The Instigator
PGA
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Skepticalone
Con (against)
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Revelation Was Written Before A.D 70.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,832 times Debate No: 44987
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (25)
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PGA

Pro

Proposed Debate Outline:

After discussion between the two of us it was agreed we do not need more than eight lines of argumentation each to state our case.

The burden of proof is shared. We are each required to respond to the others arguments.

Agreed by both that there will be no limit to the amount of source quotes.

Round 1: Terms and Acceptance

Round 2: Opening statements - 4-5 lines of argumentation

Round 3: Refutation plus 3-2 lines of argumentation

Round 4: Refutation plus one additional line of argumentation if required

Round 5: Closing argument and final refutations. No new arguments

I await Skepticalone to accept these conditions.
Skepticalone

Con

As discussed, I agree to these terms. I look forward to a lively interesting debate. Good luck to you, sir!
Debate Round No. 1
PGA

Pro

Introduction

Scripture misapplied opens a person up to numerous errors of interpretation.


The major eschatological view taught by Christianity today is Premillennial Dispensationalism. Any futurist view forces a late date for Revelation. John Nelson Darby [1] promoted Dispensationalism. It was made popular in the United States by Cyrus Scofield (Scofield’s Reference Bible). The movement was fueled further by prophecy pundits in the 1970’s to the present, such as Hal Lindsey, Grant Jefferies, Jack Van Impe, John Hagee, Tim LaHayat, etc. They promote the idea that Jesus’ Second coming is in our lifetime.


My purpose is to show that Revelation was written before A.D. 70. I will try to establish any position (Believer or unbeliever) that pushes a late date for Revelation is incorrect. The NT does not support a late date.


Argument # 1 – Audience relevance


The Bible is audience relevant. Correctly interpreting Scripture requires the reader to understand who God is addressing in context as well as seeing the overall theme of Scripture.


The Bible is divided into two covenants, the Old and New. The Old Covenant was the ‘heaven and earth’ the 1st century Jew lived under. It was the age they knew. OT Israel were the covenant people God established in which He would make Himself known to the world by, to whom Jesus came to.


11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. -John 1:11 (NASB)


He was the long awaited Messiah to Israel.


5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ - Matthew 10:5-7 (NASB)


He came to set up His kingdom which was always near from the time His ministry began.


Argument # 2 – The Time of God’s Vengeance on apostate Israel


Jesus said to this OT people that 'this generation' would not pass away until all He foretold came to pass. He pronounced judgment on this very generation - apostate Israel. On them all the righteous blood of all the murdered saints would be required, a theme in every NT book.


29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!.. you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 ...



34
“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah,....36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! ...38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! - Matthew 23:29-38 (NASB)


The desolation occurred in A.D. 70. Their entire house, the temple and the ‘city of God’ was left desolate. The NT is audience relevant. The tribulation these OT people witnessed was unlike any experienced before or since.


34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. -Matthew 24:34 (NASB)


How does God define a generation to which we speak?


9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,

And saw My works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with this generation,
...11 As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest.’” - Hebrews 3:9-11 (NASB)


The Book of Hebrews in a contrast in covenants. The author is addressing a Hebraic Christian audience in danger of turning back to Judaism. The author is warning them not to by showing them the superiority of Christ and the New Covenant. He says:


13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. - Hebrews 8:13 (NASB)


Argument 3 – The Destruction of the Temple

The whole life in OT Israel revolved around the Temple of God in the city of God – Jerusalem. If the Temple was destroyed the people could not make themselves right with God. The Old covenant required sacrifice for sin by a High Priest that represented the people before God. We find Jesus telling His disciples that during this generation not one stone here would be left on another.


QUESTION:
Why is there no mention of the Temple having being destroyed in any book of the NT if some/all these books were written after A.D. 70?


Jesus also said:

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. - Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB)


The Old Covenant, the OT temple, the OT priesthood, the OT animal sacrifices, the genealogical priestly records kept in the temple all gone in 40 years of His ministry. This OT people were scattered across the known world, the Roman Empire (Daniel's fourth beast), thus the old heaven and earth passed away in A.D. 70, accomplishing the Law and the Prophets.



The Jews were concerned with two ages, the age that was and the age to come. Thus Jesus could say:


30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. - Mark 10:30 (NASB)


Paul, before his death in A.D. 67, said:


21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. - Ephesians 1:21 (NASB)


Argument 4 - Some clues in Revelation as to its date of writing

1) The numerous references to things which must shortly come to pass.



1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, - Revelation 1:1 (NASB)



The revelation is communicated to John to show what must shortly take place. John is writing in the first century.


See Revelation 1:3; 1:19; 2:10; 2:25; 3:10-11; 6:10; 12:12; 17:11; 22:6-7, 12, 20. [2]



2) John is told to measure the temple which still stands.


11 ...., “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar,...2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. - Revelation 11:1-2 (NASB)



20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near… and they will fall by the edge of the sword,...led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. - Luke 21:20, 24 (NASB)


Revelation and Luke mention the time of the Gentiles, as well as the treading/trampling underfoot the holy city for 42 months. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies in A.D. 67-70, its desolation.


3) The seven churches in Asia stand. Paul establish some of them. He writes to them before his death. My opponent will have to establish this as not being the case in order for a late date to hold.



4) There are seven kings listed in Revelation 17.


10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. - Revelation 17:10 (NASB)


The one that is would be Nero. This would put the date of writing before A.D. 70. Nero died in A.D. 68.



    1. Julius Caesar, 49-44 BC

    1. Augustus, 31 BC-14 AD

    1. Tiberius, 14-37

    1. Caligula, 37-41

    1. Claudius, 41-54

    1. Nero, 54-68

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] Kenneth Gentry, BEFORE JERUSALEM FELL, p 134. http://www.rpts.edu...
Skepticalone

Con

Revelation was written in 95 AD.

First, I would like to thank Pro for agreeing to this debate. Pro states Revelation in the Bible was written before A.D. 70 (during the reign of Nero) and has burden to prove it. I, on the other hand, have the burden to prove Revelation was written ANY time after A.D. 70, but will be specifically advocating 90-95AD (during the reign of Domitian). You may be wondering why the date is important. A pre A.D. 70 date for Revelation is crucial to my opponent’s Preterist views. If Revelation was written after 70AD, then the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem could not be a prophecy as my opponent’s views hold. The date is only crucial to a Preterist view, and has no bearing for any other interpretation of Revelation (Idealist, historicist, and futurist). I do not personally hold to any of these beliefs, but I intend to defend my case with conviction. I defend this date, not because it is a necessity to me or to my position, but because I believe it is the correct date judging from the preponderance of the evidence. So let us start with my evidence for a post A.D. 70 date from external sources.

