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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.

It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.

Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dating the Deaths of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Book of Revelation, and other considerations

A matter of history
The word “history” comes from the Greek “historia” -- which means, “To investigate” and “to diligently seek out.”  In the dating of the New Testament book of Revelation to an authorship in 95 A.D., using Irenaeus as the primary source, most all commentaries fail miserably in what should be a required citing of all three of Irenaeus’ relevant quotes concerning the dating of John's Revelation to justify its date.  Do they even at least expose any serious reader to a possibility of an early New Testament completely written before A.D. 70?  In the vast majority, the answer in: NO.  

Liberals fear any confirmation as to the validity of the New Testament, even an accurate appraisal as to its early date of authorship within the generation that saw and experienced its history: because the early dating of the New Testament clearly points to the power and effect of the Cross, and demonstrates down through the ages the veracity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

      In Eusebius' life work, the Ecclesiastical History   (the History of the Church / H.O.C.), he quotes one Clement, Bishop of the Churches of Alexandria, Egypt; who wrote this tradition from the Founder of His Church, Mark, who in turn, had been the Apostle Peter's interpreter in Rome.  Clement is quoted by Eusebius as writing and saying thus:
      "The Gospels which contain the genealogies were written first...  [Then] as Peter had preached the Word at Rome publicly, by the Spirit declaring the Gospel, many who were present requested that Mark...should write them out.   And having composed the Gospel, he gave it to those who had requested it...    Last of all, John...being persuaded by his friends, but inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel."        
                             Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.14   
                     citing Clement, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt of ca. 190 A.D.

    Elsewhere, Eusebius tells us the date of Mark’s death was during the 8th year of the reign of Nero (Eusebius, H.O.C.  2.24), and this informs us that the year of Mark’s death in Alexandria would have been either 61 or 62 A.D., depending on how the year was being reckoned.  The Romans reckoned a partial year served before June 1 as the first year of the Emperor as well as a year in sum total of a calendar year of 12 months.  But this affirmation of the death of Mark is crucial in calculating the deaths of Peter and Paul, and for that matter, the literary historical dating of the authorship of the majority of the New Testament.

In Ecclesiastical History 6.14., Mark is called an interpreter of Peter from a short distance away, or "afar". 
"When Peter had proclaimed the Word publicly in Rome, and declared the         Gospel under the influence of the [Holy] Spirit; as there was a great number              present, they requested that Mark, who had followed him from afar, and                     remembered well what he had said, to reduce these things to writing, and that            after composing the Gospel, he gave it to those who requested it of him.
Which, when Peter understood, he neither directly hindered nor encouraged it."  
 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,  6.14                                           

 In Ephesus of Asia, the one stop we can deduce that Mark definitely made after leaving Peter in Rome sometime in the late-mid to late 50's A.D., the Presbyter John recorded and passed on this insightful information that allows us to identify who Mark (the author of the Gospel of Mark) was in relation to the Apostle Peter:
               "Mark being the interpreter of Peter, whatsoever he recorded he                wrote with great accuracy, but not however, in the order in which it was spoken or done by our LORD, for he neither heard nor followed our LORD, but as said before, he was in the company of Peter, who gave   him such instruction as was necessary, but not to give a history of our LORD's discourses:  wherefore Mark has not erred in any thing, by writing some things as he recorded  them; for he carefully was attentive to one thing: not to pass by any thing that he  heard or to state any  thing falsely in these accounts"
 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.39

          So, we now see Mark as a simple interpreter in the crowds of Rome, who have gathered to hear the preaching of Peter.  Rome was the cross-roads of the Empire.  It was the seat of the government, the military, and the economic influences of all nations with Mediterranean shores.    Since "all roads lead to Rome" at this time in history, it is quite probable that there were those in Rome whose home ports were elsewhere, requesting copies of Peter's preaching of Mark, that they might take it home with them.  It is likely, that since Mark ended up in the hub of Jewish learning of Greek, in Alexandria of Egypt, that Greek is the original language in which the Gospel of (Peter as according to) Mark was written.  And it thus follows, that in order for Peter to hear of and not resist what had been done, that this is probably why the Anti-Marcionite Prologues make an effort to state:
"...Mark…after Peter’s death, wrote down (his) Gospel in the region of Italy."
 The fact that Mark died in the 8th year of Nero is per-eminently significant in any study of the dating of the New Testament, because Mark -- in any accurate dating of the New Testament -- greatly needs to have the time to:
1) get to Alexandria, Egypt from Rome by First Century A.D. means of transportation;
2) Mark needs time to establish himself as the head of the Church of Alexandria, which he must bring together, in order that a successor might "succeed" him as its head.   

Thus, we are assured of a definite working historical testimony that Peter was executed in Rome at least several years prior to the death of Mark!     

A Call
       An early dating of the New Testament is grounded in the historical anamnesis and witness of those of the generation, which saw, heard, and physically touched Jesus Christ.  In contrast, it is those who choose to do what the scribes and Pharisees did to the masses while Jesus taught or performed miracles -- to commit apodokimazo (Gr. "to actively keep from proving")1 -- to illegitimately and deceptively proclaim disbelief, which will potentially turn thousands upon thousands AWAY from Christ.  They ostentatiously reward obviously corrupted works of 5% or more with 800 -1200 years between author and manuscript in the secular realms of study, with laudations and fanfare.  The New Testament has virtually no corruption.  We know of one word that varied in one manuscript (or was changed) in John 1:18 from being a “one of a kind GOD” to a “one of a kind Son”: translated by the KJV as “only-begotten Son”.  We also know of 39 other lines that have been grafted in, in all or in part, being once set aside as notes in the margins.  However, all these have been identifiable since at least the 1940s.
With all but a few lines, the entire New Testament has been quoted by the ancients, so that if every one of the 24,000 plus manuscripts still now existing were destroyed, we could still reconstruct all but a few lines of “greet so and so,” (e.g., portions of Romans 16:5-15).  Papias, a hearer and witness to the Apostles, dictates that he “carefully learned…and carefully remembered” what he learned, and effectively takes an oath verifying the words passed on are what the Apostles said and taught. And further, as Eusebius’ History of the Church, 3.39 bears out, Papias was also able to verify that Mark also did not add anything to the words of Peter, and only wrote exactly what he carefully heard and remembered.
 For today’s academia, that isn’t enough.  They can accept an obviously corrupted ancient Greek or Roman author, separated by over 1,200 -1,300 years from author to manuscript extant; then in the same breath, scoff at the almost pristinely reliable New Testament.  So, when a “scholar” writes his disbelief to an early dating of the New Testament, or declares that there was no Church, per se, in the time of Paul the Apostle, (such as in Biblical Archaeology Review’s “Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism”), I believe he errs greatly.  It appears that most biblical critics are more in a rush to write their articles for money, fame, or to justify a championed point of view, than to thoroughly research their thesis in the true witness of history. 

Example of bias in interpretation used in modern seminaries and universities
Let us then start with the cited example, that “no organized Christian Church existed until well into the Third Century A.D.”   That quote was written by the head of an Ivy League Theological Seminary who is obviously an apostate, and to me, a moron.  Whole Sanhedrins of organized Christians existed in Church government structures out of Jerusalem, Antioch of Syria, Alexandria of Egypt, Corinth of Achaia, Ephesus of Asia, Rome of Italy, and several other locations and he has the audacity to say that no organized Christian Church existed until well into the 200's A.D.   Good grief!
 If cornered or debated in a forum, we may find the origin of such theories beginning with hypotheses drawn through quotes from those who lived in the Third Century A.D.  One such quote will probably be drawn from the Roman Emperor Decius (who ruled from 249-251 A.D.), who once uttered words to this effect,
“I would rather (see the news of) a rival to my throne than to see another (Christian) bishop in Rome.” 
That simple utterance by Emperor Decius, -- contrary to the political spin that it is given -- actually declares two statements: 1) a lineage of order, in Rome, of “organized Churches of Christianity” as an “organized faith”, as seen through the word “bishop”; and 2) that the bishop of Rome was a local influence in A.D. 249, not a pope.  The bishop of Rome was never a pontifex maximus over the first 200 years of Christianity; suggesting that other cities may have tolerated other bishops, of this organized faith, but in Rome, Emperor Decius drew the line in the sand and said…"no further”.  In fact, Lactantius’ Letter to Donatus informs us that in Egypt, the Christians were more prone to be organized and in greater numbers being “city dwellers” (as at Rome), making the edict of Decius’ persecutions and mass executions of Christians more easily carried out in the short time of his rule.  And Mark organized Coptic Christianity when?  In the 8th year of Nero, almost 200 years before some Progressive half-wit wrote his book under the influence of who knows what.
 One other justification of the foudroyant flaw of the “no organized Christian Church existed in the first two centuries” that certain scholars will themselves cite -- is given as to when Polycarp, the disciple and bishop under John the Apostle,  "wrote” an alleged  "no Church is as yet existing”, utterance.  Even a simple and casual examination reveals this is a purposeful misconstruing of the source, so that it might rightly be labeled as an anti-Christian canard.  
“These things, brethren, I write to you concerning Righteousness –
 not because I take anything upon myself, but --  because you
 invited me to do so.  For neither I, nor any other such one, can
 come up to the wisdom of the blessed and glorified Paul….
 He boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then
knew the LORD; but  we  had not yet known him.”2

