From: Alan M Feuerbacher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Oct 03 1995 - 01:23:16 EDT
I have a question for you Greek scholars. In Matthew 24:3 Jesus'
disciples asked a question about the "end times":
When will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your
coming, and of the end of the age? (NASB)
This appears to consist of *three* separate questions. Many other
translations render the verse similarly. On the other hand, some
translations give an impression of abiguity, or that only *two*
questions were asked:
the sign of your coming and of the end of the age (NIV)
the sign of your coming and of the close of the age (RSV)
sign will there be of your coming and of the end of the world (NJB)
signal for your coming and the end of this world (Phillips)
the attesting miracle which will indicate your coming and the
consummation of the age (An Expanded Translation by Kenneth Wuest)
The literal Greek is:
ti to semeion tes ses parousias kai sunteleias tou aionos.
what the sign of your coming and of-conclusion of-the age.
Note that the word for "sign" (semeion) is singular. This implies to me
that the following two items joined by "and" ("kai") are just different
aspects of the same sign. In other words, the disciples asked about THE
sign of your-coming-and-the-conclusion-of-the-age.
For parallels in Mark and Luke we have:
When will these things be, and will be the sign when all these things
are going to be fulfilled? (Mark 13:4, NASB)
When therefore, will these things be? And what will be the sign when
these things are about to take place? (Luke 21:7, NASB)
Note that in both cases, it seems that the phrase "these things" refers
to what Matthew expanded on: "your coming and the end of the age." In
other words, the "sign" mentioned in all three gospel accounts is a
single (but composite) event.
What I would like are some general comments about the above, and in
particular, some kind of explanation about whether the grammatical
construction in Matthew 24:3 ("parousias kai sunteleias tou aionos")
is ambiguous or definite in connecting or not connecting "coming" and
"end of the age".
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