Resurrection/Rapture, …in the twinkling of an eye…

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

There are many cultural bridges to cross in these two verses. The New Testament is written in Greek. But the New Testament is still culturally Jewish. Paul was a trained Jew of the highest order. He had the best Jewish education going. He grew up in Jerusalem and studied under the famous teacher Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) and he was a member of the Pharisees (Philippians 3:5). Paul’s father was a member of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6). Paul is the author of 1 Corinthians.

In western culture, a mystery is defined as something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain (Google).

In the Greek language, the word for mystery is “musterion”. It means: of God; the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly (Strong’s Concordance). In other words, it is information revealed that was not previously known.

In the New Testament it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptual significance is truth revealed. Hence the terms especially associated with the subject are “made known,” “manifested,” “revealed,” “preached,” “understand,” “dispensation.” The definition given above may be best illustrated by the following passage: Colossians 1:26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).

Paul is going to teach and explain new information.

“Sleep” is an idiom for those who have died. These are the dead in Christ. They are not taking an afternoon nap or slumbering at night. …but we will all be changed… “All” would include the dead and those alive at the time of this event in Christ.

The million dollar question, when is this going to happen? This is where things get real interesting.

…in a moment… In the Greek, the word is atomos. We get our English word atom from this. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: that cannot be cut in two, or divided, indivisible, of a moment of time. The change to our eternal body happens so quickly, one cannot divide that moment of time.

…in the twinkling of any eye… In the Greek, the word for “twinkling” is rhipe. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: throw, stroke, beat, a moment of time. The blinking of an eye.

With these two definitions, there is emphasis of the speed of transition to an eternal body of those in Christ. When this event occurs, it will be essentially instantaneous. In our western culture, we take this literally and look no further.

But, to the Jew…in the twinkling of any eye…It is a time point, it is twilight. When darkness is officially declared.

http://www.torahcalendar.com/SUNSET.asp

 

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