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συντέλεια and τέλος

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by watchinggoodman, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. watchinggoodman New Member

    Can anyone help me understand:

    1) what is the difference between συντέλεια and τέλος

    2) is there a grammatical reason why someone would say συντελειας του αιωνος but then when abbreviate it would say τέλος instead of using the word συντέλεια again

  2. Perseas Senior Member

    Hello and welcome!

    1) First of all, both words share the same root and meaning: τέλος (end).
    Συντέλεια is usually used only in the phrase: συντέλεια του κόσμου (end of the world). In older texts you can also see it in the phrases συντέλεια του αιώνος/έτους meaning the completion, the end of an era. Τέλος means just end.

    2) Therefore, there is no grammatical reason. Both words can be used in that phrase.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  3. watchinggoodman New Member



    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question it was very helpful.

    In the morning (for me) I will write for further clarification but need to give you a little more information regarding the specifics of my question.

    Thanks again
  4. watchinggoodman New Member


    Let me attempt to be brief with the text and the specific question I have.
    The text is from the New Testament, Matthew gospel, the 24 chapter. Jesus has just prophesied of the Herodian Temple’s destruction. As Jesus and His apostles arrive on the Mount of Olives the Apostles asked Jesus two questions. My questions stems from the second question the Apostles asked and the way Jesus answered it.

    And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto himprivately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [italics mine] (Matthew 24:3)

    3Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν ἐλαιῶν προσῆλθοναὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ ̓ ἰδίαν λέγοντες, Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸσημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος.

    When Jesus answers the Apostles, He handles their second question as two separate questions. In verses 4-14 He explains the sign “of the end of the world.” In verses 15-31 He explains the sign “of His coming” (in vv.32-42 He answers their first question; “when shall these things be?”).

    As Jesus answers this question, what shall be the sign … of the end of the world? He keeps referring to “the end.”

    6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see thatye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, butthe end is not yet. - 6μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων· ὁρᾶτε,μὴ θροεῖσθε· δεῖ γὰρ πάντα γενέσθαι· ἀλλ ̓ οὔπω ἐστὶ τὸ τέλος.

    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.- 8 πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων. (In other words, this is not the end it’s just “the beginning”)

    13 But he that shall endure unto the end,the same shall be saved. - 13ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται.

    14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in allthe world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. -14καὶ κηρυχθήσεται τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας ἐν ὅλῃτῇ οἰκουμένῃ εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσι, καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος.

    It seems clear Jesus is answering the specific question the Apostles asked about “the end of the world." My question is this: Is there a grammatical or colloquial reason that Jesus would repeatedly used τέλος instead of συντελείας (the word the Apostles used)?

    Thanks for your time and patience
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  5. watchinggoodman New Member

    Sorry, for some reason when I post some of the words become jointed together.
  6. Perseas Senior Member

    Η συντέλεια του αιώνος/κόσμου are set phrases and mean the end of the world, Doomsday, Last Day -according to my dictionary. If that may be some help in this online dictionary there are the meanings of συντέλεια; in our context it means the completion (of a period), i.e. the 3rd meaning.Τέλος in Greek means exactly what end means in English. It is also the antonym of αρχή, which is also mentioned in Jesus' words.

    No, there is no grammatical reason (note however that it is το τέλος neut. but η συντέλεια fem.)
    I can sense some colloquial use in τέλος, though. Consequently, both words can be used interchangeably, when they mean the end of the world.

    In the following sentence, I think τέλος means the death of an individual, not the end of the world (but I am not an expert at New Testament's interpretation):
    13 But he that shall endure unto the end,the same shall be saved. - 13ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται.
  7. watchinggoodman New Member

    Thank you, your insight has been a great help.

    Verse 13 is actually a promise of deliverance "But he that shall endure unto the end , the same shall be saved" that Jesus is making to those who "endure" (abide, remain) until the end. In other words, not only will the age end in "a day" of cataclysmic judgment but it will be "a day" that offers deliverance prior to that judgment.

    But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37-39)

    Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

    Your translation skills have help me to make certain my understanding of Jesus' words and intent are correct - thank you.

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