What is the mystical 3 1/2 years of Revelation?

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The binding of Satan in Revelation 20 seems to have a distinct progressive flavour to it which would tie in well with the postmil position but not the amil, and would explain why the world is still not as it should be even though Satan's binding by the Gospel started in the first century (Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; Luke 11: 21-22).

The angel from heaven with the great chain - often identified with Christ with the Gospel

laid hold on Satan

bound him one thousand years

cast him into the bottomless pit

shut him up

set a seal on him

Does this process of dealing with Satan correspond to the mystical three and a half years of conflict - expressed in different ways, e.g. 1,260 days - with the two Beasts and Babylon, before the final conquest of the nations (Armageddon) by the Gospel in Revelation 19.

If so, as Patrick Fairbairn points out, the period in which we may still be living while Satan is in the process of being shut up is relatively short - half a week of years - compared to the period of Christ's millennial reign over the earth, 1,000 years.

What are the various preterist, historicist and idealist interpretations of the mystical three and a half years in Revelation, which seems to tie in with the final half week of years of Daniel 9? When does it start and end, should it be taken literally or symbolically? I would have thought symbolically to be consistent with taking the 1,000 years symbolically.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
A good book which can answer your questions plus more is "Triumph Of The Lamb"
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
What does Patrick Fairbairn say? I have been told he is difficult to read.
I want a view that doesn’t add to Scripture.

Sarah, what does Triumph of the Lamb have to say about 3 1/2 years?

I think that three and a half years adds to Scripture and I have only heard that term in connection with Premillennialism, which I reject as do many on PB.

Eschatology is interesting, difficult to figure out and rewarding (Revelation promises a blessing to those who study it). I have been blogging about eschatology with others for almost a half of a year on Millennial Dreams.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
What does Patrick Fairbairn say? I have been told he is difficult to read.
I want a view that doesn’t add to Scripture.

Sarah, what does Triumph of the Lamb have to say about 3 1/2 years?

I think that three and a half years adds to Scripture and I have only heard that term in connection with Premillennialism, which I reject as do many on PB.

Eschatology is interesting, difficult to figure out and rewarding (Revelation promises a blessing to those who study it). I have been blogging about eschatology with others for almost a half of a year on Millennial Dreams.

I'm not finished with this book. I do know that it addresses it though. My pastor recommended the book to me so I recommend it to others. I will look through the book for this particular subject and tell you what it says. Hopefully, I can do that Monday.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
Adding blogs to signatures

CNJ, you should link Millennial Dreams in your sig.

That's a great idea. Couldn't figure out how to add it to my signature. Can you explain?

I have three blogs elsewhere and also three entries on the Puritan Board blog, including the lyrics to "Millennial Dreaming".
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What are the various preterist, historicist and idealist interpretations of the mystical three and a half years in Revelation, which seems to tie in with the final half week of years of Daniel 9? When does it start and end, should it be taken literally or symbolically? I would have thought symbolically to be consistent with taking the 1,000 years symbolically.

The idealist interpretation -- The Danielic background sees the 3.5 years as the reign of Messiah, in which the covenant is confirmed, the OT prophecies are fulfilled and an everlasting righteousness established. 3.5 years is half of 7 years, and the seventh year was the set time for the resting of the land. The broken period indicates that the promised rest of the people of God is accomplished but not consummated at once. Subsequent chapters in Daniel indicate that the the people of the Messiah will continue to have tribulation in this world. The Apocalypse undoubtedly uses the same broken time period as indicative of the saints' struggle with worldly forces. It is noteworthy that "years" is used to point to the period as a time set by God, "months" refers to it as one of military attack by the enemy, while "days" looks at it as a time of witness and suffering of the faithful. Earlier (2:10) the tribulation of the church was also counted in terms of "days."
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
CNJ, you should link Millennial Dreams in your sig.

That's a great idea. Couldn't figure out how to add it to my signature. Can you explain?

I have three blogs elsewhere and also three entries on the Puritan Board blog, including the lyrics to "Millennial Dreaming".

To put a url link into your sig, just type it like this:

[ url="http://www. ... .com" ]Millennial Dreams[ /url ]

except not having the spaces inside the brackets.

EDIT - Apparently, you already know how to link that. :oops:
If you know how to modify your signature (click on the User CP at the top and "Edit Signature" on the side), then you should be able to insert the {url] and [/url] tags.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
Again, thanks for the suggestion! The new signature shows up on earlier ones.

Now to digest what armourbearer (Matthew in Australian) has written and read that very long "OK, Convince Me" again. Great discussions!
 
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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Fairbairn was a Victorian, but his books are well worth the read if you can wade through them. I did find his language a little flowery but not too difficult.

He, a postmillenialist, takes the 3 1/2 years - expressed in different forms - to be symbolical, unlike the postmillenialist preterists. It is symbolical of the church's period of struggle/conflict, which is short compared to the church's period of ascendency.

Quote from Patrick Fairbairn

"....
The same considerations, it may be added, which have conducted us to this conclusion, in regard to the periods connected with the church's humiliation and conflict, substantially apply also to the period of her future ascendency. The thousand years' reign of the saints must be taken, like the others, symbolically, and as such it forms a perfect contrast to the comparatively brief and broken sections of time that preceded it. It is formed of the round number of totality in earthly things, the ten; and that increased to one of its higher values, by being twice multiplied into itself (10x10x10 = 1000), still further heightened by being connected, not with days or with months, but with years. A ten times ten revolution of years, and that again increased tenfold—what a symbol of completeness! What a contrast to the three and a half days of triumph over the slain witnesses! or even to the three and a half years of usurped dominion on the part of the beast! Yet such is the relative continuance allotted in the decrees of heaven to the power and prevalence of the good, as contrasted with the evil: so long is the true church of the Redeemer destined to ride upon the high places of the earth, in comparison with the days in which she was made to see evil."


For more on his views on these numbers see Section III No.16 on this page:-

Fairbairn on Prophecy, Part 2-3.

I'll check out what other scholars of Revelation have said on this in the books that I have and get back with it.
 

BoldBeliever

Puritan Board Freshman
AD 66 to AD 70. The time period of the Great Tribulation and destruction of Jerusalem. The apostate portion of Israel had rejected their Messiah and it was time to bring about the prescribed punishment (Daniel, Jeremiah).

There is really nothing mystical at all about that time. It happened according to the Scriptures. Israel got her spanking and was then dispersed throughout the nations.

It's hilarious to listen to the pre-mils try and take this historical period and project it into the future, twisting Scripture and history as they go.
 
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