From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Mar 09 1999 - 07:00:44 EST

At 11:13 PM -0500 3/8/99, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I got an email asking me about the interpretation of this very interesting
>There are several potential meanings of TELOS that seem to make sense here,
>and I'd appreciate a little help in sorting them out. Here are some
>possibilities that occur to me:
>1. TELOS refers to the coming of the Lord at the end of time. In the
>context of James 5:7-8, these exhortations seem to be given to those who
>are enduring the trials of the end times. Given this interpretation, the
>verse seems to suggest that the Lord is compassionate and merciful in that
>he has given us the example of Job and let us see the coming of the Lord,
>so that we too may be numbered among the blessed who endure.
>2. TELOS means "outcome, result". In the context of this passage, it means
>we look at the outcome of how the Lord dealt with Job, that despite
>appearances, God really was merciful and compassionate with him.
>3. TELOS means "purpose". In the context of this passage, it would mean
>that an examination of Job's example would show us God's purpose in
>suffering, for the Lord is merciful and compassionate.
>Which of these make senses? Are any of these interpretations nonsense?
>Which seems most likely?

In view of the fact that EIDETE is aorist indicative and the verbs here are
of perception: hearing, vision, I don't see how #1 is even conceivable. I
think #2 is most likely. Are there any clear-cut instances of TELOS meaning
purpose/goal/aim in the GNT other than 1 Tim 1:5? It seems to me that "end
result" is the required meaning here, and I would understand the
parallelism between Job and Jesus to lie in the vindication of the
suffering of each.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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