Introduction, concerning the time when the Apocalypse was written
Too Long; Didn't ReadIrenæus introduced an opinion that the Apocalypse was written in the time of Domitian; but then he also postponed the writing of some others of the sacred books, and was to place the Apocalypse after them: he might perhaps have heard from his master Polycarp that he had received this book from John about the time of Domitian's death; or indeed John might himself at that time have made a new publication of it, from whence Irenæus might imagine it was then but newly written. Eusebius in his Chronicle and Ecclesiastical History follows Irenœus; but afterwards in his Evangelical Demonstrations, he conjoins the banishment of John into Patmos, with the deaths of Peter and Paul: and so do Tertullian and Pseudo-Prochorus, as well as the first author, whoever he was, of that very antient fable, that John was put by Nero into a vessel of hot oil, and coming out unhurt, was banished by him into Patmos. Tho this story be no more than a fiction yet was it founded on a tradition of the first churches, that John was banished into Patmos in the days of Nero. Epiphanius represents the Gospel of John as written in the time of Domitian, and the Apocalypse even before that of Nero. Arethas in the beginning of his Commentary quotes the opinion of Irenæus from Eusebius, but follows it not: for he afterwards affirms the Apocalypse was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that former commentators had expounded the sixth seal of that destruction.