Maranatha! - 1 Corinthians 16


1 Corinthians 16:1-24

1 Corinthians 16:22 reads like this in the King James Version of the Bible: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema. Maranatha."  Most people don't understand what this means.  Compare that with the New King James Version: "If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.  O Lord, come!" 

Anathema is a Greek word which means accursed.  Maranatha is not a Greek word.  It is Aramaic.  In the NKJV it is translated O Lord, come!  This is the only time that Maranatha is used in the New Testament.  Here the apostle Paul is looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

But there is another spelling, which is referred to as a marginal reference in the NKJV.  It is Maran atha, which means Our Lord has come.

Well, what is it?  Indeed, Christ came and dwelt among men.  Truly, the Lord has come.  But the word also had other meanings in the early church. 

It served as a reminder that Jesus is coming again.  Throughout the New Testament the second coming of Christ is a major theme and comforting expectation of the church.  Read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.  The Lord who came will come again.  This was the hope of the apostolic church, a blessed hope which we share today. 

Anathema and Maranatha stand side by side in our text.  The word Maranatha added an emphasis to the previous word, in this case Anathema, which speaks of the judgment of God.  When Jesus comes again, He will judge the world in righteousness.  Acts 17:31.  The early Christians knew this teaching, and recognized their God-given responsibility to persuade men to come to the Lord in repentance and faith. 

If we truly understand the meaning of Maranatha, it will serve as a watchword, impressing upon our hearts the urgency of spreading the glorious gospel of Christ while it is yet day.  It will not only inspire us to watch for His coming.  Maranatha will also move us to witness for the Lord.

O Lord, come! is an invitation for a speedy return.  The whole creation groans in anticipation of that Day.  In Revelation 22:12 we read, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."  Then in verse 20 Jesus says, "Surely I am coming quickly."  John adds, "Amen!  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"  Maranatha!


Lord, thank You for coming the first time, and dying in our place.  We weren't here then to welcome You, but we're here now.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  We look forward to Your appearing.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
All rights reserved.

Navigation Tips

Since visitors use different browsers and monitors, and have different preferences in how they navigate through a website, we've provided multiple ways to progress through the studies on

1) For those who find drop-down, slide-out menus convenient, just hover over the category (menu link on the top bar) and sub-category (menu link in the drop down list).  If there is an arrow to the right of the item, the articles in that category will slide out.  (If there is no arrow, just click on the item.)  Click on any article to read it.  If you have a "wheel mouse," you should be able to roll it toward you to see more of the drop-down menu.

2) If you are unable to see all the drop-down or slide-out items (or just prefer a different way of navigating), click on the category (menu link on the top bar), then on any sub-category in the list that appears.  You will see a list of articles to choose from OR use our Site Map.

3) Most studies are part of a series (category or sub-category).  Each article within the category has a link to the next article so you can progress easily to the next study.

4) At the top of the page, you will also notice "Breadcrumbs" that show which category and sub-category you are in.  You may click on those links to return to the "parent" category or sub-category list.

5) ANSWERS to Review Questions and Quizzes are found in links at the end of the Review Questions or Quiz.  They may also be accessed by clicking on the category (which will show a list of all articles in the category).  The link at the end of the article will cause a pop up window to appear so you may easily refer to other pages on the site; the link in the Category list will open a normal page.

If you're looking for a particular topic, word, or phrase, try the Search feature in the right column.

Close this box by clicking on the top (dark brown) part again.