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Moreover, it is my personal estimation that the internal evidence (especially the issues raised in this thesis) may actually help us to evaluate the date itself, rather than vice versa, as has been the common order of method. Some difficulty arises in this question from the fact that the Book of Revelation differs so greatly in style from the Gospel of John.
It seems unlikely that if the two were both written by John the Apostle they could have been written in the same decade.
As Collins notes, “[U]sually the entire work is clearly set in an earlier time and the seer is a venerable figure of the distant past.
Revelation does not have these characteristics.” Thus, the late date is not a deathblow, but it must certainly be admitted that it significantly lessens the likelihood of our interpretation.
These positions could be held simultaneously if one considered the imagery of the harlot to merely be reminiscent of A. However, the first option may not fit well with the form of the book, which seems to clearly represent itself as predictive prophecy (cf.
1:1, 1:3, , 4:1, et al.), and the second is short on evidence when we consider the parallels in other Jewish apocalypses that employ the ex eventu technique.
One of the biggest difficulties for our interpretation of the material in Revelation 17–18 has always been the date of the writing of the book. This objection, therefore, must be overcome at the outset if any serious consideration to preteristic interpretation is to be given.
Thus, if we were to accept the early date of the Gospel, it could still be that John wrote Revelation pre-70 and another author penned the Gospel.
On the other hand, we need not necessarily prove a pre-70 date, per se, in order to take seriously the Jerusalem view either.
Our goal for this chapter will rather be to simply make clear that the door is still quite open, and that the preterist view of the Apocalypse is still in play.
This obviously creates a conundrum for anyone who places both either in the 60s or the 90s.
However, when we consider the fact that the authorship of both books as well as the date of both books remain unresolved questions for many scholars, there are enough variables to allow for several plausible scenarios.
On the other hand, skepticism of the identity of the “John” who wrote Revelation emerged as early as Eusebius and is certainly a common view to this day.