April 25, 2022 at 9:36 am #2590Dave RParticipant
I have been studying this book along with my local church. I typically read from the NIV and so I did not have a query until the verse was read in a different translation. Specifically at the end of the verse the NIV refers to Jesus returning with all his holy ones. Knowing what you have taught on the 2nd coming it was obvious that here he was referring to angels. However, the alternate translation said “saints”. I compared what the LGV said and you identified it clearly as angels and not saints. But then I checked a couple of references of the Greek word (Bible Hub and Scripture4all) and found saint used there also. I understand that biases exist in our modern translations but do they also exist in reference books that I am using? Or possible my lack of understanding on how to use them? Why do none of them say angels?
As always, thank you for your time and teaching!
April 25, 2022 at 5:27 pm #2592TimothyKeymaster
In 1 Thess. 3:13, the expression is πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ. It can be translated “all the holy [ones] of him” or “all the holy things of him.” The word ἁγίων (holy) is an adjective used like a noun. When in the genitive case (as here) it is spelled exactly the same whether it is neuter or masculine. Consequently, it can refer to holy (things) or holy (ones – either people or angels). Which of these is meant cannot be determined by the phrase itself, only by the context or comparison to other passages.
The only other passages that bear upon this question, to which Paul was probably alluding, are the following:
Zechariah 14:5 (NASB) And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
Matthew 25:31 (NKJV) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
Mark 8:38 (NKJV) 38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Luke 9:26 (NKJV) 26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
Since revelation is progressive, before we decide what Paul meant in 1 Thess. 3:13, we need to know what Zechariah meant in Zech. 14:5. Since there is no basis in any of the Old Testament for the Messiah appearing in glory from heaven with people in tow, yet there is precedent for His appearance in glory from heaven on Mt. Sinai in the company of a multitude of angels (Psalm 68:17; Heb. 2:2), we ought to interpret “all the holy ones” in Zech. 14:5 as all the holy the angels, not people. This interpretation is confirmed by Jesus in Matt. 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26. He used the word “all” and the adjective “holy” but added the noun “angels” in Matt. 25:31. In the other two the word “all” is not included, but “holy” and “angels” are included. All of these refer to Christ’s visible coming in glory to establish His Kingdom. With all of this prior revelation known both to Paul and his readers, it is certain that he was referring to the holy angels in 1 Thess. 3:13. This is further confirmed by Paul in the second letter to the Thessalonians.
2 Thess. 1:7-8 (NKJV) “7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Translators presuppose something that is nowhere taught in the Bible, that dead people are in heaven, either their ghosts or bodily resurrected pretribbers. They then impose their theological presuppositions and bias upon the Scriptures and translate πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ in 1 Thess. 3:13 as “all His saints” (ESV, KJV, NASB, NKJV). However, the translators of the NIV, NJB, and a few others did not impose their own false presuppositions on this passage and translated it accurately as “all His holy ones” leaving the reader to decide whether it refers to angels or humans. In the LGV I translated it as “all His holy ones” and added a footnote pointing to these other passages.
April 26, 2022 at 8:40 am #2593Dave RParticipant
thank you for the clarification. Your work and willingness to share has been invaluable!
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