reply to post by Blue_Jay33
What is the meaning and significance of the Greek word pa‧rou‧si′a? It literally means “a being alongside,” the expression being drawn from
the Greek preposition para′ (“alongside”) and ousía (a “being”). Let us see what the lexicographers say.
Liddell and Scott’s A Greek-English Lexicon gives as the first definition of parousía the English word “presence.” It gives as the second
definition thereof “arrival,” then adds: “Esp[ecially] visit of a royal or official personage.”
In agreement with this, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (edited by Gerhard Friedrich) gives as “The General Meaning” the English
word “Presence.” Then, as “The Technical Use of the Terms,” in Hellenism, it gives “1. The Visit of a Ruler.” It says concerning “The
Technical Use of páreimi [verb] and parousía in the NT.”: “In the NT the terms are never used for the coming of Christ in the flesh, and
parousía never has the sense of return. The idea of more than one parousía is first found only in the later Church.”
So, then, Jesus’ disciples were asking, not about his future “arrival,” but about after his arrival. They were asking about his “presence.”
And if, instead of using the word “presence,” we resort to “the technical use of the terms” in Hellenism, the disciples would be understood to
ask Jesus: “What will be the sign of your [visit as a royal personage] and of the conclusion of the system of things?” A “visit” includes more
than an “arrival.” It includes a “presence.”
In the New Testament the Greek word parousía occurs twenty-four times, and in all its occurrences there, of the Holy Scriptures translates the word
every time as “presence,” but also other translations do so, as Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, of 1862 C.E.; Wilson’s The
Emphatic Diaglott, of 1857-1863 C.E.; and Rotherham’s The Emphasised Bible, of 1897 C.E. We note how fittingly “presence” and “absence”
are contrasted, in Philippians 2:12, where the apostle Paul says: “You have always obeyed, not during my presence only, but now much more readily
during my absence.”
Christ’s “presence,” about which the disciples asked, could not have occurred at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E.
Why not? Though it is true that the Jewish system of things ended then, the larger system of things of which that Jewish system was merely a prophetic
pattern or type did not end then. This was to come during Christ’s pa‧rou‧si′a, which was to culminate in a “great tribulation such as has
not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matt. 24:21) Jerusalem’s tribulation in 70 C.E. was her worst,
but was certainly not worse than the global flood of Noah’s day and is far less catastrophic than the conclusion of this present entire world system
of things will be.
The pa‧rou‧si′a or “presence” of the Lord Jesus Christ is, therefore, his presence or visit as King, invisibly, in royal power and glory.
Consequently a “sign” is required so that persons on earth may discern that presence. Jesus, according to his characteristic way of giving kind
attention to all questions asked by his disciples, gave them an even more thorough answer than they expected. The entire twenty-fourth and
twenty-fifth chapters of Matthew, along with parallel accounts in Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21, give many features of the “sign” of his
Hence, we do well to consider carefully the things Jesus pointed out that would provide full and sufficient proof of his invisible presence. The
“sign” with its many features, as outlined by Jesus, is not a sign that he is on the way—coming—but that he is present, directing his
invisible attention and power toward the earth.
Those who have understanding, using the ‘eyes of the heart,’ will discern that fact. As the prophet Daniel wrote: “the ones having insight will
understand.” (Dan. 12:10) If Christ appeared in visible form, with a dazzling display, or by causing miraculous happenings world wide, where would
insight be needed? True Christians, therefore, will not be like those who have a wrong expectation; but will have insight and discernment, and will
‘lift up their heads, because their deliverance from this system of things is getting near.’—Luke 21:28, 36.
edit on 17-11-2011 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)