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The Early Date of Revelation and the End Times: An Amillennial Partial Preterist Perspective

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The Early Date of Revelation and the End Times:
An Amillennial Partial Preterist Perspective
by Robert Hillegonds

266 pp (paperback)

The Book of Revelation is commonly believed to have been written sometime around AD 94-95 during the last years of the reign of the Emperor Domitian. One of the most important arguments for this date is based on a statement made by Irenaeus of Lyons almost 100 years later. This statement is recorded for us in the original Greek in the famous church history written by Eusebius of Caesarea (early fourth century).

What if the way we have read Irenaeus’ statement is mistaken?
What if we have erred in reading Irenaeus through the eyes of Eusebius?
What if we are overlooking some questionable presuppositions and a basic misunderstanding which colored the way Eusebius wrote history?

This misunderstanding and these presuppositions are both examined in Robert Hillegonds painstaking research published as The Early Date of Revelation and the Endtimes. This issue powerfully impacts our understanding of endtimes prophecy, as well as what we should be doing as we await the return of Christ.

Table of Contents

PART I: THE EARLY DATE OF REVELATION
1. My Interest, Presuppositionalism, Bertrand Russell, and Eschatology
2. The Eyewitnesses and Form Criticism
3. Eusebius, Papias, the Author of Revelation and the Muratorian Canon
4. The Sixth King, the Banishment of John to the Island of Patmos, and the dating of Revelation
5. Nerva and the Release of John – AD 71 or after the Death of Domitian
6. Centralized Persecution of Christians and the Imperial Cult
7. The Syriac Tradition, Epiphanius, and Jerome

PART II: TOPICS IN PRETERISM EXPLAINED AND DEFENDED
8. The Olivet Discourse and Double Fulfillment
9. Revelation is John's Version of the Olivet Discourse
10. Recapitulation and the Gog/Magog Battle
11. Nero is the Beast
12. Nero Redivivus
13. The Ten Kings and Local Persecution
14. The Temple Was Clearly Standing
15. Objection from the Point of that View that the Temple is Symbolic
16. Mathison on Why Preterism is Essentially Correct

PART III: ESCHATOLOGICAL POSITIONS
17. Definitions
18. Thumbnail Sketch of Eschatological Positions
19. The Dispensational Hermeneutic versus the Historic Protestant Hermeneutic
20. Amillennial and Postmillennial Reformed Eschatology
21. Reformed View of the Old Testament Land Covenant

PART IV: ISRAEL AND THE END TIMES
22. Israel and Prophecy
23. R.C. Sproul, James Stuart Russell and Duncan McKenzie
24. Romans 11 and the Fullness of the Gentiles
25. Satan's Little Season and the Gog/Magog Invasion
26. The Amillennial Solution
27. Final Conclusions

APPENDICES
Appendix A: Peter Steen
Appendix B: Dutch Reformed Theological History starting with Kuyper
Appendix C: Bertrand Russell
Appendix D: Objection to a Literal Interpretation of the Number of Kings
Appendix E: First Century History, Halley's Comet, and Miracles
Appendix F: Agrippa II and the Expansion of his Territories
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“In this carefully-researched, logically-coherent work Robert Hillegonds takes up the question of the date when John wrote Revelation. This is an important consideration for anyone who would study Revelation, for how one resolves this question necessarily impacts the meaning of Revelation.” Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.
Author, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation

"Are there many amillennial partial preterists? There may be more after reading this book. Robert Hillegonds leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the date of Revelation. His early date conclusion framed within a partial preterist and amillennial perspective is very well presented. His meticulous research, sane interpretations, irenic spirit, and love for God and His truth lead the reader on an exciting journey to discover the date of the book of Revelation, with all of its interpretive implications.
    A robust combination of exacting scholarship and spiritual feast. I commend it for professional theologians, pastors, and interested laity.
I have occasionally wondered why scholars lean toward a late date for John’s Revelation. Now I have a thoroughly researched book to help me vie for an early date."
Rev. Michael Pitsenberger
Pastor, Carmel Reformed Church
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Robert Hillegonds did his undergraduate work at Trinity Christian College and Calvin College where he majored in philosophy and biblical studies. After receiving his M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois (Chicago), he taught high school in Illinois until his recent retirement.


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  1. Excellent scholarship. weak presentation. 3 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Sep 2017

    Let me start by saying that I don't have a Ph. D., Th. D., or any kind of "D." I'm just a Christian layman trying to figure out eschatology like the rest of us.

    What's interesting to me is that I very likely agree with Dr. Hillegonds's position. "Partial preterist amillennialist" is a label I've been giving myself for some years, though I am attracted to the hope of a victorious church in the postmillennial view. But having said that, I must say that this book seemed like it should have been the introduction to a much more intensive work.

    Hillegond's scholarship is excellent. His bibliography is extensive, and it is clear that he both read and understood his source material. He made an excellent case for the early date of Revelation that I believe is close to unassailable, and he drew conclusions from the early church historians that I had not seen before. For this reason alone, the book is very valuable.

    However, I was hoping he would spend a good deal of time explaining his partial preterist amill view. He spends some time refuting Dispensationalism, which is nothing new, makes casual reference to idealistic amillennialism, and tries hard to avoid saying anything negative about postmillennialism, which I take as an effort to avoid insulting Dr. Gentry.

    He spent little to no time refuting the "full" or "hyper-" preterist view. In fact, one of the things that I found to be lacking in J. Stewart Russell's "The parousia" was his frequent statement that the text of New Testament prophecy makes no idication that it is intended to have a dual fulfillment. Dr. Hillegonds, a proponent of the "already/not yet" hermeneutic of the Dutch Reformed, could have spent some time demonstrating that Old Testament prophecies, such as Isaiah 7:14, also made no indication that they were to have a double fulfillment.

    The last chapters focus on the Gog/Magog battle and its significance leading up to the parousia. It is food for thought, as we see the church being ridiculed and marginalized today in ways that it never has been before. His contention is that the binding of Satan is over, and that he is once again free to deceive the nations. Perhaps, as Hillegonds believes, we are already living in "Satan's little season," and that the return of Christ is imminent.

    Or, maybe a third Great Awakening will usher in the Golden Age of the church. Time will tell.



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