Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yahweh = Adonai = Κύριος = Ἰησοῦς moment in 1 Thessalonians 3:13

In 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, Paul is praying for his return to Thessalonica and for Jesus to increase the Thessalonians' love for each other and for all people.  By doing so, the result of the increased love will strengthen their hearts to be blameless in holiness in the presence of God when Jesus comes.
The end of 1 Thessalonians 3:11 states: 
...ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ. the coming of our Lord Jesus with all of his holy ones.
This phrase is an allusion to o the end of Zechariah 14:5 LXX:
...καὶ ἥξει κύριος ὁ θεός μου καὶ πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ.
...and the Lord (Yahweh) my God will come and all the holy ones with him.
In Zechariah 14, it is Yahweh who will come set foot of the mount of Olives, but in 1 Thessalonians 3:11, Paul replaces Yahweh with Jesus in his allusion to Zechariah 14:5.
Perhaps a better translation would be to include what is inferred by Paul's use of ὁ κύριος (The Lord): the coming of our Yahweh Jesus with all of his holy ones.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

1 Thessalonians 3:11, An Excerpt from an upcoming Study (rough draft)

This is nothing more than a rough draft.  This was written this morning (Dec. 21) and I thought that I would share the "work in progress".  It will be expanded without a doubt as the translation is a "rough in" and needs to be fine tuned.  Thus the reason that some of the words and phrases are underlined and are in italics.  I thought some may find this interesting.

Prayer Report
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.  12 And may the Lord increase you and may you abound in love for one another and for all just as we also have abounded in love for you, 13 in order to strengthen your blameless hearts in holiness before our God and father in the coming of our Lord Jesus with all of his holy ones, [Amen].
Technical Commentary
11 Paul now transitions into a prayer in behalf of and for the Thessalonians.  Paul first asks God to lead the company of the apostles back to Thessalonica.  Paul uses the singular verb κατευθύναι (may direct/lead) (BDAG, 532) with the compound subjects “God and Father” and “Lord Jesus”.  There are many reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that Paul has united both the Father and the Son for a single unified purpose.  It is probably not a statement of unity as both subjects are preceded by the article ( θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶν καὶ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς) which makes them distinct.  See Wallace (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 482).
Paul asks that the apostles’ way may be directed back to the Thessalonians.  ὁδός (way) within this context is defined by BDAG as “a way for traveling or moving from one place to another, way, road, highway” (BDAG, 690).  The prayer here is for God to direct the apostles’ “way” back to Thessalonica, but only within God’s time and will, thus the use of the Voluntative Optative form of κατευθύνω (to direct) in this verse.  Wallace defines the Voluntative Optative as “the use of the optative in an independent clause to express an obtainable wish or a prayer.  It is frequently an appeal to the will, in particular when used in prayers” (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 481).  It is Paul’s prayer that God’s will be done and that within his will that the way be made for Paul’s return to Thessalonica.