External Evidence

1.Irenaues

Irenaues, an early church father, was an acolyte of Polycarp who was an acolyte of John the Evangelist. Irenaues was the bishop of Lyons and was from Smyrna (one of the churches in Revelation). He has a unique perspective into the authorship of Revelation since he has a direct tie to the author and the subject matter. His testimony was clear and unambiguous: Revelation was written near the end of Domitian’s reign. Irenaues stated:

“We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; 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 not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.” [1]

Domitian reigned from 81AD to 96AD. This easily puts the writing of Revelation well after 70A.D., but more specifically John wrote Revelation between 90-96A.D. according to Irenaues.

2. John’s exile in Patmos

Revelation 1:9 - I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

It is believed John was exiled by Domitian as stated earlier in the Irenaeus argument. In about 270 AD, Victorinus corroborates this while illustrating how Revelation made it out of Patmos.

“...when John said these things he was in the island of Patmos, condemned to the labour of the mines by Caesar Domitian. There, therefore, he saw the Apocalypse; and when grown old, he thought that he should at length receive his quittance by suffering, Domitian being killed, all his judgments were discharged. And John being dismissed from the mines, thus subsequently delivered the same Apocalypse which he had received from God.”

It is also important to point out my opponents early date would have John being exiled by Nero. Nero was known for his cruelty. In fact, he was responsible for the deaths of the disciples Paul and Peter, and he was well known for his persecution of Christians. It eludes me why Nero would choose to exile John, “the beloved disciple of Jesus”, instead of having him put to death. Executing John surely would have brought pleasure to Nero with his sadistic blood lust pertaining to Christians. Pro would have us believe Nero went soft and exiled a ‘general’ in the Christian army. It is possible, but there is no history to support he did. However, we have history to show Domitian did indeed use exile as a punishment. Flavia Domitilla, who was also a Christian, was banished to the island of Pandataria during the reign of Domitian around 95AD. [6]

This chart reflects estimates of the authorship ranges of the New Testament according to most traditional Biblical scholars. [2] Of course, I do not intend to cite the date of Revelation here as evidence, but I do intend to use some of the other uncontested dates in just a bit.

Internal Evidence

3. Condition of the Churches in Revelation

In the book of Revelation, Jesus reveals himself to John, and Jesus is none too pleased with five of the seven churches mentioned. If we are to use Pro’s 65-70 AD, the conditions of the three churches I list below would have deteriorated very quickly considering they were founded between 55-64AD.

In the case of the church in Ephesus [Rev. 2:4-5], the apostle Paul founded the church in 50-52 in his second missionary journey, and returned during his third journey in 53-58. He gave them a commendation (Ephesians 6:22-24) in early 61-62AD. We know he could not have written this earlier because of the accepted composition date of Ephesians by Biblical scholars. (shown above). Basically, this church would have had to fall out of the Lord’s favor in less than 8 years.

The church at Smyrna [Rev 2:8-11] was not thought to have been established until 61-64AD [3], and would not have existed long enough to fully mature and deteriorate to such an extent to warrant a rebuke from Jesus.

The church of Laodicea [3:14-22] was devastated by an earthquake in 60AD. It would take them another 25 years to rebuild, and assuming the early date, they would not have been able to fulfill the description in Revelation 3:17,” I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing".

A pre-70 date does not allow enough time for the churches mentioned in Revelation to mature and decline. The 90-95 AD composition of Revelation is a better explanation and more probable since the churches would have had more than thirty years to decline as described in Revelation.

4. Prophecy of Revelation

Pro claims the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was the fulfillment of prophecy in Revelation. Assuming this is true, then there are obvious flaws related to the fulfillment (or lack thereof) of Revelation 13.

There is no image of the AntiChrist. [Rev 13:14-15]

There is no mark for buying or selling on the hand or forehead. [Rev 13:16-17]

There is no false prophet. [Rev 13:11-12]

Revelation could not have been completely fulfilled in 70AD since there is no historical or Biblical record of these events. To be consistent with his interpretation, the book of Revelation must be completely fulfilled. Pro must establish why this did not happen in 70AD if his burden is to be met.

5. Language in Revelation

Some of the Greek vernacular used in in Revelation does not support pre-70 date.

“The Lord’s Day” – Prior to 70 AD, “the first day of the week” terminology was still used, and the ‘Lord’s day’ was not used until around the turn of the century.

“The angel of the church” – refers to church leader. There is no evidence of this term being used until the beginning of the second century. (after 100 AD)

Unusual expressions - The wording of Rev 2:9 and Rev 3:9 points to a separation of church and synagogue. This was not common until after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.


I will make my rebuttals to Pro's arguments in the next round. Thank you for reading!

[1]http://www.biblestudying.net...

[2 http://www.hwhouse.com...

[3]https://archive.org...

page xlviii

[4]http://www.thingstocome.org...

[5]http://cranfordville.com...

[6]http://books.google.com...

Debate Round No. 2
PGA

Pro

I thank my opponent for his opening statement and for supplying a conservative chart on the dating of the NT. The books in dispute from the chart would be John, his three epistles and Revelation. More in Round 3.

Please keep in mind the significance of the New Covenant. It plays a vital part in how you interpret Scripture. The old existed along with the new until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. John is the only gospel that does not contain the Olivet Discourse, yet John was with Jesus and some believe Revelation is his expanded prophecy on the discourse concerning Jerusalem.

Refuting Con's arguments:

Con: "A pre A.D. 70 date for Revelation is crucial to my opponents Preterist views. If Revelation was written after 70AD, then the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem could not be a prophecy as my opponent views hold. The date is
only crucial to a Preterist view, and has no bearing for any other interpretation of Revelation (Idealist, historicist, and futurist)."

The question is not whether it is crucial but what information Scripture actually relays. I pointed out the relevance of the audience being addressed and some of the overarching themes that I believe are important in understanding Scripture.

Con's Argument 1 - External Evidence

1) Irenaeus

Con:"Irenaeus, an early church father, was an acolyte of Polycarp who was an acolyte of John the Evangelist."

