He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Thursday, October 29, 2009 


Paul ends 1 Corinthians (16:22) with a neat chiastic sign-off. Anyone who does not love the Lord is declared “accursed” (anathema) and Paul follows this with the cry of maranatha (”the Lord comes”). Anath-ma/mar-anatha.

Substantively, it is a striking phrase. Anathema speaks a harsh word of judgment; maranatha is, as it were, the Bride’s cry for her Lord to come (cf. Revelation 22:17-20). It is, as it were, the last word of the Song of Songs (”Hurry, my beloved,” 8:14). Putting the two together highlights one aspect of the Bride’s hope: She longs for her Lord to whisk her away as love, but she also longs for her Lord to rescue her from all who “do not love the Lord.” Maranatha is a cry for judgment as much as a cry of love.

- Peter Leithart

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