In Polycarp's letter, the topic of his “Letter to the Philippians”, Chapter 9,3  the "but we had not known him" quote begins and ends with the falling away of Valens - who with his wife, left the Church at Philippi.  Valens, by the time Polycarp wrote his letter to the Philippians, if written in ca. 107 A.D., had possibly (by that time) both known the LORD and had been with the Philippian Church for almost 59 years.  The length of his service as Presbyter is not known.  That length of an active presence, of 50+ years, then suggests the possible reason used to entice Valens, -- who was “removed” over the issue of “covetousness”,  -- was perhaps that of desiring comfort and privacy for him and his wife in their old age.  Polycarp’s contemporary, Ignatius, bishop of Antioch in Syria, viewed “Presbyters as the Sanhedrin of GOD.”4  The view, which appears in Ignatius’ letter to the Trallians, was almost certainly penned or dictated by Ignatius while in Smyrna in the presence of Polycarp.  Therefore, the concept of returning of Valens to the fold of  “GOD’s Sanhedrin” does also appear to be along Polycarp’s line of thought as well.  Therefore, with this insight, we then ask:  who are the “we” who  " had not yet known” YHVeH?  The plain sense answer is Polycarp himself and the chief rabbi (or bishop) of the Christians at Philippi had not yet known the LORD, at the time when Valens became a Presbyter at Philippi (perhaps as early as 48 A.D.).  This answer is that which best fits the time frame that Polycarp presents:  when Paul established the Church at Philippi, and was boasting of them in all those Churches which knew YHVeH Messiah at the time, the current leader (of the Philippian Church) -- and Polycarp (of Smyrna) himself  -- were not yet Christians at the time Valens first was.
A Synagogue needs only 10 grown men and a rabbi to constitute a lawful  “eda”: that it might be called a “gathering”, “synagogue”, or “church.”  In Acts 19:1-7; Paul had a congregation of at least 12 baptized men to start with in Ephesus.  In contrast, is the “academic” quip that there were  “no Churches existing in the time of Paul's ministry”:  Are we to say that in 2 years (Acts 19:10), there weren’t at least 10 baptized Christian men meeting in all of Smyrna with a Presbyter over them?  Are we also so bold as to dismiss the organized Churches such as in Antioch of Syria, and Jerusalem?  Or if we back-peddle and say, "No, no, but it was only those Churches to which Paul did not return", do all the churches established by the other Apostles or Paul himself, suddenly then cease to exist?  What about Corinth?  If Paul failed to return, does that Church automatically become disqualified by a wave of the 21st century hand?  Tertullian clearly maintains that Ephesus was an established Church, and was in possession of a roll of bishops, and a church history.

An Ephesian Dismantling of a Modern Spin
When the Church history and the roll of the bishops of Ephesus were read in circa 207 A.D., (in the same Third Century A.D. of the New Testament’s critics), it clearly showed that at its very origin: that is, along with Ephesus’ first bishop (Timothy), John and his Apocalypse were present at its origin or beginning (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.5).  Timothy, whom we know to have been Paul’s disciple, served as bishop in Ephesus, under Paul’s tutelage, from ca. A.D. 52 - ca. August 53.  Timothy then continued serving as a bishop without an apostolic overseer, for a period no longer than 6-7 months, wherein John returned from banishment from Asia and specifically Ephesus.  Timothy later left the bishopric of Ephesus in late May or early June, A.D. 57, and traveled to Rome, where he was imprisoned for an unknown offense (Hebrews 13:23), most probably in relation to Paul’s execution on June 29 of that year.  Therefore, if John and his Apocalypse are clearly recorded in an “organized Church history”, along with the first bishop of Ephesus, -- which represents an organized structure of discipline, rules, standard of living practices -- then it is those in the academic community who are the ones being in dire need of new glasses, for both the eyes and the mind.  And if the unbelieving academicians are in need of a right focus, then a re-examination of the dating of the New Testament is in order.  This is best conducted by starting first with John’s Apocalypse. 

Again, the word “history” comes from the Greek “historia”  -- which means, “To investigate” and “to diligently seek out.”  The failure to “thoroughly search out” would not have preserved us a Herodotus from Antiquity.  Like with the students and teachers of the Talmud, those who accept commentaries appear to -- more often than not -- put the opinions of men ABOVE the Words of GOD.5  That is the danger we must avoid.  We are all accountable to attempt the greatest accuracy on important issues, and this requires both time and laborious effort.  Time and effort, which is often relegated to students and others, with the “scholar” behaving more like an editor than a researcher on his own merits.

       In the dating of Revelation to 95 A.D., using Irenaeus as the primary source, name one commentary which cites all three of Irenaeus’ relevant quotes concerning the dating of John's Revelation to justify its date.  Do they even at least expose any serious reader to a possibility of an early New Testament completely written before A.D. 70?  The noted author, and Christian Lecturer-Evangelist, Josh McDowell, in “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” and “He Walked Among Us” (San Bernardino: Here’s Life Publishers © 1972, 1988, respectively) points even the casual lay person to 3 points of interest in considering the N.T. Dating.
1)    Over 40 years ago, William Foxwell Albright dared to tell the world, in 1963, that all the books of the New Testament were written no later than the 80’s A.D.  Albright declared that every N.T. book was written by a baptized Jew in the First Century A.D.6   “Every N.T. book”, means even the Apocalypse of John as being pre-90 A.D.
2)    13 years later, a scholar from Cambridge, John A.T. Robinson, released his work showing the New Testament was written entirely prior to 70 A.D.7
3)    This same N.T. Scholar, Robinson, was interviewed by Time Magazine the following year, where he reiterated his claim, and challenged the academic world to prove him wrong.8 

You will notice that the respected Conservative Biblical Scholar W.F. Albright whose expertise would take a small room full of scholars to fill his shoes and expertise, dated even the Book of Revelation to prior to the 90's A.D., prior to anywhere near the end of Domitian's reign in A.D. 96.  Is this same insight and information available to you and me?  Yes.  But oddly enough, we need to date the deaths of Peter and Paul to a definitive time-frame before proceeding.  That definitive time-frame is through the Gospel of Mark's author, Mark; who after writing his Gospel in Italy, made his way to Alexandria, Egypt, and founded Coptic Christianity.  

Most Biblical skeptics will lazily use only one quote from Irenaeus to “prove” 95 A.D. as an earliest possible date for Revelation.  Therefore, I will use this same author of Irenaeus, and other early witnesses,  to show that they easily fail to invest a proper amount of time and effort on even just this one particular and most important topic -- in the dating of the New Testament.  Because the early dating of the New Testament clearly points to the power and effect of the Cross, and demonstrates down through the ages the veracity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Caius speaks from the past
         Caius was a contemporary to Irenaeus, who along with Hippolytus, and others, probably was exposed to -- and learned directly from -- Irenaeus.9  Caius, a ca. 190 A.D. Church Leader in Rome,10 was what we consider a Third generation hearsay witness.  John transmitted his teaching to Polycarp, who taught Irenaeus, who taught Caius.11  What is his witness?  That Paul wrote to only 7 Churches out of respect and acceptance of Revelation.  That is, Revelation was written before the deaths of Peter and Paul!

 “…The blessed Apostle Paul, following the rule of his predecessor John,   
      writes to no more than 7 Churches by name, in this order:
     1) to the Corinthians,   
     2)  to the Ephesians,  
     3)  to the Philippians,
     4) to the Colossians,     
     5)  to the Galatians,    
     6)  to the Thessalonians,
     7) to the Romans.
               Moreover, though he writes twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for their Correction, it is yet shown – that is, by this Sevenfold Writing
               -- that there is   One Church spread abroad through the whole world.”12 
Now, while we can debate the order which Caius presents13 – what is irrefutable is the repetitive declaration that John’s book of Revelation was the reason why Paul limited himself to only 7 Churches, both having read and having approved the Apocalypse prior to his own death in Rome.  The question then becomes, if we accept the witness that Revelation was written PRIOR to the death of Paul, could we accurately pinpoint the year Paul died as an early year?  The academic culture believes we need a post 85 A.D. Revelation, because Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 60.  They reason that until its full restoration in A.D. 85, Revelation could not have been written.  That is, if Revelation was written, it was penned either before A.D. 60, or after A.D. 85; with no room in between.14    So then, what is the historical witness?

Testimony from Irenaeus
 In ca. 181 A.D., Irenaeus, a second-generation hearsay witness from John, writes:
“We have learned from none others than from those whom the GOSPEL –   the Plan of our Salvation --  has come down to us, which they at one time,   did proclaim in public;  and at a later period, by the will of GOD,
   handed  down to us, in the Scriptures – to be the ground and pillar of our Faith.
 Matthew indeed issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews
   in their  own dialect 
   while Peter and Paul were preaching in   ROME15, 
  and  laying   the FOUNDATIONS of the CHURCH.16 
  After their departure,17 
Mark, the disciple and interpreter of  Peter,  
 did also hand down to us18   in writing, 
what had been  preached by Peter
  – and Luke as well, that companion of Paul,
 who had recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.19 
 Afterwards, John, the Disciple of the LORD – who also leaned upon His breast, -- did himself publish a Gospel during His Residence at Ephesus of Asia.”20  

Other support
In ca. 190 A.D., Clement supplements (Irenaeus) from Alexandria, Egypt, writing:
    The Gospels containing the genealogies were written first21 
     [Then] as Peter had preached the Word at ROME publicly,
     by the Spirit  declaring the Gospel,  many who were present
     requested that Mark …should write them out.
     And having composed the Gospel,
he gave it to those who had requested it…

     Last of all, John…being persuaded by his friends, but inspired

     by the SPIRIT, composed a Spiritual Gospel.”22  

So what can we learn in these quotes from Irenaeus and Clement?  
1)     That Matthew was the 2nd written Gospel, and that by inference, Luke was written prior to Peter and Paul being in Rome.  23
2)     Mark’s Gospel is actually the 3rd Gospel, not sourcing from either Luke or Matthew, but from Peter himself (who was the sole source of Mark’s material).  All this occurring in ROME.  Twice, Mark is listed as the next to last Gospel, and twice John’s is listed as the last Gospel to be written.
3)     John’s Gospel is written AFTER the deaths of Peter and Paul.
4)     The letter of Hebrews is clearly distinguished as “Paul’s Gospel”, penned by his student Luke.  This book which bears the message to Ephesus from Luke, “the brother Timothy [might we add, your (at one time) bishop] is set at Liberty” (Hebrews 13:23), is understood in the light that Mark indeed, did hand to John, in Ephesus of Asia, in writing, the Sermons of Peter and the Gospel of Paul.  We receive further affirmation that Luke penned it, and was called as “Luke’s Digest, even though men [such as Irenaeus] usually ascribe it to Paul” (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.5).

