Re: date of revelation

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Apr 14 1997 - 11:38:07 EDT

At 10:13 AM -0500 4/14/97, Greg Carey - Religion wrote:
>As one who has written on Revelation from a literary-rhetorical perspective,
>I'm wondering: How important is its date, anyway? I don't ask this in a
>polemic spirit, only to help focus the issue.
>We know precious little about how early Christians and Jews related to one
>another and to their neighbors in the first century CE, whether in 68 or
>in 96.
>We don't even know what was up with the imperial cult from one era to
>And we because cannot assume that things were the same all over, it is
>that one context in 68 might be nearly identical to another context in 96.
>Jon Marshall is emphasizing in his Princeton dissertation, we're not even
>whether the term Christian is an anachronism.
>So I am wondering about the payoff for a firm date. Thank you for your

I don't know that there's any payoff here at all so far as appreciating the
literary content of the book. Some people just like to have dates for
whatever they can get dates for (and even for events or publishing events
that they CAN'T get dates for!). I have no brief for either date myself
either, but my impression is that recent scholarship tends to doubt the
reality of any general persecution by Domitian.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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