How is 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to be Understood?

This text reads literally: ‘Thereafter, at the same time, we of the living remnant will be snatched in clouds, together with (the resurrected Saints), and then will gather in the air to a meeting with the Lord.’ [For details on this text compare Nazarene Principles 2000©; Nazarene Commentary 2000© on 1 Thessalonians; Nazarene Apocalypse 2000©]

That this text proves the dead in Christ, as well as the living in Christ, upon the Lord’s Return, will all gather to meet at the same time, that is simultaneously, and this "in his Presence" (2 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 50-53), compare the following commentaries:

"hama is not to be taken apart from syn autois in the sense ‘at the same time, together with them; for the combination hama syn is too common to allow the separation ..." (J B Lightfoot Commentary)

"hama syn autois . . . the future bliss is a reunion of Christians not only with Christ but with one another." (The Expositors Greek Testament)

"The moment after the dead arise, those who are alive and remain will join them to form one great body. Together we will all be caught up (snatched up in a powerful manner, carried up suddenly in great power) to meet the Lord (for a meeting with the Lord) in the air." (The Complete Biblical Library)

"Note both hama (at the same time) and syn (together with) with the associative instrumental case autois (the risen saints)." Word Pictures in the New Testament, A T Robertson)

"’To meet the Lord in the air’ ... a statement not else where known. It seems to imply that the Lord will not actually himself reach the earth but will remain in the air and call the saints to his side. ... The word ‘meet’ is found in the papyri in the sense of an official welcome." (The Interpreter’s Bible)

" . . . will at the same time be seized together with them . . . " (The Christian Bible)

"AMASYNAYTOIC . . . simultaneously, together to them." (Concordant Greek Text)

"hama syn autois . . . we that are alive shall simultaneously, or, one and all (compare Rm 3.12) be caught up." (Word Studies in the New Testament)

" . . . we will be brought along with them in the clouds . . .." (Christian Community Bible)

" . . . /we the living who are left/ //together with them// . . .. " (Emphasized Bible, J B Rotherham)

"’Then,’ -- i.e., immediately after the dead in Christ have arisen . . . ‘with them’ -- i.e., with the resurrected dead in Christ. ... " (The Second Coming Bible)

"Of all the details given here: that the dead will answer the summons by returning to life, that they and the living will be taken to meet the Lord, and that they will accompany him to the judgment with which the eternal kingdom begins, the essential one is the last: eternal life with Christ; see 5.10; 2 Th 2.1 . . . " (New Jerusalem Bible, ftn l)

". . . we who are still alive shall join them . . . " (Revised English Bible)

"The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and the faithful, alive and dead, will be swept up into the clouds . . . to meet .. . . " (The Dartmouth Bible, ftn 2)

"caught up along with them" (R F Weymouth)

"And the church, saints of the past ages, and saints of the last age, shall ascend to meet the Lord." (The Peoples N T, B W Johnson)

"Will at the same time along with them be caught up . . . " (W B Godbey)

"Then we, the living remnant, shall at the same time be carried up in clouds." (The Complete Bible in Modern English, F Fenton)

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Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller

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