"Mark,” says Eusebius, "dies in the 8th year of Nero’s reign, in Alexandria of Egypt."24
       This, we would reckon as A.D. 61-62.  In the First Century, the optimum travel time between Alexandria and Rome was a minimum of 12 days.  However, if Mark ran a circuit tour of visiting various Churches, say Corinth and Philippi and Ephesus and Antioch and Caesarea and Jerusalem, for example, then his travel would have taken him months before he would have reached Egypt.  This pushes us back a year to 60-61.  Then, it would have taken time for a non-Apostle like Mark to establish the Church at Alexandria, especially among 400,000 Jews who lived there, and to ensure its foundation.  That Church Organization still exists from Antiquity to this Day, being only younger than the Roman Church by what is counted on one hand for a difference of years.  And in order to establish and build such a Church, Mark alone would then need twice the time it took Peter and Paul to establish Corinth or Rome together.  This gives us an additional subtraction of 3-4 years from the death and martyrdom of Mark, pushing us back to Mark leaving Rome somewhere around 57-58 A.D.  Church Tradition dating to the Third Century, in Rome, strongly adheres to the day of Peter and Paul's martyrdom as being on June 29 of an unknown year.25  The rolls of the bishops would have still been present in Rome in that period, and therefore, the veracity of the day and month -- being left unchallenged, is probably an attempt at authentication by its citation.  Therefore, we should accept the date of June 29 of 57 or 58 A.D.26 

Other Considerations
                Now, in the mid-Second Century, someone wrote in the Anti-Macionite prologues that: “Mark…after Peter’s death, wrote down (his) Gospel in the region of Italy.”  In other words, he wrote down perhaps more copies of the original, but NOT in ROME.  This answers the dual testimony of Mark's copying down his Gospel both before and after the death of Peter in ROME.  Then comes the question, Why did Mark feel compelled to leave ROME to either make more copies of, or to finalize, his Gospel?
        Ancient Roman historians warn of an out of control Nero, with his raging hormones, whom repetitively demonstrated an inability to sanely and rationally to rule as Caesar.27    Tiberius moved to Caprae (Capri) in circa 26-27 A.D. to exercise total dominion and to shield his perversity, but Nero remained in Rome.  Nero was much the more insulated by the Praetorian Guard than perhaps any Caesar before him, and as a reckless youth, he gradually became increasingly socio-pathic.  However, he soon found that much like Tiberius (who had to beg for the Senate to send Laodicea earthquake relief ca. 17 or 23 A.D)28, he, Nero,  (but for the Senate) held near absolute power in only one province, wherever Caesar resided.  And for Nero, that province was ROME.  Not in Asia, where the Apostle John resided.  Not in Gaul.  Not in Briton.  Just in ROME.  Nero’s oppression and vices were at times so horrible, that even as one passed from inside ROME to outside the city, (unless you ran into the Camp of the Roman Legion), it probably felt as if you were being liberated.
 For, as Tertullian writes,  
 “…Nero…assailed with the Imperial Sword – the Christian Sect – making progress especially then at ROME.”29
Therefore, unless Nero traveled somewhere else -- such as Corinth, --his power and focus was not “near-absolute” anywhere where he was not.  In jurisprudence, Nero specifically saw cases that were under his “sphere” only in the years of 55 (for 2 months), then in 57 (for 6 months), then in 58 (for 4 months), and lastly in A.D. 60 (for 6 months).30  Therefore, Paul could only have been executed in one of two years, A.D. 57 or 58.  For reasons stated in relation to Mark, 60 A.D. is just not a possible year.  Hundreds of years later, the "illustrious” Jerome, who had access to the most ancient manuscript copies of the Church at the time, in A.D. 392, agrees with this.  For he writes:
55 A.D.       "…In the 25th year after our LORD’s Passion,31
55-56 A.D.           that is the 2nd year of Nero,32
                   at the time Festus procurator of Judea,33 
succeeded Felix,  
                        he [Paul]  was sent   bound to Rome,34  
57 A.D.:     and remaining for 2 years in Free Custody,35
                   disputed daily with the Jews concerning the Advent of Christ.
Propaganda:      …Paul was dismissed by Nero
                          that the Gospel of Christ might be preached
                         also in the West.
67 A.D.:          …He, then, in the 14th year of Nero,
 same day:            on the same day with Peter, 
                             was beheaded in ROME
                        for Christ’s sake, 
                        and was  buried in the Ostian Way
57 A.D.:          the 27th year after the LORD’s Passion.36        

Jerome, earlier in his opening in chapter 1 of "On Illustrious Men,” cites a beginning of 42 A.D. for Peter’s reign, and an ending of 67 A.D.  Obviously, this is impossible if he and Paul are co-founding Corinth, or if Peter is to also visit Asia’s Churches.37    However, the specific analysis I want you to see is this:  where Jerome evokes the LORD’s Passion, (which is on a March 23 according to Lactantius’ Letter to Donatus, .2), Jerome holds vehemently to a dating of 55-57 A.D. for the presence of Peter and Paul in ROME!  Clearly, Jerome identifies, along with other evidence as we have seen, that Christ was crucified in A.D. 30.  Now, such is the character of Jerome: when evoking the Passion, he refuses to lie, fearing loss of his eternal soul.  Others after him also, refuse to change the utterance of Jerome where the Passion of Jesus is evoked. This speaks volumes, and tells us, that even as late as 392, there was a clear knowledge or information still available, that specifically dated the persecutions and deaths of the Apostles Peter and Paul as being quite early in Nero’s reign.  To Jerome, when the name of GOD was evoked in such a way as to evoke “the efficaciously atoning Passion”, not even the Pope (or should we say, Bishop of ROME) could persuade him to "fudge" Church History. Perhaps in A.D. 392, there was a rivalry with the Church in Alexandria, and therefore a need for a 25 year leadership by Peter to counteract the Church started by a de facto successor of Peter, Mark.  Who knows?
So, Jerome now identifies A.D. 57 for us.  And the point of this, as at the beginning, that in dating John’s Revelation, even from the crucifixion do we see historical testimony from out of the ancient past.  This reinforces that which Caius tells us specifically, how that Paul approved the Apocalypse before he died, and confined the number of his letters to his Churches, based solely on the number of Churches written to in the Apocalypse.  Therefore, we are limited to a book of Revelation that was written only within Paul’s lifetime and after the founding of the Churches of Asia by Paul and other apostles of Jesus Christ.  
        Some 250 years after the deaths of Peter and Paul in Rome, the tradition and original testimony could still be found on record for those learned ones who had access to the old manuscripts of the Churches of Rome, such as Lactantius: the tutor of the son of Emperor Constantine.  If we examine his records, we again can still find some specifics; and such specifics as those which confirm the 55 A.D. entry into Rome by Peter. 
     "In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the consulship of Ruberius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, and on the tenth of the Kalends of April [March  23, Passover], as I find written, Jesus Christ was crucified by the Jews.
     After He had risen again on the third day, He gathered together His apostles, whom fear, at the time of His being laid hold on, had put to flight;  and while He sojourned with them 40   days, He opened their hearts, and interpreted to them the Scripture, which hitherto had been  wrapped up in obscurity, ordained and fitted them for the preaching of His word and doctrine, and regulated all things concerning the institutions of the New Testament; and this having   been accomplished, a cloud and a whirlwind enveloped Him, and caught Him up from the sight of men unto Heaven.     His apostles were at that time 11 in number, to whom were added Matthias,in the room  of the traitor Judas, and afterwards, Paul. 
 Then they were dispersed throughout all the earth to preach the Gospel, as the LORD their Master had commanded them; and during 25 years , until the beginning of the reign of Nero, they occupied themselves in laying the foundations of the Church in every province and city.    And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of GOD committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the True Religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the LORD.  When Nero heard of those things, and observed that not only in Rome, but in every other place, a great multitude revolted daily from the worship of idols, and condemning their old ways, went over to the new religion, he, an execrable and pernicious tyrant, sprung forward to raze the Heavenly Temple and destroy the True Faith.  He it was who first persecuted the servants of GOD; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul."
              Lactantius, On The Manner In Which The Persecutors Died, .1
 Thus we see in the above letter, enough specifics, that when placed with the traditional date of A.D. 30, and a specific date of March 23 (Passover), that the Apostles arrive in Rome but 25 years later in A.D. 55, and die but 2 years after that: in A.D. 57.  The two year chronology being left to us in Luke's Book of Acts 28:30-31; and elsewhere, in the history and tradition that was left behind. 

   The Apostle John remains in Asia from the mid-50s A.D. until his decease
The post-Nicene 4th century apologist, Epiphanius (ca. 310-402 A.D.), in Against Heresies / Panarion, declares that John wrote his Apocalypse during the (end of the) reign of Claudius Caesar. The following is my reconstruction of the passages, in order to encapsulate what is being declared.