What Con fails to mention here is that Irenaeus was a child when he met Polycarp and he did not take note of the meeting at the time, but wrote about it from memory much later. [1]

Con: "He has a unique perspective into the authorship of Revelation since he has a direct tie to the author and the subject matter. His testimony was clear and unambiguous: Revelation was written near the end of Domitian's reign."

Quite the contrary, his testimony is not at all clear and unambiguous. Ken Gentry notes the opposite in five points.
I invite Con to read the evidence against his position in the link. I add Gentry's first two points here. He cites Thomas Ice and Wayne House's objections which seem to be very similar to the points Con is making. It seems to be the same old argument regurgitated over and over again by late date advocates:

First, after citing Irenaeus's passage from Against Heresies, they employ a "debater's technique" (to borrow their own phrase again) by attempting to promote their point as "clear." They write: "How does Chilton deal with such a clear statement?" As I have noted previously, Irenaeus's translators have commented on the difficulty of translating and interpreting him. In light of such a problem as mentioned by several noted historians and linguists, how could Irenaeus's statement be deemed "clear"?
Second, after citing a particular English translation of Irenaeus, they comment: "Chilton questions whether [Irenaeus's]
"that was seen" refers to "the apocalyptic vision" or to John himself. Since the impersonal pronoun "that" is used we can assume that it refers to John's "apocalyptic vision." This is a serious blunder. It is obvious that they are not even aware that in the original Greek of Against Heresies, there is no "impersonal pronoun 'that'""! The "that" which forms the basis of their argument is an English translator's interpolation! To argue as they have is equivalent to stating that an italicized word in the Bible indicates God emphasized the point, when actually it is the translator's cue to the reader that the English has been supplied despite the lack of any term in the original language. This is a "debater's technique" one which loses points when the debater's opponent has read the primary sources citation in its original language. [2]

In other words from Gentry: "The all-important question in the matter is: Did Irenaeus mean to say that Revelation was seen by John in Domitian"s reign? Or did he mean that John, who saw the Revelation, was seen in Domitian"s reign?" [3]

On Eusebius Gentry notes:
"Eusebius disputes the opinion that Revelation was written by the Apostle John. And this despite the fact Irenaeus (who claims to have known Polycarp, who knew John) was certain that the Apostle wrote It. For some reason, obviously compelling to Eusebius, he felt justified in contradicting Irenaeus's emphatic statements regarding the Johannine authorship of Revelation.
Eusebius's countering of Irenaeus 's witness in this area surely indicates that this great chronicler of the Church did not conceive of Irenaeus as above reproach on historical matters." [4]

Eusebius Ecclessiastieal History 5:8:5-6 notes:

"5. ...In the fifth book he [Irenaeus] speaks as follows concerning the Apocalypse of John, and the number of the name of Antichrist:

"As these things are so, and this number is found in all the approved and ancient copies,..." [5]

Ancient copies of the Apocalypse (Revelation) suggests the book to have been around for a long time when Irenaeus wrote.

Gentry then goes on to note a number of Irenaeus's historical errors. Since so many who cite him came to depend on Irenaeus's reputation, uncritically, this is important to note since so many rely on and quote his writings.

"Late date advocate Guthrie admits that Irenaeus is too often uncritical in his evaluation of evidence. Another, and even more vigorous, late date advocate, James Moffatt, observes that "Irenaeus, of course, is no great authority by himself on matters chronological."" [6]

2) John's exile to Patmos

Con: "Domitian reigned from 81AD to 96AD. This easily puts the writing of Revelation well after 70A.D., but more specifically John wrote Revelation between 90-96A.D. according to Irenaues."

This is not "easily" put or a specific at all. Again, Kenneth Gentry notes that there is noteworthy evidence from some church fathers that John was also banished under Nero's reign to Patmos.

Con cites Revelation 1:9 but fails to recognize that John very likely was banished there twice, once under Nero and once under Domitian. Con's quotation from Irenaeus is covered under Gentry's five points (above) and I invite Con to read them.

The Syriac version of Revelation states:

"The Revelation, which was made by God to John the Evangelist, in the island of Patmos, to which he was banished by NERO THE EMPEROR."
Most of the Syriac translations, which are known as the "Peshito,""Curetonian," the "Philoexenian" and the "Harclean" are supposed to have been translated late in the first century or very early in the second, but the ones containing Revelation are not believed to be quite that old." [7]

The first real persecution of the church was from A.D. 64-68 during Nero's reign.

It is also interesting to note Nero's original name - Lucius DOMITIUS Ahenobarbus. [8]

Con: "However, we have history to show Domitian did indeed use exile as a punishment."

I can make the same assertion about Nero. As Con notes, Nero was cruel to Christians. He was known by many as "the Beast". Domitian was not known for singling out Christians as Nero was. Nero blamed them for the fire of Rome as recorded by Josephus, Pliny, Tactitus, Suetonius, etc. (See Gentry, BJF, p. 69 onwards)

If John was exiled by Domitian and condemned to the labor of the mines that would him about 90-100 years old. It is highly unlikely that Victorinus got his facts right on this matter. It is more likely 30 years earlier under the reign of Nero that he was put to hard labor in the mines. (See Gentry's comments on p.99 of BJF.

I will continue with Con's argument # 3, 4, 5 in my next post.

[1] Against Hereries 3:3:4.
http://www.ccel.org...
[2] Kenneth Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell (BJF), p. 345-346
http://www.rpts.edu...
[3] Ibid. p. 334.
[4] Ibid. p. 63.
[5] http://www.ccel.org...
[6] BJF, p. 61.
[7] http://christeternalchristianchurch.com...
[8] http://www.britannica.com...
Skepticalone

Con

Rebuttals
“Any futurist view forces a late date for Revelation. John Nelson Darby [1] promoted Dispensationalism.

As I stated in my arguments, a futurist view does not require a late date for Revelation. The prophecy can still refer to a future date regardless of the composition date of John’s Apocalypse. The Preterist view does, as a prerequisite, require an early date. Also, I would like to clarify John Nelson Darby did not invent the futurist view. This view was held by the early church fathers, such as Ireneaus (whom we have already discussed in my previous arguments), Hippolytus, Africanus, Eusebius, and Hesychius, just to name a few.

“Argument # 1 – Audience relevance”

The Bible does contain audience relevant passages. This is not an argument for or against either of our positions here.

