There is a small doubt over the meaning of the Greek text at 2 Peter 3:8, as well as several verses of Revelation chapter 20. Most modern Greek text sources seem to agree on the words of these verses, as saying ‘a thousand years,’ but the wording in Tischendorf’s text says ‘thousands of years.’
There it uses the Greek words chilioi etos (pronounced kee-lee-o-ee etos), which is the plural form of chilia eta, which means, thousand years.
Although the words appear in their singular forms in most modern texts, sources such as Vine’s seem to acknowledge that the plural form may be how it appeared originally, since we don’t have manuscripts of 2 Peter and Revelation going back very far.
What difference does all of this make?
Well, the singular form (a thousand years) is probably correct, but if the plural form (thousands of years) is correct, then certain common Bible teachings may be in error.
For example, is a thousand years as one day to God, or are thousands of years as one day to Him? Will Jesus reign for a thousand years or for thousands of years?
We have no idea. We’re just bringing it to your attention.
Note that the Aramaic versions all say ‘thousand’ (singular). However, we have no idea if the Aramaic version of Revelation we have today is the original, or a very late translation of the Greek.
Our Bible uses older manuscripts than most Bibles do. Check us out!