“the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is [the] Devil and Satan.” (τὸν δράκοντα, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὅς ἐστιν Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς). Verses 2 and 3 progress from verse 1 and John describes the actions of the angel as coordinate with each other. John uses nearly identical language to that of 12:9 where he describes Satan as ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὁ καλούμενος Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς. Osborne notes that the list of names is similar to the legal naming of a condemned prisoner before his sentence is carried out. The evil one is named as the dragon who inspired the beast, the ancient serpent who deceived Eve in the garden, the devil or slanderer who maligns God and His people, and Satan the one who accused God’s people day and night (12:10).
Continue reading “The Millennium: Part 3”
“And I saw” (Καὶ εἶδον). John begins the section with a phrase he has used twenty-seven prior times and will use four more times afterwards, every time introducing a vision. This is significant because the rest of chapter 20 is the continuation of his vision and should be interpreted as such, that is, with all four levels of meaning in view. All too often interpreters appeal to the “prima facie” meaning of Revelation 20 or to a “literal hermeneutic” and then proceed to interpret Revelation 20 jumping straight from the linguistic to the referential levels of meaning. However, if we interpret Revelation 20 as a vision, it is entirely possible to admit that John saw a physical resurrection without necessarily implying a physical resurrection at the referential level. For example, Revelation 13:1 begins with Καὶ εἶδον and then proceeds to narrate what John saw, namely, a composite bear-leopard-lion beast with ten horns, seven heads, and ten crowns. Yet, no serious exegete of Revelation would argue that on the referential level John was speaking of a literal, physical beast that would come up out of the sea in the end times. What he saw was a symbolic picture meant to convey certain truths about the nature of evil governments who oppose Christ and persecute His church.
Continue reading “The Millennium: Part 2”
(This is the first of an eight part series on Revelation 20:1-8)
Revelation 20:1-8 is perhaps one of the most contested passages in all of Scripture. It is certainly the most debated in the book of Revelation. In appears in the broader context of Revelation 17-20 whose main theme is the judgment of God against His enemies. Chapter 17 describes in vivid detail the judgment against the whore and the beast. Chapter 18 describes the fall of Babylon, focusing on the laments of her followers. Chapter 19 begins with the contrasting rejoicing of the saints in heaven. Revelation 19:11 recapitulates and describes the final battle as the triumph of the faithful and true Word of God in executing God’s wrath against His enemies. John ends by drawing on imagery from Ezekiel to describe the destruction of Christ’s enemies.
Continue reading “The Millennium: Part 1”