The parousia. In the gospels Jesus is said to predict a day when the Son of Man will come. But it will be only after sufferings and conflicts (Mark 13: 30). Then it will be the time of judgement (Matt. 13: 41–3) and of the final coming of the Kingdom (Mark 8: 38–9: 1). No date can be given (Acts 1: 7). The term parousia covers the whole range of expectations about the End, which the first Christians may have anticipated in the near future (Mark 13: 30); hence the death of some of them came as a shock. Paul explained that when Christ came those already dead would be raised (1 Cor. 15: 20–23). But the NT does not employ the precise term ‘second coming’ of Christ; and his ‘coming again’ (John 14: 3) or ‘appearance a second time’ (Heb. 9: 28) are to be understood in their contexts. Christ does come again, and again, not as Judge but as Saviour, for all mankind, but the final coming stands for the fulfilment of all God's work in Christ and a kingdom of love and peace and joy ‘where righteousness is at home’ (2 Pet. 3: 13, NRSV).
Subjects: Biblical Studies.