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Thread: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

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    The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Revelation 20: John sees an era he calls 'the thousand years'. After this he sees the resurrection of the dead for judgment. Those not in the book of life are condemned to the lake of fire. After this he sees a new heavens and a new earth.

    2 Peter 3: When discussing the coming of Jesus, the author frames the coming as a 'day of judgment' and 'destruction of the ungodly'. To explain the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, he paraphrases one of the psalms, saying that 'one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day'. The day of the Lord will come suddenly, and then there will be a new heavens and new earth.


    Both Revelation 20 and 2 Peter 3 have: references to 'a thousand years', judgment, condemnation of the wicked, and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.


    This, to me, suggests that these elements were part of a common set of language and ideas when discussing the Last Day (i.e. that scene in Revelation 20.11-15); otherwise there are just too many parallels for this to be a 'coincidence'. So if we are supposedly using 'scripture to interpret scripture', 2 Peter 3 should be used to help interpret Revelation 20, precisely because of the high parallels between the two of them.

    First, 2 Peter 3 is obviously not applying a hard-and-fast rule that God alternates between two modes of temporal perception: that one thousand years is literally perceived by God to be a twenty-four-hour period of time, nor that one day is literally perceived by God to be an eight-million-seven-hundred-sixty-thousand-hour period of time. This is clearly just a poetic analogy, drawn from Psalm 90 (and 2 Peter's use of this psalm goes beyond merely this 'time' aspect). Bringing this to Revelation 20, this would point toward a non-literal reading of the 'thousand years' (amillennial).

    Second, 2 Peter 3 has whole context as the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, the day of judgment and destruction and renewal of the heavens and earth. The latter two, in the Revelation, are explicitly postmillennial. But within 2 Peter 3, the coming of Jesus is also postmillennial. His argument is that while the delay between now and then Lord's coming may be even a thousand years, it is merely as a day in his eyes. The author is explicitly using the 'thousand years' concept to explain the present time, with Jesus' coming taking place after the thousand years (postmillennial).

    To summarize: 2 Peter 3 has several obvious parallels with Revelation 20, so 2 Peter 3 should be used to help us understand Revelation 20. Second Peter 3 is clearly both amillennial and postmillennial. Hence, 2 Peter 3 compels an amillennial / postmillennial reading of Revelation 20: the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Revelation 20: John sees an era he calls 'the thousand years'. After this he sees the resurrection of the dead for judgment. Those not in the book of life are condemned to the lake of fire. After this he sees a new heavens and a new earth.

    2 Peter 3: When discussing the coming of Jesus, the author frames the coming as a 'day of judgment' and 'destruction of the ungodly'. To explain the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, he paraphrases one of the psalms, saying that 'one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day'. The day of the Lord will come suddenly, and then there will be a new heavens and new earth.


    Both Revelation 20 and 2 Peter 3 have: references to 'a thousand years', judgment, condemnation of the wicked, and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.


    This, to me, suggests that these elements were part of a common set of language and ideas when discussing the Last Day (i.e. that scene in Revelation 20.11-15); otherwise there are just too many parallels for this to be a 'coincidence'. So if we are supposedly using 'scripture to interpret scripture', 2 Peter 3 should be used to help interpret Revelation 20, precisely because of the high parallels between the two of them.

    First, 2 Peter 3 is obviously not applying a hard-and-fast rule that God alternates between two modes of temporal perception: that one thousand years is literally perceived by God to be a twenty-four-hour period of time, nor that one day is literally perceived by God to be an eight-million-seven-hundred-sixty-thousand-hour period of time. This is clearly just a poetic analogy, drawn from Psalm 90 (and 2 Peter's use of this psalm goes beyond merely this 'time' aspect). Bringing this to Revelation 20, this would point toward a non-literal reading of the 'thousand years' (amillennial).

    Second, 2 Peter 3 has whole context as the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, the day of judgment and destruction and renewal of the heavens and earth. The latter two, in the Revelation, are explicitly postmillennial. But within 2 Peter 3, the coming of Jesus is also postmillennial. His argument is that while the delay between now and then Lord's coming may be even a thousand years, it is merely as a day in his eyes. The author is explicitly using the 'thousand years' concept to explain the present time, with Jesus' coming taking place after the thousand years (postmillennial).

