1Thess 3:13

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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Scott Lawson
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1Thess 3:13

Post by Scott Lawson » January 19th, 2018, 3:47 pm

Can you help me with a grammatical argument I’m trying to make? It may be that I’m all wet and my argument can’t stand.

Our JW doctrine on the παρουσία asserts that the παρουσία is a durative period of time. In fact we feel that it began in 1914 and is still ongoing. There are some 25 instances of the use of παρουσία in the NT and it seems to me 24 of them are ambiguous enough to be seen as both durative or punctiliar. But I think its use at 1 Thess 3:13 is a clear instance of it being punctiliar.

I believe that 1 Thess 3:13 is fatal to the assertion that παρουσία always means a durative period of time. In this instance it is qualified by “with all his holy ones”. This to me applies only to a single point in time, his “coming” with great power and glory at Matt 24:29-31 and 1 Thess 4:15-17. This means that παρουσία is referred to as that point in time and is a clear example of it as such.

Does that make sense?

My interlocutor claims that ἐν should be understood as “in” here and that that maintains the idea of duration. But I just don’t see that as a logical option in that the point of time is qualified by “with all his holy ones”.

Can you help me put my view into grammatical language if it is correct?
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Scott Lawson

Jonathan Robie
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 19th, 2018, 5:55 pm

I am going to ignore the theological argument and try to understand the grammatical question.

Let me start by providing the text:
1 Thess 3:13 wrote:εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας ἀμέμπτους ἐν ἁγιωσύνῃ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ.
Here's the question you asked:
Scott Lawson wrote:
January 19th, 2018, 3:47 pm
There are some 25 instances of the use of παρουσία in the NT and it seems to me 24 of them are ambiguous enough to be seen as both durative or punctiliar. But I think its use at 1 Thess 3:13 is a clear instance of it being punctiliar.
Most of the time, people use durative and punctiliar to refer to the action of verbs. But in this case we are talking about a noun, are you using these terms to distinguish the meaning "presence" from the meaning "arrival"? Here's how Abbott-Smith classified these instances, maybe Barry can paste in the classification from BDAG.
Abbott-Smith wrote:παρουσία, -ας, ἡ, [in LXX: Ne 2:6 A, Jth 10:18, II Mac 8:12 15:21, III Mac 3:17*;]
1. usually in cl., a being present, presence: I Co 16:17, II Co 10:10; opp. to ἀπουσία, Phl 2:12 (cf. II Mac 15:21).
2. a coming, arrival, advent (Soph., Eur., Thuc., al., v. LS, s.v.; so Jth 10:18, II Mac 8:12): II Co 7:6, 7, Phl 1:26, II Th 2:9; in late writers (v. M, Th., 145 ff.; MM, xix; LAE, 372 ff.) as technical term for the visit of a king; hence, in NT, specif. of the Advent or Parousia of Christ: Mt 24:3, 27, 37, 39, I Co 15:23, I Th 2:19 3:13 4:15 5:23, II Th 2:1, 8, Ja 5:7, 8, II Pe 1:16 3:4, 12, I Jn 2:28.†
So how can you tell which meaning is intended? I think that's basically a matter of context. Try reading each of these passages and get a feel for what the context tells you about which meaning is intended, then see if you agree with Abbott-Smith.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 19th, 2018, 6:08 pm

