The-Parousia-BannerWhat does the Greek word PAROUSIA mean.  It is used to refer to Jesus second PRESENCE.  Or should it be second COMING?  Let’s take a look.

3. parousia ^3952^, lit., “a presence,” para, “with,” and ousia, “being” (from eimi, “to be”), denotes both an “arrival” and a consequent “presence with.” For instance, in a papyrus letter a lady speaks of the necessity of her parousia in a place in order to attend to matters relating to her property there. Paul speaks of his parousia in Philippi, <Phil. 2:12> (in contrast to his apousia, “his absence”; see ABSENCE). Other words denote “the arrival” (see eisodos and eleusis, above). Parousia is used to describe the presence of Christ with His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, <2 Pet. 1:16>. When used of the return of Christ, at the rapture of the church, it signifies, not merely His momentary “coming” for His saints, but His presence with them from that moment until His revelation and manifestation to the world. In some passages the word gives prominence to the beginning of that period, the course of the period being implied, <1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thes. 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thes. 2:1; Jas. 5:7-8; 2 Pet. 3:4>. In some, the course is prominent, <Matt. 24:3, 37; 1 Thes. 3:13; 1 John 2:28>; in others the conclusion of the period, <Matt. 24:27; 2 Thes. 2:8>.
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Notice how Vines says that the word Parousia “denotes both an ‘arrival’ and a consequent ‘presence with.’” If someone has “arrived,” they are “present.” The word “arrival” does not denote “coming” as in the statement “I am coming.” It denotes the beginning of a presence as in the statement “I have arrived.”

Vines clarifies this point by stating that “In some passages the word gives prominence to the beginning of that period, the course of the period being implied

Quoting from page 271 of Rotherham’s Appendix it says, “In this edition the word parousia is uniformly rendered ‘presence’ (‘coming,’ as a representative of this word, being set aside). The original term occurs twenty-four times in the N.T…The sense of ‘presence’ is so plainly shown by the contrast with ‘absence’ (implied in 2 Cor. 10:10, and expressed in Phil. 2:12) that the question naturally arises, – Why not always so render it? The more so, inasmuch as there is in 2 Peter 1:16 also, a peculiar fitness in our English word ‘presence.’ This passage, it will be remembered, relates to our Lord’s transformation upon the Mount. The wonderful manifestation there made was a display and sample of ‘presence’ rather than of ‘coming.’ The Lord was already there; and, being there, he was transformed (cp. Matt. 17:2,n.) and the ‘majesty’ of his glorified person was then disclosed. His bodily ‘presence’ was one which implied and exerted ‘power’; so that ‘power and presence’ go excellently well together – the ‘power’ befitting such a ‘presence’; and the three favoured disciples were at one and the same moment witnesses of both.”

Harry Rimmer (D.D., Sc.D.), who was styled “Fundamentalism’s outstanding spokesman” until his death, admitted that the word parousia meant personal presence. In his book, The Coming King, he observed that the Greek word parousia is used 13 time in describing the return of Christ and not once does it have the thought of “coming.”

There are many times when the word parousia is used in the New Testament, but there are only six times when it does not refer to Christ’s 2nd Presence. Notice in every verse quoted, only presence makes sense, not coming. Even if you use the word “Arrival” it means it in the sense of “already having arrived,” not “on the way.”

1 Corinthians 16:17 (KJV) “I am glad of the coming [presence] of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.”

2 Corinthians 7:6 (KJV) “Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming [presence] of Titus;”

2 Corinthians 10:10 (KJV) “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”

Philippians 1:26 (KJV) “That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. [In other words, you will rejoice when I am present with you again.]”

Philippians 2:12 (KJV) “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (KJV) [Contrast of “presence” and “absence” is clear]”

2 Peter 1:16-18 (KJV) “16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming [presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ [on the Mount of Transfiguration], but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

In every case here the word parousia means “presence,” not “coming” (as in “on the way”). Try putting the thought of “on the way” and “not yet present” in any of the verses above and it does not work.

Taking the Bible’s usage of the word parousia to establish its meaning, It would be difficult to honestly translate this word any other way than “presence.”

5 comments to PAROUSIA – Jesus’ Second COMING or PRESENCE?