    To summarize: 2 Peter 3 has several obvious parallels with Revelation 20, so 2 Peter 3 should be used to help us understand Revelation 20. Second Peter 3 is clearly both amillennial and postmillennial. Hence, 2 Peter 3 compels an amillennial / postmillennial reading of Revelation 20: the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.

    And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years (Revelation 20:1–2).

    The teaching of the early Church was that the thousand years began with the foundation of the Church and will end with the second coming of Christ. The earliest complete commentary on Revelation that we have is from Andrew of Caesarea, probably written in the 6th century (in translation here: http://archimede.bibl.ulaval.ca/archimede/meta/25095)

    “Here he narrates the destruction of the devil which had taken place during the Master's passion, in which he who appeared to be strong, having bound us (as) his spoils, one stronger than he, Christ our God, redeemed us from his hands, condemning him to the abyss. This is shown by the demons calling upon him not to be cast into the abyss [Luke 8:31]. Demonstrating proof that he has been bound is the disappearance of idolatry, the destruction of the temples of idols and the disappearance of the defilement upon the altars and the universal knowledge of the divine will. And the great Justin [Justin Martyr, 2nd cent.] says that at the coming of Christ the devil was to first realize that he had been condemned to the abyss and to the Gehenna of fire.”

    With regard to the thousand years, Andrew comments:

    “By the number one thousand years by no means is it unreasonable to understand ‘so many years’. For neither concerning such things of which David said, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations [Psalm 105:8] are we able to count out these things as ten times one hundred, rather they are understood to mean many generations.”


    I am not sure I completely follow your thoughts on 2 Peter, but Andrew's commentary seems to agree with your statement:

    the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Revelation 20: John sees an era he calls 'the thousand years'. After this he sees the resurrection of the dead for judgment. Those not in the book of life are condemned to the lake of fire. After this he sees a new heavens and a new earth.

    2 Peter 3: When discussing the coming of Jesus, the author frames the coming as a 'day of judgment' and 'destruction of the ungodly'. To explain the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, he paraphrases one of the psalms, saying that 'one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day'. The day of the Lord will come suddenly, and then there will be a new heavens and new earth.


    Both Revelation 20 and 2 Peter 3 have: references to 'a thousand years', judgment, condemnation of the wicked, and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.


    This, to me, suggests that these elements were part of a common set of language and ideas when discussing the Last Day (i.e. that scene in Revelation 20.11-15); otherwise there are just too many parallels for this to be a 'coincidence'. So if we are supposedly using 'scripture to interpret scripture', 2 Peter 3 should be used to help interpret Revelation 20, precisely because of the high parallels between the two of them.

    First, 2 Peter 3 is obviously not applying a hard-and-fast rule that God alternates between two modes of temporal perception: that one thousand years is literally perceived by God to be a twenty-four-hour period of time, nor that one day is literally perceived by God to be an eight-million-seven-hundred-sixty-thousand-hour period of time. This is clearly just a poetic analogy, drawn from Psalm 90 (and 2 Peter's use of this psalm goes beyond merely this 'time' aspect). Bringing this to Revelation 20, this would point toward a non-literal reading of the 'thousand years' (amillennial).

    Second, 2 Peter 3 has whole context as the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, the day of judgment and destruction and renewal of the heavens and earth. The latter two, in the Revelation, are explicitly postmillennial. But within 2 Peter 3, the coming of Jesus is also postmillennial. His argument is that while the delay between now and then Lord's coming may be even a thousand years, it is merely as a day in his eyes. The author is explicitly using the 'thousand years' concept to explain the present time, with Jesus' coming taking place after the thousand years (postmillennial).

    To summarize: 2 Peter 3 has several obvious parallels with Revelation 20, so 2 Peter 3 should be used to help us understand Revelation 20. Second Peter 3 is clearly both amillennial and postmillennial. Hence, 2 Peter 3 compels an amillennial / postmillennial reading of Revelation 20: the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.
    I have used 2 Peter 3 as support for the amillennial view in terms of it not leaving any mortals left for Jesus to rule over at His coming, but this angle works well, too. Well done. That was very sound reasoning, IMO.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward
    To summarize: 2 Peter 3 has several obvious parallels with Revelation 20, so 2 Peter 3 should be used to help us understand Revelation 20. Second Peter 3 is clearly both amillennial and postmillennial. Hence, 2 Peter 3 compels an amillennial / postmillennial reading of Revelation 20: the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.
    Makes sense.

