“Preterism holds that the contents of Revelation constitute a prophecy of events that were fulfilled in the 1st century. Preterists believe the dating of the book of Revelation is vitally important and that it was before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Preterism was first expounded by the Jesuit Luis de Alcasar during the Counter Reformation. The Preterist view served to bolster the Catholic Church’s position against attacks by Protestants, who identified the Pope with the Anti-Christ.”
“It is said that in this persecution the apostle and evangelist John, who was still alive, was condemned to dwell on the island of Patmos in consequence of his testimony to the divine word. Irenaeus, in the fifth book of his work Against Heresies, where he discusses the number of the name of Antichrist which is given in the so-called Apocalypse of John, speaks as follows concerning him: ‘If it were necessary for his name to be proclaimed openly at the present time, it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation. For it was seen not long ago, but almost in our own generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian.’”
Eusebius, _The History of the Church_, Bk. 3, Ch. 18, “The Apostle John and the Apocalypse,” p. 148.
“Tertullian has also mentioned Domitian in the following words: ‘Domitian also, who possessed a share of Nero’s cruelty, attempted once to do the same thing that the latter did. But because he had, I suppose, some intelligence, he very soon ceased, and even recalled those whom he had banished.’ But after Domitian had reigned fifteen years, and Nerva had succeeded to the empire, the Roman Senate, according to the writers that record the history of those days, voted that Domitian’s honors should be cancelled, and that those who had been unjustly banished should return to their homes and have their property restored to them. It was at this time that the apostle John returned from his banishment in the island and took up his abode at Ephesus, according to an ancient Christian tradition.”
Eusebius, _The History of the Church_, Bk. 3. Ch. 20, “The Relatives of our Saviour,” pp. 151-152.
“The traditional date of composition at the end of Domitian’s reign (95 or 96) rests on the clear and weighty testimony of Irenaeus, is confirmed by Eusebius and Jerome, and has still its learned defenders …”
Philip Schaff, _History of the Christian Church_, Vol. 1, p. 834.
“A conspiracy among his own freedmen—set on foot, it is said, by his wife Domitia Longina, who knew her own life to be threatened—cut short his career. He was stabbed in his bedroom by a freedman of Clemens named Stephanus on the 18th of September 96.”
“Domitian,” The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 12, p. 405. They fix the dates of his reign from AD 81-96.
(_Revelation Revealed_ does not uphold the Preterist view of Revelation.)
Philip Schaff is himself a Preterist, as is Bill Cooper, an author and researcher I highly respect. If John did indeed see the vision before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70, then it seems that the Preterist view would have been the prevailing view among the Church fathers, since it would have been seen to have been fulfilled right in front of their eyes by them. However, Dr. Francis Nigel Lee lists the Apostolic and Church Fathers who interpreted biblical predictions historically, as found in his work _Biblical Predictions Not Preterist but Historicist_, Table of Contents, and examined in detail throughout his book. _Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown’s Commentary_ in its “Introduction to Revelation,” says, “The first theory [speaking of the Preterist] was not held by any of the earliest Fathers, and is only held now by Rationalists, who limit John’s vision to things within his own horizon, pagan Rome’s persecutions of Christians, and its consequently anticipated destruction.” Furthermore, the traditional Preterist commentators have displayed the most aggressive Replacement Theology I have ever come across in print. See for example, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.