“Argument # 2 – The Time of God’s Vengeance on apostate Israel”

When Matthew 23:29-38 is taken in context with the Olivet Discourse in the following chapter in Matthew, Pro’s interpretation is rendered impotent.

Matthew 24

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus gives a long list of things which did not happen in A.D. 70 such as:

29 Immediately after the distress of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. -Matthew 24:34”

This has been taken out of context as well. Matthew 24: 32-34

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Jesus is referring to the generation of people alive on the earth when the Last Days come about. One popular interpretation of the Fig tree parable is the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 was the ‘re-blooming’ of the tree.

“How does God define a generation to which we speak?”

“Generations vary in the Bible. “The average generation from Abraham to David (Matt. 1:17) was approximately 64 years, while the average generation for the other two groups was 38 years. The time span covered by each generation is not the emphasis, but rather the fact of the passing of the number of successive generations.

There are also other meanings for the term “generation.” For example, the “generation” that will see Christ return (Matt. 24:34) refers to those who will be alive at that time.” [7]

“Argument 3 – The Destruction of the Temple

QUESTION: Why is there no mention of the Temple having being destroyed in any book of the NT if some/all these books were written after A.D. 70?”

Let me clarify, most of the books of the NT are thought to have been written before 70AD. As for Revelation, John did not mention the destruction of the temple because he was commanded by Jesus to write what he saw in relation to the prophecy. To do otherwise would have been disobeying Jesus.

Revelation 1:19 (NASB)

19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

Secondly, Revelation was audience specific to Gentile believers in Asia Minor in AD 95. [9] The temple would not have been relevant to his audience.

The other books of John were written to Jews AND Gentiles. There was no mention of the temple because it did not compliment the intent of his message.

“Argument 4 – Some clues in Revelation as to its date of writing”

“1) The numerous references to things which must shortly come to pass.”

This was to give a sense of urgency, not to establish a time line. Revelation is the vision of end times and the second coming of Christ given to John by Jesus. According to scripture, Jesus could not know if the second coming would shortly come to pass.

Matthew 24:36 (NASB)

36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

“2) John is told to measure the temple which still stands.”

Revelation is a prophecy and John was measuring a temple in a vision. “This does not mean the temple was actually standing at the time of writing. Daniel 9 and Ezekiel 40-43 both mention temples which were not standing at the time of composition.” [10]

“3) The seven churches in Asia stand. Paul establish some of them. He writes to them before his death. My opponent will have to establish this as not being the case in order for a late date to hold.”

The churches were addressed in my original argument. I fail to see how the early date of these churches affects the late date of the writing of Revelation. Would you mind clarifying your position here?

“4) There are seven kings listed in Revelation 17.

The one that is would be Nero. This would put the date of writing before A.D. 70. Nero died in A.D. 68.”

One problem with this interpretation is when you try to figure out who the 8th king is.

Rev 17:10-11

10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

The 8th was to be one of the 7. Who might that be in the list of Roman emperors? Also, This is a vision of the future. How do we know what time frame John was envisioning? To assume Nero is the "One [that] is" is a leap of faith on Pro's part and can not be used without first establishing the time frame of the vision. This is a presupposition of Revelation written before 70 AD and I cannot follow Pro there based on this submission.

There are many interpretations of the ‘seven kings’, so I have no desire to embrace one. I think readers will understand I am not a theologian. However, the Bible has other examples of “mountains” referring to “Kingdoms” or forms of government instead of “kings". Here are a few examples of mountain symbolizing kingdom:

Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 13:1-2, 40:4, Daniel 2:34-35, Jeremiah 51:24-25, Zechariah 4:7, Micah 4:1-2

New Argument

Practical Implications for the current age

If we assume the destruction of the temple in 70 AD were a fulfillment of most prophecies in Revelation, and we are in the "New heaven and Earth", then this means there is "no Satan (Rev. 20:10), no death, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4), no longer any unclean, nor those practicing abomination and lying (Rev. 21:27), no curse (Rev. 22:3), the presence of God the Father (Rev. 22:4), just to name a few". [11]

Titus 2:12-13

12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Since Jesus Christ has already come should we say "yes" or "be indifferent" to ungodliness and worldly passions, etc?

Unfortunately, this view would make most of the NT applicable to a 40 year period in the past and obsolete to the the modern era. There are many more implications, but...character limit!

I look forward to the next Round, sir!

[7] http://rcg.org...

[8] http://www.gci.org...

[9] http://vimeo.com... Dr. Mark Hitchcock time 16:15

[10] http://vimeo.com... Dr. Mark Hitchcock time 18:51

[11] http://www.ldolphin.org...

Debate Round No. 3
PGA

Pro

3. Condition of the Churches in Revelation

Con: "the conditions of the three churches I list below would have deteriorated very quickly considering they were founded between 55-64AD."

Paul, and others, established churches early in their missionary journeys recorded in Acts. Paul"s letters to the churches had many warnings of apostasy and false teachers already in place. A church can deteriorate fast. It only takes one influential person with unsound doctrine to corrupt many.

Laodicea

"But the inhabitants declined imperial assistance to rebuild the city and restored it from their own means." [1]

"One of the famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was that same year overthrown by an earthquake, and, without any relief from us, recovered itself by its own resources." [2]

Hence John said:

"17 Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked," (Revelation 3:17)

These people had need of nothing, even when distressed they resisted help.

4. Prophecy of Revelation

Con believes there are flaws in the Preterist position concerning Jerusalem and the temple prophecies being fulfilled in A.D. 70 because there is lack of biblical or historic evidence? He cites Revelation 13:16-17 (no mark of the beast) and Revelation 13:11-12 - no false prophet. He believes the Preterist interpretation of Revelation must be completely fulfilled in order to establish its view and meet its burden of proof.

Again, Con fails to realize audience relevancy as relating to the 1st century. The Beast coming out of the sea (Rev. 13:1) is the emergence of the fourth kingdom " Rome, per Daniel 2:44 and 7:7, 23-27. Apocalyptic language is very figurative. Nero was the first emperor to make war with the saints (Revelation 13:7). His persecution of the saints lasted 42 months from A.D. 64 to A.D. 68. Nero Caesar"s image was erected on pagan temples. Men were forced to worship him by the local authorities. The mark of the beast is opposite to the mark of God. It is those who serve Rome and Nero, thus belong to that empire/kingdom.

