16. Expectations of the imminent return of Jesus
As illustrated by the following quotations from the New Testament, Jesus' disci- ples expected him to return imminently. "For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1Thess 4:15-18 NRS). And: "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Mat 16:28 NRS). The older saying "Our Lord, come", which was prompted by the certainty of the ex- pected resurrection, was turned into a request to Jesus to come soon. The use of an Aramaic expression for the return of Jesus by Paul in a letter to the Greek speaking disciples of Jesus in Corinth shows that the following saying was influenced by the Jewish-Christian narrative: "Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!" (1Co 16:22 NRS). In the Greek original and in some translations the...
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