(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
Oswald T. Allis
John A. Broadus
Wilhelm De Wette
Charles Homer Giblin
Johann von Hug
J, F, and Brown
Jean Le Clerc
Jack P. Lewis
Sir Isaac Newton
Dr. John Owen
William W. Patton
Rudolph E. Stier
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
John L. Bray
Dr. John Brown
Francis X. Gumerlock
J. Marcellus Kik
Ovid Need, Jr
Milton S. Terry
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st
C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any
Alan Patrick Boyd
John N. Darby
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
John N.D. Kelly
Dr. John Smith
George Fox |
Margaret Fell (Fox) |
PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM |
MODERN PRETERISM |
Lardner on the Date of
the Apocalypse (1788 PDF) |
Annotations on the New Testament: Compiled from the Best Critical
An Essay on the Mosaic Account of the Creation and
Fall of Man. |
Vindication of Three of Our Blessed Saviourís
Miracles: viz. The Raising of Jairusís daughter, The Widow of Naimís
son, and Lazarus. |
Other Google Books
(On Matthew 8:11)
St. Matthew's knowledge of the calling of the Gentiles, and the
rejection of the Jews, may be concluded from many things recorded by him. In
the history of our Lord's healing the centurion's servant at Capernaum, he
inserts our Lord's commendation of his faith, and that declaration, Many
shall come from the east, &c. Matt. viii. 10ó12." (Hist. Apos. & Evang.
chap. v. )
(On Matthew 21:33-46)
"The calling and acceptance of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jewish
people, and even their overthrow, are plainly declared in the parable of the
vineyard, let out to husbandmen, and the discourse which follows, Matt. xxi.
33ó46. The same things are intimated in the parable of the king that made a
wedding feast for his son, which is at the beginning of the next chapter,
xxii. 1ó14." (Hist. Apos. and Evang. chap. v. )
"The call of the Gentiles, and the
rejection of the Jews, as a people, are intimated in Mark xii. 1ó12, in the
parable there recorded of the householder, who planted a vineyard,' &c." (Hist.
Apos. and Evang. chap. vii.)
(On Matthew 24:12)
In Mark xiii. are predictions concerning the destruction of the temple, and
the desolations of the Jewish people. And particularly, at ver. 14ó16, are
remarkable expressions, intimating the near approach of those calamities,
and suited to excite the attention of
such as were in danger of being involved in them." (Hist. Apost. and Evang.
"By the abomination of desolation, or the abomination that maketh desolate, therefore is intended the Roman armies, with their ensigns. As the Roman ensigns, especially the eagle, which was carried at the head of every legion, were objects of worship; they are, according to usual title of Scripture, called an abomination."
"By standing in the holy place, or where it ought not, needs not to be understood as the temple only, but Jerusalem also, and, any part of the land of Israel." (A Large collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies..
vol. 1, p. 49)
"But the faithful followers of Jesus, were steadie to their profession, and attended to his predictions concerning coming calamities, and observed the signs of their near approach, escaped, and obtained safety, with only the lesser difficulties of a flight, which was necessarie in the time of a general calamitie." (Lardner, p. 76).
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
"The Gospel of St. Luke was written before the Acts of the Apostles, as
appears from the preface to the latter; and the Acts of the Apostles
concluding with St. Paul's dwelling at Rome two years, it is probable that
this book was written soon after that time, and before the death of St.
Paul. It may be concluded then as certain, that three of the four Gospels
were written and published before the destruction of Jerusalem; Dr. Lardner
himself, who fixed the time of writing the three first Gospels later than
most other authors, yet maintains that they were all published some years
before the destruction of Jerusalem" (Dissertations
on the Prophecies which have remarkably been fulfilled)
N. Nisbett (1787)
" If the time fixed by Dr.
Lardner for the publication of the Gospels be well founded; it appears to me
not improbable, that when the Apostle exhorts the Thessalonians, towards the
conclusion of the chapter, to stand fast and hold the traditions which they
had been taught, whether by word or his epistle; he means the traditions
relating to the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of its approach. The
Dr. supposes, the first three gospels were not written till the years 63 or
64, and St. John not till 68." (The
Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem)
Nathaniel Lardner (1684 - July 24, 1768), English
theologian, was born at Hawkhurst, Kent.