παρουσία, ας, ἡ (πάρειμι; Trag., Thu.+)
① the state of being present at a place, presence (Aeschyl. et al.; Herm. Wr. 1, 22; OGI 640, 7, SIG 730, 14; Did.; cp. Hippol., Ref. 7, 32, 8 ‘existence’) 1 Cor 16:17; Phil 2:12 (opp. ἀπουσία). ἡ π. τοῦ σώματος ἀσθενής his bodily presence is weak i.e. when he is present in person, he appears to be weak 2 Cor 10:10.—Of God (Jos., Ant. 3, 80; 203; 9, 55) τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ δείγματα proofs of his presence Dg 7:9 (cp. Diod S 3, 66, 3 σημεῖα τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ θεοῦ; 4, 24, 1).
② arrival as the first stage in presence, coming, advent (Soph., El. 1104; Eur., Alc. 209; Thu. 1, 128, 5. Elsewh. mostly in later wr.: Polyb. 22, 10, 14; Demetr.: 722 Fgm. 11, 18 Jac.; Diod S 15, 32, 2; 19, 64, 6; Dionys. Hal. 1, 45, 4; ins, pap; Jdth 10:18; 2 Macc 8:12; 15:21; 3 Macc 3:17; TestAbr A 2 p. 78, 26 [Stone p. 4]; Jos., Bell. 4, 345, Vi. 90; Tat. 39, 3).
ⓐ of human beings, in the usual sense 2 Cor 7:6f. ἡ ἐμὴ π. πάλιν πρὸς ὑμᾶς my coming to you again, my return to you Phil 1:26.—RFunk, JKnox Festschr. ’67, 249–68.
ⓑ in a special technical sense (difft. JWalvoord, BiblSacr 101, ’44, 283–89 on παρ., ἀποκάλυψις, ἐπιφάνεια) of Christ (and the Antichrist). The use of π. as a t.t. has developed in two directions. On the one hand the word served as a sacred expr. for the coming of a hidden divinity, who makes his presence felt by a revelation of his power, or whose presence is celebrated in the cult (Diod S 3, 65, 1 ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ π. of Dionysus upon earth; 4, 3, 3; Ael. Aristid. 48, 30; 31 K.=24 p. 473 D.; Porphyr., Philos. Ex Orac. Haur. II p. 148 Wolff; Iambl., Myst. 2, 8; 3, 11; 5, 21; Jos., Ant. 3, 80; 203; 9, 55; report of a healing fr. Epidaurus: SIG 1169, 34).—On the other hand, π. became the official term for a visit of a person of high rank, esp. of kings and emperors visiting a province (Polyb. 18, 48, 4; CIG 4896, 8f; SIG 495, 85f; 741, 21; 30; UPZ 42, 18 [162 B.C.]; PTebt 48, 14; 116, 57 [both II B.C.]; O. Wilck II, 1372; 1481. For the verb in this sense s. BGU XIII, 2211, 5.—O. Wilck I 274ff; Dssm., LO 314ff [LAE 372ff]; MDibelius, Hdb. exc. after the expl. of 1 Th 2:20). These two technical expressions can approach each other closely in mng., can shade off into one another, or even coincide (Ins. von Tegea: BCH 25, 1901 p. 275 ἔτους ξθ´ ἀπὸ τῆς θεοῦ Ἁδριανοῦ τὸ πρῶτον ἰς τὴν Ελλάδα παρουσίας).—Herm. Wr. 1, 26 uses π. of the advent of the pilgrim in the eighth sphere.
α. of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age: Mt 24:3 (PSchoonheim, Een semasiolog. onderzoek van π. ’53); 1 Cor 1:8 v.l.; 15:23; 2 Th 2:8 (on the expr. ἐπιφάνεια παρουσίας s. FPfister, Pauly-W. Suppl. IV ’24, 322); 2 Pt 3:4; 1J 2:28; Dg 7:6; Hs 5, 5, 3. ἡ π. τοῦ υἱοῦ τ. ἀνθρώπου Mt 24:27, 37, 39 (cp. the suggestion of retribution SIG 741, 21–23; 31f). ἡ π. τοῦ κυρίου 1 Th 4:15; Js 5:7f. ἡ π. τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ 1 Th 3:13; cp. 2:19. ἡ π. τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 5:23; 2 Th 2:1 (on the use in 1 and 2 Th s. RGundry, NTS 33, ’87, 161–78); 2 Pt 1:16 (δύναμις w. παρουσία as Jos., Ant. 9, 55; cp. Ael. Aristid. 48, 30 K. [both passages also b above]).—This explains the expr. ἡ π. τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμέρας the coming of the Day of God 2 Pt 3:12.—EvDobschütz, Zur Eschatologie der Ev.: StKr 84, 1911, 1–20; FTillmann, D. Wiederkunft Christi nach den paulin. Briefen 1909; FGuntermann, D. Eschatol. des hl. Pls ’32; BBrinkmann, D. Lehre v. d. Parusie b. hl. Pls u. im Hen.: Biblica 13, ’32, 315–34; 418–34; EHaack, E. exeg.-dogm. Studie z. Eschatol. über 1 Th 4:13–18: ZST 15, ’38, 544–69; OCullmann, Le retour de Christ2 ’45; WKümmel, Verheissg. u. Erfüllg.2 ’53; TGlasson, The Second Advent ’45; AFeuillet, CHDodd Festschr. ’56 (Mt and Js).—On delay of the Parousia WMichaelis, Wikenhauser Festschr. ’53, 107–23; EGrässer, D. Problem der Parousieverzögerung (synopt and Ac), ’57.—JATRobinson, Jesus and His Coming, ’57.
β. in our lit. prob. only in a few late pass. of Jesus’ advent in the Incarnation (so TestLevi 8:15; TestJud 22:2; Just., A I, 52, 3, D. 14, 8; 40, 4; 118, 2 ἐν τῇ πάλιν παρουσίᾳ; Ps.-Clem., Hom. 2, 52; 8, 5; Orig., C. Cels. 6, 68, 5; Hippol., Ref. 9, 30, 5) τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ σωτῆρος, κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τὸ πάθος αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν IPhld 9:2; PtK 4 p. 15, 33. But 2 Pt 1:16 (s. α above) can hardly be classed here.
γ. Sense α gave rise to an opposing use of π. to designate the coming of the Antichrist (s. ἄνομος 4; Iren. 3, 7, 2 [Harv. II 26f]; Orig., C. Cels. 6, 45, 5) in the last times οὗ ἐστιν ἡ π. κατʼ ἐνέργειαν τοῦ σατανᾶ whose coming is in keeping with / in line with Satan’s power 2 Th 2:9. KThraede, Grundzüge griechisch-römischer Brieftopik ’70, 95–106.—New Docs 4, 167f. DELG s.v. εἰμί. M-M. EDNT. TW. Spicq. Sv.


Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., pp. 780–781). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 19th, 2018, 6:46 pm

Mat 24:27 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν, οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου· 28 ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα, ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί.

