A critical analysis of the millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20:1-10.
This thesis addresses the issue of the millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20: 1-10. It is an attempt to investigate whether the millennium is a future event or already inaugurated. The Apocalypse has been the focus of attention of many end time movements down through the ages. This thesis picks up one of the most popular issues out of such a focus. One of the issues in the Apocalypse of John is the expectation of a thousand year reign of Christ. During the period of early Christianity up to the middle ages the question of the nature of the millennium has been controversial. Recently the debate over the millennial reign of Christ in the Apocalypse has intensified more than ever before. Three major views have been advocated and such views have brought in a greater dilemma, since the reader of the Apocalypse has to choose one of the views. Having grown up in an evangelical religious background, which places emphasis upon apocalyptic ideologies; I found myself becoming more and more attracted to this debate. At last I have entered the wagon with a view to demonstrate, in my own way, that the millennial reign is already actualised rather than expected. This sounds very controversial compared to what has always been thought by many Christians since their early days of Sunday School. This 'territory' has been trod by various scholars so much so that I am not in a position to claim to be a pioneer in this investigation. I endeavour to re-examine the issue of millennium in the light of a sociological analysis from my own perspective. I intend to perceive the other side of the mountain that has been hidden from me all along ( as a hidden transcript of the Apocalypse). After having established the task of rethinking millennium. I wish to go further and look at the East African concept of millennium, even though no comparative study is intended at this level of my research, apart from laying bare the framework, such is very important for the inculturation of theology today. This thesis will be tabulated into three main parts, the first deals with sociology of sects and the Apocalypse, in this part a model will be formulated, which will be applied in the delineation of the Apocalypse community in chapter three. The second part deals with the concept of millennium within the Bible and ends up with an exegesis of the passage that clearly mentions this term. The third part deals with the East African concept of millennium and the conclusion of the whole thesis. All Biblical quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible, while all the abbreviations follow Killian (1985).