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 Irenaeus 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.
With the opinion of the first Commentators agrees the tradition of the Churches of Syria, preserved to this day in the title of the Syriac Version of the Apocalypse, which title is this: The Revelation which was made to John the Evangelist by God in the Island Patmos, into which he was banished by Nero the Caesar. The same is confirmed by a story told by Eusebius out of Clemens Alexandrinus, and other ancient authors, concerning a youth, whom John some time after his return from Patmos committed to the care of the Bishop of a certain city.
The Bishop educated, instructed, and at length baptized him; but then remitting of his care, the young man thereupon got into ill company, and began by degrees first to revel and grow vicious, then to abuse and spoil those he met in the night; and at last grew so desperate, that his companions turning a band of highway-men, made him their Captain: and, saith Chrysostom, he continued their Captain a long time. At length John returning to that city, and hearing what was done, rode to the thief; and, when he out of reverence to his old master fled, John rode after him, recalled him, and restored him to the Church. This is a story of many years, and requires that John should have returned from Patmos rather at the death of Nero than at that of Domitian; because between the death of Domitian and that of John there were but two years and an half; and John in his old age was so infirm as to be carried to Church, dying above 90 years old, and therefore could not be then supposed able to ride after the thief.