“Even the people of Thyatira testify this is to be true … [that]… (The Holy Spirit) did foretell (the Apocalypse) through the mouth of John (the Apostle)… who indeed did prophesy… during the reign of Claudius Caesar…when he was upon the isle of Patmos.” Epiphanius, Against Heresies, 4.33.8

“…after his (John’s) return from Patmos, under Claudius Caesar…the Holy Spirit [not much later] compelled John to publish forth his Gospel…several years into his residing in [Ephesus of] Asia.” Epiphanius, Against Heresies, 4.12.1

Although this tradition was given through Thyatira of Asia to Epiphanius in the post-Nicene era; it was something that could be verified in the manuscripts of more than one Presbyter of Thyatira’s possession at that time. Epiphanius also tells us in these same two passages (excised here for clarity), that John died above the age of 90. If John was recruited by Jesus in late 26 A.D., and died in ca. 96-98 A.D.; then, according to recruitment requirements among Torah lawyers, John would have had to have been a minimum of 25 years of age for religious service under his Semikah rabbi.
That is, John the Apostle's birth can now be calculated to the first 7 months of the Julian year of 1 A .D. or within two years before that date. Hence, a death above 90, but not yet 100, and a fulfilling of what Epiphanius tells us, is that John was 95-97 at the time of his death. Not, as some translators of Epiphanius have misrepresented in translating Epiphanius’ passage here, that John was above 90 when first coming to or from Patmos, or above 90 in the reign of Claudius Caesar (41-54 A.D.).

 However, the best information relating to John outside the New Testament comes from Irenaeus. 

Irenaeus is a third generation witness from Jesus, and a second generation witness from John the Apostle. When discussing Church history in these first two centuries or the first 150 years of development, it is ludicrous to leave Irenaeus out.

Irenaeus clearly states that at all points of the Empire in 178-181 A.D., Christianity clearly was an organized, developed, and communicating religious system. Germany communicates with Egypt and Spain; the Eastern provinces communicate with Libya and Italy. Gaul communicates with Greece and Asia...and all the Christians provinces communicate one with another, and testify faithfully that history - tradition - faith that has been passed down to them from the Apostles.

And what NT documents are communicated them? If we judge from Irenaeus own quotations in Against Heresies, we at least have the entire Roman Empire saturated with:
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians,
I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians,
I Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus,
Hebrews, James, I Peter, 2 Peter,
I John, II John, Jude, and Revelation.

 So, what does the witness of Irenaeus tell us about the date of John's Revelation and exile?  
 “…As the Gospel and all the elders testify; 
those who were conversant in Asia 
with John, the Disciple of the LORD
that John conveyed to them that information.  
 And  he remained among them 
up to the times of Trajan.38

Further on, Irenaeus drives home this very point in his next book, writing…
              “…Again, the Church in Ephesus,
                  founded by Paul, 
                   and having  John remaining 
                  among them permanently 
                  until the times of Trajan
                   is a true witness of the Tradition of the Apostles.”39

Latin: Sed et quae Ephesi ecclesia a Paulo quidem fundata Johanne autem permanente apud eos usque ad Trajani tempora testis est verus Apostobrum traditionis.

Loosely translated and reiterated by me, for more impact:
“Indeed, what is more, 
those Ephesus called out ones --
of Paul, certainly founded --
John however /moreover 
permanently in the presence / house of
advanced all the way up to the times of Trajan
as one who gives credible evidence as a true witness,
testifying of the true Apostolic Tradition.”

The purpose of the loose translation with reiteration is to see where the drive of the testimony is. Irenaeus in the Ante-Nicene Father translation and in the Latin, is claiming veracity and soundness based on a continued, unbroken, permanent presence of John...pushing an island exile back to a pre-Neroian era, and to a matter of months of separation between Paul and the Church of Ephesus. Certainly less than one year.
Further, we find from Irenaeus that he also had access to and learned from other unnamed elders and presbyters (beside Polycarp) who had conversed with John for many years. 
In Against Heresies 5.30.3., (e.g, compare http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p052.jpg   )

"...it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For  was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign."

Reading from the Greek text "Oude gar" - "Not for", we see that there is a continuum of the expressing John's presence to be asked about the Revelation "alla schedon epi tas hameteras geneus" / "up alongside against but opposite to, almost nearly upon our own daylight / time of life".

The which is reiterated and qualified as until "pros to telei tas Domitianou archas" / "up alongside the end/completion of Domitian's reign."

This is interpretation is verified by looking at context in the preceding sentence's "di ekeinou an errathe tou kai tan Apolkaluphin eorakotos," which continues into the oft misquoted Irenaeus, to force-fit a late date to Revelation. We are clearly talking about "that one there" or a "he"...not an "it". The Revelation wasn't some cloud or some ghostly 3-D movie of the future acting like some floating-floaty that haunted and drifted around Patmos...it was a proclamation by he who was at Ephesus until his spirit was no more in his head, as it were -- cf. Gen. 2:7 -- (or body).

Notice the text in the Greek directs us to view "the announcement" in regards one who was he who "announced" the Apocalyptic Vision in the sense of being one who was "stimulated into action to proclaim forth or feel the need to tell the truth."

For John, the Apocalypse wasn't simply a vision; it was as if part of the Gospel proclamation and ministry of testifying of and about Jesus Christ.

If this is indeed the intent of the wording, then, according to the Asiatic view, we must accept that the Asiatic elders who knew and succeeded John felt that Revelation was part of the package that included the later Gospel of John (written post Peter and Paul's departure from this life day: June 29, 57 A.D.).

We, like our predecessors, may take such a view to task (at the first)...but the concept does deserve some consideration. It may also tie in to a later doctrinal conflict between Asia and Rome less than 100 years after John's demise.
The plain sense of these passages from Irenaeus clearly supports a view that there was no exile for John from the time he took over at Ephesus.40   This should hold a stronger witness to us when we accept that Irenaeus teacher, Polycarp, was hand picked and installed as bishop of Smyrna, by John himself.41    Clement of Alexandria, in saving the historically based tale of “A Rich Man who finds Salvation”, appears to support an early dating of the Apocalypse, saying:      
                  “…This is not a myth, but a Word  [λογος], handed down and
                        committed carefully  to memory, regarding the Apostle John.
                     When the tyrant died,

[tou turannou teleuthesantos“the tyrant came to a lesser End” …perhaps implying natural causes like a heart attack in his sleep]

                    he [John] returned from the island of Patmos
                     to Ephesus, and (then) being invited, went away to the neighboring
                     Districts of the nations:  appointing bishops here, setting Churches
                      in order there, and ordaining such as were
                    (made known to him) by the Spirit.”42

So how old and lacking of vitality is John, when he indeed returned to Asia?  At the first entering of Asia from his banishment by the tyrant (which is lingo for Procurator), John does not go about like an old man at the end of his life.  John vigorously runs a circuit tour, and visits and reorganizes and appoints beyond Asia, like a ‘man on a mission’, ‘full speed ahead’.  The word “tyrant” speaks clearly that John’s persecutor was a local Procurator, and NOT a distant Caesar who would have banished to Pontia, off the Italian Coast.43.  Caesar would not have allotted John to some obscure island, living almost comfortably in a fishing village, somewhere in the Aegean.  So, we ask, is there more to point to a local Provincial Official as tyrant, and a local Ephesian or Asian persecution than that of an Emperor?  In the example of the grandsons of Judas, half-brother of Messiah, these were brought to ROME by the EVOCATUS in Domitian’s reign, but then were despised by the Emperor as “ignorant” and set free.44  
 Tertullian tells us that before being banished from Asia,
“…The Apostle John  [in Ephesus] was first plunged, unhurt,
 into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island exile.”45 
and thereby indicates the extreme likelihood of a local or provincial ruler / governor or Legatus.

Revelation’s own witness
     And what is the testimony from Revelation 1:9?
" I,  John,  the brother, even of you,  and co-sharer :in the Affliction  [θλιφει], and in the Kingdom,  and remaining under Jesus Christ  --
came to be in the island of Patmos  through the Word of GOD,
and through the bearing of witness to Jesus Christ."46    
 In Patmos, we find that John—in Revelation 1:9 -- experiences the "Affliction" or “Tribulation” of Thlipsei: from “Thlipsis” (in the Greek).  It is not the actual bondage of Chains, as we find with the Greek “Desmos” (e.g. Acts 26:31, 22:30, and cf. 20:23).  Thlipsis is an emotionally and psychologically horrifying period of stress, where one feels as though a great weight were crushing down on top of them, while also being squeezed from all sides.  In short, John felt great humiliation.  But why?  Well, who else but the goddess Artemis / Diana would receive the credit for sparing John’s life among the silversmiths and the great majority of the Ephesians?  The silversmiths, priests, and priestesses of Artemis in Ephesus would most assuredly point to John and attempt to use his miraculous deliverance for years to come: citing John as he who was saved from boiling oil by the goddess Artemis.  And whether Jew or Jewish Christian, that stress and humiliation alone is almost enough to drive some to suicide.  So, it seems, John became a recluse in a place where he felt comfortable.  That recovery was accomplished by his   fishing in an out-of-the-way fishing community, which still exists to this day as a witness to us all.  So when was the great event of Exile?  Paul arrived in Rome in May 55 A.D.  One year earlier, at Pentecost, he was taken up at the Temple while confirming some Nazarites who were offering up their hair, grown since birth.47  That was 54 A.D.  We do read in Acts 20:17 ff. how that Paul sent for "the elders of Ephesus", and gave a long speech.  Why did Luke include this speech in his Book of Acts if it was unnecessary?  And so, as for me, I am persuaded that it is at this point that Paul officially hands over the trust of Ephesus to John the Apostle,48 and instructs those that had trusted Paul, to now trust John.  Therefore, in ca. April of 54 A.D., while Claudius was still Emperor, John began his permanent residence as Overseer of the Churches in Asia from a residence in or just outside Ephesus.49  Therefore it is the most likely that, it would be at this time, while on his way to Jerusalem, that Paul would affirm the Apocalypse of John, having read and approved it, to all thereafter.
        The year prior, in A.D. 53, Paul had been in Ephesus, at the center of mob frenzy, (probably in July of 53, or perhaps an even earlier month).  So then, we ask: "Well, what happened after that riot?"50   Obviously, because of the tumult, the Governor of Asia must have come with troops, looking to set an example.  And, there is little doubt that poor John stayed behind after the uproar, and was offered up for sacrifice when the soldiers and Governor came.  Hence, the boiling oil.  Hence, upon his miraculous deliverance by YHVeH, John was to be banished for as long as that particular Governor ruled in Asia.   
It appears to me, that when the best historical evidence is presented,  the preponderance of that evidence should be that the 95 A.D. concept of Revelation's date is de facto and de jure delusional.