    By way of clarification, could you add brief definitions of amillennial versus postmillennial?
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  5. #5

    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Amillennial just means 'non-literal thousand years'. Postmillennial just means 'Jesus comes after the thousand years'.

    It's rare, but there is amil-premil eschatology.

  6. #6

    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    I've always thought that the "day is like a thousand years" was comparative to our accomplishments. God does as much work in one day as we do in a thousand years. But our 1000 years is perceived by God as a day, because of His Longevity.
    PROV 21:3 To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice.-American Standard Version 1901

    MT 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.


    As opposed to the bad man that does nothing?

    AMOS 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;

    GAL 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

  7. #7

    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    We can certainly make that application from the analogy itself, but that isn't the thrust of 2 Peter 3's usage of the analogy. His point is about the apparent 'delay' in the coming of Jesus, the coming which will be accompanied by judgment, destruction, and renewal of heaven and earth. Second Peter 3 likens this time period of apparent delay to a 'thousand years'... it seems long to us that Jesus should wait so long (a thousand years) to come, but for him, that time flies by. This shows that 2 Peter 3's outlook is both postmillennial (i.e. Jesus comes after the apparent delay, analogized to a thousand year era) and amillennial (the thousand years is purely analogical, not literal).

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    I agree that the 1000 years occur prior to the second coming and are not literally 1000 years. However the OP needs to go further as the event of Satan being bound and loose are subject to these 1000 years. Since there is a "period" of time which would elaspe between the moment Satan is bound and then released, if not 1000 years then how long?

    Answer... to explain this the answer is that 1000 years is metaphor. There is a period of time it is just not 1000 years. There is a reason for the use of the metaphor by John. The event of satan being bound is outside this relm where time is not measured thus John uses a "1000" to describe a time period taking place but he is unable to determine the length. Note this metaphor is what we may use today as for example..."I have told you a thousand times.." well you have not really told it a thousand times but really do not know how many times.

    I would say John used a 1000 to align with Peter's use of the word. In both cases the true essense of the use of 1000 is that time is not measured outside this relm that is why literally a day is a 1000 and vice versa. Understanding there are additional underlying meanings of the metaphor per the event be spoken. John does give us another example of being unable to give an exact time length when he comments on the pause in heaven was "about" 30 minutes.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Also, I think we need to remind ourselves that other scriptures which include 'a thousand' does not ever mean ONLY 1,000. For example,

    Psalm 50:10

    For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

    Are we supposed to read that as meaning the cattle on hill number 1,001 does not belong to Him? We probably have more than a thousand hills right here in Tennessee!

    Then, there's this:
    Psalms 105:8
    He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

    So, does this mean that God ONLY meant his covenant to reach 1,000 generations? After that, people have no chance of obtaining his mercy and his grace??

    It appears to me the ONLY place where many see that 'thousand' as literal is that one passage in Rev. 20.
    I just can't understand why or how they can do that.
    My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

    "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggindeeper View Post
    Also, I think we need to remind ourselves that other scriptures which include 'a thousand' does not ever mean ONLY 1,000. For example,

    Psalm 50:10

    For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

    Are we supposed to read that as meaning the cattle on hill number 1,001 does not belong to Him? We probably have more than a thousand hills right here in Tennessee!

    Then, there's this:
    Psalms 105:8
    He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

    So, does this mean that God ONLY meant his covenant to reach 1,000 generations? After that, people have no chance of obtaining his mercy and his grace??

    It appears to me the ONLY place where many see that 'thousand' as literal is that one passage in Rev. 20.
    I just can't understand why or how they can do that.
    Great examples DD !!!

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Revelation 20: John sees an era he calls 'the thousand years'. After this he sees the resurrection of the dead for judgment. Those not in the book of life are condemned to the lake of fire. After this he sees a new heavens and a new earth.