After studying for the Presbyterian ministry in London, and also at Utrecht
and Leiden, he took licence as a preacher in 1709, but was not successful.
In 1713 he entered the family of a lady of rank as tutor and domestic
chaplain, where he remained until 1721. In 1724 he was appointed to deliver
the Tuesday evening lecture in the Presbyterian chapel, Old Jewry, London,
and in 1729 he became assistant minister to the Presbyterian congregation in
Crutched Friars. He was given the degree of D.D. by Marischal College,
Aberdeen, in 1743. He died at Hawkhurst on 24 July 1768.
An anonymous volume of Memoirs appeared in 1769; and a life by Andrew Kippis
is prefixed to the edition of the Works of Lardner, first published in 1788.
The full title of his principal workóa work which, though now out of date,
entitles its author to be regarded as the founder of modern critical
research in the field of early Christian literatureóis The Credibility of
the Gospel History; or the Principal Facts of the New Testament confirmed by
Passages of Ancient Authors, who were contemporary with our Saviour or his
Apostles, or lived near their time. Part 1, in 2 octavo volumes, appeared in
1727; the publication of part 2, in 12 octavo volumes, began in 1733 and
ended in 1755. In 1730 there was a second edition of part 1, and the
Additions and Alterations were also published separately. A Supplement,
otherwise entitled A History of the Apostles and Evangelists, Writers of the
New Testament, was added in 3 volumes (1756-1757), and reprinted in 1760.
Other works by Lardner are A Large Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen
Testimonies to the Truth of the Christian Revelation, with Notes and
Observations (4 volumes, quarto, 1764-1767); The History of the Heretics of
the two first Centuries after Christ, published posthumously in 1780; and a
considerable number of occasional sermons.
LARDNER ON DATING REVELATION
I shall therefore first put down the accounts of ancient authors, and then
observe the opinions of learned men of later times.
Irenaeus says of the Revelation, "that it was seen no long time ago, but
almost in our age, at the end of the reign of Domitian." And thought
Irenaeus does not say that St. John was then in Patmos, yet since he
supposeth him to be the person who had the revelation, he must have believed
him to be then in Patmos, as the book itself says, ch.1.9.
Clement of Alexandria, in his took, entitled, Who is the
rich Man that may be saved, as cited by Eusebius, speaks of John's returning
from Patmos to Ephesus, after the death of the tyrant:' by whom, It is
probable, he means Domitian. Tertullian, in his Apology, speaks of Domitian
as hav�ing banished some christians, and afterwards giving them leave to
return home: probably intending St. John, and some others. In another work
he says,' that John having been sent for to Rome, was cast into a vessel of
boiling oil, and then banished into an island" in the time of Domitian, as
is most probable. Origen, explaining Matt. xx. 23, says: 'James, the
brother of John, was killed with a sword by Herod. And a Roman emperor, as
tradition teaches, banished John into the island Patmos for the testimony
which he bore to the word of truth. And John himself bears witness to his
banishment, omitting the name of the emperor by whom he was banished,
saying' in the Revelation : " I John, who also am your brother and companion
in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the
isle of Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
And it seems, that the Revelation was seen in that island.' Victorinus,
bishop of Pettaw about 290, again and again says, that John was banished by
Domitian, and in his reign saw the Revelation. Eusebius, giving an account
of Domitian's persecution, says : ' In this persecution, as it is said,
John, the apostle and evangelist, being still living, was banished into the
island Patmos for the testimony of the word of God.'
Epiphanius, as formerly shown, says : ' John prophesied
in the isle of Patmos, in the reign of Claudius.' And in another place, then
only referred to, he says: ' John wrote his gospel in his old age, when he
was more than ninety years old, after his return from Patmos, which was in
the time of Claudius Caesar.'
Jerom, in his book of Illustrious Men, as formerly cited, says : ' Domitian
in the fourteenth year of his reign raising the second persecution after
Nero, John was banished into the island Patmos, where he wrote the
Revelation.' And in another work, also cited formerly, he says again; John
was a prophet, as he saw the Revelation in the island Patmos, where he was
banished by Domitian.' h[e] comment[s] upon Matt. xx. 23, where he speaks of
St. John's having been banished into Patmos but does not name the emperor,
by whom he was banished.
Sulpicius Severus says, ' that ' John the apostle and evangelist, was
banished by Domitian into the island Patmos where he had visions, and where
he wrote the book of the Revelation.'
