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Eleven Imminent Time references in the book of Revelation: tachos & en tachei mean “quickly, all at once, without delay.” Revelation 1:1 – “…things which must shortly take place” Revelation – “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly” Revelation – “Behold, I come quickly! ” Revelation 22:6 – “…things which must shortly take place.” Revelation 22:7 – “Behold, I am coming quickly! Néron: histoire et légende (Collection Latomus, 247; Brussels: 1999): 152-81. • Berry Stewart Crebs, The Seventh Angel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1938). It is nearly universally accepted in Christianity that the first four chapters of the book of Revelation were addressed to their named recipients, the seven churches in Asia Minor. Pierce, The Rapture Cult (Signal Mtn., TN: 1986) • T. Most also affirm that they were fulfilled in the first century. This may sound like an academic concern, but it is actually quite relevant. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing (2004 PDF) • J. Marshall, Parables of War: Reading John’s Jewish Apocalypse (Studies in Christianity and Judaism, 10; Waterloo, Ont.: 2001) ; `Who’s on the Throne? This is because if Revelation was not written before 70AD, then it was likely not warning its audience about the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. The Gospel of John is mysteriously without an Olivet Discourse.
It might behoove us to at least consider that John & Jesus… Instead, we’ve canonized the idea that they were all wrong…because we didn’t get what we were hoping for.
There is really no textual reason to discount the time statements and their relevance to the original readers of the letters.
The only reason to do this is if you are trying to make the text fit your particular doctrine.
It is important to realize that this is a modern call imposed upon the text, not something arising from the text itself. The letter of Revelation itself says nothing about a shift in audience or subject matter. Chopping the letter up is an arbitrary idea forced onto the text.
It says nothing about a delay in timing or a change in intended audience. It is the result of a misunderstanding about when or why it was written and how it was fulfilled to its original audience. Reed (eds.), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge: 2004): 123-41.
What more could John and Jesus possibly say to communicate when this prophecy was to be fulfilled?