Friday, November 02, 2007


My studies have suggested that PAROUSIA and ERXOMAI
are not semantically identical nor are they interchangeable per se.
But I do believe that PAROUSIA, like ERXOMAI, may mean "arrival" in
certain contexts. It certainly refers to the visit of
important personages in the papyri.

BDAG points out that PAROUSIA can mean (1) "the state
of being present at a place, presence" or (2) "arrival
as the first stage in presence, coming, advent."

Sense (1) is clearly found at Phil 2:12 where Paul
contrasts his own PAROUSIA with his APOUSIA. 1 Cor
16:17; 2 Cor 10:10 also seem to be examples of
PAROUSIA being used to mean "presence," though some
think it may signify "arrival" in Paul's first letter
to the Corinthians. See _The New Linguistic and
Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament_, pg. 391.
But compare Marion L. Soards _1 Corinthians_ (New
International Biblical Commentary), p. 364.

BDAG suggests that PAROUSIA in 2 Cor 7:6 and Phil 1:26
refers to the "coming" of Titus or Paul. However, one
can just as well understand PAROUSIA in the said
verses as "presence" or "the state of being present at
a place." See Moises Silva's _Philippians (The
Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary), pp. 86-87. To see
examples of PAROUSIA employed as a TECHNICUS TERMINUS
for both Christians and non-Christians, consult
Moulton-Milligan, p. 497.

Regarding the use of PAROUSIA as a TECHNICUS TERMINUS
for the "presence" of Jesus Christ, I find N.T.
Wright's comments enlightening:

"But why should we think--except for reasons of
ecclesiastical and scholarly tradition--that PAROUSIA
means 'the second coming,' and/or the downward
travel on a cloud of Jesus and/or the 'son of man'?
PAROUSIA means 'presence' as opposed to APOUSIA,
'absence'; hence it denotes the 'arrival' of
someone not at the moment present; and it is
especially used in relation to the visit 'of a royal
or official personage.' Until evidence for a different
meaning is produced, this should be our starting-point"
(_Jesus and the Victory of God_, page 341).

What does Wright mean by the "arrival" of Christ,
however. In that same publication, he makes it clear
that he is referring to the "enthronement" of Christ
and not to his Second Advent:

"For the ordinary sense of 'arrival', cf. 1 Cor.
16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6, 7; 10:10; Phil. 1:26; 2:12. From
this, the most natural meaning for the word as applied
to Jesus would be something like 'arrival on the
scene,' in the sense of enthronement" (ibid).

TDNT makes the point even clearer in its treatment of

Finally, Louw-Nida shows that ERXOMAI can denote: "to
move from one place to another, either coming or
going." Abbott-Smith has similar comments.


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