What does it matter when the book of Revelation was written? Much more than one might imagine! In fact, this seemingly obscure historical detail has become the central focus in the debate over Biblical prophecy. The ramifications of the debate reach far beyond the theoretical. When Revelation was revealed to John and written down for the Church to read and understand, it had an immediate impact. Christians were about to witness one of the most devastating judgments in history—the destruction of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
For centuries scholars have argued over when the Book of Revelation was written—before or after the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. The most accepted but not the most compelling date is around the time of Domitian, at the end of the first century when John would have been nearly 100 years old. A more compelling date for the writing is during the reign of Nero Caesar, just a few years before Jerusalem's destruction at the hands of the Roman commander Titus.
The evidence for this conclusion is found within the pages of Scripture. The Bible itself tells us when the Book of Revelation was written. We do not have to depend on people who wrote a hundred years or more after the fact to get the accurate story. God's own Word sets the record straight. Through careful and painstaking work, Dr. Gentry deals with all of the evidence. He weighs all the arguments.
What does any of this have to do with us? For too long the Book of Revelation ha been used to hold many Christians in the cult-like grip of pessimism, defeatism and apathy. Each seemingly newsworthy event is seen as a predestined "sign" of the impending "end times" as a modern Church, woefully weak in its historical studies, awaits miraculous rescue from a sinking cultural ship. But there is another view that takes the Bible seriously at every point. The Book of Revelation is a prophecy about what God said would and did come to pass. It's a reminder that God is faithful.
With each thinking Christian's disenchantment over current-event-driven prophecy, the view outlined by Dr. Gentry in Before Jerusalem Fell has quietly grown and now stands as a remedy for the folly of trying to predict the timing of some end-time prophetic event.
Before Jerusalem Fell is an excellent starting point for Christians seeking a fact-based, faith affirming maturity regarding Biblical prophecy. Dr. Gentry's meticulous research and presentation of evidence provide a much-needed beacon of light amidst the storm of popular "end times" hype.
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