Our first 2 posts under the topic of “Questions I’ve been Asked” have been somewhat controversial!
Lets start this one off with the binding of Satan. (Carl – can’t you find something a bit less debateable?) More specifically, lets look at the term “a thousand years” in the book of Revelation and how it relates to the binding of Satan.
You see, a brother asked me about the thousand year teaching in the Book of Revelation and if Satan is bound at the present time.
I hope I can address these concerns properly.
Let’s read the passage first
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Revelation 20:2 is the first of six references of a thousand years between verse 2 and verse 7. I have argued before that since John repeats himself six times, he must be making a point about the actual length of time that Satan is bound.
But lets think about this.
1.) Does the literalness of a passage increase due to the repetition of a word?
If repetition is a method to emphasize literalness, consider the following passage. Same author – John – writing down the words of Jesus, in describing Himself as a “door”. No Christian I know will say that Jesus is a literal door. (Hint – it is a metaphor for something greater!)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
I do hope that this one instance (there are many more!) of repetition of a word shows the weakness of this argument. I understand there are differences between the two passages (six repetitions in the book of Revelation, as opposed to only four in John 10), but the point needs to be considered.
Our next post will consider if the literalness of a passage increases due to the use of a precise number? I think understanding the question of precision has actually been the most beneficial for me in this study. I hope you will come join me.
I look forward to comments and questions, especially passages of Scripture that may help in understanding this topic better.
Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.