 Lest we forget, Ephesus was one of the cities of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.  It house the Temple of Artemis, which was struck by lightning and had its marble roof burn down on the same night Alexander the Great, was born.  Which Temple also stood upon the place of the sacred Meteor/Asteroid fragment, which was worshiped by the Amazons.  That same legendary meteor was promoted as having had carved out much of the Ephesian harbor -- and to have made the hill upon which the Temple of Artemis/Diana stood.  Tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked here every year, and purchased silver statuettes of Artemis, and paid the priests of the Temple to stand on holy ground, and still more denarii for them to perform prayers and rituals before their eyes.51    This place was a “cash cow” for the Ephesians, for the Procurator, and for ROME.  And there are scholars who actually think a “well-greased” Roman Official is going to let the Ephesian Uproar slide, and chase away the tourists, and reach the ears of the Senate in ROME without consequence, in this period of the Roman Empire?  So, when John was plunged unhurt into boiling oil, to whom did the crowds of Ephesus shout their praise?  To Artemis.  And what sentence but banishment --"for a deliverance from the gods" or “goddess” -- could any Procurator appointed by, and representing ROME, have given?  Therefore, a Claudian period banishment and writing of Revelation actually fits the historical testimony, regardless of ill-notioned Preterists who might misinterpret the Revelation some 1950 years later. 

             So then, we can logically conclude or rationally interpret the historical evidence to show that John’s return.  This occurs in a relatively short enough time frame of about two seasons from the date of his Revelation on Rosh HaShana in 53 A.D. (Revelation 1:10)52, to his installation in ca. April of 54 A.D., which is still during the reign of Claudius as Caesar in ROME  -- was indeed short enough.  Short enough, at least, to let the elders and John to later declare that no sufficient period lapsed between Paul’s leaving and John’s return from island self-imposed exile upon Patmos. 

            But then there's the 95 A.D. "proof" that is supposed to be emphatically accepted by all true "scholars", but which even Jerome contests in .9 of his “On Illustrious Men”, that has still yet to be addressed.  So, what about scholars who use but an abbreviated quip using Irenaeus 5.30.3.  to  justify 95 A.D. for Revelation’s authorship year?  Let us look at a more full excerpt and ask:  What is really being said by Irenaeus?

“…Teitan…among many persons, too, this Name is accounted Divine, so that even the Sun is named “Titan” by those who now possess.  This word, too, contains a certain outward appearance of Vengeance, and of one inflicting merited punishment, because he pretends that he vindicates the oppressed.  And besides this, it is an ancient Name, one worthy of credit, of royal dignity, and still further, a name belonging to a tyrant.  Inasmuch, then, as this Name, ‘TITAN’, has so much to recommend it, there is a strong degree of probability, that from among the many we infer, that perchance he who is to come will be called  ‘TITAN’.53
We will not,  however,  incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to
the Name of AntiChrist; for if it were necessary that his Name should be
distinctly revealed in this Present Time, it would have been announce by
him who beheld the Apocalyptic Vision.  For *  [He} * was seen no
very long time since, but almost in our day, at the end of Domitian’s
reign.  But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this
man comes, we may avoid him, being aware who he is….”54 

So exactly what was seen - “to be asked” the meaning of 666?  Was the Apocalypse nothing more than a holographic movie floating above the isle of Patmos, to where we could go: “O floating floaty…tell us the meaning of 666!?”  Of course not!  That’s silly! But that is exactly what is being put forth by those who push a 95 -96 A.D. date of John's Revelation, whether intentionally or not. 

The statement that Irenaeus passes to us from Polycarp, an eyewitness and bishop installed by John himself in circa February 70 A.D., is that John was available to all who had questions about 666 until the end of Domitian’s reign, in October of 96 A.D.  The inference is that if John lived until about the beginning of Trajan's reign, in 98 A.D., then John may have been ill or incapacitated for over a year (a fulfillment of John 21:18).  John most likely died in March/April 98.A.D.

As we look at the quote, let us ask the origin and end result of an argument for a mid-90’s Apocalypse?  Is it the hope of 19th Century liberals  (who first put forth this nonsense) to make John a senile old man so that the Apocalypse could be dismissed as a weak link that could be further used to dismiss other Scriptures?  What is really behind the thought process that created the Original Theory about a late Revelation date? 

  Again I make the point that is the focal basis of the Liberal late date of Revelation theory.   In Against Heresies, 5.30.3-4, it appears that Irenaeus is saying that John, or *[he]*, not [it], was available until the end of Domitian’s reign, to be asked about the Apocalypse, and just about anything else.  This is exactly what Irenaeus tells us in the beginning, or .1, of that same 30th Chapter of Book 5:  that people “who saw John face to face” inquired about the correctness of the number that appeared in the most ancient or first manuscript copies kept by the bishop of Ephesus.55  The ones with questions about 666, or anything really, could approach John himself,56 and ask John himself, until the end of Domitian’s reign in 96 A.D.   

          An alternative interpretation may also be that Irenaeus is including himself in the equation of “almost” witnesses.  If that is the case, then Irenaeus was most likely born, by his testimony here, about the end of Domitian’s reign, perhaps the circa 95-96 A.D. date that “most scholars” have erroneously accepted as John’s writing the Revelation.  The statement made by Irenaeus (Against Heresies, 5.30.4.) fits this theory: that Irenaeus is stating that he was too young to have asked or remembered John, using words to this effect, Irenaeus being perhaps as old as 3 years old when John died.  If this is the case, Irenaeus was a healthy 107 years old when he died in Lyons under the persecutions of Severus; and in his late 70s to his 80s when he wrote “Against Heresies”.    

       Further, many Church Historians fail to grasp that there were differences in Second Century Christianity already taken hold in traditional observances.  Asia was vastly more Jewish, and Rome had become almost exclusively Gentile.  Even Alexandria of Egypt, heavily Jewish, differed from John's Church in Asia on its own parallel and friendly denominational path.  But in comparing the Church of Rome (founded by Peter and Paul, who virtually lost their way and traditions from the 120s to the early 150s A.D., it appears that we may liken the differences from the Roman and Asiatics, not only in regard to whether or not they observed the Passover --(Ephesus/Smyrna did, Rome did not except for the Passover Communion accepted from Polycarp in the 150s) -- but also in principal as to whether we were looking for a kingdom of G-D on Earth physically now, or one like Revelation and Paul in Colossians 3:1ff. and I Corinthians 15:51 (et al.) in which "the Church" (the body of all Christian believers as a whole) is "raptured" or "snatched away" in a deliverance to the Heavenlies until Judgment and the Day of the LORD purges the Earth.

This theological difference is foundational to understand why the Roman branch evolved into what it did, and why they felt a need to artificially create a Papal Office that was non-existent to the time of Against Heresies' first publication.  And if that steps on Roman Catholic toes or ego, I'm sorry, but history is what it is...it is important that we be truthful to ourselves and others about it. 

                 The Book of Revelation is not a book about the Jewish War with Rome, as some leading astray pretend.  However, an early date needs to be not feared by Christians, who were called “Chrestians” by the Romans (which means, “the gracious ones.”)  For Christians love truth: and especially truth that is grounded in the history and traditions that uplifts and glorifies the Name of GOD.57

 I am confident that once the shock has settled -- many competent and clear thinking scholars may indeed re-evaluate the prior centuries of unjust anti-Christian venom, based on subjective hatred more than objective pretext, and exonerate this re-dating of Revelation and the rest of the New Testament.  Once understood in its proper historical context, doors of understanding that have heretofore been closed, I fully expect, will open and bless millions upon millions.  And all this began with the crucifixion of GOD with us, “Immanuel”, crucified on a Roman Cross; and the cloaks of zeal upon the disciples to whom this was revealed, to tell the world about the gloriousness of this event: how GOD paid for our sins, and wants none of us to perish in those sins (John 3:16).

Supplement: Historic Dates of New Testament Authorship

   The following dates will be to within a margin of up to a +/- 6 month period for: Titus, Colossians, I Timothy, and Philemon.  All other dates should be accurate to within a matter of 2 -14 days, if the date should spill into a different month.  I cannot now fathom, short of a new extant manuscript find, of any greater accuracy at this current time, than these dates given you on when the N.T. was literally written.

