The popular English word for the catching-up event is "rapture", a word derived, as are so many English words, from the Latin language. In fact, when St. Jerome, who lived from approximately 347 to 419 AD, penned the Latin Vulgate translation of scripture, he used the verb rapiemur in I Thessalonians 4:17 as follows:
I The 4:17 Deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur [suddenly caught up] cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus.
I The 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up [rapiemur] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
Rapiemur is derived from the root verb rapio, which means to carry off or to seize someone or something. The English words "rapt" and "rapture" stem from this Latin verb. Therefore, the English term "rapture" was appropriately borrowed from the Latin Vulgate as a description of what will happen at that moment based on I Thessalonians 4:17.
The Greek term for "suddenly caught up" is harpazo, which means to seize or snatch up something suddenly with great force without the consent of the owner. The specific usage of the verb in I Thessalonians 4:17 is harpagesometha, the future passive indicative tense. Compare the transliterated Greek to the English translation below:
I The 4:17 epeita hemeis oi zontes hoi perileipomenoi hama sun autois harpagesometha [suddenly caught up] en nephelais eis apantesin tou kuriou eis aera kai houtos pantote sun kurio esometha
I The 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up [harpagesometha] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
The verb harpazo is used a total of 17 times in the New Testament in a variety of ways, with several referring to the sudden nonconsensual seizure of human beings. The purpose of the above presentation of both the Greek and Latin translation of this verse is to stress that language should not be a barrier to understanding any concept that is established in scripture. Whether a particular English word is or is not found in the Bible is not important. What is important is whether the concept is found. The original language in which the text was written reveals that the concept of the sudden catching up is valid.
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The preceding was an excerpt from the 5th chapter of Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe by David W. Lowe. The book features a unique prophetic model involving a pattern with earthquakes and resurrections which sheds new and intriguing light on the future resurrection in connection with a global catastrophe. If you have comments or questions about this excerpt or the book, you may