10 - Date of Writing of the Apocalypse and Opening VisionSteve E. Behrmann | April 05, 2014
The debate over the time of writing for the book of Revelation leaves the reader weary. The evidence as to when the book is written is quite ambiguous. This is partly why the debate has continued from the early Christian centuries, even from the years just post its composition.
The debate is an interesting one, however, in that an unusual transposition has generally resulted between the stance of liberal and conservative scholars. Liberal scholars usually tend to date prophecy late, and conservatives often tend to date the work closest to the traditional author. However in this case, liberal scholars, often having preterist leanings, sometimes date the writing of the book early, perhaps during the reign of Nero (ca. 64-68 A.D.).
A Suggested Date of Writing
From our earlier assessment, we know that the first vision given to John for the book of Revelation was given on the day or weekend of the Passover in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was also probably given on a Sabbath rest day, for John might be working or compromised on any other day.
Such a date is roughly ascertainable by using astronomy. In what could be considered the fourteenth year of Emperor Nero, toward the end of his reign, A.D. 68, and on April 7 (Julian calendar), Passover Day (or Friday).
The Opening Vision
The figure of Christ presented here is given to demonstrate his DIVINE CHARACTERISTICS. They are all superlatives. He is the strongest, brightest, grandest, oldest, purest, wisest, and greatest.
His clothing of a ποδηρη and belt represents his high priestly ministry
His face as the sun represents his unsurpassing glory
His voice as the sound of many waters represents his divine authority
His sword from his mouth represents his potent word of power and eloquence*
His white hair represents his eternal, divine nature and his purity
His eyes of fire represent his searching judgment and wrath
His feet like fine brass represent purity, strength, and permanency.