Letter or Work                   When Written                                  Written in / from 
Jude                                       Pentecost, A.D. 47                            Jerusalem, Israel 58
James                                    Pentecost, A.D. 47                            Jerusalem, Israel
Galatians                              A.D. 48                                               Philippi, Greece 59

Gospel of Luke                    A.D. 50                                               Corinth, Achaia 60

I Thessalonians                   February - July, A.D. 52                  Ephesus, Asia

I Corinthians                                   July - November, A.D. 52   Ephesus, Asia
II Thessalonians                  August - December, A.D. 52           Ephesus, Asia
Revelation                            Tishrei 4-9, Sep/Oct, A.D. 53         Patmos,
                                                                                                    Aegean Sea
Romans                                 October - November, A.D. 53        Corinth, Achaia
Titus                                       February, A.D. 54                             Troas, Aegean Sea
Colossians                            May - November, A.D. 54               Jerusalem, Israel
I Timothy                              May - November, A.D. 54               Jerusalem, Israel
Gospel of Matthew             May, A.D. 55 - July, A.D. 56          Jerusalem, Israel
Philemon                               A.D. 56                                               Rome, Italy
II Timothy                            October, A.D. 56                              Rome, Italy
Ephesians                              October, A.D. 56                              Rome, Italy 
Philippians                            February - April, A.D. 57                Rome, Italy
I Peter                                   March - April, A.D. 57                    Rome, Italy
Gospel of Mark                   June, A.D. 57                                    Rome, Italy
II Peter                                  June, A.D. 57                                  Rome, Italy

Acts of the Apostles            July, A.D. 57                                     Rome, Italy

Hebrews                                July, A.D. 57                                   Rome, Italy
I John (severed intro)         August - October, A.D. 57              Ephesus, Asia
Gospel of John                     August - October, A.D. 57            Ephesus, Asia
2,3 John                                 A.D. 58 - A.D. 96                         Ephesus, Asia

