An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Maranatha, or Marana tha

An Aramaic liturgical exclamation, marana tha, used by Paul at 1 Cor 16:22, translated as an eschatological prayer, "Our Lord, come!" (NRSV). It is part of Paul's closing greeting at the end of his First Letter to the Corinthians. It could be read maran atha, and translated as a creedal statement, "Our Lord has come." The translation "Our Lord, come!" is preferred. It expresses yearning for Christ's return in glory and the eschatological hope of the early church. It has been likened to Rv 22:20, "Come, Lord Jesus!" (NRSV). Paul's use of an Aramaic expression in a letter to Gentile Christians at Corinth indicates that it was a familiar expression of hope and expectation of Christ's return that was shared by Christians. It is still used at times to express Christian hope, especially among charismatic Christians.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.