[B-Greek] hAMA AND 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Dave Smith (REL110, 211,212) rel21x at charter.net
Tue Jun 20 09:19:18 EDT 2006


I think the force of hAMA in the NT is "in company with." Although it is
considered contemporaneous time, I think the time or sequence is general.
This word is used 8X in NT, and only by Paul and Luke.

Acts 27:40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the
sea, at the same time (hAMA) loosening the ropes that tied the rudders; then
hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.

Colossians 4:3 and pray for us also (hAMA), that God may open to us a
door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of
which I am in prison.

Now, I think in both of these references, the actions may take place in the
same time frame, but not necessarily parallel. In Colossians, time may not
even enter into the idea. It is more the "what" was being prayed about, than
the "when" it was prayed. So in the Thessalonians passage, it is a general
statement of association that the resurrected dead will be caught up into
the clouds, and so will the living.  I think the only sequence is that the
resurrection comes first, not the catching up. The question that caused Paul
to write is implied in v.15, "Will the living precede (FQASWMEN) the dead at
the parousia?" The answer is no, we will all be going together (hAMA). The
meeting with the resurrected dead, the living, and with Christ takes place
in the air, altogether. It is both the catching up (hARPAGESOMEQA) and the
meeting (EIS APANTHSIN) that is hAMA.

I think what may be more enlightening is the significance of the trumpet
call (SALPIX, 4:16). L-S states that SALPIX (v.16) is a "war trumpet."
Neither the US Army nor the Boy Scouts invented bugle calls. Both St. Paul
(I Cor. 14:8) and the Qumran War Scroll (viii.1ff, xvi.2-9) refer to
distinct trumpet/bugle calls. Most of us are familiar with reveille, taps,
retreat, and charge, but there were many more in the ancient world. What
does the trumpet call tell the resurrected and the living? Is the meeting,
and force of hAMA, refer to a mustering of troops, and is the trumpet blast
a call to war & a battle directive, as in the DSS? The War Scroll even list
the names of the associated archangels (ix.15)! KELEUSMA (I Thes. 4:16)
could be a military order, as well as a call of a driver to his horses, a
foreman to the rowers, or a hunter to his hounds.

Dave Smith
Hudson, NC

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rod Rogers" <rngrogers at earthlink.net>
To: <B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 23:33
Subject: [B-Greek] hAMA AND 1 Thessalonians 4:17

> I have a question on 1 Thessalonians 4:17. This
> was discussed somewhat back in June 2000 but not
> as complete as I need. Here is the text:
> My questions are, 1. Can hAMA be translated as
> either an adverb or an adverbial preposition
> (improper preposition)? 2. Is there any possible
> way (grammatically) to make hAMA SUN AUTOIS to
> modify EN NEFELAIS making the translation say that
> the dead are raised (all the way to "in the
> clouds") first and then, EPEITA, the hOI ZWNTES
> PERILEIPOMENOI are caught up to be united with the
> resurrected dead?
> Thanks for your considering this text. I think the
> Greek translates fairly easily here but a
> gentleman claiming seminary level Greek is
> positive that hAMA does not indicate that both
> groups are caught up "at the same time", and that
> "together" refers to the "result" of ARPAGHSOMEQA
> not "how" they are caught up. Being the country
> bumpkin that I am I though I'd as you folks.
> Thanks,
> rod rogers
> Bargersville, In
> ---
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