The resurrection of the beheaded and the millennial kingdom in Revelation 20:1-6: a study on the vindication of the martyrs

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Revelation 20.1-6 carries the interpretative weight of hundreds of passages from the Old and the New Testaments, which are already interpreted in theological system. This means that frequently the text in chapter 20 of Revelation is “obliged” to say much more than it actually does, due to the simple fact that the theological system adopted by the interpreter pushes onto the text a range of meanings that are irrelevant to the text itself.
There is no reference in the text to an earthly kingdom of peace and prosperity among the nations. The text does not mention Israel nor any detail of the kingdom itself when it comes to physical experiences. Likewise, in the text there is no reference to the conversion of the believers as some kind of spiritual resurrection. The problem, however, seems to be the fact that the theological system is a premise in most premillennial and amillennial interpretations of Revelation 20.1-6, preventing interpreters from seeing what the text actually says.
An often neglected aspect in the interpretation of the text in Revelation 20.1-6 is the reference to the “beheaded” and the reward promised to them. These Christians who have been killed violently are the only ones explicitly mentioned as having the right to take part in the resurrection referred to in the text, and in the millennial kingdom. The most common solution among amillennialists and premillennialists is simply to suppose it as a representative group of all believers, hence, defining the spiritual (amillennialist) or physical (premillennialist) aspect of the “first resurrection”. Nevertheless, these solutions do not do justice to the text here considered.

Effective start/end date1/01/18 → …


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