Revelation was written before 70 AD

by Greg Kiser


Revelation 1:1

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass


1 - The time statements refer to soon events of cataclysmic Jewish importance. If it was written in 96 AD, there are no events soon from that time that could even remotely fit. If, however, it was before 70 AD, then the destruction of Jerusalem rises to the occasion as both Jewish and cataclysmic. The time statements demand we look here.

2 - The second century Syrian version of the book has the title of "John the Evangelist in the Isle of Patmos, where he was thrown by Nero Caesar." Nero, of course, was dead by 68 AD.

3 - Some versions have a few manuscripts that have the number of the beast as 616 instead of the Hebrew 666. (You can find this stated in almost any Study Bible). What is shocking is that using gematria Caesar Nero's name would add up to 616 in those versions, but in Hebrew, 666. This is very strong evidence that Caesar Nero really was the one being referred to as the beast and that the change from 666 to 616 in some manuscripts was intentional for that very reason. It is nearly impossible to find another person's name in that time frame that would do this!

4 - According to the epistles to the churches, there were still Judaizers (Revelation 2:9; 3:9) presenting problems in the churches. This, would be ridiculous after 70 AD.

5 - The temple and the city were apparently still standing in Revelation 11, because John is sent to measure them. This would not be possible after 70 AD. And if John is referring to some rebuilt temple in the far distant future, and he is writing in 96 AD, then his complete silence about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD is deafening!

6 - There were "other apostles" still around according to Revelation 2:2. Tradition has it that all the apostles were dead before 70 AD and John was the only original surviving past that time.

7 - The 6th king in Revelation 17 is the one that persecutes the saints. Roman emperors are (1) Julius, (2) Augustus, (3) Tiberius, (4) Caligula, (5) Claudius, then (6) Nero. Nero was the first and only Roman Caesar of the Julian line to persecute Christians. Nero's death ended the Julian dynasty. The one ruling after him reigned only a little while . . Galba, 6 months. If the 6th king is indeed Nero, he would be the one that "now is" according to the prophecy, and this would date the writing before 68 AD when Nero supposedly committed suicide. Nero also persecuted Christians for 42 months as is stated in the prophecy.

8 - Caesar Nero's name in Hebrew gematria adds up to 666. Since this was written about soon events, no other person can be found within this time scope whose name fits this requirement and description. Especially none can be found in the soon future of 96 AD.

9 - What purpose would it serve for John to tell the first readers of his prophecy to "calculate" the number of the name of the beast if he was not to be born until 2000 years later? This would be completely ridiculous. This implies that the beast was living at the time of this writing, thus proving not necessarily the pre-70 AD writing, but definitely the "at hand" time statements of the book.

10 - The 7th king of Revelation 17 is not yet here. If Nero is the 6th, then the book was written before Galba, i.e. before 70 AD.

11 - In Revelation there seems to be only 7 churches in Asia . Historically, there seems to be many more than that after 70 AD as Christianity began to grow very rapidly.

12 - The incredible parallels of Matthew 24 and Revelation, which Jesus said would happen in "this generation" and "when . . . Jerusalem (is) surrounded with armies". Most of that generation were dead in the time of 96 AD and Jerusalem was surrounded with armies in 70 AD.

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