Arethas in his commentary upon the Revelation, Supposed to be written in the
sixth century, says, upon the authority of Eusebius, that John was banished
into Patmos by Domitian.
Isidore, of Seville, near the end of the sixth century, says, Domitian
raised a persecution against the christians. In his time the apostle John
having been banished into the island Patmos saw the Revelation.'
We may now make a remark or two.
1. All these testimonies are of use, whether they name the island where John
was banished, or the emperor by whom
St. John. 417
he was banished, or not. They all agree that St. John was
sent thither by way of punishment, or restraint, for bearing witness to the
truth: which confutes the opinion of Lightfoot, ' that John travelling in
the ministry of the gospel, up and down, from Asia westward, comes into the
isle Patmos, in the Icarian sea, an island about thirty miles compass: and
there on the Lord's day he has these visions, and an angel interprets to him
all he saw.
2. All these writers, who mention the time of the Revela�tion, and of the
banishment, say, it was in the time of Domitian, and that he was the emperor
by whom St. John was banished: except Epiphanius, who says it was in the
time of Claudius. As he is singular, it should seem that he cannot be of any
great weight against so many others. Nevertheless, as some learned men,
particularly Grotius have paid great regard to Epiphanius in this point, it
is fit we should consider what they say.
Says Grotius in a tract, entitled, A Comment upon divers Texts of the New
Testament, relating' to Antichrist: particularly upon the tenth verse of the
seventeenth chapter of the Revelation: John began to be illuminated with
divine visions in the island Patmos, in the time of Claudius which was the
opinion of the most ancient christians. See Epiphanius in the heresy' of the
Alogians. Claudius, as we learn from Acts xviii. 2, " commanded all Jews to
depart from Rome.'' Under the name of Jews, christians also were
comprehended, as has been observed by many learned men. And it cannot be
doubted, but many governors of the Roman provinces followed that example. So
therefore John was driven from Ephesus.'
That argument was long ago examined by David Blonde, who says, 1. It is not
true, that the most ancient writers said that St. John was sent into Patmos
by Claudius. It is Epiphanius only who says so: he is altogether singular.
There are no ancients, either before or after him, who have said this. 2. As
Epiphanius is singular, he ought not to be regarded. 3. There was no
persecution of the christians in
the reign of Claudius. There is no proof from any ancient
monuments, that christians, as such, suffered banishment under that emperor.
It is allowed that Nero was the first Roman emperor who persecuted the
christians. 4. The edict of Claudius only banished the Jews from Rome. It
did not affect the Jews in the provinces, as appears from the New Testament
itself particularly Acts xviii and xix. It is manifest from the history in
the Acts, that in the reign of Claudius, in other parts of the empire out of
Rome, the Jews enjoyed as full liberty as they did before. Paul and Silas,
Aquila and Priscilla, dwelt quietly at Corinth; where the men of their
nation had their synagogue, and assembled in it according to custom without
molestation. 5. Nor could the governors of provinces banish either Jews or
christians out of their governments, without order from the emperor: and
that they had no such order, is apparent. Neither Jews nor christians were
molested by them at Ephesus, as may be perceived from the history in the
nineteenth chapter of the Acts. That they were not molested by them at
Corinth, appears from the preceding chapter. 6. St. John could not be
banished from Ephesus by Claudius, or the governors under him: for he was
not in that city during the reign of that emperor, nor in the former part of
the reign of Nero, as has been shown. He did not come thither till near the
end of the reign of the last-mentioned emperor: therefore he could not be
sooner banished from Ephesus.
These observations if I am not mistaken, are sufficient to confute the
opinion of Grotius.
Sir Isaac Newton was of opinion, that St. John was
banished into Patmos, and that the Revelation was seen in
the reign of Nero, before the destruction of Jerusalem.
'Eusebius,' says he, 'in his Chronicle and Ecclesiasti�cal History follows
Irenaeus: (who said the Apocalypse was written in tile time of Domitian:)
but afterwards in his Evangelical Demonstration he conjoins the banishment
of John into Patmos, with the deaths of Peter and Paul.'
