Mt 5:32—Gr., πορνεία (por·neiʹa); Lat., for·ni·caʹti·o
The Greek word por·neiʹa covers a broad meaning. Bauer, p. 693, says under the word por·neiʹa that it means “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.”
Commenting on Jesus’ words in Mt 5:32 and Mt 19:9, TDNT, Vol. VI, p. 592, says that “πορνεία [por·neiʹa] refers to extra-marital intercourse.” Therefore, the Scriptures use the term por·neiʹa in connection with married persons. The same dictionary, on p. 594, in connection with Eph 5:3, 5, says that Paul “realises that not every one has the gift of continence, 1 C. 1Co 7:7. As a protection against the evil of fornication the [single] man who does not have [continence] should take the divinely prescribed way of a lawful marriage, 1 C. 1Co 7:2.” Hence, the Scriptures use the term por·neiʹa also in connection with unmarried persons engaging in unlawful sex relations and practices.—See 1Co 6:9.
B. F. Westcott, coeditor of the Westcott and Hort Greek text, in his work, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, London and New York, 1906, p. 76, comments on the various meanings of por·neiʹa in the Scriptures in a note on Eph 5:3, saying: “This is a general term for all unlawful intercourse, (I) adultery: Hos. ii. 2, 4 (LXX.); Matt. v. 32; xix. 9; (2) unlawful marriage, I Cor. 5:1 v. I; (3) fornication, the common sense as here [Eph 5:3].” By “the common sense” evidently reference is made to the modern, limited, sense involving only unmarried persons.
In addition to this literal meaning, in certain places in the Christian Greek Scriptures por·neiʹa has a symbolic meaning. Concerning this meaning ZorellGr, col. 1106, says under por·neiʹa: “apostasy from the true faith, committed either entirely or partially, defection from the one true God Jahve to foreign gods [4Ki 2Ki 9:22; Jer 32:9; Ho 6:10 etc.; for God’s union with his people was considered like a kind of spiritual matrimony]: Re 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2.” (Brackets his; 4Ki in LXX corresponds to 2Ki in M.)
In the Greek text por·neiʹa occurs in the following 25 places: Mt 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mr 7:21; Joh 8:41; Ac 15:20, 29; 21:25; 1Co 5:1, 1; 6:13, 18; 7:2; 2Co 12:21; Ga 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1Th 4:3; Re 2:21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2.
The related noun porʹnos, rendered in NW as “fornicator,” occurs in the following ten places: 1Co 5:9, 10, 11; 6:9; Eph 5:5; 1Ti 1:10; Heb 12:16; 13:4; Re 21:8; 22:15. LS, p. 1450, defines this word as meaning “catamite, sodomite, fornicator, idolater.”
Mt 24:3—Gr., τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας
“the SIGN of THY presence”
The Emphatic Diaglott (J21), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.
“the sign of thy presence”
The Emphasised Bible, by J. B. Rotherham, Cincinnati.
“the signal of Your presence”
The Holy Bible in Modern English, by F. Fenton, London.
“the sign of your presence”
New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, Brooklyn.
The Greek noun pa·rou·siʹa literally means a “being alongside,” the expression being drawn from the preposition pa·raʹ (alongside) and ou·siʹa (a “being”). The word pa·rou·siʹa occurs 24 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, namely, in Mt 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1Co 15:23; 16:17; 2Co 7:6, 7; 10:10; Php 1:26; 2:12; 1Th 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Th 2:1, 8, 9; Jas 5:7, 8; 2Pe 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1Jo 2:28. In these 24 places the New World Translation renders pa·rou·siʹa as “presence.”
The related verb paʹrei·mi literally means “be alongside.” It occurs 24 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, namely, in Mt 26:50; Lu 13:1; Joh 7:6; 11:28; Ac 10:21, 33; 12:20 (ftn); Ac 17:6; 24:19; 1Co 5:3, 3; 2Co 10:2, 11; 11:9; 13:2, 10; Ga 4:18, 20; Col 1:6; Heb 12:11; 13:5; 2Pe 1:9, 12; Re 17:8. In these places the New World Translation renders paʹrei·mi as “(be) present” or “present himself.”
From the contrast that is made between the presence and the absence of Paul both in 2Co 10:10, 11 and in Php 2:12, the meaning of pa·rou·siʹa is plain. Also, from the comparison of the pa·rou·siʹa of the Son of man with the “days of Noah,” in Mt 24:37-39, it is evident that this word means “presence.”
Liddell and Scott’s A Greek-English Lexicon (LS), p. 1343, gives as the first definition of pa·rou·siʹa the English word presence. Likewise TDNT, Vol. V, p. 859, states under the subheading “The General Meaning”: “παρουσία [pa·rou·siʹa] denotes esp[ecially] active presence.”
