This is my second affirmative presentation on the dating of Revelation: Written Before AD 70 (my view) or after, (the view of Dr. Sergius Bale)? Be sure to read Dr. Bale’s first negative and my first affirmative.
(Caps for emphasis only). .
The contrast between Dr. Bale and myself is graphic. I presented well documented syllogistic arguments based on the explicit statements of scripture. He complained that I didn’t offer one “historical” argument!
Bale’s negative can be reduced to just a few (false) claims, and logical fallacies:
#1 – Who was Sodom in Revelation? Bale ignored the Biblical data that I presented, claiming falsely- from Zephaniah, that Edom and Moab were spiritually called Sodom. False. YHVH simply said that their fate would be LIKE that of Sodom. I took note of this; Bale ignored it. This is NOTHING like YHVH calling Jerusalem– outright- Sodom (Isaiah 1 / Ezekiel 23). His objection is untenable.
#2 – Was Revelation a post eventu production? Bale wrote over 250 words suggesting that Revelation may have been written pseudonymously AFTER AD 70. He gave examples of some pseudonymous productions. But when Vic Valentino cornered him on this, he said: “I don’t claim that this prophecy is written post eventum. I give it as an example.” (FB- 10-18-21).
Think about that! HE DOES NOT BELIEVE WHAT HE OFFERED! He was just throwing up a cloud of “could be, but who knows” stuff hoping to distract from my Biblical arguments!
If he does not believe that Revelation is a post facto, pseudonymous production, why waste 250+ words suggesting it??
While condemning me for giving my “interpretation” he cites “many NT critics and scholars” who say Revelation was NOT A GENUINE PROPHECY. This impugns the inspiration of Revelation, so he tells us he does not believe what he offered!!!
#3– Obfuscation- He seeks to negate what Jesus said about Jerusalem being the source of martyrdom. He lists a number of martyrs that died outside of Jerusalem but, WHO WERE KILLED BY JEWS nonetheless! I explicitly said that Jesus was not speaking in a woodenly literalistic way when he said, “It is not possible that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.”
Think about this: The ONLY way Bale can counter what I have presented is to prove that Jesus’ words do not mean what they say! Dr. Bale vainly imagines that if he can find just ONE EXAMPLE of a Christian martyr outside Jerusalem he has answered the argument. Wrong. All it proves is his desperation to avoid the explicit words of Christ.
#4 – My logical fallacy? I argue that if Babylon of Revelation was Jerusalem then Revelation was written prior to AD 70. Bale says I am guilty of a “converse error” logical fallacy: “If A is true then B is true.”
Well, the “if – then” (modus ponens) form of argumentation is perfectly valid. Anyone who knows logic knows this. Paul used this: “If A is true, then B is true,” extensively in 1 Corinthians 15. Was Paul guilty of a “converse error” Mr. Bale?
FACT: Revelation predicted– as a future event- the destruction of “Babylon.”
If Babylon was Jerusalem, then Revelation was written before AD 70.
There is no fallacy on my part.
#5 – Bale says I blatantly misrepresented him when I noted that he admitted that you cannot definitively prove the late date. No, HERE ARE HIS OWN WORDS: “I don’t want to claim definitively that Revelation was written in the reign of Domitian because it is not historically conclusive….” (FB- Sep 17, 2021, 4:35 PM). I did not misrepresent him. He made a false accusation.
Let me further establish my proposition, by examining the theme of The Avenging of the Martyrs,- a theme that permeates Revelation – to help identify Babylon of Revelation.
Deuteronomy 32- The Song of Moses.
✪ The Song predicted what would happen in Israel’s last days 32:19f / 32:31:
✪ The Gentiles would be called – v. 21f. Since the Gentiles would be called in Israel’s last days, and
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles – (fulfilling Deut. 32–> Romans 10:20) – this means that Paul’s generation was the time of Israel’s last days.
✪ Israel would become the vine of Sodom– v. 32. Babylon in Revelation was spiritually called Sodom (11:8). The only city in the Bible to be spiritually designated Sodom was Jerusalem. Bale has not refuted this.
✪ Song 32:43-”Rejoice Oh Gentiles with my people, for the Lord has avenged the blood of his saints.”
Thus, in Israel’s last days- the first century generation- (not fifth century Rome!!) – God would avenge the blood of the martyrs by judging Israel- not Rome.
Isaiah 2-4 is a united prophecy of:
☛ The Last Days– (2:2f).
☛ The Day of the Lord (2:19-21), when men would run to the hills and cry to the rocks “Fall on us!” This cannot describe an earth burning, end of time event!