Endnotes to Appendix : Redating the New Testament
 1   e.g., Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31 & 12:10;  Luke 9:22, 17:25, 20:17
2     The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, .3 & .11 
3    Of Polycarp to the Philippians .9, the focus revolves around:  “I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a Presbyter among you…I am deeply grieved…for him and his wife….”                               
        If Polycarp was installed for 86 years as Bishop until his martyrdom, at the age of over 116 years of age (Martyrdom of Polycarp, .9) -- then this letter may be datable to be as early as the mid-70s A.D., (if John deferred such correspondence to Polycarp).  Though this is not likely, and more probably datable to around the time in which Ignatius was sent to Rome, or closer to 107 A.D.  Valens, also, should not be confused with Valentinus: author of the Valentinian Gnostic sect. 
4     Ignatius, Epistle to the Churches at Tralles, .3 
5      The Talmudist student spends 7 ½ years studying 2,711 pages of the Babylonian Talmud in its cycle of study.  Generally speaking, he will study it more than once in his lifetime; and be largely ignorant of Biblical Prophets such as Isaiah, except where quoted by the sages in the Talmud.  He also generally, will fail to comprehend where the Biblical Prophet or Instruction leaves off and the sage commentary begins, or vice versa.  Many Christians read “Bible Introductions” after this same mind. 
6     Christianity Today, magazine, January 18, 1963    “Toward a More Conservative View.” 
7     Robinson, John A.T.  Redating the New Testament, London: SCM Press, 1976.  (Out of Print).
8     Time, magazine, March 21, 1977.
9     The importance of Irenaeus is that he probably has two direct links to John in his Instruction.  The first is obviously Polycarp, who John declares he saw and learned from in Smyrna (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.3.4.).  The second link to John was through Papias.  Irenaeus had probably met and learned from Papias, and if he did not, he had access to those who had; and Irenaeus had possession or regular access to the complete works of Papias’ 5 books and those sayings and teachings of the Apostles and Jesus that did not make it into the New Testament, but should have (e.g. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.33.3-4).  Further, Irenaeus also had access to and learned from other unnamed elders and presbyters had conversed with John for many years, such as he mentions in the cited passage heretofore.
10     There may be debate as to Tertullian being a Fourth Generation witness, having learned from Proculus who learned from Irenaeus, etc.  However, the insight granted us by Tertullian in his work  “Against the Valentinians” 3.5.  perhaps can be taken either way.  Either that Tertullian met Irenaeus the man, and despised his abrasiveness; thus, elevating Proculus as a better role model.  Or that it was Proculus that had met the meticulous Irenaeus, and transmitted his teachings to Tertullian.  What is important to note, is that by 190 A.D., there was an agreement in ROME (and perhaps other major Churches) as to the completion of the New Testament canonization.
        Caius and other Church Leaders were involved in the Canonization of the New Testament by the close of the Second Century.  Such was his position in ROME among the Christians.  For he writes in the Muratorian Canon, how that no more books may be added to the prophets or the Apostles to the end of time, as the number is made complete for those works which ought to be read in public among the Churches.  The one point that shouldn't be missed in all of this, is that when Caius and his contemporaries speak of Christianity being proclaimed in ROME, they speak of doing so in private meeting places, and not in public streets or squares in ROME.  The fact that Peter and Paul at one time spoke publicly in the streets or wherever, freely, appears to just blow their minds that such a day ever was.
11   We also have the probability of a secondary transmission of Polycarp to Pius, bishop of Rome, who also passed along the teaching and book of the Apocalypse in the 150’s A.D, verifying the veracity of Irenaeus’ teachings.  When Polycarp came to Rome, he would have been a very healthy and well above 110 years old, when he made the trip by ship and donkey drawn carts.  
12       Caius, Fragments 3.3 
13     My general evaluation on these Church letter dates correspond as:
1)      Corinthians 1 & 2 in 52 –53 A.D. from Asia.
2)      Ephesians in October 56 A.D. while under house arrest in Rome.
3)      Philippians in 57 A.D. while under house arrest in Rome.
4)      Colossians in 54 A.D.  from captivity in Israel.
5)      Galatians in 48 A.D. 
6)      Thessalonians in 52 A.D.  from Asia.
7)      Romans in 53 A.D.  perhaps from either Macedonia or the isle of Troas.
      Therefore, the phrase, “in this order”, may actually appear to mean: “received among the Churches as part of the Canon in this order.”  If that is the case, and the intent, then we see that by 190 A.D., many of the epistles of the New Testament were already well tested and established in both its makeup and distribution.  We therefore see a 190 A.D. Roman Church, when examined through Irenaeus, as being familiar with the entire New Testament, with the exceptions of Philemon and 3 John.  Philemon is familiar to Ignatius out of Antioch of Syria, and 3 John probably only among the Asiatic Churches at the time of Caius’ above evaluation.
14     The thesis of this work  was written much after this manner, by me, and as my work product (i.e., my copyright), then summarized in a letter responding to a Midnight Call Magazine, May 2005 issue.  In writing to that ministry in a letter dated April 27, 2005, I utilized past unpublished writings of mine that were written from the late1980s to the mid-90s.  In postings dated 2000-2001, I tried to interest fellow Christians on “internet sites” in these findings, but found wolves devouring the timid flock instead.  Along with millions of other saints through the ages, I found myself fulfilling Isaiah 53:1’s  “Whom shall believe our report?  And to whom is the ARM  [YHVeH Messiah] of the LORD revealed?”  Therefore, because so many everywhere have turned a deaf ear, and refuse to heed the report, the good news goes out to whosoever will.  Hopefully, that means you.
15   Matthew is traditionally said to have died on November 16 of an unknown year in Macedonia according to the Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle.  If the date of death were correct, then Matthew would most likely have died in A.D. 56 on that date of November 16.
16   That is, laying the ground and pillars of the Scriptures.  This will have occurred, as we shall see, between 55-57 A.D.
17   Their deaths -- in ROME.  Another indicator to the early dating of Revelation:  In A.D. 62 or 64, Clement, bishop of ROME, tells the Corinthians that Paul had already preached the West (by inference, ROME, I Clement 5:6-7), and that the purpose of evangelizing was toward achieving the set number of “elect” {or Israelites}, which would indicate the knowledge of Revelation’s 144,000 quota (I Clement 2:4). 
18    Generically “to us in Asia.”  Specifically, “to John in Ephesus of Asia.”  John is called the disciple of the LORD, an Apostle, an elder, and is identified as the evangelist by Anatolius as being the “evangelist John, who leaned on the LORD’s Breast” in Anatolius, Paschal Writings, .10.  
19     The Book of Hebrews.  Contrary to later speculation that Paul claimed Luke’s Gospel as his own.
20     Irenaeus 3.1.1. 
21      Luke’s was completed in Corinth of Achaia in 50-51 A.D., 5 years before Matthew’s in Jerusalem.
22      Eusebius, History of the Church 6.14 – citing Clement of Alexandria
23      This can be further supported by Jerome.  In 398 A.D., in his preface to Commentary on Matthew, Jerome tells us “Luke the physician…composed his book in Achaia and Boeotia.”  That is, in Corinth and Athens.  Prior to going to Athens in Acts 17:16, Luke goes to Berea in Acts 17:10.  I believe that he is so impacted, as his statement in Acts 17:11-12 tells us, that he meets Theophilus in this city of Berea, and by the time Luke reaches Athens in Acts 17:16, he begins to piece together information (in part) from the parchments and scrolls of Paul (cf. 2 Timothy 4:13).  These are they, which probably contain eyewitness testimonies and teachings as early as Acts 13:1 from Antioch.  Luke then would then have conducted various Apostolic interviews in Corinth, confirming, adding, and editing source material, before finally completing his Gospel in either A.D. 50 or by the Spring of 51 A.D.
24     Eusebius H.O.C., 2.24.  In 2.16, Eusebius lists Mark as being the “first” who was sent to Alexandria, and the “first” to establish churches in that particular Egyptian city.
25    Roberts,  Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 8.  p. 485,  “Acts of the Apostles.”  Although the story appears to be just that, there is little or no reason to doubt that such an odd date as June 29 would have been made up, but rather the author would have wanted to close on one well known fact as if to justify the reason for observance of the date that was being observed already.  This date of June 29 falls very closely with Paul’s 2 whole years in his own hired house (Acts 28:30).  Had he arrived in May of 55, followed by 2 whole years, and then receiving “a 30 day reprieve for the condemned” dating from Augustus (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Augustus .32) or the later Senatorial reprieve of 10 days for the condemned issued in A.D. 21 (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Tiberius .75).  And as Eusebius cites in H.O.C. 5.21, that once any man is brought to trial before Caesar and the Senate, …”once led to trial, and that would by no means CHANGE their purpose, should not be dismissed.
              One example that I have not seen anyone yet use in Roman history to date the trials of Peter and Paul, is that we do know with fair certainty, before even beginning to research the date of Peter and Paul's trials in Rome, that Peter and Paul were NOT executed in either November or December of any year, as the Court Calendars were dark in those months in Rome since the time of Augustus (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Augustus, .32).  Further, they would not have been executed in A.D. 56, because in that year, Seneca  -- not Nero -- was Consul in ROME  (Grant, Michael   The Twelve Caesars, N.Y.: Barnes & Noble, © 1975, 1996 reprint, p.155).
Suetonius tells us that Nero held 4 consulships, which limits his interactions with the Apostles to these times:     
1)      Two months (in A.D. 55)
2)      Six months  (in A.D. 57)
3)      Four months (in A.D. 58)
4)      Six months  (in A.D. 60)       (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, 6.14)
26    Re: Bruce, F.F.  “The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?”  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,  © 1943, 14th Edition 1980, p.83         Now, if F.F. Bruce’s assessment is correct, that the Ephesian riot took place in 54 A.D., the entire dating of the N.T. as I lay out must be bumped up a year.  This could account for Paul’s expectancy of death in and desertion at 2 Timothy 4:16; but this could just as easily be explained as Paul simply referring to Jerusalem and his trial before Festus and Felix as the context of what he tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:16.   
27     e.g.,  Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Nero, .20 - .29
28     Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Tiberius,  .8    The earthquake relief / petition of funds was also made in behalf of Thyatira, and Chios also.  Some historians have reckoned this earthquake at 17 A.D., while other opinions appear to be 23 A.D.   
29     Tertullian, Apology, .5    
30      Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Nero, .14
31     Lactanius, "On the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died", .2, tells us that Jesus was crucified on March 23, "the tenth of the Kalends of April".  He also goes on to explain that only "25 years" lapsed, "until the beginning of the reign of Nero", before Peter and Paul came to ROME.
32    Claudius died on October 13, 54 A.D.  (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Tiberius, .45)  Nero was installed almost as soon as the news was made public (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Nero,. 8).  Roman Emperors could appear to reckon their reign, like governors, from June 1 to May 31.  Hence Nero’s 1st year could be reckoned in one of TWO ways: the actual calendar year of 365 days from when he took office in mid-October 54 A.D  (Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Tiberius, .45; Nero .8); or by reckoning  the time up to June 1, followed by the 365 days thereafter.
33     Josephus, 20.8.9.  If Nero sent Festus straightway with a Legion in November 54, Paul would then have been sent from Jerusalem, and on his way to ROME no later than January of 55 A.D., about one to two months prior to the death of Festus, who used his extra Legion to wage a swift winter campaign in the Israeli countryside.  This still falls well within the timeline needed for a 53 A.D. Revelation authorship, and a death of Peter and Paul in Rome in A.D. 57.
34    More correctly, Paul arrived in Rome in 55 A.D.  Luke records his stay as 2 whole years in a rented house, in which Paul awaited to stand before Caesar.  Since Paul died on June 29 of 57 A.D., and if we subtract a 30 day imprisonment in bonds from June 29 in which he and Peter had time to change their minds toward the deities of Rome -- we reach an arrival date for Paul in Rome in the latter part of May 55 A.D.  By February or early March of 55, Festus was dead.  The martyrdom of James, the bishop of the Christians in Jerusalem, occurs on Passover in A.D. 55 just weeks after the death of Festus.  (Re: Hegisippus’ account in Eusebius, H.O.C. 2.23; and Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.9.1.).  Paul  was on an island for about 3 months, subtracting to April, then March , then February.  Then, allotting travel by ship and by pedestrian means, we are looking at a date no later than the first week of February, probably mid-late January 55 A.D. for Paul’s shipwreck experience.
35   Acts 28:30.  The emphasis is that Paul stayed in his own rented house.  Like Ignatius, in later times, he would have been chained to a special guard, and allowed to move about the city of ROME on rare occasions from time to time.  The important thing to remember is that Paul’s house became an instant Church, in which others congregated and or met with him (Acts 28:17 ff.).
36   Jerome, “On Illustrious Men”, .5
37    Eusebius, H.O.C. 2.25, cites Dionysius of Corinth writing Soter of Rome, “…Peter, and Paul both sowed in Romans and Corinthians alike.  For both of them sowed in our Corinth and taught us jointly:  in Italy too, they taught jointly in the same city, and were martyred at the same time.  Cf.: I Corinthians 1:12, and I Peter 1:1.
      In 44 B.C., Corinth was rebuilt into a “New Corinth”, a forced retirement settlement of former Legionnaires, Knights (L. “equestor ordo” -those of an upper social class who were senatorial financiers and contacts), and freedmen.  There was an intense connection between Corinth and Rome when Peter and Paul arrived and stayed just 93-94 years later.  It also tells us why that after the evangelism of Asia, funded by the Corinthians, the next effort was in Rome.  Asia was home to the temples of Emperor worship.  Once the Gospel was clearly victorious in Asia, the Corinthian sponsors of the missionary efforts felt confident of their ambitions toward converting the people of Rome also.  The noble Erastus was most likely of the “equestor ordo”, a Roman Knight, and financial sponsor of the Senator of Achaia as well as that of the Christian Churches funded by Peter and Paul in that region.  The success of the evangelism of Asia probably relied quite heavily on Erastus’ position of influence in the Empire at the time, and an unspoken relationship with those around Emperor Claudius.
38    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.22.5 
39     Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.3.4.  – so often neglected and missed by those who quote Irenaeus on this very dating issue.  (ibid.).
40    This witness given by Irenaeus appears to be about as solid for jurisprudence as we could ever ask of ancient testimony.  In examining that transmission of testimony – from 30 A.D. ff.
     Of Christ:  John to 68 years           [98 A.D.]        following the death and resurrection of Christ
Polycarp  to 126 yrs.   [156 A.D.]      following the death and resurrection of Christ
Irenaeus to 172 yrs.     [202 A.D.}     following the  death and resurrection of Jesus
                Of John:        Polycarp  to 58 years    [156 A.D.]     following the death of John
   Irenaeus  to  104 years  [202 A.D.]     following  the death of John
   Caius,  (Tertullian?),  Hippolytus       to circa  A.D.  217,  (220) and 236 
                                                                    (See also note 5, for Tertullian)
      Jerome, “On Illustrious Men”, .9, is apparently ignored in respects to his theory, which was molded primarily by reading Eusebius, it seems. For Jerome records:           “Then, in the 14th year after Nero, Domitian having raised a Second Persecution, he [John] was banished to the isle of Patmos [in ca. 81-82 A.D.]  and wrote the Apocalypse…he returned to Ephesus under Nerva, and continuing there until the time of the Emperor Trajan….  Worn out by old age, (John) died in the 68th year after our LORD’s Passion, and was buried near the same city.”  If that is the case, the traditional evidence indeed points to a death of John perhaps on or just after Passover 98 A.D.  Nerva died in January of 98 A.D.
41                                                      Tertullian, On Prescription Against the Heretics, .32
42     Clement of Alexandria, “Who is the Rich Man who shall find Salvation?”,  .42  (Ibid.)
43    Suetonius, 12 Caesars, Tiberius, .54 and Eusebius, H.O.C., 3.18   shows that Pontia, off the Italian Coast, was in use from at least the 20s to the 90s A.D. as an isle of banishment. 
44    Eusebius, H.O.C., 3.20    Note at the end documentation of the persecution of these half-great-nephews of the LORD, how that Eusebius leaves off the record and switches to his own opinion or misconception.  This occurs when he writes,  “This is the statement of the historians of the day.”
45   Tertullian, On Prescription Against the Heretics, .36 
46    Literal Translation, mine. 
47    Acts 21:17-34
48   Cf. endnote 42.  It is quite possible that John, at this time, is in the neighboring districts on his circuit tour; while Paul’s faithful attempt to persuade him to return to Ephesus, but are resigned to accept John over them, though reluctantly, and with tears.
49     This appears to be confirmed in 398 A.D. by Jerome, in his Preface to his Commentary on Matthew, where he writes:      John…when he was in Asia, [he was there] at the time when the seeds of heresy were springing up (I refer to Cerinthus, Ebion, and the rest…whom the Apostle Paul frequently assails).  He [John] was urged by almost all the bishops of Asia, then living, and by deputations from many Churches, to write more profoundly concerning our Savior’s Divinity.”
50    Acts 19:21 – 20:1
51    Cf. Tertullian, Apology, .13    
52   The Jewish Festival of Rosh HaShana is not just "the head of the (new) year", but is also known as "The LORD's Day", and the "Day of YHVeH's Trump".  The 40 days prior, from fortieth to the second day prior, the sound of the trump is made with the shofar.  The day before Rosh HaShana is a day of silence and Awe, as the people await Rosh HaShana, which is the day when GOD Himself is supposed to blow His own Shofar, and herald His Kingdom Come on Earth.  Later, the LORD’s Day came to be exclusively known as the “Resurrection Day” of Jesus.  And there should be great care and consideration given to this.
Day 1 of the Tribulation Period begins within 45 days following Rosh Hashana.  This is preceded by the Enochian or unseen rapture of the Church (Genesis 5:24), which is given in type in Revelation 1:19-20’s relationship (meta tauta ff.) with Amos 5:8 and the mythology of the Pleiades.  A sudden snatching away of 7 daughters placed in the heavens, out of reach as though now constellations. The removal is by the sound of the Trump, low-level-legato, the same as given in the Dead Sea “War Scroll”.   Day 1290-1291 will fall on or about First-fruits, or Easter.  This is the Resurrection Day of Jesus, and this will be preceded by the visible rapture of the Church, such as seen in Revelation 11:11-12.  Following this, we read Revelation 6:12 ff. in which GOD terribly punishes those left upon the Earth, and in the prophets of the Old Testament, this great tribulation of another 1335 days is called “The LORD’s Day” or “The Day of the LORD”.  The question of persecution and exile of John from Ephesus only makes sense from Luke’s exposition of the Ephesian riot, and being residual persecution thereafter.  From John’s Jewish perspective, being a ritual Kohen Priest wearing a high priest’s sacrificial garment (etc.), it seems more plausible to stay close to a Torah Observation that John himself would have followed -- and not which we would have “liked” or “preferred” thousands of years later.         
53    T = 300   E=5   I = 10   T=300   A=1   N=50    totaling 666.    The man will be arrogant like Superbus, an ancient Roman ruler who was the first to be saluted and hailed, who also made it a point to sleep with new brides before their husbands did, etc.  His name will be worshipped like Apollo, who is identifiable in Antiquity as Horus: the son of Osiris and Isis.  Isis is Ceres, the daughter of Prometheus, called IO by the Greeks; because when Attica (Athens) began to become “civilized”. IO thus represented, from here, all time begins.   Osiris became known as Bacchyus, deity of the underworld. Osiris, as Bacchyus, was celebrated with a Mardi gras atmosphere of phallic orgies, because his relationship to Ceres was a celebration of deliverance by his being oversexed, -- whose god was the belly, and what lay below it.  Therefore, the Greek and Romans, who descended themselves (in part) from ancient Hyksos or Syriac Egyptians, will also have this 666 absorbing a religious identity in which deity is found even in alligators and frogs and what have you.  A veritable “god of forces” who is worshipped like the sun, more so than even Hitler ever was in the Munich stadium by his own faithful in the mid to late 1930s…
54    Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.30.3-4  
55             Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.30.1.    The focus begins with those εν πασι  τοις
      σπουδαιοις  και  αρχαιοις  αντιγραψοις.  The emphasis on Archaiois. 
            “Such, then, being the state of the case, that this number [666] being found in the most    approved and original copies from the beginning, and  (having) those men who saw John face to face bearing their Testimony….”  Et cetera.