5. Language in Revelation

Con speaks of "The Lord"s Day" and "The angel of the church" as terminology foreign to an early date as well as the wording of Rev 2:9 and Rev 3:9 pointing to a separation of church and synagogue. He claims it is not common until after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

These are assertions that Con states without a lick of evidence.

"9 "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." " Revelation 2:9 (NASB)
"9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not,...." " Revelation 3:9

These were 'Jews' after the flesh, not after the Spirit. They were of their father, the devil. Judgment was about to fall on them. It could also reference the existing temple, a synagogue of Satan.

Paul's custom during his missionary journey's was reasoning in synagogues on the Sabbath with the Jews (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 17:2). Con's argument crumbles since this shows that before Paul died (A.D. 67) he was preaching in the synagogues throughout the province of Asia.

Con states that "a futurist view does not require a late date for Revelation. The prophecy can still refer to a future date regardless of the composition date of John"s Apocalypse."

Con fails to understand that a futurist is a person who puts Revelation in the far future, usually at the end of time. The Bible does not address 'the time of the end.' It addresses the time of the end, signifying the end of the Old Covenant Age.

Con: "The Bible does contain audience relevant passages. This is not an argument for or against either of our positions here."

Yes, it is. The relevant audience throughout the NT is the OT people. Revelation is written to those who crucified the Lord (Rev. 11:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16). The Great City/Babylon the Great are references to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the only city guilty of killing the prophets and saints in the Bible (e.g. - Rev. 1:7; 6:10-11; 11:8; 17:6; 18:4-8, 20, 24). Jesus attributed to Jerusalem and its people the full measure of her sin (Matthew 23:32-38; 1 Thessalonians 2:16).

Con alludes to me taking Matthew 24:29-34 out of context. This is non-sense. Matthew 24:30 as well as Revelation 1:7 refer to OT Israel. If Con checks the source of this prophecy he will see this. The people guilty of piercing Jesus was the OT tribes of the land.

"10 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo...." " Zechariah 12:10-11

That day of great mourning was A.D. 70.

The reference to "the distress of those days', "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken" is a reference to judgment. Matthew 24:29 is a reference to the shaking of the heaven and earth of the Old Covenant (see Hebrews 12:18-29)

Con refers to the lesson of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-34). Jesus gives the disciples clear warning in these verses that upon seeing the signs spoken of, that the end of the OT age is near, even at the door. This is in contrast to false prophets who would say the time is near when it was still far off. Jesus" coming as a thief would have signs to show it was near, even if the exact time was not known, the disciples would know when it was near.

I asked Con how God defined a generation. He said there were various meanings for the word generation and the term for generation used in Matthew 24:34 refers to those who will be alive at that time. This did not answer the question. God is specific addressing 'this generation' of Matthew 24:34. Hebrews includes those addressed as referring to their generation. God liken them to the generation that wandered 40 years in the dessert and warns them not to be like those because "Today, if you hear His voice..."

In rebutting my 3rd argument Con says:

"John did not mention the destruction of the temple because he was commanded by Jesus to write what he saw in relation to the prophecy..." And, "Secondly, Revelation was audience specific to Gentile believers in Asia Minor in AD 95. [9] The temple would not have been relevant to his audience."

I already gave a list of verses in Revelation that speak specifically about OT Israel and the city of Jerusalem, not Gentile believers. Nero was the first emperor to make war with the saints (Revelation 13:7). His persecution of the saints lasted 42 months from A.D. 64 to A.D. 68.

Con"s new argument "Practical Implications for the current age" fails to take into account that there are primarily only two ages mentioned in the NT, the current age of the OT law and the age to come.

Argument # 5 " 70 Weeks Decreed to Daniel"s People

Daniel 9:24-27 decrees 70 heptads (490 years) for Daniel"s people and city to finish transgression, make an end to sin,..., bring in everlasting righteousness,... anoint the Most Holy One. The seventy weeks starts with Cyrus" decree to rebuild the house/temple in 457B.C., (Ezra 1:1-4 and 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). The prophecy is broken up into three parts, seven weeks, 62 weeks and one week. In the first seven weeks the city and temple are rebuilt, then the 62 weeks, the start to Jesus' ministry, His anointing, then He is cut off and the seventieth week begins. They end with the destruction of city and temple.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://classics.mit.edu...
Skepticalone

Con

3. Condition of the Churches in Revelation

Paul, and others, established churches early in their missionary journeys recorded in Acts. Paul"s letters to the churches had many warnings of apostasy and false teachers already in place. A church can deteriorate fast. It only takes one influential person with unsound doctrine to corrupt many.

A longer time frame is more feasible. To assume all the churches mentioned deteriorated so quickly is much more unlikely than simply one or two. All deteriorated quickly according to Pro’s assertion in spite of the strong influence and guidance of Paul and others.

Laodicea

"One of the famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was that same year overthrown by an earthquake, and, without any relief from us, recovered itself by its own resources." [2]

It still took 25 years to rebuild, as sourced earlier. This would have been a huge drain on resources. Showing they refused resources from other entities does not show they were rich.

4. Prophecy of Revelation

Again, Con fails to realize audience relevancy as relating to the 1st century. The Beast coming out of the sea (Rev. 13:1) is the emergence of the fourth kingdom " Rome, per Daniel 2:44 and 7:7, 23-27. Apocalyptic language is very figurative. Nero was the first emperor to make war with the saints (Revelation 13:7). His persecution of the saints lasted 42 months from A.D. 64 to A.D. 68. Nero Caesar"s image was erected on pagan temples. Men were forced to worship him by the local authorities. The mark of the beast is opposite to the mark of God. It is those who serve Rome and Nero, thus belong to that empire/kingdom.

Rev 13: refers to the Antichrist coming out of the ‘sea’ of nations. The “fourth kingdom of Rome” is an assertion based on a preterist position. Considering the other evidence I have submitted, I do not feel this interpretation is valid. Revelation 13: 16-17 states very clearly the mark of the beast will be on the right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell. This was a very specific statement, and it does not support Pro’s position of ‘those who serve Rome’ as the ‘mark of the beast’. Nero wanted to be worshipped, but he does not fit an orthodox interpretation of the Antichrist. Nero did not have a sidekick (false prophet), and he was not slain and resurrected, for example.

