4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that 1 God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 2 4:15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, 3 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, 4 and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 tn “we believe that” is understood from the first clause of the verse, which is parallel. Grk “so also God will bring.”
2 tn Grk “those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.” It is possible that “through Jesus” describes “bring,” but this gives the unlikely double reference, “through Jesus God will bring them with Jesus.” Instead it describes their “falling sleep,” since through him their death is only sleep and not the threat it once was. Also Christians are those whose total existence – life and death – is in and through and for Christ (1 Cor 8:6).
3 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.
4 tn Neither noun in this phrase (ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου, ejn fwnh ajrcangelou, “with the voice of the archangel”) has the article in keeping with Apollonius’ Canon. Since ἀρχάγγελος (ajrcangelo") is most likely monadic, both nouns are translated as definite in keeping with Apollonius’ Corollary (see ExSyn 250-51).