Revelation 20:10

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Scott McAliley
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Revelation 20:10

Post by Scott McAliley » August 2nd, 2013, 11:57 pm

I apologize for joining this forum just to ask this one question, when it is supposed to be for those knowledgeable in Greek, which I am not. But would someone please help me with something:

It concerns Revelation 20:10 which in Greek is:
"καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθήσονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων"
and in English is:
"And the Devil leading them astray was thrown into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were. And they were tormented day and night to the ages of the ages"

Question: Is there anything in the Greek text to indicate beyond doubt that the beast and false prophet are necessarily still alive and in the lake of fire when the devil is thrown in, and the portion of the phrase I'm specifically referring to is "where the beast and false prophet were". It is commonly taught that they are still there, and the English translations vary, but it seems that it is as likely as anything else, that it could have just as correctly be understood that the verse is simply stating that the devil was cast where they had also been cast...not that they are necessarily still consciously existing there. Could someone please give me some clarity on this? And also, where it says "and they were tormented" in English, is the "they" in the Greek? I've found one translation that has it as "He was tormented".

Thanks in advance!
Scott
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 3rd, 2013, 11:38 am

{Mod note:Let's keep any and all responses focused on the Greek meaning of the text rather than argue about doctrinal issues.}
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

cwconrad
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by cwconrad » August 3rd, 2013, 1:45 pm

Text:
Rev 20:10 καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθήσονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
Question:
Is there anything in the Greek text to indicate beyond doubt that the beast and false prophet are necessarily still alive and in the lake of fire when the devil is thrown in?
In a word: no. The clause in question, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, has ellipsis of the verb, which must be supplied as guessed: the verb could be ἦσον as the cited English version would require, but it could just as well be ἐβλήθησαν ("had been thrown") or βασανισθήσονται ("will be tormented").
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » August 3rd, 2013, 2:01 pm

Scott:

I'm wondering where you're getting the past tense in "they were tormented." The Greek verb is future, and all the versions I consulted reflect this.

Without straying into whatever theological controversy this verse is raising for you, it seems difficult at best for me to imagine that the author does not mean to imply that the beast and false prophet continue to exist consciously when he says that "they will be tormented forever."
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Scott McAliley
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by Scott McAliley » August 3rd, 2013, 6:58 pm

Thanks to both who replied so far. To answer the one question, I may have been going on memory when I wrote "were" instead of "will be". My question was more about the "they" than whether it was written in past or present tense. I probably wasn't clear on that. I found a version that reads: "He" would be tormented, instead of "They" would be tormented, so I was more asking whether the plural is in the Greek, or if it is just assumed plural by most translators. And if the plural is not actually there, is it being assumed plural because of anything previous in the verse? ...specifically from the last phrase in the first sentence of the verse.

And yes, this involves a doctrinal question I'm dealing with, but I won't discuss it, per the instructions.

Thanks,
Scott
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David Lim
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by David Lim » August 4th, 2013, 2:37 am

Scott McAliley wrote:I apologize for joining this forum just to ask this one question, when it is supposed to be for those knowledgeable in Greek, which I am not.
If you are just starting to learn Greek, you are welcome to post your questions in the Beginner's Forum. But as Stephen has mentioned, B-Greek is not for discussing interpretation of the text beyond what it says. For that reason, we avoid discussing statements like:
It is commonly taught that they are still there, and the English translations vary, but it seems that it is as likely as anything else, that it could have just as correctly be understood that the verse is simply stating that the devil was cast where they had also been cast...not that they are necessarily still consciously existing there.
Scott McAliley wrote:And also, where it says "and they were tormented" in English, is the "they" in the Greek? I've found one translation that has it as "He was tormented".
The verb is in the future plural in all the texts I have access to, so unless you have a manuscript which has it in the singular or in the aorist, there is no reason to accept any rendering other than "they will be tortured/tormented". However, "they" is not in the Greek, because Greek verbs are already conjugated for person unlike in English.
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δαυιδ λιμ

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Revelation 20:10

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 4th, 2013, 6:57 pm

I moved this to the beginner's forum, which is the right place for beginners to ask about the text.

To make it even more appropriate: ask a specific question about the Greek. Instead of "is there anything in the Greek of this passage that suggests ...", and questions about doctrine, focus on the parts of the Greek text that you want to understand, the phrases that are translated in various ways.

For instance, "they" isn't in any Greek text, βασανισθήσονται is. B-Greek is a perfectly good place to discuss the meaning of βασανισθήσονται, if you want to understand the sense of it. But if you just want to know if it is a plural form, perhaps it's better to ask how you can look this kind of thing up.

How much of this text can you make out? It's OK to be a beginner, but I'd like to know where you're starting from, and what you are doing to learn Greek. That helps us respond more helpfully. What can you tell us about βασανισθήσονται?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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