To which I answer, first, that the Ecclesiastical History was not written
before the Evangelical Demonstration, but after it: for the Demonstration is
referred to at the end of the second chapter of the first book of the
Ecclesiastical History. Secondly, Eusebius in his Demonstration is not
different from himself in his Ecclesiastical History. In his Demonstration,
having spoken of the imprisonment of all the apostles at Jerusalem, and of
their being beaten, and of the stoning of Stephen, the beheading of James
the son of Zebedee, and the imprisonment of Peter, he adds: 'James, the
Lord's brother; was stoned, Peter was crucified at Rome with his head
downward, and Paul was beheaded, and John banished into an island.' But he
does not say, that all these things happened in the time of one and the same
emperor. It is plain, that it is not his design to mention exactly the time
of the sufferings of all these persons. Nothing hinders our supposing, that
the apostles Peter and Paul were put to death by order of Nero, and John
banish�ed by Domitian, many years afterwards, agreeably to what himself
writes in his Chronicle and History.
It follows in Sir Isaac Newton. 'And so do Tertullian, and Pseudo-Prochorus,
as well as the first author, whoever he was, of that very ancient fable,
that St. John was put by Nero into a vessel of hot oil.'
"...It is true, that Tertullian speaks of the death of Peter and Paul, and
of John's being cast into boiling oil, and then banished, all together but
he does not say, that all happened in the same reign. St. John's banish-
ment is the last thing mentioned by him: and, probably,
it happened not till after the death of Peter and Paul. It is likely, that
Tertullian supposed it to have been done by the order of Domitian; for in
another place he speaks of the persecution of that emperor, as consisting
chiefly in banishments.
'--and Pseudo-Prochorus.' What place of Prochorus, who pretended to be one
of the seven deacons, and is called by Baronius himself a great liar, Sir
Isaac Newton refers to, I do not know. But in his history of St. John he is
entirely against him. For he particularly relates the sufferings, which St.
John underwent in the second persecution of the christians, which was raised
by Domitian. That emperor sent orders to the proconsul at Ephesus, to
apprehend the apostle. When the proconsul had got St. John in his power, he
informed Domitian of it ; who then commanded the proconsul to bring him to
Rome. When he was come the emperor would not see him, but ordered him to he
cast into a vessel of scalding oil, and he came out unhurt. Then Domitian
commanded the proconsul to have St. John back again to Ephesus. Some time
after that, by order of the same Domitian, John, and others at Ephesus, were
banished into Patmos. Domitian being dead, they returned to Ephesus with the
leave of his successor, who did not persecute the christians. So Pseudo-Prochorus.
Since the great Newton has been pleased to refer to such a writer, I shall
take notice of another of the like sort; I mean Abdias, who assumed the
character of the first bishop of Babylon. What he says is to this purpose:
who survived the other apostles, lived to the time of
Domitian, preaching the word to the people in Asia. When Domitian's edict
for persecuting the christians was brought to Ephesus, and John refused to
deny Christ, or to give over preaching, the proconsul ordered that he should
be drowned in a vessel of boiling oil: but John presently leaped out unhurt.
The proconsul would then have set him at liberty, if he had not feared to
transgress the emperor's edict. He therefore banished John into Patmos,
where he saw and wrote the Revelation. After the death of Domitian, his
edicts having been abrogated by the senate, they who had been banished,
returned to their homes: and John came to Ephesus, where he had a dwelling,
and many friends.
Then follows an account of St. John's visiting the churches in the
neighborhood of Ephesus. Where is inserted also the story, formerly taken
notice of concerning the young man, as related by Eusebius from Clement of
Alexandria: and as happening, not after the death of Nero, but of Domitian.
Newton proceeds: 'as well as the first author, whoever he was, of that very
ancient fable, that John was put by Nero into a vessel of hot oil, and
coming out unhurt, was banished by him into Patmos. though this story be no
more than a fiction, yet it was founded on a tradition of the first
churches, that John was banished into Patmos in the days of Nero.' Who was
the first author of that fable, I do not know But it does not appear, that
Tertullian, the first writer who has mentioned it, thought it to be in the
time of Nero. He might mean, and probably did mean, Domitian, the same who
banished John into an island: as did also the two writers just taken notice
of, Prochorus and Abdias to whom we were led by Sir Isaac. Jerom, who in his
books against Jovinian, mentions this story, as from Tertullian,
according to some copies, says, it was done at Rome,
according to others, in the time of Nero. However in the same place, as well
as elsewhere, Jerom expressly says, that John was banished into Patmos by
Domitian. And in the other place, where he mentions the casting St. John
into boiling oil, he says: 'and presently afterwards he was banished into
the island Patmos.' Therefore that other trial, which St. John met with, was
in the same reign, that is, Domitian's. And indeed Jerom always supposes St.