5. Language in Revelation

Con speaks of "The Lord"s Day" and "The angel of the church" as terminology foreign to an early date as well as the wording of Rev 2:9 and Rev 3:9 pointing to a separation of church and synagogue. He claims it is not common until after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

These are assertions that Con states without a lick of evidence.

These were 'Jews' after the flesh, not after the Spirit. They were of their father, the devil. Judgment was about to fall on them. It could also reference the existing temple, a synagogue of Satan.

I apologize, sir. You are correct. Here is the source I used for this information under “Internal evidence”. [11]

Con: futurist is a person who puts Revelation in the far future, usually at the end of time. The Bible does not address 'the end of time.' (corrected) It addresses the time of the end, signifying the end of the Old Covenant Age.

This is an assertion that goes against Church tradition. I would be very interested in seeing a source for this.

Con: "The Bible does contain audience relevant passages. This is not an argument for or against either of our positions here."

This is not an argument specific to Pro’s case, as I have used an audience specific rebuttal to refute Pro’s earlier argument about “why was there no mention of the temple destruction in Revelation” earlier. This argument is null.

Con alludes to me taking Matthew 24:29-34 out of context. This is non-sense. Matthew 24:30 as well as Revelation 1:7 refer to OT Israel. If Con checks the source of this prophecy he will see this. The people guilty of piercing Jesus was the OT tribes of the land.

The disciples asked three questions to Jesus after He described the impending destruction of the temple. When will this happen? What will be the signs of your coming? When will be the end of the age? Matthew 24:30 was the beginning of the answer: What will be the sign of your coming? Matthew 24:36 Jesus answers the question: When will be the end of the age? I do feel you have taken these verses out of context.

"10 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo...." " Zechariah 12:10-11

That day of great mourning was A.D. 70.

70 AD was the culmination of years of mourning, but it was not ‘the day’ Zechariah was referring to. This is an assertion based on presupposed beliefs. Zechariah was referring to the messiah, and aspects of his death. Jesus death was an injury to God as well. “Perhaps the best way to understand this is that the people have killed a historical figure, who was the Lord’s representative, and in doing so they have pierced the Lord himself.” [12]

Con refers to the lesson of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-34)

I have responded to this is in my explanation of the disciples questions to Jesus above.

I asked Con how God defined a generation. He said there were various meanings for the word generation and the term for generation used in Matthew 24:34 refers to those who will be alive at that time. This did not answer the question. God is specific addressing 'this generation' of Matthew 24:34.

Jesus was referring to the generation who will “see these signs”, not to the particular generation he was talking to. Pro uses a tenuous assumption based on a single passage to define 40 years as a Biblical understanding for “generation”. I cannot agree.

"John did not mention the destruction of the temple because he was commanded by Jesus to write what he saw in relation to the prophecy..." And, "Secondly, Revelation was audience specific to Gentile believers in Asia Minor in AD 95. [9] The temple would not have been relevant to his audience."
I already gave a list of verses in Revelation that speak specifically about OT Israel and the city of Jerusalem, not Gentile believers. Nero was the first emperor to make war with the saints (Revelation 13:7). His persecution of the saints lasted 42 months from A.D. 64 to A.D. 68.

Pro has not responded to the first part of my rebuttal about disobeying Jesus’ command. Also, as I stated earlier, John audience was far removed from the temple “ethnically, geographically, and historically.” [9]

Con"s new argument "Practical Implications for the current age" fails to take into account that there are primarily only two ages mentioned in the NT, the current age of the OT law and the age to come.

I do not believe this responds to my argument at all. Will your expound your thoughts a bit more for me?

Argument # 5 " 70 Weeks Decreed to Daniel"s People

Would you mind clarifying your argument for me? I am not clear why this is an argument for Revelation being written before 70AD.

Last argument- the Second Coming of Jesus

If the second coming of Christ has already happened, why is there no mention of this in the Bible? This would be much more significant than the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. If the temple destruction was fulfillment of Revelation and defeat of Satan, why would God not compel a celebratory addition to the books of the Bible? A victory should be claimed, instead of allowing mankind to live ignorant of the amazing event!

On to the conclusion, I will see you there, sir!

[11]http://www.preteristarchive.com...

[12] http://carm.org...

Debate Round No. 4
PGA

Pro

Starting with Audience Relevance (my A #1), Con stated: "This is not an argument for or against either of our positions here." But it is. Con, later in his rebuttal, contradicts his own statement: "Revelation was audience specific to Gentile believers in Asia Minor in AD 95." Again, Con is just asserting. No evidence was supplied from Scripture to show the focus of John's address or when. This is critical concerning the theme of judgment. I mentioned Revelation 1:7 (to those who had pierced Him), along with the 'Great City' [figuratively called Sodom and Egypt - Rev. 11:8 with Deuteronomy 32:20-33, esp. 32 and Ezekiel 23], where the Lord was slain. The Great City/Babylon the Great theme, in Revelation 17-19, Con never addressed. It can be no other than OT Jerusalem who were responsible for the Lord's death and the blood of the saints and prophets (Matthew 23:37-39). [1]

A friend commenting to me concerning audience relevance said: "...the fact that the Apocalypse is audience-specific at all is harmful to his position. Secondly, Christians were persecuted by the Jews and Romans without much regard to their background; hence, the rejection and destruction of Judaism was of importance to Gentile Christians. Thirdly, a portion of the Roman persecution of Christians was instigated by the Jews. In the last place, Gentile Christians were heavily influenced by Jewish Christians, which accounts for the many warnings against "Judaizing" even in epistles to Gentile churches."

Concerning Revelation 11:1-3 (A#3), Con states: "John was measuring a temple in a vision. “This does not mean the temple was actually standing at the time of writing." In context it is implied. The temple John was instructed to measure was in the city in which the Lord was slain (vs 8). That city was not destroyed until A.D. 70. Con wants to remove Revelation 11:1-3 from its context. How can the context apply to A.D. 96 or some other futurist date?

I stated that NT prophecy is largely concerned with judgment on the OT people, temple and city. Con failed to see the significance of this. John A.T. Robertson said:

"One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period — the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 — is never once mentioned as a past fact. . . . [T]he silence is nevertheless as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark". [2]

Concerning Revelation being the time of God's judgment on apostate OT Israel (my A#2) Con states my argument is rendered impotent by Matthew 24:29-38. Con fails to see the figurative use of language used, in which Peter in Acts 2:16-21 said: "this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel" regarding 'the last days' then lists events that Con alludes to, and this at Pentecost. That generation was in the 'last days'
(See also Hebrews 1:2). Con's argument fails according to Scripture.

