Making Sense Of Rev 20:1-10? Harold Hoehner Versus Recapitulation -- By: R. Fowler White

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 37:4 (Dec 1994)
Article: Making Sense Of Rev 20:1-10? Harold Hoehner Versus Recapitulation
Author: R. Fowler White


Making Sense Of Rev 20:1-10?
Harold Hoehner Versus Recapitulation

R. Fowler White*

* R. Fowler White is associate professor of New Testament and Biblical languages at Knox Theological Seminary, 5554 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.

The purpose of this article is to offer a critique of Harold Hoehner’s 1992 essay on Rev 20:1–101 with special reference to his arguments against the thesis I advanced in an earlier article.2 The present study is warranted if only because, apart from his consideration of the history of interpretation relative to 20:1–10, Hoehner gives more attention to recapitulation, as argued in my article, than to any other issue.

In my essay I contended that the text in question records a recapitulatory sequence of visions whose contents are related to Christ’s second advent in 20:7–10 and thus to his first advent and the interadvent age in 20:1–6.3 The validity of this thesis was—and I believe still is—substantiated by three lines of argument, each of which I will summarize and then defend against Hoehner’s objections.

I. The Discrepancy Between The Events
Depicted In Rev 19:11-21 And Rev 20:1-3

In support of my thesis I observed first that the nations’ destruction-after-deception in 19:11–21 does not logically cohere with their protection-from-deception in 20:1–3 and that premillennial attempts to explain their coherence in terms of chronological progression are unconvincing. Specifically I challenged the premillennial postulate that “the nations” of 20:3 are survivors of the battle in 19:19–21. I urged that this claim simply presupposes that the order of the visions in 19:11–20:3 reflects the sequence of events in history. I also observed that John’s assertions to the effect that all the nations will fall at Christ’s return (19:18, 21; cf. 12:5; 19:15) are contrary to the proposal that “the nations” will survive his coming.4<...

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