Home>Greek: Mello Study Archive

The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse


Greek Words in the Septuagint and Philo:
“Mello” = “About to”

  • Mello, “about to be” or “certainly will” that is the question. Showing signs of delusional thought Hyper Preterist 2 makes the claim that all the translators of the English Bible versions conspired together to suppress the actual meaning of the word.  The claim of HP1 is at best merely a demonstration of ignorance fueled by some bad information and an unwillingness to test the validity of a claim or at worst is evidence of intellectual dishonesty in knowingly conveying an illegitimate concept, that being the range of meaning for “Mello” was restricted.  However, the claim of HP2 leads one to wonder how many cards are in the decks of these purveyors of heresy.  In fashion akin to a Hollywood fiction flick, HP2 was positing a mass conspiracy and cover-up.  Forsaking their academic calling, according to HP2, the translators of Scripture had assigned a “fuzzy” meaning just to hinder the truth from coming out.”

     Kenneth L. Gentry
    “…this term means ‘be on the point of, be about to.’…According to Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, Revelation 1:19 reads: ‘Write the things that thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to come [mello] after these things.” The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse.” (The Beast of Revelation pp.23-24)

    Vine’s Theological Dictionary
    “mello>  signifies (a) “of intention, to be about to do something,” e.g., Acts 3:318:1420:3Heb. 8:5; (b) “of certainty, compulsion or necessity, to be certain to act,” e.g., John 6:71. See ALMOST, BEGIN, COME, INTEND, MEAN, MIND, POINT OF (at), READY, SHALL, SHOULD, TARRY.

    Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon
    “to be about to do anything.” (p. 396)

    Analytical Greek Lexicon
    “to be about to, to be on the point of,…it serves to express in general a settled futurity….” (p. 262)

    “denotes certainty that an event will take place,” (Second Edition, p. 500)

    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
    “be  about to be, do, or suffer something….” (# 3195)

    Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
    1. To take place at a future point of time and so to be subsequent to another event, *be about to*, used with infinitive following. (a) […] with the future infinitive *mellw* denotes certainty that an event will occur in the future. *will certainly take place or be* Acts 11:28;` 24:15; 27:10. (b) with the aorist infinitive […] *be on the point of, be about to* […] Romans 8:18 […] Revelation 3:216. (c) with the present infinitive […] (alpha) *be about to, be on the point of* […] *he was at the point of death* […] Luke 7:2 […] John 4:47 […] of heavenly glory 1 Peter 5:1, Cp. Luke 19:4John 6:6Acts 3:35:3518:1421:2722:3623:27. — occasionally almost = *begin* […] Revelation 10:4 […] *when all things are are* (or *begin*) *to be accomplished* Mark 13:4; cp. Luke 21:7Revelation 10:7. (beta) in a weakened sense it serves simply as a periphrasis for the future […] *what I tell or shall tell him* […]. — Substitute for the disappearing future […] Acts 28:6; for the future participle […] Matthew 11:14. […] *the one who was going to do this* Luke 22:23; cp. 24:21Acts 13:34. […] *those who were to believe* (in him) *in the future* 1 Timothy 1:16. […] *those who were to be ungodly in the future* 2 Peter 2:6 variant reading […]. Of Christ […] 2 Timothy 4:1; […] *raging fire that will devour the opponents* Hebrews 10:27. (gamma) denoting an intended action: *intend, purpose, have in mind* […] *Herod intends to search for the child* Matthew 2:13, […] *where he himself intended to come* Luke 10:1, […] *they intended to come* John 6:15. Cp. vers 71; 7:35; 12:4; 14:22; Acts 17:3120:3713ab; 23:15; 26:2; 27:30; Hebrews 8:52 Peter 1:12. […] *what do you intend to do?* Hs 1:5 […] *I have no intention of doing* MPol 8:2 […] *they wanted to nail him fast* […] *wanted to take him out* 17:2.