John's banishment to have been in that reign: as he particularly relates in
the ninth chapter of his book of Illustrious Men. Let me add, that if the
story of St. John's being put into a vessel of scalding oil be a fable and a
fiction, it must be hazardous to build an argument upon it.
It follows in Newton: 'Epiphanius represents the gospel of John as written
in the time of Domitian, and the Apocalypse even before that of Nero.' I
have already said enough of Epiphanius in considering the opinion of Grotius.
However, as one would think, Sir Isaac Newton had little reason to mention
Epiphanius, when he does not follow him. He says, that St. John was banished
into Patmos in the time of Claudius: Sir Isaac, not till near the end of the
reign of Nero.
'Arethas,' says Sir Isaac, ' in the beginning of his
commentary quotes the opinion of Irenaeus from Eusebius, but does not follow
it. For he afterwards affirms, that the Apocalypse was written before the
destruction of Jerusalem and that former commentators had expounded the
sixth seal of that destruction.'
To which I answer. Arethas does indeed say, that some interpreters had
explained things under the sixth seal, as relating to the destruction of
Jerusalem by Vespasian: but they were some only, not the most. Yea, he
presently afterwards says, that the most interpreted it otherwise. Nor does
he say, that any of. those commentators were of opinion, that the Apocalypse
was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. Arethas seems to have been
of opinion, that things, which had come to pass long before, might be
represented in the Revelation. Therefore immediately before
that passage, explaining Rev. vi. 12, 13, he says : '
What is the opening of the sixth seal? It is the cross and death of the
Lord, followed by his resurrection, desirable to all faithful and
understanding men. And lo, there was a great earthquake." Manifestly
denoting, says he, the signs that happened during the crucifixion, the
shaking of the earth, the darkness of the sun, the turning the moon into
blood. For when it was full moon, being the fourteenth day, how was it
possible, that the sun should be eclipsed by its interposition?'
However, I must not conceal what he says afterwards, in another chapter of
his Commentary. He is explaining Rev. vii. 4-8. ' These, says he who
instructs the evan�gelist, will not partake in the calamities inflicted by
the Romans. For the destruction caused by the Romans had not fallen upon the
Jews, when the evangelist received these instructions. Nor was he at
Jerusalem, but in Ionia, where is Ephesus: for he stayed at Jerusalem no
more than fourteen years.--And after the death of our Lord's mother, he left
Judea, and went to Ephesus: as tradition says: where also, as is said, he
had the revelation of future things.' But how can we rely upon a writer of
the sixth century for these particulars ; that John did not stay at
Jerusalem more than fourteen years: that he left Judea upon the death of our
Lord's mother, and then went to Ephesus: when we can evidently perceive from
the history in the Acts, that in the fourteenth year after our Lord's
ascension, there were no christian converts at Ephesus: and that the church
at Ephesus was not founded by St. Paul, till several years afterwards? What
avails it to refer to such passages as these? Which, when looked into and
examined, contain no certain assurances of any thing. And Sir Isaac Newton
himself says 'It seems to me, that Peter and John stayed with their churches
in Judea and Syria, till the Romans made war upon their nation, that is,
till the twelfth year of Nero,' or A. D. 66.
We proceed with this great man's arguments, who adds: With the opinion of
the first commentators agrees the tradition of the churches of Syria,
preserved to this day in the title of the Syriac version of the Apocalypse,
which title is this: "The Revelation, which was made to John the
evangelist by God in tile island Patmos, into which he
'was banished by Nero Caesar." ' But how comes it to pass, that the
tradition of the churches of Syria is alleged here, when the Apocalypse was
not generally received by them? Moreover in the titles of the books of the
New Testament received by them, there are manifest errors. Nor can we say
when the Syriac version of the Apocalypse was made: nor is it impossible
that the authors of that title might mean Domitian by Nero. It is not a
greater error, than that of supposing the epistle of James to have been
written by James the son of Zebedee.
