“Arrival” or “presence,” a Greek word used both of ordinary persons and of an emperor or a god. The term is used in early Christianity for the anticipated return of Jesus, when he was expected to judge humankind as triumphant Son of man (see Second Coming of Christ). The word parousia is found with this meaning in the eschatological parables of Matthew 24, but otherwise chiefly outside the Gospels, as in 1 Corinthians 15.23, 1 Thessalonians 2.19, and the urgently apocalyptic 2 Peter (1.16; 3.4, 12). Paul also uses the term to mean the arrival of an ordinary person (1 Cor. 16.17; 2 Cor. 7.6; Phil. 1.26, 2.12).

Philip Sellew