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Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes out of the east,

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era."

Spoken to:
Greek Verse:

Matthew 24:27 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν, οὕτως ἔσται παρουσία τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου:

KJV Verse:

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

NIV Verse:

Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Literal Alternative:

Because the same as the flash of light shows up out of the rising and shines itself until its setting, in this way, it will be the arrival of the son of the man.

Hidden Meaning:

The terms translated as "east" and "west" actually mean "rising" and "setting," since those directions reflected where objects in the sky rise and set.

This word translated in the Bible as "lightning" means "shining," but it is translated as "lightening" three out of four times it appears. However, if we consider the context of it rising and setting, this "shining" seems much more like a celestial object, like a comet, which is the word translated as "trumpet" in Matthew 24:31. In likening his presence to a comet, he may have been referring to the "star of Bethlehem" that announced his own birth, which some saw but few understood.

The word translated as "coming" is unrelated to the verb "comes" appearing in this verse. The first time this word is used in this section is in  Matthew 24:3, with his students asking what the "sign" of his presence with them means regarding the end of the era. This word, only used by Jesus three times, means "presence," always in the phrase "the presence of the son of the man."

The Spoken Version:

"Because," he said simply. "just as the flash of light..."

He briefly shielded his eyes as if protecting them from the light and then continued, "Makes its way out of the sunrise until the sunset."

He traced the path of the sun across the heavens with one hand.

"this is going to be," he said with finality. "The arrival of the child of humanity."

My Takeaway:

The sign of Jesus's presence was a comet (not lightning) known as the star of Bethlehem.

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About this Site

I started this site fifteen years ago.  My original award-winning work as a "techno-linguist" was in ancient Chinese. I wanted to bring the same computer search and analysis techniques to explore something more important: the original Greek of Jesus's words. To understand why this was important to me, you may want to read this article on how Jesus's meaning is lost.

This site does not promote any religious point of view. On the contrary, it seeks to avoid the competing and evolving religious dogmas that have shaped Biblical translation for centuries.  I purposely use "nonreligious" sources for Greek word meaning, rejoining the study of Biblical Greek with the broader study of ancient Greek. My goal is simply to identify how listeners of Jesus's time would have heard him.

Jesus' words are unique for three reasons.

  1. His words were spoken, not written. Spoken language is inherently different than written language.
  2. His words changed the meaning of words, determining even how later NT authors' used the Greek.
  3. His words were the basis of a unique historical revolution in the way people think.

Most of the on-line material on "Biblical Greek" is largely tautological. It explains the Greek only in terms of how it has been translated into English in the Bible. It flows from the ways that the  Gospel was taught from the Latin Vulgate. I respect this work and use it daily. However,  most of my work takes place outside of this tradition, researching the use of the Greek closer to the time of Jesus, especially the Greek OT, the Septuagint.

The Bible has been such a powerful force in history that it has changed the meaning of many words in English, Latin, and Greek. However, the Greek of Jesus's words has been faithfully preserved for centuries despite the changing religious fashions. These fashions, unfortunately, affect each successive English translation of the Bible, moving it further and further from the Greek.  I stopped analyzing the NLT version because so much of it fails to connect to anything in Jesus's Greek. It is not a translation but how a group of people today feel about the ideas in other English translations. The Message Bible version is even worse.

This site is offered for those who care about fidelity to Scripture as passed down for two thousand years.

Most Recent Question

Does John 6:37 mean that once I’m saved, no matter what sin I do, if I come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and repent from that sin, I will not be cast out?

I don't see anything about asking forgiveness and repenting nor anything about "being saved." All of these are Christian concepts invented after Jesus. He doesn't use these ideas at all. What is translated as "forgive" means "let go" as in dropping something. What is translated as "repent" means "change your mind" as in thinking differently. What gets translated as "being saved" is the idea of being "rescued" not from "evil" but from "worthlessness."

None of this is in the verses. Or in its context. His ideas in John 6:37 are simpler.  You are either returning to Jesus or moving away from him. Those who the Father has given him...