    2 Peter 3: When discussing the coming of Jesus, the author frames the coming as a 'day of judgment' and 'destruction of the ungodly'. To explain the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, he paraphrases one of the psalms, saying that 'one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day'. The day of the Lord will come suddenly, and then there will be a new heavens and new earth.


    Both Revelation 20 and 2 Peter 3 have: references to 'a thousand years', judgment, condemnation of the wicked, and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.


    This, to me, suggests that these elements were part of a common set of language and ideas when discussing the Last Day (i.e. that scene in Revelation 20.11-15); otherwise there are just too many parallels for this to be a 'coincidence'. So if we are supposedly using 'scripture to interpret scripture', 2 Peter 3 should be used to help interpret Revelation 20, precisely because of the high parallels between the two of them.

    First, 2 Peter 3 is obviously not applying a hard-and-fast rule that God alternates between two modes of temporal perception: that one thousand years is literally perceived by God to be a twenty-four-hour period of time, nor that one day is literally perceived by God to be an eight-million-seven-hundred-sixty-thousand-hour period of time. This is clearly just a poetic analogy, drawn from Psalm 90 (and 2 Peter's use of this psalm goes beyond merely this 'time' aspect). Bringing this to Revelation 20, this would point toward a non-literal reading of the 'thousand years' (amillennial).

    Second, 2 Peter 3 has whole context as the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, the day of judgment and destruction and renewal of the heavens and earth. The latter two, in the Revelation, are explicitly postmillennial. But within 2 Peter 3, the coming of Jesus is also postmillennial. His argument is that while the delay between now and then Lord's coming may be even a thousand years, it is merely as a day in his eyes. The author is explicitly using the 'thousand years' concept to explain the present time, with Jesus' coming taking place after the thousand years (postmillennial).

    To summarize: 2 Peter 3 has several obvious parallels with Revelation 20, so 2 Peter 3 should be used to help us understand Revelation 20. Second Peter 3 is clearly both amillennial and postmillennial. Hence, 2 Peter 3 compels an amillennial / postmillennial reading of Revelation 20: the thousand years is not a literal one-thousand-year time period, and Jesus' coming takes place after the thousand years, coinciding with the resurrection, judgment, and renewal of heaven and earth.
    Like your summary Mark.
    Peter shows himself to be Amill, by looking forward to the new hev and earth being ushered in when Christ comes again.

    What promise did Jesus make that got the congregation looking for a new hev and earth? Was it not the promise of his coming?


    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
    11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.


    If Peter was of the pre mill view then he could not have said what he did.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Context always helps us understand:
    2Pe 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
    2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles,
    2Pe 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
    2Pe 3:4 They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation."
    2Pe 3:5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
    2Pe 3:6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
    2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.
    2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
    2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
    2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
    2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
    2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
    2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
    2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

    The above is the context Peter was writing in - Revelation hasn't been written yet. Peter makes one key point and some minor ones.
    His key point in the first part of this passage is that this time is called last days, but that doesn't mean just one or two. It can thousands of years, if each of the last days is like one thousand years. Peter uses a simile for emphasis, not necessarily meaning a literal thousand years, but rather using a existing simile given in scripture.
    However if we are to apply this simile consistently within the passage - noting where it appears in the passage - you see verse 7 talks about a day of judgement, then Peter makes his simile. So logic would suggest that the simile is for the day he just wrote about, though it could be for all the days he writes about in this passage. Again note verse 10 which is after the simile again talks about the day of the Lord, but here is adouble time "coming like a thief in the night." This suggests a difference to the previous day, otherwise it is illogical within the same context to say we will treat days as the time he was referring to, but not references to day - even though the simile is tied into day and not days.
    So which is it? Well to know which day or days are like a thousand years we need to apply it to the rest that Peter writes and scripture in a wider sense.
    Here Peter makes a clear argument regarding the length of time it takes for time to end as being long in order that "all should reach repentance."
    So Peter has the length of the day lasting 1,000 years, but the length of time for it to come (when it does come) as being short and unexpected. This would put Peter as holding that there is a long time for Jesus to come, then an unexpected short moment when He does come, and a long time (1,000 years) once he comes for the judgement - all for the purpose that people should not perish eternally.
    I will put more in another post regarding Rev 20.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Rev 20 often has a focus on the last part - verse 11 onwards. Few notice the judgement at the start in Rev 20:4.
    Also there is a very clear literal use of the time of 1,000 years. In all other uses of time we know if it is simile because it is used exclusively to mean a long time or large amount as per references given by DigginDeeper.
    However in Rev 20 the length of time as 1,000 years is mentioned once from verse 2 to 7. That is 6 times in 6 verses. It is making a point about a time of completion, but in each verse talks about that time in reference to what has been said before. It talks clearly as the same length of time.
    So verse
    2 "for 1,000 years"
    3 "until the 1,000 years are ended."
    4 "reigned with Christ for 1,000 years."
    5 "until the 1,000 years were ended."
    6 "with Him for a thousand years."
    Now if we apply Peter's simile of 1,000 years being like a day it would mean in the following verses:
    2 - Satan is bound for 1 day! Really! This is possible if it only refers to him being bound on the day of judgement. Context doesn't give us that idea though.
    3 - Satan is released after 1 day! So why bother binding him and throwing him in the pit! And how does he deceive everyone in one day?
    4 - We only reign with Christ for 1 day! What!?! Only for 1 day? I don't think that is right. Maybe we mean judging with Him for 1 day, but no the context is living and reigning.
    5 - The rest of the dead come to life 1 day after the saints. Wow! Why the separation of time? What was the point? Not much time at all.
    6 - Being priests with Jesus for 1 day - great promise.

