Re: Rev 20:4-5

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Mon Oct 20 1997 - 12:48:46 EDT

On Mon, 20 Oct 1997 12:31:58 +0200 (MET DST) Rolf Furuli
<> writes:
>Paul S. Dixon wrote,
><Yes, but if we broaden it a bit, I think the difficulty with the
><ingressive aorist becomes more evident. John says he saw TAS YUCAS
that these YUCAS come alive? If we take YUCAS as "souls" (so most
><[all?] translations), then how is it that these souls, which are
><already alive, come to life? Is this why somebody here said Carl C
><it as "corpses"? Now, I can see corpses coming alive, but not souls
><that were already alive. But, is "corpses" really the meaning here? I
><like a little light on this one.
><On the other hand, if YUCAS is "souls," then a constative aorist EZHSAN
><makes good sense. John saw the souls of the beheaded saints. These
><souls were not dead. They were alive. In fact, they lived and reigned
><with Christ for a thousand years.
>Dear Paul,
>Much of the imagery of Revelation is taken from the OT, and this may
>help us in our understanding of TAS YUCAS. In Rev 6:9 TAS YUCAS were
>hUPOKATW TOU QUSIASTHRIOU. Why this position? Before we can interpret
>each tableau of Revelation we must find its setting. If the altar in the

>temple is the setting here, TAS YUCAS must be the blood of those being
>slaughtered on the altar,because the blood of the sacrifices was poured
out at >the base of the altar (PARA THN BASIN TOU QUSIASTHRIOU Lev 4:7).
We >also remeber that THE BLOOD of Abel was crying for revenge (Gen
4:10). In the >OT the soul is mortal and it is, or is represented by the
>The nature of TAS YUCAS of Rev 20:4 is hardly different from those
>mentioned in 6:9, and keeping in mind that the phrase is a part of a
>LITERAL tableau which in turn has to be given a symbolic meaning, they
>need not be anything else but the blood (representing the life or
>personality) of those having been executed. The question of an immortal
soul >which is important for a "constative" interpretation of EZHSAN is
not for
>b-greek. But in no way is it necessary to read this into TAS YUCAS,
>there is no passage in the NT which explicitly expresses another view of
>soul than the Hebrew one. The above interpretation is therefore an

You say, "In the OT the soul is mortal and it is, or is represented by
the blood," and "there is no passage in the NT which explicitly expresses
another view of the
soul than the Hebrew one." I find this incredible. The same author, in
the Gospel bearing his name, cites these words of Christ, "I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he
dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you
believe this?" (Jn 11:25-26). Is this not a clear teaching of the
immortality of the soul which believes in Christ? Indeed it is.

These words of Christ may very well be the backdrop and the key for
helping us to understand Rev 20:4 ff. If it is true that the one who
believes in Christ lives eternally, then even he dies physically, he can
have the assurance of living and reigning with Christ. John saw the
souls, TAS YUCAS, of the beheaded saints. Before we start trying to find
this as a figure of speech for the physical body, why don't we first
consider if John selected this word because this is specifically what he
had in mind, the soul, and not the body. Again, this makes very good
sense in light of what John heard Christ say (Jn 11:25-26). Sure, the
bodies of these beheaded saints had died, but the souls had not. In
fact, they were in that group that lived and reigned with Christ for a
thousand years.

Now, before somebody says this interpretation suffers because it sees
these saints living and reigning only for that period of time, let me
hasten to say this interpretation says no such thing. It does not imply
that after the 1000 years these saints do not live and/or do not reign
with Christ. It says nothing about what happens afterwards, if there is
an afterwards (depending, of course, upon our interpretation of the 1000


Paul Dixon

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