Re: Rev 20:4--ambiguous subjects?

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sat Apr 25 1998 - 09:28:53 EDT

Trevor M Peterson wrote:
> Commentators seem to agree that the subject of EKAQISAN in Rev 20:4 is
> unclear.

R.H. Charles (vol 2, p183) solves this problem in his characteristic manner by
reconstructing the text of verse 4. Charles takes KAI EKAQISAN . . . EDOQH
AUTOIS and moves it to a position toward the end of verse 4 just before KAI
EZHSAN. This reconstruction allows him to assert that the subject of EKAQISAN
is TAS YSUCAS. Actually he claims that the martyrs are the subject not their
souls, but that is a fine point.

G.B. Caird comes to a similar conclusion but without rebuilding the text to
accomplish it. H.B. Swete disagrees with this. He claims that Christ and the
Apostles and the Saints are those occupying the thrones. Seiss concludes that
the Saints are those who occupy the thrones.

One gets the impression from reading these sources that R.H. Charles is the
one who has really struggled seriously with the grammatical difficulties of
this passage. But who is going to follow Charles in his willy nilly
reconstruction of the text? Almost no one.

Answering who is sitting on the thrones is just one small issue. Several other
issues which are probably outside of the scope of b-greek include, what are
these thrones and what kind of judgment is taking place and when is the
judgment taking place.

Your initial question, what is the subject of EKAQISAN, is a question about
Greek syntax. Unfortunately I don't have a satisfying answer for you.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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