Original Research

A hermeneutical commentary on Revelation 20:1–10

Francois P. Möller
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 1 | a2459 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i1.2459 | © 2019 Francois P. Möller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 February 2019 | Published: 31 July 2019

About the author(s)

Francois P. Möller, The Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; and, Department of Dogmatics and Ethics, Auckland Park Theological Seminary, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Eschatology is a theme that lies close to the heartbeat of the church. It is particularly true in terms of understanding and interpreting Revelation 20:1–10. This is said, because there is a tendency among many theologians and preachers to qualify eschatology in terms of the millennium as being displayed in this pericope of the Bible. A hermeneutical commentary on Revelation 20:1–10 wants to go to the text itself in order to comprehend and appreciate what is written. One should ask in terms of this pericope: What was John’s intent to say to the church of his time? In doing so, it became clear that John mediated the conflict between forces of light and darkness in mainly symbolic, figurative, visionary and descriptive ways that is prophetic-apocalyptic in manner. This accentuates that too much emphasis is placed on the millennium as a rather minor concept in the Bible. Eschatology should not be qualified by the millennium as such, but by Christ who, in the conflict between light and darkness, is conducting God’s plan of salvation to its final fulfilment. The focus therefore is not on debating a theological viewpoint in terms of the millennium (whether pre-, post- or a-millennial), but rather to get clarity on the redemptive message of this portion of the Bible. Its intention is to give hope and consolation in times of substantial persecution among the believers of the Early Church. It is a message that reaches to heaven without neglecting the earth.

Keywords

Hermeneutical; Commentary; Revelation 20:1–10; Visions; Symbols; Millennium; First and second resurrection; First and second death; Gog and Magog

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