b-greek-digest V1 #119

b-greek-digest            Monday, 19 February 1996      Volume 01 : Number 119

In this issue:

        Re: Matthew 24:30
        Re: Meaning of POIETE 
        Summary: Something from Nothing 


From: Russ Reeves <russr@pe.net>
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 23:46:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Matthew 24:30

> At any rate, the position you advocate here was being argued at that time,
> with the additional assertion that ALL the gospel references to an event to
> occur within the lifetime of listeners were referring to events of the year
> 70. The reason why I don't think this is an adequate interpretation of the
> INTENT of the original passage is found at the end of the verse in question
> Mt 24:30 and in the verse that follows it. When the sign appears (beginning
> of vs. 30) ALL THE NATIONS ON EARTH will beat their breasts--and they will
> see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven WITH POWER AND MUCH
> GLORY. Then in vs. 31 there is the gathering of the "elect" from all the
> earth. Surely this sequence has to refer as a whole to the eschatological
> consummation, not merely to what happened in the year 70.

I hate to re-hash what has probably been thoroughly hashed <g>, but
I think the Dictionary of NT Theology (under the first entry for
"earth" - 1:518), addresses this very well.  "It is frequently
difficult to decide whether a particular passage is speaking of a
particular county, especially the land of Israel, or of the populated
earth as a whole.  With our modern outlook on the world we are
inclined to think globally and universally.  However, the NT can use
"the earth" in a very particularistic way, PASAI hAI PHYLAI TES GES
(Matt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7) means in the setting of Zech. 12:10-14 "'all
the tribes of the land.'"  Since Matthew 24 is filled with OT
allusions, and considering the similarity of the passages, I think
Matt.24:30 should be interpreted in a manner consistent with Zech.
12:10-14.  I wish I had a copy of the Septuagint to check how similar
the two are.  Also, Matt. 24:16 is a command to flee the land of

I think Revelation 1:7 should be considered a parallel passage 
due to the similarity of language, though I have no idea if one 
borrowed from the other.  But Rev. 1:7 states that "every eye will 
see Him, even they who pierced him," indicating that those who did 
the piercing will see him, expecting fulfillment in the near future.

Russ Reeves


From: Trevor Nicholls <tcn@inform.co.nz>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 13:33:54 +1300
Subject: Re: Meaning of POIETE 

- ->Now, "poiete" is used whenever a command is given to repeat something, so I'm
- ->assuming that this is the reason why it was translated as "do" instead of
- ->"offer" in the two New Testament passages mentioned above.  Can the other key
- ->word in the command for repetition of the last supper rite, remembrance, offer
- ->any clues?  The Greek word used is "anamnesis," and the only other instance
- ->that it is used in the New Testament besides Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor. 11:25 is
- ->Hebrews 10:3, which reads:"Those sacrifices are an annual reminder (anamnesis)
- ->of sins."

I think there is a clear distinction between "remembrance" and "reminder", and
'anamnesis' according to my sources definitely means the first of these.

A reminder brings back to mind something we have forgotten, whereas a remembrance
is made precisely because we *haven't* forgotten.

This is an important point about the last supper! And perhaps about the burden
of sacrifices under the Law...

  Trevor Nicholls, InForm Group Ltd, PO Box 1444, Wellington, New Zealand.
     Ph: +64 4 472 0996   Fax: +64 4 473 2407   Email: tcn@inform.co.nz 


From: Will Wagers <wagers@computek.net>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 12:53:56 -0600
Subject: Summary: Something from Nothing 

>Is it Christian thought that Jesus created the world from nothing ? (Jn 1:1)

The references kindly provided me by the list were 2 Mc 7:28, Rm 4:17, Hb 11:3.
As I understand them, these passages refer more to things which occur during
ordinary, natural changes, e.g. embryonic development, or to things which are
predicted by faith, but still occur through apparently natural mechanisms, e.g.
floods. Making the dead live in Rm 4:17 refers to God's ability to animate with
the spark of life, rather than to creating from non-existent material. In other
words, "things not seen" seems to refer to things not *fore*seen, to things not
observed during development, and/or to things being formed of other materials,
e.g. man from dust. So, "things" seem to refer to formed, temporal objects and
not to the materials (matter) from which they are made, e.g. no one suggests
that floods are not made from water nor babies from food. It is God's presumed
role in commonplace, but little-understood, natural events which is alluded to.
It is the spiritual process, rather than the material element, which is of

No one commented on the creation in Jn 1:1 which refers to the logos as an
essential ingredient, but not as the only one.

Therefore, creation ex nihilo seems to have no support in the NT without
unnecessarily extending the range of the references.

Thanks for your help,



End of b-greek-digest V1 #119


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