Re: Thanatos and Hades in the Lake of Fire

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu May 22 1997 - 17:14:45 EDT

At 8:49 AM -0400 5/22/97, Clayton Bartholomew wrote:
>Thanatos and Hades in the Lake of Fire
>Who are Thanatos and Hades in the Apocalypse? Are the personal beings
>or are they metaphors? Yes this is a Greek question. Thanatos and
>Hades were Greek gods.

I'm sorry, but I honestly fail to see how this is a Greek question. The
words are Greek, to be sure, and Thanatos and Hades figure in Greek
mythology, although it can be debated whether the author of the Apocalypse
was a believer in Greek mythology or in the reality of the Greek pantheon.
The references cited are from the NT cited by book chapter and verse. The
question concerns the proper interpretation of Revelation, but it is not a
question about the meaning of the Greek text but either a theological or a
literary question. Either way it appears to challenge people to respond
from theological or literary perspectives rather than from any grammatical
or lexicological acumen. I'm not saying it isn't an interesting question,
but I can readily imagine this evolving into a discussion of whether Satan
is to be understood as a person or an impersonal demonic force of evil, or
just how--and I don't think that's the kind of question that can be
answered on the basis of what the Greek text says.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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