☛ The Day of the Lord – “At that time” would be a time of famine and warfare on Jerusalem (3:1-3, 13-14, 25-25). Israel’s men would die by the edge of the sword, Jerusalem destroyed (3:25-26).
☛ “In that day” “the Branch” of the Lord would come (4:1).
☛ “At that time” the Lord would purge the blood guilt from Jerusalem through judgment and fire (4:4).
Like the Song that it draws from, inspiration says that in the last days Day of the Lord judgment on Jerusalem, God would avenge the blood of the saints. There is no “subjective interpretation” here. It is fact.
As Jesus was led to his death the women who loved him wept. He turned and said to them:
Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
JESUS QUOTED DIRECTLY FROM ISAIAH 2:19-21 AND APPLIED IT TO THE COMING DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM! That is heaven’s own interpretation of Isaiah.
Note: Jesus appeared at the time foretold by the OT prophets- the last days ( Hebrews 1:1-2 / 1 Peter 1:19-20). Jesus said he and the apostles were living in the time anticipated by the OT prophets (Matthew 13:17).
Peter affirmed that the first century generation was the “last days” foretold by the prophets (Joel 2:28f / Acts 2;15) – “This is that spoken of by the prophet Joel…It shall come to pass in the last days.” He urged his audience: “save yourselves from this crooked and perverse generation” a direct echo of Deuteronomy 32:5!
So, Jesus applied Isaiah 2 to his generation and the impending judgment of Jerusalem and the NT writers tell us they were living in the time foretold by the OT prophets for the Day of the Lord to avenge the blood of the martyrs. They even cite the verses above. They did not speak of another, far distant time, another Day of the Lord, another avenging of the martyrs.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Bale totally ignored this text. Little wonder why!
Fact: Jesus: Jerusalem had slain the prophets.
Fact: She would also kill him (Matthew 21:33f).
Fact: She would kill Jesus’ apostles and prophets.
Fact: She was guilty of all the blood shed on the earth.
Fact: She would fill the measure of her father’s blood guilt, and be destroyed in the first century generation.
These are not disputable facts, unless you want to pervert the text. BALE HAS NOT ANSWERED THIS.
All the blood of all the righteous, including the prophets, of Jesus and Jesus’ apostles and prophets, would be avenged in the destruction of Jerusalem– Jesus.
All the blood of all the righteous, including the prophets, Jesus and Jesus’ apostles and prophets, would be avenged in the destruction of Babylon– Revelation.
Therefore, Babylon was Jerusalem.
Since Revelation was written before the destruction of Babylon, that means Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Mr. Bale needs to answer this.
No city other than Jerusalem did or could do what Revelation says “BABYLON” HAD DONE! Rome didn’t and couldn’t.
1 Corinthians 4:9-10
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
Fact: Jesus, and Paul, said that Israel would fill the measure of their blood guilt by killing his apostles and prophets. Paul said God had set forth the apostles “last of all as men condemned to die.” Were the apostles the last men to ever die for Christ? No. That is not the point. But as Jesus said Israel would fill the measure of her sin by killing the apostles, Paul declares that the apostles were the last to die– in order to fill up that measure of sin! (See Colossians 1:24f for more on this).
In Revelation Babylon’s cup of sin was now full because in her was found the blood of the apostles and prophets of Christ. Perfect correspondence. (Jerusalem was even responsible for the death of Paul and Peter. Nero’s inner circle of Jews prompted him to persecute the Christians).
Bale tried to deflect the force of this by citing highly debatable, uninspired “church tradition” written long after the fact, that records the death of the apostles. Evidently, Bale trusts uninspired, dubious “tradition” (written LONG after the facts) more than Scripture itself.
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
Paul undeniably repeats the elements of Matthew 23. Israel – not Rome – was guilty of killing the prophets, Jesus and Jesus’ apostles and prophets. In so doing they were filling the cup of their sin. Judgment was imminent.
Bale has not touched this.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-12
Fact: Paul addressed living Christians at Thessalonica circa AD 50-51.
Fact: Those Christians were being persecuted by their Jewish countrymen (Acts 17:1-7).
Fact: Paul promised those living Christians “relief” (anesis, relief from the pressure of their persecution).
Fact: That relief would come when their Jewish persecutors became the persecuted: “It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation, those who are troubling you.”
Fact: That relief would come when the Jewish persecutors were: “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
Fact: This is a verbatim quote of Isaiah 2:19-21- THE SAME VERSE QUOTED BY JESUS in Luke 23. Paul quoted Isaiah to predict the coming Day of the Lord judgment on Israel for persecuting the saints.
Isaiah predicted the last days Day of the Lord to avenge the martyrs (4:1-4), when Jerusalem would be destroyed (Isaiah 3:24-25).