In Revelation's early date (A#4) I referenced language as time and audience specific, e.g., 'things which must shortly come to pass.' Con stated: "This was to give a sense of urgency, not to establish a time line. Revelation is the vision of end times and the second coming of Christ given to John by Jesus. According to scripture, Jesus could not know if the second coming would shortly come to pass." A sense of urgency has no meaning if 'shortly' and '
time is near' can mean whatever Con says they mean and apply to a century 20 plus removed from the time of writing and an audience completely irrelevant to the seven churches John was writing to. Con also states: "There are many interpretations of the ‘seven kings'" but the passage specifically lists the sixth king as the one that IS. Again Con failed to address this, simply diverted it.

Con's A#1 lists Irenaeus as a chief source for a late date. It virtually ignores Scripture. Upon this one disputable text by Irenaeus Con's whole argument hinges, which is accepted by tradition, but Robert Young states:


Robert Young (1885)
"It was written in Patmos about A.D.68, whither John had been banished by Domitious Nero, as state 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 -- ie., Domitious (Nero). Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domition, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the earlier date." (Commentary on Revelation - Young's Analytical Concordance) [3]

In addition, David Crew:

David Crews (1994)
"The view accepted without much question by many Christians is that the Revelation was written in or around A.D.96, during the reign of the Caesar Domitian. This date of authorship would, of course, prevent the book from referring to the events of the Jewish War.. Simply put, the case for a late Domitian date hangs by a very slender thread. It is determined from a single statement by the Bishop of Lyons, named Irenaeus.. This statement is not an eyewitness testimony from Irenaeus, but is his recollection of what was said by an ever earlier man, Polycarp, who is supposed to have known John personally." [Prophecy Fulfilled - God's Perfect Church (Austin, TX: New Light Publishing, 1994), pp. 256,257] [4]


Con's A#5, concerning the current age, were answered in my opening statement. The NT primarily addresses two ages, the one that Jesus came to - the OT age - and the one to come that came in A.D. 70. Con failed to address this or my point on Matthew 5:17-18 about heaven and earth passing away, heaven and earth being the system the OT revolving around, the temple and city of God.

Concerning 'this generation' Con implies - No, not 'this generation' but 'that generation.' He ignored Hebrews Chapters 3-4 in which the author identified the generation, also Jesus' many references to 'this generation' that specificially applied to 1st century Israel, yet not in Matthew 24:34 according to Con. Con redefines the word 'this' to make it meaningless. It can apply to any generation. "This means that."

Con rejects my explanation of the churches being addressed at an early date, especially Laodicea, and ignored my biblical quotation as well as two citations from early sources. Tacitus stated after the earthquake how these people had need of no outside help. Con fails to see how a church can deteriorate quickly, within a few years, even after I stated the NT cites such examples. Within the ministry of Paul Galatians 1:6-8 notes it happening. Paul rebuked Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. In 1 Corinthians these early Christians were turning to idol worship, sexual immorality, etc. Paul had words for the church in Ephesus, Thessalonica, and instructed Timothy to watch out for those who teach false doctrine. Paul pointed out two in specific,
Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20). Con has no justification from Scripture for making his claims.

Con questions my A#5, Daniel's 70 weeks, as to its point. The point is that Daniel's people, OT Israel, were given 70 weeks of years (490 years), starting upon the issuing of the decree (457 B.C.), to finish/complete transgression and put an end to sin. In the middle of the seventieth week the Messiah would be put to death. That would be around A.D. 30. Jesus gave 'this generation' 40 years to repent, when all would be accomplished. The last 3 1/2 years from A.D. 67-70 finished the last (seventieth) week with the destruction of the temple/Old Covenant.

I fail to see Con adequately address many of my issues in his attempt to undermine the early date of Revelation.

[1] http://static.justchristians.com...
[2] http://www.preteristarchive.com... (Redating the NT., p. 13)
[3] http://www.preteristarchive.com...
[4] Ibid

Thank you for the debate Con!
Skepticalone

Con

Pro has not responded adequately to most of my arguments, and in fact he has not addressed some of them at all:

1. Ireneaus – Pro has attempted to call into question the character of my witness. PGA has stated he made vague statements, and was misunderstood. He has no adequate response for the early church fathers clearly understanding his words, as I have established.

2. John’s exile - I established John was exiled in Patmos according to scripture backed by Ireneaus’ statement endorsed by the church fathers, and Domitian's precedent of exile for other Christians (Flavia Domitilla). Pro asserts Nero exiled Christians but showed only Gentry as evidence to verify his claim. Also, we have precedent of Nero killing the disciples Peter and Paul, but we are to believe Nero was merciful on John. Domitian was the emperor who exiled John.

3. Condition of the churches - I established particular churches were much too young or much too poor to have reached the descriptions in Revelation by 70AD. Pro cited scripture to show some churches were having difficulty, and while I agree some churches could have deteriorated, I find it unlikely that all would have in as little as 5 years. Pro did not address the church at Smyrna which would have been the youngest of all the churches.

4. Prophecy of Revelation - The mark of the beast and the false prophet arguments were inadequately answered. The mark of the beast is a very specifically worded and should not be vaguely interpreted as “those who serve Rome.” I did not see an explanation of the false prophet. I reminded Pro, “Revelation must be completely fulfilled” in order for his viewpoint to meet its BoP. I submit he has not met his requirement on this argument.

5. Language in Revelation - Pro rightly pointed out these were assertions since I provided no source originally. I provided sources after the fact, but obviously Pro did not have a response or did not have the space to respond. Considering my mistake on this, he should have this argument.

6. Practical implications - Pro completely dismisses this argument stating there are only two ages in the Bible, and we are in the OT age. The resurrection of Jesus started our current NT age, and when he returns will be the start of the third age: the world to come (Hebrews 2:5). He did not respond directly to any of my implications. My argument still stands.

7. Second Coming of Jesus - If Revelation was completely fulfilled in 70 AD, and Jesus has returned, why is man ignorant of this fact? It does not appear Pro has responded to this.

Rebuttal

Starting with Audience Relevance

Pro and I agree there are audience specific passages in the Bible. Therefore, to say audience specificity is an argument exclusively for his position is a fallacy.

