The oldest interpretations contain elements of the Historical and Futurist views. (read below)
"Ribera effectively sealed the last 19 chapters of Revelation until the time of the end. But God told John expressly not to seal Revelation.
"And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand."" (Revelation 22:10) Daniel's "sealed week" is referenced within John's prophecy. What is the conclusion? God has made a distinction between Daniel's week of the covenant and the book of Revelation. One was to be sealed and the other was not to be sealed. They cannot, therefore, be speaking of identical events. Revelation includes Daniel's week but is broadly greater in scope than Daniel's final week."
Keep in mind that a literal 3 1/2 year time at the end was not an original idea by Ribera. Irenaeus of Lyons (below) held to the 3 1/2 years as well, and probably received that interpretation from Polycarp (St. John's disciple), who in turn discipled Irenaeus.
The commentaries of Calvin and Luther testify they believed in an unsealed Revelation. Could it be that 3 1/2 years and 1260 days are both mentioned in scripture because 1260 would have an equivalent in years and the three and one-half years would refer to actual time at the end?
Irenaeus of Lyons lived about a hundred years after John and was instructed by Polycarp, John's disciple. John's interpretation of his own writings were probably recorded by Irenaeus, indicating the Historicists and the Futurists are both partially correct.
"He says also: "And he will cause a mark [to be put] in the forehead and in the right hand, that no one may be able to buy or sell, unless he who has the mark of the name of the beast or the number of his name; and the number is six hundred and sixty-six,"
that is, six times a hundred, six times ten, and six units. [He gives this] as a summing up of the whole of that apostasy which has taken place during six thousand years."
"For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: "Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works." This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year."
"But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
So Irenaeus believed that a 3 1/2 year period would come at the end of a six thousand year interval (from creation until the Antichrist has "devastated all things"). Check the Hebrew Date for this year: http://www.hebcal.com/converter/ Many experts believe that the Hebrew calendar was purposefully altered to avoid the lifetime of Jesus. They believe that today we are very close to the Biblical year 6,000.
Jesus said in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." The time was fulfilled. The era for the "days of Messiah" (from around 4,000 to 6,000) had arrived. Today the time of the end - 6,000 years has been fulfilled, and the end of the age is at hand.
"Whether the mark of the beast has been incorporated at the time of Babylon's destruction is up for debate and is discussed in detail hereafter. But two of the best guesses for what this mark might be were given by Irenaeus in the second century. As a second generation student of St. John, Irenaeus' proposal deserves credibility. He gives one interpretation of 666 as a redundancy of the numeral six. He proposes that six represents the 6,000 years of the kingdom of man. According to ancient Jewish tradition there would be 2,000 years of “Wilderness”, 2,000 years of the "Days of Elijah", and then 2,000 years of the "Days of Messiah."
There is a monumental validator to the 6,000 year theory. The Jews who subscribed to this theory believed the days of Messiah would begin around the Jewish year 4,000 (the time of Jesus). Jesus even said that the people should be able to discern the signs of the times. So people like Simeon were looking for the messiah at that time. Many false Christ’s and zealots claimed to be Christ during those days. Well the fact is, one of the candidates during that era really turned out to be the Christ – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
So even though many in our day (around the Jewish calendar year 6,000) have predicted the end of the kingdom of man; that doesn’t detract from the fact that one of these day’s (around the year 6,000), just might be the real thing – just like Jesus was the real thing around the year 4,000! The timing of Jesus' first coming lines up perfectly with the 6,000 years prophesied by the ancient Jews. In fact, as more “ends” are predicted and pass unfulfilled; they only add to the odds that the next time will really be it – that is, if you believe in the 6,000 year theory." - Excerpt from the introduction of "Come Out of Her My People: Persecution Begins Expanded Edition"
At the end of the 6,000 years, a millennial reign of God upon the earth would finish out the time line of this age with the seventh 1,000 years. The period of God’s rest upon the earth. This legend probably prompted the question to Jesus about Elijah coming before the Christ. Irenaeus' other suggestion was that the number 666 was a numeric equivalent for the name of the False Prophet.
Matthew 24:3-22 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.