56   Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.5   (ibidem).   “We also have John’s foster churches.  For although Marcion rejects his Apocalypse  [the scroll of Revelation], the order  [or succession] of the bishops, when traced up to their origin  [i.e. their start or first bishop], will yet rest on John as their author.  When Paul was sent to Jerusalem for Pentecost 54 A.D., he had already approved Revelation.  On his was up, he stopped in Miletus (Acts 20:15).  Here, he met with the bishops and elders of Asia, including Ephesus, and gave a long speech, to which Luke records the essentials for us in Acts.  Paul gives up his apostolic authority over them from that point on (Acts 20:32).  After which, the elders return to Ephesus, and the Apostle John, is either offered or assumes Apostolic authority over Ephesus and the Churches in Asia (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.3.4; 2.22.5).
57      The revelation of Christ and the history surrounding Him is at the first grounded in those factual senses and perceptions, such as any honest court of Law must accept.  He was seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, touched and felt with the hands, smelled with the nose, his miracles sometimes tasted by the tongue, and was perceived by these senses as real by heart and mind and soul.  After experiencing all these sensory perceptions, the seventh sensory perception of a spiritual nature is called into play:  and it is called "trust', and "belief".  It is most unfortunate that the traditions of men have over-ridden some of the more historically grounded traditions left us by the Apostles, which beg for rediscovery.  In relation to John the Apostle, we can cite Polycrates, who wrote:
“…In Asia, great Lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the Day of the LORD’s Appearing, in which He shall come from Heaven with glory, raising up all the saints [from the dead].  Phillip, one of the 12 Apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis with his two virgin daughters: his other daughter, also, who having lived under the influence of the Holy Ghost, now likewise rests in Ephesus.
John, moreover, who rested upon our LORD’s bosom, he also was a priest [like Phillip] and bore the Petalon  [the flying oracle - the plate of the high priest and the Urim and Thummin shoulder stones],  (being) both a witness and a teacher.  He is buried in Ephesus, (as is) Polycarp of Smyrna, both bishop and martyr.
Thraseas, also, bishop and martyr of Eumenia, is buried at Smyrna.  …Sagaris, bishop and martyr of Eumenia, who rests at Laodicea.  Moreover, the blessed Papirius, and Melito…who now rest at Sardis….      All these observed the Passover on the 14th Day as according to the Gospel, never in any respect deviating, but following the rule of Faith.”
           --Polycrates, ca. 190 A.D.   (cited by Eusebius, History of the Church,  5.24)
 The Passover falls on the 14th day of Nisan of any and every given year in the Jewish calendar.  According to the Apostolic observation by John, and hence by Christ, we are to find that First fruits always falls 3 days following Pesach.  Therefore, in the reckoning of the Holy Days / Festivals of Leviticus 23, we find then that Shavuot or Pentecost was to be exactly counted from First fruits as 50 days, and from Passover as 53 days, because Scripture was taken literally in this interpretative approach by the Apostles and by Christ Himself.  It is because John the Apostle followed and taught this example as Christ’s closest disciple, we therefore ought to heed and observe this specific tradition he left behind for us with some form of appropriate respect, religious service, or observation.  Yet, with the Council of Nicea and various edicts and later councils of  “Christian Religious Bodies”, we seek out the convenient date, which ensures that First fruits will always fall on a Sunday.  Such observant Christians as the Apostles Phillip and John, and their various disciples, were mocked as mere “Quartodecimans”, as it were: those who Ultra-Orthodoxingly observed the Sabbath and the Jewish Calendar in remembering the Passion on its Jewish date, “the (observers of the) 14s” or “the (society of the) Fourteeners”. 
 Another observation, and this is extremely important: consider this - that for John to bear the Petalon as the High Priest’s of the Christians on Earth, means that the mantle had passed to John in Ephesus, the co-Apostle and co-Son of Thunder with Peter, (and not to Clement in Rome,) as the highest ordained mediator of Christ’s Church on earth.  Paul tells us rightly, that there is only ONE mediator between GOD and all mankind, and that ONE is Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5).  If this is so, then to what purpose was John serving?  In all considerations, John was probably acting as a mediator between Christ and His Church, praying as Job did for his family (cf. Job 1:5,8). 
         In short, the Roman claim to Peter’s passing the “keys of the Kingdom” in Matthew 16:17-19 falls short on three fronts:
1)                  the mantle passing to John in Ephesus as Christ’s closest disciple;
2)                   the mantle passing to Mark, who bore the words of Peter to Alexandria, Egypt as his tutelage and successor;
3)                  prior to the death of  Peter,  by almost 4 years, Christ Jesus  (in Revelation, written September 53 A.D.)  is the possessor of the keys of death and hell, and therefore the kingdom of GOD , also (Revelation 1:18). 
     Therefore, for any one of these three to be true, especially the latter; the claim of Roman preeminence and papacy over the kingdoms of the Earth is lawless and without merit or precedence (for neither John nor Mark claimed such authority over the other Churches of the Roman Empire).    The Roman Catholic Church is to stand to affirm the New Testament and the work of GOD at the Cross; not to take it over, and lay the people down with burdens Christ already paid for.  It is called to be that light upon the hill, and a beacon of truth to the nations of the Earth; but Jerusalem, not Rome, is to be remembered as the city of our Great King (Matthew 5:35). 
One more thing should be said of John.  As dictator of the Gospel of John, and Andrew being his scribe, there was no love lost between most of the Apostles and the Judeans because of inter-Israeli prejudices.  The Galileans might as well have been another country, other than part of Israel.  Their plenteousness in farmland and harvests, in water, in riches, in a laid back way of living, was envied, and despised by the Judeans.  It is quite probable that the Judeans price gouged the Galileans traveling into Judea, paying their “telos” or end destination tax of a much higher rate than in Galilee.  The Judeans looked down upon the Galileans with a form of spiritual disdain and as practically as foreigners, more so than their fellow brethren of the House of Jacob.  This despising by the Judeans, especially manifest at Jerusalem, led to an inter-family hatred, to which modern rabbis fail to grasp.  Somehow, they view Jews of Galilee in 30 A.D. as non-Jews when it suits them to deny Jesus, but embrace their terrorists when it suits them to make heroes of those who perished in Masada over 40 years later.  Why?  If there is a current bias and hatred between Sephardi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews, how hard is it then to receive the Gospel of John of using the word “Jew” in the same vein?  Both are geographical inferences: Judeans versus Galileans -- German Jews (the Ashkenazi) versus (Sephardi) Spanish Jews.  Who is the more “Jewish” or “Hebraic” as the “sons of Israel”? 
58    These two letters are dated as the first, and could not have been written after the Spring of A.D. 55, with the execution of James in Jerusalem by the “robbers” who had taken over and terrorized the Temple.  Luke mentions that at the Jerusalem conference, there were letters written (Acts 15:20,23) after a manner as described in Acts 15:20.  Both Jude and James fall into this context.  There were probably other letters written at this time that were not preserved.  It is therefore logical, that if indeed these were among the first, if for no other reason, they would have been preserved as evidence of an origin or “archaios” of Apostolic writings following their deaths.
59    This is the only letter we have that was penned by Paul’s own hand.  His being violently abused by stoning, beaten with rods, beaten with fists and clubs, bashed about the head and face, and being now past 43 years of age, all affected him.  He probably suffered convulsive shaking of the hands, and acute myopia.  When he writes of “how large a letter” he has personally written, he is referring that it was not written by the hand of a child.  Therefore, we may expect huge and over-sized lettering which was some 6 times greater than what one might expect from a scribe, and taking much more parchment, especially if he wrote in a crooked or sloping manner.  Hereafter, he would employ others who would scribe, or co-author letters with him.  The greatest and most skilled in the Greek of these was Tertius, the guest of Caius of Corinth.  That skill is matched only by Andrew, who scribed the Gospel of John at John’s instruction, in the presence of other First Apostles and First Disciples.
60    Luke wrote his Gospel while in Achaia (Anti- Marcionite Prologues).  And since the Gospels with the genealogies were written first, and Matthew died in November 56 A.D.; the only time when Luke was able to stay put long enough in Corinth for such a work, could only have been late A.D. 49 to early 51.  The quick layover, in which Paul dictated Romans, would not have allowed Paul’s personal physician enough down-time to complete the task and careful writing he did in that work. 

[Edited for content on August 29, 2012]

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