Jesus applied Isaiah 2:19-21 to AD 70 (Luke 23:28-31).
Paul quoted from the very verses from Isaiah that Jesus applied to AD 70, to predict the coming soon judgment on the Jews for persecuting the Thessalonians.
That judgment would be in the lifetime of the Thessalonians- as Jesus said in Matthew 23:36.
Fact: The martyrs cried out for vindication / vengeance.
Fact: They were told to rest “for a little while” Bale would have that to be hundreds of years!!! Hardly qualifies for “a little while”!!
Fact: Revelation 6:12f – Their vindication would come at the Day of the Lord, when men would “run to the mountains, hide in the caves and cry “fall on us”– A DIRECT QUOTE OF ISAIAH 2:19F!
So, Isaiah 2-4 foretold the last days Day of the Lord when the blood guilt of Jerusalem would be cleansed through judgment and the destruction of Jerusalem. It would be when men would run to the hills, hide in the caves and cry to the rocks “fall on us from the presence of the Lord!”
Fact: Jesus applied Isaiah 2:19f to the coming judgment on Jerusalem for killing him.
Fact: Paul applied the same verses that Jesus applied to AD 70, to the coming judgment of the Jews for persecuting the saints.
Fact: John also quoted THE SAME VERSE from Isaiah that Jesus applied to AD 70 to the coming soon judgment on Babylon, the city that killed the prophets, Jesus, and Jesus’ apostles and prophets.
We have perfect correspondence between Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Paul and Revelation.
Moses predicted the vindication of the martyrs in Israel’s last days.
Isaiah is irrefutably a prophecy of the last days Day of the Lord when the martyrs would be vindicated by the destruction of Jerusalem. This is no “subjective interpretation.” It is FACT.
Jesus undeniably applied Isaiah 2:19f to the impending AD 70 judgment on Jerusalem for killing him.
Paul quoted verbatim from the same verses that Jesus quoted from Isaiah, to speak of the impending judgment on the Jews for persecuting the saints.
John, in Revelation, quoted VERBATIM from the same verses that Jesus applied to AD 70, the same verses that Paul quoted to speak of the impending judgment on the Jews for persecuting the saints.
John- like Jesus and Paul- cited Isaiah to speak of the coming soon, (not centuries away) judgment on “Babylon” for killing the prophets, Jesus, and Jesus’ apostles and prophets. Jesus had earlier explicitly laid the blame for killing the prophets, himself, and his apostles and prophets at the feet of Jerusalem (Matthew 23 / Luke 11:49). Not Rome- no other city than Jerusalem.
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; AND HE HAS AVENGED ON HER THE BLOOD OF HIS SERVANTS SHED BY HER.” (My emphasis).
Revelation 19:2 is a direct citation of Deuteronomy 32:43- a prediction of the avenging of the martyrs in Israel’s last days.
Therefore, Revelation 19, (just like Revelation 6 which applied Isaiah 2-4 to the soon coming vindication of the martyrs), spoke of the soon coming avenging of the martyrs, in Israel’s last days in the destruction of “Babylon.” It is NOT the judgment of Rome.
Revelation 19 quotes from the Song to declare its fulfillment in the judgment of Babylon.
The Song is about Israel’s last days judgment for shedding innocent blood.
Therefore, the judgment of Babylon is the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.
The Song- and Revelation 19- is not about Rome.
Deuteronomy 32– Vindication of the martyrs in the judgment of Israel in her last days.
Isaiah 2-4– The vindication of the martyrs at the destruction of Jerusalem at the last days Day of the Lord.
Luke 23:28-31– Isaiah 2:19f applied by Jesus to the coming AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem.
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 / 2 Thessalonians 1– Paul cited the verses from Isaiah that Jesus applied to AD 70, to speak of the imminent Day of the Lord against the Jews for persecuting the saints.
Revelation 6 & 19- quoted from the same verses from Isaiah 2 that Jesus applied to AD 70 to speak of the coming soon Day of the Lord to vindicate the blood of the martyrs– predicted by Deuteronomy 32- for Israel’s last days.
For Bale to falsify any of this he must demonstrate– definitively- that Israel and her blood guilt- is NOT the focus in this unbroken chain of evidence. He has admitted that he cannot definitively do this!
Rome is not in Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 2-4, Matthew 23:29f, Luke 23:28-31, Thessalonians, or Revelation.
Since Revelation is about the vindication of the martyrs in the judgment of Babylon, in fulfillment of these earlier prophecies, and since each of these earlier prophecies are about Israel’s blood guilt and the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem, this is definitive, internal Biblical proof that Babylon of Revelation was Old Covenant Jerusalem.