What does 1 Thessalonians 4:16 mean? Specifically the word “descend”?

(Connor Nickels) #1

I would be interested to hear some good commentary sources some of you might recommend.

(SeanO) #2

NET Bible you can look at Greek / Hebrew Strong’s definitions:

Morphology: VIFD–3S Strong’s: 2597 Transliterated: katabēsetai Root: καταβαίνω

  1. to go down, come down, descend 1a) the place from which one has come down from 1b) to come down 1b1) as from the temple at Jerusalem, from the city of Jerusalem 1b2) of celestial beings coming down to earth 1c) to be cast down 2) of things 2a) to come (i.e. be sent) down 2b) to come (i.e. fall) down 2b1) from the upper regions of the air 3) metaph. to (go i.e.) be cast down to the lowest state of wretchedness and shame

Interpreting this verse probably requires a lot more study though - following resources would be good to dig in if you’re interested:

IVP commentaries can be a good place to get some fun information:

Steve Gregg has verse by verse commentary through the whole Bible - usually brings up some good points:


If you really want to get into the weeds, here is a perspective on the end times by Sam Storms that is great:

(Dave Kenny) #3

I have uploaded an article to introduce some of the literary concerns, along with two commentary links that would do a nice, balanced job of approaching this text


these two scholars are top drawer


(Dave Kenny) #4

oooops… here’s the articlethe_literary_unity_of_1_thessalonians_4_13-5_11_–_by__tracy_l._howard.pdf (414.0 KB)

(Carson Weitnauer) #5

Hi @Connor_Nickels, I think this article may address your question:

Please let us know what you think.