The word pa·rou·siʹa, “presence,” is different from the Greek word eʹleu·sis, “coming,” which occurs once in the Greek text, in Ac 7:52, as e·leuʹse·os (Lat., ad·venʹtu). The words pa·rou·siʹa and eʹleu·sis are not used interchangeably. TDNT, Vol. V, p. 865, noted that “the terms [paʹrei·mi and pa·rou·siʹa] are never used for the coming of Christ in the flesh, and παρουσία never has the sense of return. The idea of more than one parousia is first found only in the later Church [not before Justine, second century C.E.] . . . A basic prerequisite for understanding the world of thought of primitive Christianity is that we should fully free ourselves from this notion [of more than one parousia].”
Concerning the meaning of this word, Israel P. Warren, D.D., wrote in his work The Parousia, Portland, Maine (1879), pp. 12-15: “We often speak of the ‘second advent,’ the ‘second coming,’ etc., but the Scriptures never speak of a ‘second Parousia.’ Whatever was to be its nature, it was something peculiar, having never occurred before, and being never to occur again. It was to be a presence differing from and superior to all other manifestations of himself to men, so that its designation should properly stand by itself, without any qualifying epithet other than the article,—THE PRESENCE.
“From this view of the word it is evident, I think, that neither the English word ‘coming’ nor the Latin ‘advent’ is the best representative of the original. They do not conform to its etymology; they do not correspond to the idea of the verb from which it is derived; nor could they appropriately be substituted for the more exact word, ‘presence,’ in the cases where the translators used the latter. Nor is the radical [root] idea of them the same. ‘Coming’ and ‘advent’ give most prominently the conception of an approach to us, motion toward us; ‘parousia’ that of being with us, without reference to how it began. The force of the former ends with the arrival; that of the latter begins with it. Those are words of motion; this of rest. The space of time covered by the action of the former is limited, it may be momentary; that of the latter unlimited . . . .
“Had our translators done with this technical word ‘parousia’ as they did with ‘baptisma,’—transferring it unchanged,—or if translated using its exact etymological equivalent, presence, and had it been well understood, as it then would have been, that there is no such thing as a ‘second Presence,’ I believe that the entire doctrine would have been different from what it now is. The phrases, ‘second advent,’ and ‘second coming,’ would never have been heard of. The church would have been taught to speak of THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, as that from which its hopes were to be realized, whether in the near future or at the remotest period,—that under which the world was to be made new, a resurrection both spiritual and corporeal should be attained, and justice and everlasting awards administered.”
Also, Bauer, p. 630, states that pa·rou·siʹa “became the official term for a visit of a person of high rank, esp[ecially] of kings and emperors visiting a province.” In Mt 24:3, as well as in other texts such as 1Th 3:13 and 2Th 2:1, the word pa·rou·siʹa refers to the royal presence of Jesus Christ since his enthronement as King in the last days of this system of things.
Gr., σταυρός (stau·rosʹ); Lat., crux
“Torture stake” in Mt 27:40 is used in connection with the execution of Jesus at Calvary, that is, Skull Place. There is no evidence that the Greek word stau·rosʹ here meant a cross such as the pagans used as a religious symbol for many centuries before Christ.
In the classical Greek the word stau·rosʹ meant merely an upright stake, or pale, or a pile such as is used for a foundation. The verb stau·roʹo meant to fence with pales, to form a stockade, or palisade, and this is the verb used when the mob called for Jesus to be impaled. It was to such a stake, or pale, that the person to be punished was fastened, just as the popular Greek hero Prometheus was represented as tied to rocks. Whereas the Greek word that the dramatist Aeschylus used to describe this simply means to tie or to fasten, the Greek author Lucian (Prometheus, I) used a·na·stau·roʹo as a synonym for that word. In the Christian Greek Scriptures a·na·stau·roʹo occurs but once, in Heb 6:6. The root verb stau·roʹo occurs more than 40 times, and we have rendered it “impale,” with the footnote: “Or, ‘fasten on a stake (pole).’”
The inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures wrote in the common (koi·neʹ) Greek and used the word stau·rosʹ to mean the same thing as in the classical Greek, namely, a simple stake, or pale, without a crossbeam of any kind at any angle. There is no proof to the contrary. The apostles Peter and Paul also use the word xyʹlon to refer to the torture instrument upon which Jesus was nailed, and this shows that it was an upright stake without a crossbeam, for that is what xyʹlon in this special sense means. (Ac 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) In LXX we find xyʹlon in Ezr 6:11 (1 Esdras 6:31), and there it is spoken of as a beam on which the violator of law was to be hanged, the same as in Ac 5:30; 10:39.
The Latin dictionary by Lewis and Short gives as the basic meaning of crux “a tree, frame, or other wooden instruments of execution, on which criminals were impaled or hanged.” In the writings of Livy, a Roman historian of the first century B.C.E., crux means a mere stake. “Cross” is only a later meaning of crux. A single stake for impalement of a criminal was called in Latin crux simʹplex. One such instrument of torture is illustrated by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606) in his book De cruce libri tres, Antwerp, 1629, p. 19. The photograph of the crux simplex on our p. 1578 is an actual reproduction from his book.