[B-Greek] Revelation 20:6, A thousand years, or thousands of years?

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Mon Aug 9 10:09:19 EDT 2010

On Aug 9, 2010, at 9:50 AM, Awohili at aol.com wrote:

> μακάριος καὶ ἅγιος ὁ ἔχων μέρος ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῇ  
> πρώτῃ ἐπὶ τούτων ὁ δεύτερος θάνατος οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν 
> ἀλλ’ ἔσονται ἱερεῖς τοῦ  θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ 
> βασιλεύσουσιν μετ’ αὐτοῦ τὰ χίλια ἔτη -- Rev.  20:6
> Particularly with reference to the expression τὰ χίλια ἔτη which is 
> usually  translated as "the thousand years."
> A correspondent argues that this plural form means "thousands of years"  
> instead.  Is there any grammatical or syntactical reason for rendering τὰ  
> χίλια ἔτη as "thousands of years"?

I think that this is a matter upon which readers bring different 
convictions and asssumptions to bear upon the passage when they
interpret it. For myself, I'd have to say that the article seems to
me to point rather to a single span of a thousand years. Ordinarily
ancient Greek uses the adjective μύριος [MURIOS] or the noun
ἡ μυρίας [hH MURIAS] to indicate an immeasurable number
or amount.

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

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