The Jewish War and The Book of Revelation

Most of this information is drawn from Charles H. Talbert book, The Apocalypse: A Reading of the Revelation of John,

I don't think we can really understand the New Testament Book of Revelation without knowing about Jewish War (mid 60's to mid 70's AD).

We know that the Book of Revelation dates to this time from 17:10.

"The seven heads are also seven emperors. Five of them have already gone, one is here now and one is yet to come."
Revelation 17:10

The Roman Emperors through the first century AD:

Julius Caesar (died 44 BC)
Augustus 31 BC to 14 AD
Tiberias 14 to 37
Caligula 37 to 41
Claudius 41 to 54
Nero 54 to 68 <-- the earliest possible as the "one is here now" emperor.
Galba 68 to 69
Otho 69
Vitellius 69
Vespasian 69 to 79 <-- the latest possible as the "one is here now" emperor.
Titus 79 to 81
Domitian 81 to 96
Nerva 96 to 98
Trajan 98 to 117

Regardless of how you number the Roman Emperors, the "one is here now" emperor ends up in the Jewish War.

If you start with Julius Caesar, the five "already gone" are through Claudius, the "one is here now" emperor is Nero (54 to 68 AD).

The year 69 AD saw three emperors Galba, Otho and Vitellius. Some scholars think these may have occured too quickly for the Jews to have known about them. Still one of these three could be the "one is here now" emperor.

If you start with Augustus and leave out the three emperors, the five "already gone" are through Nero, and the "one is here now" emperor would be Vespasian (69 to 79 AD).

This implies the Book of Revelation was written between 54 AD and 79 AD.

On the other hand, it is possible the author is actually living during the "one is yet to come" emperor and is retroactively predicitiong the events to take palce during this current emperor's reign.

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(c) 2005 Thomas F. Swezey All rights reserved.