When Was the Apocalypse Written?

21 Feb
Revelation 17

from Google Images

In a previous study on the Second Coming of the Lord, I showed that Matthew 16:27-28 contains the same constituent elements found in Revelation 11:15-18, so they are, therefore, parallel scriptures, saying the same things. In that study I made the claim that the book of Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. At that time I also pointed to a statement made by one of the church fathers, namely, Clement of Alexandria. He made the claim:

“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, ends with Nero.”[1]

Therefore, if we are to believe Clement of Alexandria, the book of Revelation / the Apocalypse had to have been written prior to the time when the Roman armies conquered Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple. Furthermore, unless one is willing to say the book of Revelation is not a prophecy, but, rather, an insincere work claiming to be prophetic, when all it did was record historical events in metaphorical form – unless one is willing to say that, the Apocalypse must have been written prior to 70 AD.

We can easily verify that Jesus claimed the Jewish authorities were responsible for his crucifixion (Matthew 21:37-39, 45). Jesus also asserted that the Jewish authorities were responsible for persecuting his disciples whom he intended to send to them later (Matthew 23:34), and not only so, but that these men would bear the responsibility of all of the righteous blood, which was shed from the beginning of creation until that very generation (cf. Matthew 23:35-36).

Next, consider what Paul claimed in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. Speaking of the Jewish authorities in 1Thessalonians 2:14, Paul said:

Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. (1 Thessalonians 2:15-17 – emphasis mine)

Notice how both Paul and Jesus agree that the Jews in the persons of their leaders had killed Jesus and the prophets of the Old Testament, and persecuted all whom Jesus sent unto them. Now notice what Revelation 16:6 tells us. The third angel with one of the seven vials poured it out on the fountains of waters and said God was righteous in judging thus, because:

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Revelation 16:6)

But, who or what is the fountains of waters? In Revelation 16:17-19 the seventh vial is poured out and the great city Babylon fell. Consider that this great city, is referred to as the great whore in Revelation 17 (Revelation 17:18), and she is spiritually called Babylon (Revelation 17:5). So, the Great Whore of Revelation 17 is Babylon that great city whom the Lord destroyed in Revelation 16:19. Moreover, the Great Whore / great city sits upon many waters (Revelation 17:1), and these are the fountains of waters upon which the third angel poured out his vile in Revelation 16:4, and these fountains of waters were responsible for the shedding of all the righteous blood of the saints and prophets (Revelation 16:6; 17:6). So, all these scriptures agree that this great city is responsible for shedding all the righteous blood of the Old Testament saints and prophets and those whom Jesus had sent to it. Who is this great city?

That Great City

Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,
Revelation 16:19 And the great citygreat Babylon came in remembrance before God,
Revelation 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city,
Revelation 18:10 Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Revelation 18:16 Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
Revelation 18:18 What city is like unto this great city!
Revelation 18:19 Alas, alas, that great city, …for in one hour is she made desolate.
Revelation 18:21 Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down,
Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Thus, we see that that great city, mystery Babylon, is none other than Jerusalem, which Jesus judged in 70 AD, when he came in his Kingdom, as he said he would (Matthew 16:27-28; 26:64). Therefore, the Apocalypse was written prior to 70 AD, unless it is not a prophecy at all!


[1] Clement of Alexandria; Stromata; book 7, chapter 17

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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