Second Coming

For other uses, see Second Coming (disambiguation).
Greek icon of Second Coming, c.1700
Events in the
Life of Jesus
according to the Gospels

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The Second Coming (sometimes called the Second Advent or the Parousia) is primarily a Christian concept regarding a future return of Jesus to Earth after his "first coming" and ascension to heaven about two thousand years ago. The belief is based on messianic prophecies found in the canonical gospels and is part of most Christian eschatologies. Views about the nature of Jesus' Second Coming vary among Christian denominations and among individual Christians.

Most English versions of the Nicene Creed include the following statements: "...he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. ... We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

Terminology

Several different terms are used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ:

Epiphany

See also: Theophany and Christophany

In the New Testament, the Greek word ἐπιφάνεια (epiphaneia, appearing) is used five times to refer to the return of Christ.[1]

Parousia

Main article: Parousia

The Greek New Testament uses the Greek term parousia (παρουσία, meaning "arrival", "coming", or "presence") twenty-four times, seventeen of them concerning Christ.[2] The word is also used six times referring to individuals (Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus,[1Co.16:17] Titus,[2Co. 7:6-72] and Paul the Apostle [2Co. 10:10][Phil 1:26][2:12]) and one time referring to the "coming of the lawless one".[2Thes 2:9]

The etymology of the Greek word parousia is related to para "beside" ousia "presence". In English "parousia" always has a special, Christian meaning.[3]

Definitions

The Lexicon of Joseph Henry Thayer defines the Greek word parousia as Strong's G3952:

...In the N. T. [New Testament] esp. [especially] of the advent, i.e., the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God.[2]

The Bauer-Danker Lexicon provides the definition:

...of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on the "General judgment" states:[4]

In the New Testament the second Parousia, or coming of Christ as Judge of the world, is an oft-repeated doctrine. The Saviour Himself not only foretells the event but graphically portrays its circumstances (Matthew 24:27 sqq. [Olivet Discourse]; Matthew sqq. [Judgment of the Nations]). The Apostles give a most prominent place to this doctrine in their preaching (Acts 10:42,Acts) and writings (Romans 2:5-16; 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess 1:5; James 5:7). Besides the name Parusia (parousia), or Advent (1 Cor. 15:23, 2 Thes. 2:1-9), the second coming is also called Epiphany, epiphaneia, or Appearance (2 Thes. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1; Titus 2:13) and Apocalypse (apokalypsis), or Revelation (2 Thess. 2:7 1 Pet. 4:13). The time of the second coming is spoken of as "that Day" (2 Tim. 4:8) "the day of the Lord" (1 Thess. 5:2), "the day of Christ" (Phil 1:6), "the day of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:30), and "the last day" (John 6:39-40).

Gustav Adolf Deissmann (1908)[5] showed that the Greek word parousia occurred as early as the 3rd century BC to describe the visit of a king or dignitary to a city - a visit arranged in order to show the visitor's magnificence to the people. The Roman advent coins struck by the cities of Corinth and Patras for Nero's visit reveals the correspondence between the Greek "parousia" and the Latin "Adventus" and their relationship to the Greek word "epiphany" that means "appearing".

Christian views