- Professor Marshall's recommendation of van Kooten's JSNT
article "The Year of the Four Emperors and the Revelation
of John" is most welcome.
The consensus dating of Revelation may indeed place it too
late. We all know J.A.T. Robinson's arguments in favor of
an earlier dating for virtually all the NT works.
One destabilizing factor which has not yet penetrated into
most scholarship on Christian Origins is the proposed
for the tenure of Pontius Pilate
as prefect of Judea.
Two leading historians have now
argued that Pilate
actually arrived in Judea as early as CE 18 or 19,
than the traditional date of CE 26 based on Josephus'
schema in Book 18 of The Antiquity of the Jews.
In his 1992 "Studies in the Jewish Background of
Christianity", Daniel Schwartz,
professsor of Jewish history at Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, presented an
elegant argument in defence of the earlier dating for
Pilate. More recently, Professor
Steve Mason of York University (also the general editor of
the Brill Josephus)
published an essay "Encountering the Past through the
Works of Flavius Josephus"
(in Historical Knowledge in Biblical Antiquity, Brill,
2006) in which he supports
the earlier dating for Pilate as proposed by Schwartz.
There is numismatic evidence
as well to support the earlier dating.
While these developments do not force us to re-open Robert
Eisler's arguments in favor
of a crucifixion date as early as CE 19, they certainly
invite us to do so. It may be that
Christian Origins go back deeper into the past than we had
previously believed. By jump starting the Christian
nearly a decade we might better understand the apparent
notoriety of the Christians in Neronian Rome. An earlier
dating for Pilate (and therefore the crucifixion) might
(at long last) justify the claim of Melito of Sardis that
"our philosophy", i.e. Christianity, began under the reign
of Augustus -- a statement that has plagued church
As Gibbon maintained, in history chronology is everything!
Thanks again to Professor Marshall!
Charles G. Larkin
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Saint Leo University -- Savannah (USA)
On Sun, 2 Dec 2007 19:36:35 -0500
"John W. Marshall" <john.marshall@...> wrote:
> Regarding arguments for a pre-Domitianic date, see most
> George H. van Kooten. 2007. "The Year of the Four
>Emperors and the
> Revelation of John: The 'pro-Neronian' Emperors Otho and
>Vitellius, and the
> Images and Colossus of Nero in Rome " *JSNT* 30.2 pp.
> I think that van Kooten's arguments deserve serious
>attention and discussion
> on this list
> John W. Marshall
> Assistant Professor, Department for the Study of
> of Toronto
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Dr. Ian R. Brown,
I would full-heartedly suggest among many others
Christopher Rowland's and Judith Kovacs's volume on Revelation in the
Blackwell Bible Commentaries series. (Blackwell Publishing, 2004) - A
brilliant multi-aspect and multi-level commentary on the Apocalypse, with an
added emphasis on its reception history.
HUBBES L�szl�-Attila, PhD
"BOD PETER" LIBRARY,
Str. Gabor Aron ut 14,
520008, Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyorgy),
Tel.: + 40 (267) 315577
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]