    2. to be inevitable, *be destined, inevitable* (a) with present infinitive to denote an action that necessarily follows a divine decree *is destined, must, certainly* … […] *he is destined to suffer* Matthew 17:12; […] *must be crucified* 12:1 […] Mt 17:22Lk 9:44; B 16:5 […] John 11:5112:3318:32, […]. Cp Mt 16:2720:22Romans 4:24 8:13Revelation 12:5, […] *they should no more see … Acts 20:38. […] *what must come to pass 26:22; cp. Revelation 1:19. […] *those who are to inherit salvation* Hebrews 1:14. […] *that were to be afflicted* 1 Thess. 3:4, — Mark 10:32Luke 9:31John 7:39Hebrews 11:8. […] *on the day on which Paul was to fight the wild animals AcPl Ha 3, 9 […] *in expectation of the city’s destruction* 5, 16. […] *I* (Jesus ) *am about to be crucified once more* 7, 29. (b) with aorist infinitive […] *that is destined (according to God’s will) to be revealed* Galatians 3:23.

    3. The participle is used absolutely in the meaning *(in the) future, to come* […] *the age to come* […] which brings the reign of God […] Mt. 12:32Ephesians 1:21; […] Hebrews 6:5. […] 1 Tim. 4:8 […] Hebrews 2:5. […] 13:4 […] 9:11; […] *the judgment to come Acts 24:25; […] Mt. 3:7. […] Romans 5:14. […] *for the future* […] 1 Tim. 6:19; specifically *(in the) next year* […] Lk 13:9 […] *the things to come* […] Colossians 2:17 […]. […] Romans 8:381 Cor. 3:22 […] 2 Peter 2:6.


    II Timothy 4:1 “Then I solemnly witness before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, He being about to judge living and dead [at] His appearance and His kingdom.”

    Acts 24:25 “And [Paul] having reasoned concerning righteousness and self control, and the Judgment that is about to be, becoming afraid, Felix answered, For the present, go; but taking time later, I will call for you.”

    Hebrews 10:25-27 “…not forsaking the assembling together of ourselves, as [is the] custom of some, but exhorting, and by so much more as you see the Day drawing near. For [if] we [are] willfully sinning after receiving the full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice concerning sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and zealous fire being about to consume the adversaries [compare II Thess.1:1-10].”

    Acts 28:6  “But they expected him to be about to become inflamed, or suddenly to fall down dead.”

    Acts 24:14-15  “But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say [is] a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets, having a hope toward God, which these themselves also admit, [of] a resurrection being about to be of [the] dead, both of the just and unjust ones.”

    Matthew 16:27-28 “For the Son of man is about to come with His angels in the glory of His Father. And then He will give reward to each according to his action. Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who in no way will taste of death until they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.”

    Acts 17:31 (exact form as Mtt.16:27 and Rev.1:19. Alfred Marshall’s, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament) “…because he set a day in which he is about to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, a guarantee offering to all having raised up him out of [the] dead.”

    I Peter 5:1,4 (exact form as Rev.3:10, which Dr. Gentry favors)  “I, a fellow elder, exhort the elders among you, I being also witness of the sufferings of Christ, and [being] sharer of the glory about to be revealed….And [at] the appearing of the Chief Shepherd, you will receive the never-fading crown of glory”

     Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits for service, being sent out because of the [onesbeing about to inherit salvation

    Date: 25 Nov 2005
    Time: 20:35:43

    Preston failed to address whether ‘mello’ is before a present infinitive or not. I’m a Preterist and there are times I wish it was cut and dry but it isn’t always the case. Thayer and BAG both specify that if it is before a present infinitive it is ‘about to, on the point of ‘ . If ‘mello’ is not before the pres. inf. then it could simply mean a certain future, a divine decree etc. I would like it to be ‘about to’ in most cases for the Preterist view but I would have a doubtful basis for this. My real question would be – how did thayer, BAG decide that only the pres. inf. cases count for ‘about to’ ? Did they have other sources to decide ? Was it mainly the context of the verses and in that case if you’re Dispensationalist ( or merely seeing the verses as far into the future) you would see a mere ‘sure future’, whereas a Preterist would see more urgency in the verses and translate MELLO as ‘about to’ ?
    Any one qualified to answer this one ? Any thoughts ?

    Steve K.