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Re: [revelation-list] Greg's question on external evidence

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  • Don K
    My view of Revelation and the future, based on the late date, was that the Apocalypse was predictive of the fall of Rome, and then to a final cosmic
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 16, 2003
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      My view of Revelation and the future, based on the late date, was that the Apocalypse was predictive of the fall of Rome, and then to a final cosmic conflagration. The temporal parameters, which seem to me to be greatly ignored by most commentators, strike me as too objective, too unambiguous, and too urgent, to have applicability to events that were centuries and even millennia removed from John. I think Farrar expressed my views well, "The Seer emphatically says the future events which he has to foreshadow will occur speedily (en taxei) and the recurrent burden of his whole book is the nearness of the Advent. Language is simply meaningless if it is to be so manipulated by every successive commentator as to make the words 'speedily' and 'near' imply any number of centuries of delay."  (F. W. Farrar, Early Christianity, 1882)496
      As commentators we (correctly) spend a good bit of time seeking the significance of the symbolism of the Apocalypse, and yet, to a degree, ignore the sitz em leben suggested by the chronological expressions. Symbols find their strongest meaning and expression in the real world in which they are used. To apply the symbolism of the Apocalypse to a time centuries or millennia, removed from the socio-politico-religious context that gave those symbols life and soul, mitigates the urgency of the message of the Seer.
      In my book Who Is This Babylon? I spend a good bit of time examining the different approaches to, and attempts to negate, the time statements, by the way.
      Hope that helps a bit.
      Don K.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:23 AM
      Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Greg's question on external evidence

      Don, please explain your comments about the dating. How did it alter your theological paradigm?
       
      Jon Newton.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Don K. Preston [mailto:dkpret@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 11:47 AM
      To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Greg's question on external evidence

      Joel, if I might weigh in on your question. Personally, discovering that the dating of the Apocalypse was indeed early did radically alter my theological paradigm. I was raised in a "late date" environment, never questioning it. Discovery of the paucity of supportive evidence was a shock to me.
      I am not "married" to any dating however, it is just that I find the evidence for the early dating far more compelling. A return to the late date would seriously impact my current theological stand, just as adoption of the early date did.
      Don K. Preston
      Who Is This Babylon?
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:27 PM
      Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Greg's question on external evidence

      Dr. Gentry:
       
      Would discovering that the date was indeed later radically alter your theological position? I am interested in the motives that are underneath all of our quests for the truth. I respect the hard work you have put in on the subject and have no opinion one way or the other at the moment. I am just wondering if you are theologically (preterism) impelled to "prove" an early date?
       
      Thanks,
       
      Joel Wilhelm
       
       
       
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 7:58 AM
      Subject: [revelation-list] Greg's question on external evidence

      In a message dated 2/3/03 6:40:45 AM Eastern Standard Time, editor@... writes:


      Does anyone have an answer to Greg's question--or is the answer 'There isn't
      any'?


      In Before Jerusalem Fell I provide about 80 pages of argument from the external evidence in favor of the early date. I inquire deeply into Irenaeus' famous statement, but I also survey evidence from Clement of Alexandria, Shepherd of Hermas, Papias, Muratorian Canon, Tertullian, Origen, Victorinus, The Acts of John, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, the Syriac tradition, Andreas and Arethas of Capadocia, and Theophylact.

      Of course, it is not for me to pontificate the answer, but I do believe there is ample external evidence that supports the internal evidence for an early date.

      Reviews of my book include the following:

      J. P. M. Sweet (Journal of Theological Studies, Oxford University): "A thorough study of the primary sources and secondary literature (of all complexions), and demolition of some bad but often repeated arguments for a Domitian date. He makes a strong case for the early external evidence, including that of Irenaeus."

      J. Christian Wilson (Professor of Religious Studies, Elon College): "Gentry's work on the external evidence is particularly  valuable." "Though Gentry and I may be poles apart theologically . . . I think that Gentry's book has the most thorough treatment of the external evidence available. . . . I have been very grateful for his work."

      R. Ludwigson (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society): "Exhibits a great deal of research in the writings of the Church fathers, chiefly Irenaeus."

      George W. Knight (Formerly: Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary): "A thorough and outstanding statement of the case for the early date of Revelation.  The book makes one aware of the evidence from within the book, from early church sources, and surveys the arguments of New Testament scholars of this century and previous centuries concerning the question.  No stone is left unturned to resolve the question."

      For those interested, the book is available at my website: www.kennethgentry.com


      Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., M.Div., Th.M., Th.D.
      Director, Righteous Writing
      Correspondence Instruction in Christian Research, Writing, and Publication

      http://www.kennethgentry.com

                                                                                                         

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