Scott,

I just read the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 in NA27 with your question in mind. Seems to me 1Thess 3:13 can hardly be the only passage that is "fatal" to the so called "durative" reading since the Olivet discourse is fatal. It depicts an event that approaches in secret like the flood in Genesis 6 and unfolds in a sudden catastrophic manner. Lightning flashes from east to west, people disappear instantaneously. Larry Norman[1] didn't invent this.

[1]I Wish We'd All Been Ready, Larry Norman.

Postscript: Rick Josiassen, a guitarist, studio musician from LA introduced me to this song in June 1970, just before he went into the army. We were colleagues at a drug rehab center in South Seattle.
Last edited by Stirling Bartholomew on January 19th, 2018, 7:07 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Scott Lawson » January 19th, 2018, 6:59 pm

Thank you Jonathon. I have read all the instances where παρουσία occurs in the Nt and as I noted in my post it seems to me that all of them except at 1 Thess 3:13 can be either durative or punctual, meaning either presence or arrival/coming. But at 1 Thess 3:13 the context restricts the meaning to arrival/coming. Is that correct and if so how do I explain that in grammatical terms?
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Scott Lawson

Jonathan Robie
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 19th, 2018, 7:42 pm

I think you are making an argument based on context, not grammar, so grammatical terms won't clarify what you mean. You are asking which sense of the word is intended here, "coming" or "presence". That's the most precise way you can phrase it. I suggest you lose the fancier terms 'durative' and 'punctiliar'.

Judging purely by the grammar, you could imagine it meaning "in the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints," "by the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints," "by the presence of our Lord Jesus with all His saints," or "in the presence of our Lord Jesus with all His saints," and the grammar alone won't tell you which one is right.

But a text without a context is only a pretext, and this particular text is followed by 1 Thess 4:1-12 and 1 Thess 4:13-18. The translations I just looked at all agree, and I imagine that's because they assume this is the same παρουσία discussed in 1 Thess 4:15:
1 Thess 4:15 wrote:τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν λέγομεν ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας·
It goes on like this:
1 These 4:16-18 wrote:ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι, ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ, καταβήσεται ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον, ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα· καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα. ὥστε παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τούτοις.
Indeed, if you read the book as a whole, I think you will find that the παρουσία is a major theme of the book. Here are the places that this particular word is used in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians. Try reading each instance in the context of the passage as a whole. The best way to do that is probably to read the two books through several times, then look at the usage within each passage.

PS, if you hover over a word you will see glosses and morphology, which can be helpful if some of the words are difficult for you.

PPS, I agree with Stirling that there are other passages worth looking at for this topic.

PPPS, B-Greek is not the place to discuss the doctrine of the παρουσία or this particular debate. We can help you read individual passages, and encourage you to read in context.
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paorear
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by paorear » January 19th, 2018, 10:05 pm

LSJ for added kicks:

παρουσία, ἡ, (πάρειμι) presence, of persons, δεσπότου, etc., A.Pers.169, etc.; ἀνδρῶν π., = ἄνδρες οἱ παρόντες, E.Alc.606; πόλις μείζων τῆς ἡμετέρας π., = ἡμῶν τῶν παρόντων, Th.6.86; παρουσίαν μὲν οἶσθα .. φίλων, ὡς οὔτις ἡμῖν ἐστιν, i.e. that we have no friends present to assist us, S.El.948; of things, κακῶν E.Hec.227, Ar.Th.1049; ἀγαθῶν Pl.Grg.497e: abs., παρουσίαν ἔχειν, = παρεῖναι, S.Aj.540; τὰ τῆς τύχης .. κοινὰς [ἔχει] τὰς παρουσίας D.Prooem.39; αὐτὸ τὸ ἀγαθὸν [αἴτιον] τῇ π. τοῖς ἄλλοις τοῦ ἀγαθὰ εἶναι Arist.EE1217b5, cf. Pl.Phd.100d, etc. occasion, v.l. in S.El.1251.
2. arrival, ἡμῶν κοινόπουν π. S.El.1104, cf. E.Alc.209, Th.1.128; εἰς Ἰταλίαν D.H.1.45; esp. visit of a royal or official personage, βασιλέως, etc., PTeb.48.14 (ii B.C.), IPE1.32 A 85 (Olbia, iii B.C.), etc.; of a god, IG42(1).122.34 (Epid.).
3. π. τισὶ ποιεῖσθαι entertain them on their official visits, OGI139.9 (Philae, ii B.C.).
5. in NT, the Advent, Ev.Matt.24.27, al.
6. Astrol., situation of a planet at a point on the zodiac, ἤτοι κατὰ παρουσίαν ἢ κατὰ συμμαρτυρίαν Vett.Val.49.26.
II. substance, property, ὡς .. ἔχομεν παρουσίας Pl.Com.177, cf. Men.471; π. χρημάτων Crates Com.16.
2. contribution in money, Sch.Luc.Phal.1.3 (pl.).

Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 1343.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2018, 3:33 pm

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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2018, 3:44 pm

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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: 1Thess 3:13

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2018, 3:47 pm

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