    Thus we can see logically and consistently that if we apply Peter's simile to this passage in Revelation, it makes it rubbish. The 1,000 years equals one day doesn't fit here. However, does the 1 day equals 1,000 years fit? Why yes it does. The day of the Lord, meaning when Jesus returns, lasting 1,000 years fits almost exactly. Now I don't think Peter meant a literally one 24 hour period equals exactly 1,000 years - it was a simile meaning a long period of time. But it is clear that we can't apply that simile to Rev 20.
    Now if we want to change the parameters and say 1,000 years is an unspecified length of time, just as 1,000 hills or 1,000 generations aren't exact, you can do that - but it means you accept that the length of time is much more than that of a single day. Just as 1,000 hills is far more than someone owns, or 1,000 generations is as long as from creation to Jesus. This means not uses Peter's simile in reverse of 1,000 years meaning 1 day.
    However as soon as you do that, you lose the main basis of the argument that Rev 20 isn't a long period of time and therefore whether it is one hundred years or three thousand is irrelevant, because what you really need to demonstrate from your perspective is that Rev 20:1-6 is talking about a period of time before Jesus returns, even though verse 4 clearly ties in with Jesus return.
    That is a whole different debate.

  14. #14

    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by Vakeros
    The above is the context Peter was writing in - Revelation hasn't been written yet.
    We don't know this for certain. Not everyone is convinced of the traditional dating for either book. I would place them both around 64-68 AD. They are independent of one another (i.e. one did not use the other), so the coincidence of language between them suggests that they were making use of a common set of ideas and language from early Church ('Apostolic') teaching.

    However if we are to apply this simile consistently within the passage - noting where it appears in the passage - you see verse 7 talks about a day of judgement, then Peter makes his simile. So logic would suggest that the simile is for the day he just wrote about, though it could be for all the days he writes about in this passage.
    This assumes a certain systematization by Peter of the word 'day' as opposed to 'days'. The interpretation you offer works if and only if Peter was working within an explicit system where 'day' and 'days' had exact and distinct meanings from each other. Similar statements in other NT books use the word 'hour'; others use the word 'times'; others use singular, others use plural. His use of the word 'day' as opposed to 'days' is not the context. The context is the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, so that the author uses the psalm as an analogy for the current time period of 'delay'... it seems like a long time to us (hence the scoffers), but it is gone in the blink of an eye to God.

    Again note verse 10 which is after the simile again talks about the day of the Lord, but here is adouble time "coming like a thief in the night." This suggests a difference to the previous day,
    The word 'night' here does not suggest a difference from a previous 'day'. This is reading into the text what is not there. We know with certainty that the 'coming like a thief in the night' was a very common metaphor of the early Church (found in the Gospel's teaching, Paul's teaching, Peter's teaching, the Revelation's teaching, etc.). It's simply a picture of sudden, unexpected destruction (a thief sneaking in at night).