A friend commenting to me concerning audience relevance said: "...1.the fact that the Apocalypse is audience-specific at all is harmful to his position. Secondly, Christians were persecuted by the Jews and Romans without much regard to their background; hence, the rejection and destruction of Judaism was of importance to Gentile Christians. Thirdly, a portion of the Roman persecution of Christians was instigated by the Jews. In the last place, Gentile Christians were heavily influenced by Jewish Christians, which accounts for the many warnings against "Judaizing" even in epistles to Gentile churches."

1. This is an assertion I disagree with.

2 & 3. A persecution of early Christians by Jews should show the destruction of the temple would be less important for early Gentile Christians, not the other way around.

4. The fact that there are passages warning against Judaizing agrees with audience specificity which I do not deny.

Concerning Revelation 11:1-3 (A#3), Con states: "John was measuring a temple in a vision. “This does not mean the temple was actually standing at the time of writing."

Pro has not refuted the verses in Daniel 9 and Ezekiel 40-43 where temples which were known to be destroyed were measured in visions.

Concerning Revelation being the time of God's judgment on apostate OT Israel (my A#2) Con states my argument is rendered impotent by Matthew 24:29-38. Con fails to see the figurative use of language used, in which Peter in Acts 2:16-21 said: "this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel" regarding 'the last days' then lists events that Con alludes to, and this at Pentecost. That generation was in the 'last days' (See also Hebrews 1:2). Con's argument fails according to Scripture.

Act 2:16-21 Peter was using the experience of the pentacost to tell of the future fulfillment in which God’s spirit would be poured on ALL mankind. Since some in close proximity thought those affected were drunk, this was not ALL mankind. Pro has assigned a different meaning for this passage in spite of obvious flaws in this argument.

Con's A#1 lists Irenaeus as a chief source for a late date

Robert Young (1885) quote

"It was written in Patmos about A.D.68, whither John had been banished by Domitious Nero, as state 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 -- ie., Domitious (Nero). Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domition, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the earlier date." (Commentary on Revelation - Young's Analytical Concordance) [3]

Early church fathers much more closely relevant to the era in which Ireneaus was writing than 1885 did not feel his statements to be confusing. It was well understood who he was talking about per my argument #1.

In addition, David Crew:

David Crews (1994)

"The view accepted without much question by many Christians is that the Revelation was written in or around A.D.96, during the reign of the Caesar Domitian. This date of authorship would, of course, prevent the book from referring to the events of the Jewish War.. Simply put, the case for a late Domitian date hangs by a very slender thread. It is determined from a single statement by the Bishop of Lyons, named Irenaeus.. This statement is not an eyewitness testimony from Irenaeus, but is his recollection of what was said by an ever earlier man, Polycarp, who is supposed to have known John personally." [Prophecy Fulfilled - God's Perfect Church (Austin, TX: New Light Publishing, 1994), pp. 256,257] [4]

David Crews does not state Ireneaus is wrong.

Con's A#5, concerning the current age:

Hebrews as a definition of ‘generation’ is tenuous, and “this generation” in context with the future in which Jesus was speaking would be accurate in Matthew 24:34.

Con rejects my explanation of the churches being addressed at an early date…

I do not deny the possibility some of the churches could have deteriorated. I deny the likelihood ALL would have deteriorated to such an extent within a 5 year period in some cases. A longer time period is much more plausible.

Con questions my A#5, Daniel's 70 weeks, as to its point. The point is that Daniel's people, OT Israel, were given 70 weeks of years (490 years), starting upon the issuing of the decree (457 B.C.), to finish/complete transgression and put an end to sin. In the middle of the seventieth week the Messiah would be put to death. That would be around A.D. 30. Jesus gave 'this generation' 40 years to repent, when all would be accomplished. The last 3 1/2 years from A.D. 67-70 finished the last (seventieth) week with the destruction of the temple/Old Covenant.

69 weeks of the prophecy of Daniel have been fulfilled. The 70th week will be fulfilled in the great tribulation. If Pro insists the 70 weeks have been fulfilled then he must assume Israel was a “spiritual” nation, and this would leave many unfulfillable prophecies concerning the physical nation of Israel.

Thank you for hosting the debate, Pro. Win or lose, you have had an atheist doing some heavy Bible study! Grumble! Vote Con!

Debate Round No. 5
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PGA 3 years ago
PGA
Hi Envisage,

I'm not following. How does your comment connect to the debate with Skepticalone and myself?

Peter
Posted by Envisage 3 years ago
Envisage
I have 1/3 of an RFD done... I have been writing it in dribs and drabs over the time... so I should have the RFD complete this time next year....

I made myself a promise this would receive a RFD and I intend to follow through on it.
Posted by PGA 3 years ago
PGA
"Skepticalone
I went over and looked at the thread you invited me to, but there was a lot there which does not affect me on a daily basis. My interest seems to have waned for the time being. I post on the religious forum on a fairly regular basis, so I am sure we will cross (paths) again. :-) - Skepticalone

I'm sure we will disagree about other issues. (^8

Peter
Posted by Skepticalone 3 years ago
Skepticalone
I went over and looked at the thread you invited me to, but there was a lot there which does not affect me on a daily basis. My interest seems to have waned for the time being. I post on the religious forum on a fairly regular basis, so I am sure we will cross (paths) again. :-)
Posted by PGA 3 years ago
PGA
Hi Skepticalone,

Are you ready to continue our discussion. I have lots more to add.

Peter
Posted by Skepticalone 3 years ago
Skepticalone
Thanks. I posted it on the unvoted debates thread a couple of times, but had no luck. It was a challenging and interesting debate, though.
Posted by Sswdwm 3 years ago
Sswdwm
Impressive debate guys... It's ridiculous this garnered zero votes....
Posted by PGA 3 years ago
PGA
It looks like only you and I read this. Let me know when you want to continue or drop in on the conversation on the Amillennialism thread.

Peter
Posted by PGA 3 years ago
PGA
That sounds good, we can certainly try. I believe there is a lot more under the surface that needs exploring and developing.
Posted by Skepticalone 3 years ago
Skepticalone
Sure, a little time to recuperate, and then I will be ready to discuss it again. It was nice to talk about this without any negativity (on either side). Perhaps we can continue with this trend.
No votes have been placed for this debate.