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Chuck Doughty's Interpretation of "the rest of the dead" in Rev. 20

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#1 Tim


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

Chuck Doughty gave a very unique interpretation of the clause, "the rest of the dead" in Rev. 20, claiming that this clause referred to the corpses of those raised "spiritually" in the "first resurrection."

Rev 20:4-6
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

This rather strange way of dealing with the problem of the "resurrection" being in two stages separated by 1000 years is certainly new to me. In my past dealings with amillennialists, they have always claimed that the "first resurrection" was either "salvation" or some sort of exaltation of the martyrs in heaven to places of reigning with Christ from heaven over the earth, while the resurrection of "the rest of the dead" is the general (bodily) resurrection of all people. Doughty's interpretation seems on the surface to solve one of the major problems for amillennialists in Rev. 20, if it can hold up to scrutiny.

The word rendered "rest" is the Greek adjective, "loipoi." Strong's defines this word as the "remaining ones." Doughty argued that this term can refer to the "remains" (corpses) of those mentioned as having taken part in the "first resurrection," and that the "first resurrection" is not of the body, but of the soul. Therefore, according to Doughty, both of these resurrections (which the text says are separated by a millennium) involve the same people. The souls are "resurrected" in the "first resurrection" and their "remains" (corpses) are resurrected at the end of the millennium (which he denies is actually 1000 years).

While this interpretation might seem to work from the English text, it fails to hold up when we look at the Greek grammar.

First, nowhere in the Bible (either the NT or LXX) is this word ever used in the way that Doughty claims -- referring to the "remains" (corpse) of a person. So, while English speakers might use the English word "remains" for a person's corpse, this is NEVER true in the Greek language.

Secondly, the Greek word is an adjective in the masculine gender. It literally means "the remaining ones," not the "remains." If it referred to corpses it would have to be in the neuter gender, because a body or corpse is always neuter in Greek. The perfect illustration of this is Matthew 27:52.

Matt 27:52
52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

In this example, "bodies" is neuter, while "saints" is masculine. In fact, there are two Greek words for "body." "Soma" can refer to either a living body or to a corpse. "Ptoma" always refers to a dead body. But, both terms are always neuter in gender. And any adjective that modified or referred to them must also have a neuter inflection. This is because in the Greek mind, the "body" was not the person himself, but a thing. The whole person was always referred to in the masculine gender (unless it was a female, in which case she would be referred to in the feminine gender). The fact that Revelation 20:5 uses "loipoi" which is masculine in gender, means it refers to PEOPLE not to corpses of people. Those resurrected in the "first resurrection" are people; and those raised in the second resurrection are also people -- "the rest of" the people who were not raised in the first resurrection. This fact makes Doughty's interpretation completely impossible and untenable.

Another problem for Doughty is that the word "resurrection" is always used of a bodily resurrection in Scripture, particularly when it has the definite article. Therefore, the "first resurrection" can only refer to a bodily resurrection.


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