Again, says the celebrated Newton : 'That same is confirmed by a story told
by Eusebius out of Clemens Alexandrinus, and other ancient authors,
concerning a youth, whom St. John, some time after his return from Patmos,
committed to the care of the bishop of a certain city. This is a story of
many years, and requires, that John should have returned front Patmos rather
at the death of Nero, than at that of Domitian.'
But, first, if this be only a feigned story, or apologue, as some have
thought it, contrived to convey moral instruction; circumstances ought not
to be strained, nor the truth of history be founded upon it. Secondly, we
must take the story, as it is related by Clement, and other ancient authors.
Clement placeth it after the death of the tyrant, by whom John had been
banished: and Eusebius supposeth him to mean Domitian. Thirdly, if St. John
lived in Asia two, or three, or four years after his return from Patmos,
that is time enough for the events of this story.
Sir Isaac adds in the same place : ' And John in his old age was so infirm,
as to he carried to church, dying' above ninety years old: and therefore
could not be then supposed able to ride after the thief.'
Nevertheless in the original account, which we have of
this affair, St. John is expressly called an old man: Sir
Isaac therefore has no right to make him young; for that would be making a
new story. If a man allows himself so to do, and argues upon it; the
necessary consequence is, that he deceives himself and others.
Upon the whole, I see not much weight in any of these arguments of Sir Isaac
Newton; and must adhere to the common opinion, that St. John was banished
into Patmos, in the reign of Domitian, and by virtue of his edicts for
persecuting the christians, in the latter part of his reign. Says Mr. Lampe
: ' All ' antiquity is agreed, that St. John's b banishment was by order of
VI. We should now inquire, when St. John was released, or how long his
banishment lasted. According' to Tertullian, Domitian's persecution was very
short, and the emperor himself before he died, recalled in those whom he had
banished. Hegesippus likewise says, of that Domitian by an edict put an end
to the persecution which he had ordered. Eusebius says, ' that after the
death of Domitian, John returned from his banishment.' And before, in
another chapter of the same book, he said move largely: 'After Domitian had
reigned fifteen years, Nerva succeeded him and the Roman senate decreed,
that the honourable titles bestowed upon Domitian should be abrogated, and
moreover, that they who had been banished by him might return to their
homes, and repossess their goods, of which they had been unjustly deprived.
This we learn from such as have written the history of those times. Then
therefore, as our ancestors say, the apostle John returned from his
banishment, and again took up his abode at Ephesus.'
Jerom, in his book of Illustrious men, says: ' When Domitian had been
killed, and his edicts had been repeal�ed by the senate, because of their
excessive cruelty, John returned to Ephesus, in the time of the emperor
Nerva.' I place below a passage of the martyrdom of Timothy
in Photius, and another of Suidas, saying, that after
Domitian's death, when Nerva was emperor, St. John returned from his
banishment. This is also agreeable to the general accounts in Dion Cassius,
and the author of the Deaths of Persecutors. Indeed, Hegesippus and
Tertullian, as before observed, intimate, that the persecution of Domitian
ended before his death. But it is very remarkable, that Eusebius having
quoted both of them, gives a different account, as we saw just now. And, as
learned men have observed, it is a great prejudice to their authority in
this point, that Eusebius does not follow them, but presently afterwards
differs from them.
It seems probable therefore, that St. John, and other exiles, did not return
from their banishment, until after the death of Domitian: which is the
opinion of Basnage, and likewise of Cellarius. Domitian is computed to have
died, Sept. I8, A. D. 96, after having reigned fifteen years, and some days.
Nerva died the 27th day of Jan.98, after having reigned one year, four
months, and nine days. Therefore Trajan began his reign, Jan.27, A. D. 98.
If the persecution of Domitian began in the fourteenth year of his reign,
and St. John was sent to Patmos that year, and restored in the beginning of
the reign of Nerva, his exile could not last more than two years, perhaps
not much above a year. If St. John's life reached to the third year of the
reign of Trajan, which is the opinion of Cave and many others, he
lived three years after his return from Patmos: if it
reached to the fourth year of Trajan, as Basnage thought, he must have lived
four years after his return.
Or, in other words: if St. John returned about the end of the year 96, or
the beginning of 97, and did not die till the year 101, he lived four years
in Asia, after his return from Patmos. If he died in the year 100, he lived
three years after his return.
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