    Also there is a very clear literal use of the time of 1,000 years.
    Repetition of the phrase 'thousand years' does not mean it is 'a very clear literal use'. John repeatedly calls Jesus 'the lamb'; by this reasoning, Jesus must be a literal lamb, rather than being metaphorically similar to a sacrificial lamb. And the satan must be a literal seven-headed dragon, rather than being a symbol of his chaotic nature.

    The rest of your post is a long argument against an idea which I directly contradicted from the very start.

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    Re: The Thousand Years, early Church teaching

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    We don't know this for certain. Not everyone is convinced of the traditional dating for either book. I would place them both around 64-68 AD. They are independent of one another (i.e. one did not use the other), so the coincidence of language between them suggests that they were making use of a common set of ideas and language from early Church ('Apostolic') teaching.
    This assumes a certain systematization by Peter of the word 'day' as opposed to 'days'. The interpretation you offer works if and only if Peter was working within an explicit system where 'day' and 'days' had exact and distinct meanings from each other. Similar statements in other NT books use the word 'hour'; others use the word 'times'; others use singular, others use plural. His use of the word 'day' as opposed to 'days' is not the context. The context is the apparent delay of Jesus' coming, so that the author uses the psalm as an analogy for the current time period of 'delay'... it seems like a long time to us (hence the scoffers), but it is gone in the blink of an eye to God.
    In this passage talks about a day and then in the very next line says but for the Lord a day is as a thousand years. Nothing complex here. It doesn't matter overly about other scripture for a moment. What is key is that Peter writes about a day and then says, but for the Lord a day is as 1k years. The straight-forward reading of that implies the Day of the Lord lasts 1,000 years. Convert day to a long length of time.

    The word 'night' here does not suggest a difference from a previous 'day'. This is reading into the text what is not there. We know with certainty that the 'coming like a thief in the night' was a very common metaphor of the early Church (found in the Gospel's teaching, Paul's teaching, Peter's teaching, the Revelation's teaching, etc.). It's simply a picture of sudden, unexpected destruction (a thief sneaking in at night).
    It is a picture of a sudden, unexpected event. This is as you put a term used elsewhere for the same meaning. My point was, Peter writes about the Day of the Lord and introduces a simile to say it is like 1k years and then repeats the phrase but this time uses the metaphor "the thief" to show that time isn't always long, but can also be quick.
    You are the one trying to say that Peter meant a thousand years equals one day, yet where he writes one day is equal to 1k years, you ignore it. That isn't consistent exegesis! Nor is it treating things in context.

    Repetition of the phrase 'thousand years' does not mean it is 'a very clear literal use'. John repeatedly calls Jesus 'the lamb'; by this reasoning, Jesus must be a literal lamb, rather than being metaphorically similar to a sacrificial lamb. And the satan must be a literal seven-headed dragon, rather than being a symbol of his chaotic nature.
    I agree it isn't the repetition by itself, though actually if you were to write "Tom eats like a lamb, smells like a lamb, is small like a lamb, looks like a lamb, has lamb's horns and bleats like a lamb, what is Tom?" The answer is...
    There is metaphor used in the Bible and simile. I am pointing out that context helps us understand whether it is a simile, metaphor or literal meaning involved, which is why I went through the six occurences of the use of 1,000 years to show that NOT in one single case can you interpret it with the simile that Peter introduced of 1k years is like 1 day.
    Yet your post is all about how Peter's simile applies to Revelation 20.

    The rest of your post is a long argument against an idea which I directly contradicted from the very start.
    Indeed you did, but I have put the argument why actually you have put things down backwards. Peter writes about ONE day, then states that for the Lord ONE day is like 1k years. Peter never writes about 1k years except to say that the reverse is true that 1K years is like 1 day. Therefore we need to see what Peter is actually writing. In synopsis, Peter is saying the Lord doesn't hold time as we do. God may say there is a final day and we think 24 hours, yet really it is a very long period of time. When God says time is short, the same may apply. The reverse may also be true, that when we think things are far off, for God they are soon. So when we read 1k years, we need to ask ourselves does Peter's simile fit here. As you tied 2 Peter 3 to Rev 20, I put the simile to the test. The result is as above.

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