  • Anonymous

    “Someone who reads the Bible can add that his translation of Matthew 24: 3 mentions the sign of Jesus’ coming, not presence! Despite the fact that many translations do not distinguish between παρουσία and ἔρχομαι, difference is real. Who does not believe should check dictionaries and think about the meaning of παρουσία in Philippians 2:12! From chapter 24 of Matthew we see that παρουσία is associated with a time of anxiety for humanity, especially for followers of Christ, while ἔρχομαι refers to the destruction of the wicked and to salvation and reward for the righteous ones. (Matthew 24: 8-11,30,31; 13: 30,36 to 43) Also, the chosen ones will notice the presence, but everyone will see the arrival. (Matthew 24: 28,33,30)”

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Matthew 24:3 (Rotherham translation) “And, as he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him, privately, saying–Tell us, when these things shall be,–and what the sign of thy presence, and the conclusion of the age.”

      Yes, good point. The disciples were asking Jesus for the signs of his “PRESENCE” not the signs of his “COMING.”

      Interestingly, the Greek word “apokalupto” is used to describe the time at which Jesus’ return would be revealed to mankind. That time would be when the Satan’s Governments and systems are destroyed, to be replaced with God’s kingdom on earth.
      Luke 17:28-30 (NKJV)
      28 “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
      29 “but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
      30 “Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Strong’s # 601 ἀποκαλύπτω apokalupto)

  • I know of a study one department of a world renowned university’s Hebrew department asked their sister Greek Department to do because they are sitting on a very special Hebrew Manuscript of Matthew which is quite ancient on the word Parousia. Since this was pretty much between departments it is not really public knowledge or published yet. What they discovered is that the word goes back to the Persian era and means a royal arrival in all its aspects. That was the primary meaning in Jesus’ times. “Presence” was only a secondary meaning of the word. When we go back and look at the context in which the question occurs and keep in mind that the Disciples were looking for, which is found all over the gospels and the first chapter of acts, then the whole matter makes everything clear. They were only thinking of the royal arrival as their conquering messiah. They could have cared less about a “presence” because that was where their minds were focused like everybody of the day. So they wanted sign that arrival was imminent.

    It is the answer that Jesus gave which changes everything. Since it implies a two-stage event where our Lord works behind the scenes, like Jehovah did in Ester, and that is called by Jew’s God’s “Hidden face, or “Ester Panim” so that the book itself hints at what went on in its title. Jesus hints to us in his answer that he would act in the same fashion for a time before his revelation to the world.

  • Even at final arrival Christ has to manifest in various ways because the Revelation 14:6-7 Matt24:31 Global Sheep Sweep is for the majority remainder of the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11 when they cease the final future witnessing of 1260 days as in Revelation 11:7-10 and Daniel 12:7—as 8th King King North World Government is placed in final “disgusting thing” form in COMPLETION just prior to Christ arrival.

    That way two great “seven times” complete in final form.

    1. The Revelation 11 TWO Wutnesses will have TWO 1260 days warnings and salvation offers complete for 2520 days adding 1914-1918 1260 days and the future 1260 days together.

    2. When Christ arrival as Revelation 11:7-12 and Daniel 12:11 “cease the constant feature” of that final 1260 days, he is “present” in full arrival for that Global Sheep Sweep of Revelation 14:6-7, and that final 1290 days majority portion will be him “completing the circuits of Israel” [when] “he arrives”. That will also complete seven years as seven times as Christ first 3.5 year ministry is completed in his “final half of the week” 3.5 years in immortal saving power to complete his own ministry.

    Christ offers the whole “week of salvation” of Daniel 9:27 (Gen7:4 principle) in that the 1260 days and the 1290 days must all be open for salvation of sheep first, before he goes angel-balistic on the rival contender 8th King “New World Order” World Government at the end of the 1290 days, for only the “happy” enter the Daniel 12:11 period.

    Thus as Christ arrives it is in a presence to save sheep-global, yet, with full “power and glory” in cases of 8th King system deposition here and there, and in fullness when the sheep are secured. Hence, Matthew 24:29-31 shows all those types of manifestations, and there is no “the end” in that sequence as there is in Revelation 14:17-20, because he secures global sheep first. Matt25:31-40

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