating  of the Apocalypse were originally published as appendices  in the Volume “The Revelation of St. John” first published  in 1886.


Summary of Early Witnesses
From Iranaeus to Jerome
Testimonies subsequent to these [those after  Jerome], however clear, hardly possess so much  authority as to entitle them to quotation.  Looking back upon what has been said we have  the following result. From the first witness who  speaks upon the point in the latter half of the  second century down to the first half of the  fifth we have a succession of Fathers bearing  testimony with one accord, and in language  which admits of no misunderstanding, to the fact  that St. John was banished to Patmos under the  reign of Domitian, and that there he beheld those  visions of the Apocalypse which he afterwards committed to writing.

These Fathers, too, are men who in their interest  in the subject immediately in hand (to say nothing  of other subjects), in ability, learning, and critical  insight into the history of bygone times surpass  all the Fathers, except one to be afterwards  mentioned, of their respective eras.

In their spheres of labour, if not by birth, they  belong to the most different and widespread  regions of the Church - Gaul, Alexandria, North  Africa, Pannonia, Syria and Rome.

They are thus in a great degree independent  of each other, and they convey to us the  incontestable impression that, for at least the first  four centuries of the Christian era and over the  whole extent of the Christian Church, it was  firmly believed that St. John had beheld the  visions of the Apocalypse in the days of Domitian  and not of Nero.
Milligan, William, D.D., Discussions on the  Apocalypse,London,1893.p92.