Another writer asked :
"Was John Darby (1800-1882) the first man to teach a 7 Year Tribulation period?"John Darby (1800-1882) is generally credited as the first man to teach the idea that there would be a 7 year tribulation period. Prior to Darby , there is no known record of anyone claiming that the 7 years of Dan 9:27 outlines the length of the tribulation period in the book of Revelation.It's not that there aren't an abundance of commentators. For example, all of the following people commented on the End Times, the False Messiah, and other such topics:
- The last chapter of the Didache (circa 100-120 AD) outlines the events of the Second Coming, but says nothing about a 7 year trib period.
- Irenaeus (120-200 AD), in Book V Chapter XXV , quotes from Daniel to discuss the tribulations and says the false messiah would reign for 3.5 years, and makes no mention of any greater length of 7 years.
- Victorinus (circa 240 AD) wrote a Commentary on the entire Book of Revelation, but not once did he mention anything about the tribulation period being 7 years in length. There's a lot of SEVEN's in the book of Revelation (7 churches, 7 trumpets, 7 seals) and as such, he talks a lot about the symbolic meaning of the number 7 in his commentary on the first chapter. But still, not once does he say anything about a 7 year period despite all of these opportunities and places where one would expect such.
- Ephraim the Syrian (4th century AD) discusses the false messiah reigning for 3.5 years, but says nothing of any sort of 7 year tribulation period.One could probably go through one example after another and find similar results; one commentator after another from the earliest times right on up to Darby had no notion of the End Times fitting into some sort of 7 year time period. We even see the opposite , for all of them talk about the false messiah reigning for only 3.5 years. Darby (19th century AD) is the first person history knows of to suggest that the entire tribulation period would fit into some sort of 7 year period.fm Lewis Brackett:My response is two fold.......first, We have unfolding understanding of scripture as the final day approaches.......secondly, Daniel's final or 70th week is indeed in scripture whether it was understood before Darby or not.......For much of the Christian era, for example, Revelation was thought by most to have been fulfilled in the ancient historical period.After the reformation, the Protestants took the historical point of view so they could accuse the Popes of being the Antichrist while the Roman church took a Revelation is future stand to try to defend themselves.........Ironically, post Darby, both sides have reversed their viewpoints with the Roman believing the Revelation is historical perspective and the protestants holding to the Revelation is future opinion...........along with Daniels 7 years.........Finally, Whether it was properly understood before Darby is irreverent because GOD has revealed to the Church that Daniels 7 years are yet to come.....Daniel says:
Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.