Re: Matthew 24:30

From: Bruce Terry (
Date: Thu Feb 15 1996 - 18:57:53 EST

On Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Carl W. Conrad write:

>On 2/13/96, Russ Reeves wrote:
>> The first phrase of Matthew 24:30 (I'm not sure if I'm
>> transliterating in the standard way for this group - I'm using "H"
>> OURANW," is usually rendered "the sign of the Son of Man will appear
>> in the sky" (NIV) or along those lines. But is it the "sign" that
>> is in heaven or the "Son of Man"? Is it grammatically possible that
>> the "sign" is that the Son of Man is in heaven?
>Yes, I think so.
>This is an interesting question, and one that I don't think we ever
>addressed in our lengthy discussion of the phrasing of this passage in the
>Synoptic apocalypse last year.
>My initial reaction is to think the construction of TOU hUIOU TOU ANQRWPOU
>here is a defining genitive, i.e., the Son of Man is himself the sign that
>will appear in the sky.

I agree! The sign of the parousia in verse 3 is finally explained in verse 30
as being the Son of man in heaven. This doesn't give much time to prepare
when one sees this sign, but this is in line with the theme of always watch
and be ready. We must remember that, to the extent that the gospels are
accurately reflecting the history of the life of Jesus (and I take them as
quite accurate), this was new information to the disciples. To us it seems so
commonplace, since we've heard it so many times before; to them it was novel.
Jesus was finally telling them that when they see him coming in the sky, it is
time for the parousia.

Bruce Terry E-MAIL:
Box 8426, ACU Station Phone: 915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699 Fax: 915/674-3769

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