Monday, December 27, 2010

Apantesis: To Meet and Escort Back

We're on our third post, and I figure that I better explain the title of this blog. What exactly is apantesis?

Apantesis is a Greek word that means 'to meet.' But it is so much more than that!!

This word is only used four times in the New Testament.

Matthew 25:1 and 25:6 are the first two occurrences. In this 'Parable of the Ten Virgins,' we are told by the Lord that the virgins "took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom" (25:1) and "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."

What happened when the virgins went out to meet the bridegroom? Did they stay away? Did they immediately leave with him and go off to another country? Or, did they go out to meet him and then escort him the short remaining distance to his bride?

Obviously, they went out to meet him and then escort him back.

The third occurrence is found in Acts 28. Here, Paul is heading toward Rome. As he heads toward Rome, some brethren came out to meet him and then escorted him the remaining distance to Rome. Here is the text:

"... :and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. And when we came to Rome, ..." (28:14c - 16a)

Again, we have to state the obvious. Paul, who is a very important Christian, was on his way to Rome. Some brethren heard that he was coming, so they went out to meet him. Upon meeting him, they also did NOT stay at the Appii forum. Nor did they run away together. No, they continued back to Rome...together!

They went out to meet him and escorted him the remaining distance.

The last instance of apantesis in the New Testament is found in 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."

The most obvious meaning of this passage is that the Christians who are alive, who have survived up to the time of the Lord's coming, shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air... and then they will immediately continue the remainder of the distance back to earth together.

They will meet the Lord in the air, and then escort him to the earth.

They will NOT meet him in the air and then go off to heaven together, or hang out in the clouds for seven years, or get married, or any such thing.

The Lord is coming to judge the earth. He is coming back in glory with the angels and the white horses. As he approaches the earth, the saints are caught up to meet him. They then continue with him to the earth and the destruction of the Antichrist at Armageddon. They set up Christ's kingdom on earth, and so shall they ever be with the Lord.

This is the Rapture occurring AT the Revelation. And, it is what the text literally says.


“When a dignitary paid an official visit or parousia to a city in Hellenistic times, the action of the leading citizens in going out to meet him and escorting him on the final stage of his journey was called the apentesis…” (F. F. Bruce, New Bible Commentary, p. 1159)


  1. Addendum: "In Greek culture the word had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city."

  2. This truth is also seen in II Thess. 2:1 which says, “…by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.”

  3. Why are so many willfully blind? GOD used the Greek language for the NT because it is a fixed language, meaning specific words have specific meanings, not like english where a word can have multiple meanings, please people just examine the greek words for =Come, coming, meet, love= & a host of other greek words from a Strong's concordance, it will open up the Scriptures to you as never before. GOD Bless. PeaceB2All


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  8. Gone through it, Glad you bring at-least that,

    Matthew 25:1 and 25:6, Acts 28 is Old argument but not strong defense. All these examples are talking about 'escorting or meeting' in human realm with generic meaning everywhere depending on context, when you compare that with Second Coming 'Jesus doesn't need escorting back'.

    Moreoever, Harpatzo is not only generic term, Piper and Bruce both carefully 'neglect' use of Harpatzo in 2 Cor 12:4, where Paul does not escort 'GOD' but is all the way caught up in heaven, that is what 1 Thess. 4 means. Context determine what Harpatzo would mean in 1 Thess 4.