Thursday, March 26, 2009

"We" and "Us"

1 Thess 4:15 - For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1 Thess 4:17 - Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:51 - Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

Some infer from Paul's use of "we" that he believed Christ would come in his own lifetime. But he says he does not know when he will come (I Thess. 5:1-2). Some would not go so far to say that it meant Paul thought Christ would come in his own lifetime, but that it is proof His return is imminent -- could happen at any time. In two "us" usages Paul numbered himself among those who could be raised from the dead (I Cor. 6:14; II Cor. 4:14). Cf. I Cor. 15:51; Phil. 3:10-11; II Tim 4:6. So isn't it likely that we should be careful not to assume too much when Paul uses "we" and "us" in this way? Is he possibly identifying with his readers? Using "editorial we"? Something else?

1 Corinthians 6:14 - And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
2 Corinthians 4:14 - Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Gordon "Fee explains that Paul's use of ‘we’ simply means that Paul was currently a part of the group he was speaking of and if the parousia happened in his life, he would experience this transformation. The use of ‘we’ really only means that Paul was among the living when he wrote this letter. If Paul expected the parousia in his life time, we cannot determine that from this passage."


No comments: