As promised, here are some additional statements from the critical literature on the meaning and manner of the parousia in the NT, and the coming of the kingdom:
"The eschatology of the Synoptic Gospels deals with the consummation of the kingdom of God. This kingdom is represented under two aspects, now as present, now as future; now as inward and spiritual, now as external and manifest. Thus in Mt. 6:33, 7:13, 11:12, 12:28, 21:31, Lk. 17:21 it is already present, whereas in Mt. 6:10, 8:11, 26:29, Mk. 9:1, Lk. 9:27, 13:28f, 14:15f it is expressly conceived as still to be realised. The two views are organically related, and are combined in a well-known saying of Jesus (Mk. 10:15), which declares that entrance into the kingdom as it shall be is dependent on a man's right attitude to the kingdom as it now is...
"The parusia or second advent introduces the consummation of the divine kingdom founded by the Messiah. It is certainly to take place at the 'close of the age' (sunteleia ton aiónos), Mt. 13:39f., 49, 24:3, 28:20...The parusia is within the current generation and preceded by certain signs. This was very natural because in the OT the foundation and the consummation of the kingdom are closely connected. Hence Jesus declared that 'this generation' (hé genea haute) should not 'pass away' till the prophetic destruction had been realized (Mt. 24:34)....The same expectation is attested in Mt. 10:23, where Jesus declares to his disciples that they will not have gone through the cities of Israel before of the coming of the Son of Man, and likewise in Mt. 17:27f., Mk. 8:38, 9:1, Lk. 9:26f., where it is said some shall not taste of death before that time. It must be abundantly clear from the evidence that the expectation of the nearness of the end formed a real factor in Jesus' views of the future. There are, on the other hand, many passages which just as clearly present us with a different forecast of the future, and this view demands as careful attention.
"The parusia will not take place till the process of human development has run its course, and the Gospel has been preached to Jew and Gentile. The kingdom must spread extensively and intensively, till its final expansion is out of all proportion to its original smallness (cp. the parable of the mustard seed); intensively, till it transforms and regenerates the life of the nation, or rather of the world (cp. the parable of the leaven, Mt. 13:31-33)...It is hardly possible to avoid the conclusion that the discourses relating to different events and from absolutely different sources are confused together in Mk. 13 = Mt. 24 = Lk. 21. The parusia was to be likewise the 'day of judgment' (Mt. 10:15, 11:22, 24, 12:36), also called 'that day' (Mt. 7:22, 24:36, Lk. 6:23, 10:12, 21:34).
"Christ himself will be the judge; for all things have been delivered by the Father into his hand (Mt. 11:27). All nations shall be gathered before him (Mt. 25:32). He will reward every man accordng to his works...The kingdom is consummated, 'comes with power' (Mk. 9:1), on the advent of Christ. The elect are gathered in from the four winds (Mt. 24:31), and now, after being, we must assume, spiritually transformed, enter on their eternal inheritance (Mt. 25:34), equivalent to eternal life (Mk. 10:17)... We have seen when Christ's parusia (1 Thess 3:13, 2 Thess 2:1) is to come. The precise day is uncertain: it 'comes as a thief in the night' (1 Thess 5:2; cp. Mt 24:43); but the apostle expects it in his own time (1 Thess 4:15, 17). With what vividness and emphasis he must have preached the impending advent of Christ is clear from 1 Thess 5:1-3, as well as from 2 Thess, where he had to quiet an excitement almost bordering on fanaticism. When Christ descends from heaven (1 Thess 1:10, 4:16; 2 Thess 1:7), angels will accompany him as his ministers (2 Thess 1:7), and his glory will then first be fully revealed. The parusia is likewise the day of judgment, as the designations applied to it show" (T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black, Encyclopaedia Biblica, 1903, Vol. 2, pp. 1373-1375, 1382).
"There was one coming which He [Jesus] foretold in language of exceptional emphasis and impressiveness, -- His appearance in celestrial majesty at the end of the world, to perfect the work interrupted by His death, but still to be renewed and carried on through the ages by His spiritual energy. This was to be the supreme manifestation of His glory; and to it the term Parousia is distinctively applied (Mt. 24:3, 27, 37).... As to the manner of the Parousia, a considerable number of passages represent it as altogether startling and unexpected. It is to break in upon the world as a sudden surprise, while men are busied with their earthly affairs, like the Flood in the time of Noah, or the destruction of Sodom in the time of Lot (Lk. 17:26-30, 34). Its approach shall be as that of a thief, stealing into the house without warning (12:39f), or as the arrival of an absent master at an hour when his servants are not looking for him (vv. 42-46), or as the return of the bridegroom in the night-time, leading his bride and the marriage party to the wedding-feast (Mt. 25:1-14). On the other hand there are passages in the Eschatological Discourse in Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 which seem to represent the final coming as preceded by certain manifest signs which shall give evidence of its nearness -- the appearance of false Christs (Mt. 24:5, Mk. 13:6, 22), wars, earthquakes, and famines (Mt. 24:7, Mk. 13:7-10), persecutions and tribulations (Mt. 24:9, Mk. 13:11-12), the darkened sun and falling stars (Mt. 24:29, Mk. 13:24, 25). If, however, the view of the composite character of that discourse as we now have it is accepted, the passages describing such arresting phenomena may be interpreted as vivid pictorial forecasts of the calamitous state of things by which the threatened Jewish crisis would b? ushered in. But whether that view is accepted or not, special weight must be attached to the warning given by Jesus that even the most striking and palpable signs might be misread. The heralds of the great climax, He declares, must not be taken as the climax itself; 'All these things must come to pass but the end is not yet' (Mt. 24:6). After all, apparently, whatever may be the catastrophic social or other upheavals by which it is preluded, the signal event is to come suddenly and unexpectedly, at such an hour as men think not (Mt. 24:44, Lk. 12:40, 46). Yet when it does come, there shall be no dubiety; the splendour shall be dazzlingly patent, like the lightning-flash illumining all the heaven (Mt 24:27)" (John Chisholm Lamber, A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 1908, p. 322)
"Taking the evidence as it stands in the synoptics, even when late accretions are taken into account, the proclamation of the kingdom appears unmistakably to have this double-sided aspect [of present and future]. It is present in the work of Jesus because of the power of Satan is already being overcome (Lk. 11:20); from the smallest of beginnings, it will come to fruition, as the parables of the kingdom show; in the person of Jesus, the kingdom itself is already in the midst of his contemporaries (Lk. 17:20, 21). The future aspect of the kingdom is so prominent a part of the gospels as to need to documentation. Of course, if this futuristic terminology does not mean what it seems to say, then that is another matter, and we are without a reliable key to the enigma. But the prima facie evidence surely suggests that Jesus expected the sunteleia of the New Age in the not-too-distant future.
"The very base of the kerygma was that the consummation of the kingdom was assured because the eschatological powers were already at work among Jesus and his followers. Acts speaks repeatedly of the signs and wonders which attest the validity of the proclamation of the coming of the kingdom through Jesus...This was an indispensible antecedent to the other facet of the gospel; that the fulfillment of the promise of the kingdom was imminently to follow" (Howard Kee, "Development of Eschatology in the New Testament," Journal of Bible and Religion, 1952, Vol. 20, p. 189).
"There can be no doubt that the early tradition includes both sayings of Jesus that promise the coming of God's rule and the appearance of the Son of Man in glory, and other sayings that proclaim the presence of Jesus [during his ministry] as beginning the relaization of the promised eschaton. This assertion could be established with certainly only through a discussion of all the words of Jesus that could be proven to be early, something which in this connection is impossible. However, it must be pointed out that only through exegetical violence is it possible to rob the promises of the speedy beginning of the eschatological fulfillment of their meaning. Particularly Jesus' answer to the question of the high priest (Mark 14:62) and the statement about the introduction of the kingly role before all of Jesus' hearers should die (Mark 9:1) have been recently the object of such attempts. [A discussion of some of these attempts follows] .... It is therefore impossible to explain away the fact that Jesus here reckons with the temporally limited nearness of the eschatological fulfillment; similarly there is no adequate reason to question -- with respect to the wording of Matt. 12:28 -- the fact that Jesus spoke of a present existence of God's kingly rule...
"However, even if an accurate delineation of the concepts held by the earliest Christian community is impossible, nevertheless, the combination of the facts that can be demonstrated -- namely, that the primitive community held its meal celebrations en agalliasei (Acts 2:46) and prayed for the coming of the glorified Lord maran tha (I Cor. 16:22) -- shows that there was also in the primitive community the consciousness of living in the final period of time that had begun, as demonstrated in their expectation of the impending coming of the glorified Lord....As a matter of fact, even in his earliest letters Paul not only is an unambiguous witness for the expectation of the imminent parousia of Christ (I Thess 1:9-10, 4:13ff.) and a witness that salvation from this evil age has already come to pass for the Christian (Gal. 1:4); he also appropriated both of these statements of faith, and we see from the tradition embodied in Rom. 1:4 and in I Cor. 11:26; 16:22, Paul systematized these juxtaposed statements of faith through the idea of the interlocking character of the dying evil age and the new age that had already begun, but he always held fast both to the conviction that the eschatological fulfilment had already begun and to the hope that slavation would be fully completed (cf. Phil. 1:23 with 3:20-21; 4:5)" (Werner Kummel, "Futuristic and Realized Eschatology in the Earliest Stages of Christianity," Journal of Religion, 1963, Vol. 43, pp. 309-311).
"It is true that sometimes parousia does mean 'presence.' Paul contrasts his presence (parousia) with the Philippians with his absence (apousia) from them (Phil. 2:12). The Corinthians accused Paul of inconsistency, because 'his letters ... are strong, but his bodily presence was weak' (II Cor. 10:10). However, the word does not always mean 'presence'; more often it means 'arrival'. When Paul in Ephesus received envoys from Corinth, he rejoiced at their parousia, that is, their coming or arrival (I Cor. 16:17). When Paul was concerned about the condition of things at Corinth, he was comforted by the arrival (parousia) of Titus (II Cor. 7:6). It was not the presence of Titus but his arrival with good news from Corinth that provided the comfort. To translate parousia by 'presence' would empty it of its particular point. This is illustrated in the following instances: 'Be patient, brethren, until the parousia of the Lord .... Be ye also patient; establish your hearts; for the parousia of the Lord is at hand' (Jas. 5:7-8). 'Where is the promise of his parousia?' (II Pet. 3:4). In these verses it is the coming, the return, the advent of the Lord which is called for; 'presence' does not suit the context.
"It is not the presence so much as the coming of Christ which is required in the verses we have just discussed. It is at the coming, the advent of Christ, that the dead will be raised and the living caught up; "presence" does not fit. It is at his coming, his advent, not his presence, that he will be accompanied by his saints. His coming, his advent, will be like a bolt of lightning. The parousia of Christ is his second coming, and it will bring both salvation and judgment: salvation for the saints, and judgment of the world" (George Eldon Ladd, The Last Things: An Eschatology for Laymen, 1988, pp. 51-52).
"Material from an entirely different storied world has bearing on our study and is found when explores the meaning and use of the term 'parousia' before and during the New Testament period. The word means 'presence' or 'arrival'. From the Ptolemaic period to the second century A.D. there is clear evidence that the term was used for the arrival of a ruler, king, or emperor. For instance, a third-century B.C. papyrus refers to a crown of gold to be presented to a king at his parousia. Or again, a parousia of King Ptolemy the Second, who called himself savior, is expected, and it is said that 'the provision of 80 artabae ... as imposed for the parousia of the king.' In memory of the visit of Nero to Corinth, special adventus/parousia coins were cast. These coins were cast during the period when Paul was writing to Corinth (1 Cor. 15:23).
"Equally interesting is the evidence G. D. Kilpatrick has collected showing that 'parousia' often was the Hellenistic term for a theophany. For instance, in the Greek form of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, at Test. Jud. 22:3(2) and Test. Levi 8:15(11) we find it used to refer to the final coming of God. Josephus uses the term 'parousia' for the divine appearances in the Old Testament theopahies (Ant. 3.80, 202-203; 9.55; cf. 18.284). Of perhaps equal importance is another sort of 'sacral' use of the term, found in an inscription from the Asclepion at Epidaurus, which reads, 'and Asclepius manifested his parousia' (cf. 2 Thess. 2:8). One should not make too sharp a distinction between the sacred and the profane use of 'parousia,' not least because by Paul's time the emperor was already being given divine status of a sort....
"Paul may have been the first person to use the term 'parousia' to refer to the return of Christ. The term itself does not mean 'return' or a 'second' coming; it simply means 'arrival' or 'presence.' Applying it to Christ's coming from heaven in a sense changes what the word connotes. The word occurs twenty-four times in the New Testament, forteen of which are in the Pauline letters, sometimes in a mundane sense to refer to the arrival or presence of Paul or one of his coworkers (cf. 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6-7). This shows that the term does not have to connote the arrival/presence of a deity or king.
"It may seem puzzling that Paul uses the term 'parousia' of the coming of Christ from heaven in only three letters, all of them early: 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8-9; 1 Cor. 15:23. This is perhaps explained because the situations Paul was addressing in the Thessalonian correspondence and in 1 Corinthains required him to speak at some length on matters pretaining to the eschatological future....It is reasonable to expect Paul to use the royal imagery and accompanying appropriate metaphors and terms when he speaks of Christ's parousia, and we might expect the description of the Day of the Lord to draw more on Old Testament theophanic and Yom Yahweh traditions. To a certain extent this expectation is justified; but because it is also the case that 'parousia' could refer to the arrival of a deity, it is not surprising that in some Pauline texts where the term is used we also find theophanic terms and imagery....Paul's first reference to the Parousia is at 1 Thess. 2:19. It is clear that the meaning of the term here is 'arrival,' because Paul conveys the idea of presence by another phrase, 'before our Lord,' and because he says 'in/at his arrival/coming.' A note of joy permeates this whole passage, and there is no hint that his converts will undergo judgment. Paul's converts are his crown about whom he will boast when the Lord comes.... When Paul uses the Yom Yahweh language, the theme of judgment is usually found in the immediate context. Thus, for instance, in 1 Thess 5:3, which follows our first reference to 'The Day of the Lord,' we read, 'destruction will come upon them suddenly.' This comports with the use of the thief in a night metaphor that stresses the sudden unexpected intrusion aspect of the Parousia" (Ben Witherington, Paul's Narrative Thought World: The Tapestry of Tragedy and Triumph, 1994, pp. 189-192, 198).
"The arrival of a royal or other dignitary was an occasion for an ostentatious display designated to court the favor and/or placate the wrath of the visiting celebrity. In the Hellenistic world this combination of arrival and greeeting was often associated with terms such as parousia, apantao, and hupantao -- but even if these particular terms were absent, other elements in a description would have made it clear that a special sort of entry was in view. The importance of the occasion in the ancient world is illustrated by the fact that eras were often reckoned from the date of a given parousia. There is overwhelming evidence to indicate that Luke and his readers would have been familiar with parousiai.
"In the Hellenistic world a parousia most often signaled the coming of a ruler or royal figure. It began to be a notable feature of imperial practice during the Principate. What could the ancient observer have expected of the event? ... Several features of these parousiai were normal and typical. First, the welcome was commonly bestowed on kings or other ruling figures. Second, the welcome was normally extended as the dignitary approached his city, that is, before the city was entered. Third, the religious and political elite from the city, along with other bands of 'welcomers' would meet the guest and escort him back into the city. Fourth, the large body of citizens in attendance would mark the occasion by wearing ornamental clothing such as white robes and wreaths. Finally, the dignitary would be lauded in speeches presented on behalf of the city, expressing its sense of privilege at the visitation. The magnitude of the greeting could indicate the gratitude of the city for past benefactions as well as lay the groundwork for favors the city might hope to receive from its guest in the future; a failure to provide a customary welcome could have grave consequences" (Brent Kinman, "Parousia, Jesus' 'A-Triumphal' Entry, and the Fate of Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-44)," Journal of Biblical Literature, 1999, pp. 281-284).
"The basic meaning of the word is to be derived from the vb. --> pareimi "be present." Thus parousia originally meant presence. Since, however, pareimi can take on the sense of 'come, approach' (e.g. Judg 19:3 LXX), parousia frequently means "arrival as the onset of presence" (BAGD s.v. 2). This is the sense that parousia usually has in the NT; only in 1 Cor 16:17; 2 Cor 10:10; Phil 2:12 (1:26?) is the presence of the apostle or his fellow worker intended.
"In regard to the meaning arrival one can further distinguish between the general concept and the specific use of the word. Only 2 Cor 7:6, 7 (Phil 1:26) speaks of a common arrival. In 2 Thess 2:9 and 2 Pet 3:12, where the Antichrist and the Day of the Lord respectively are the subjects of the coming, the use of parousia approaches the more specific usage. In the remaining 16 occurrences parousia is a t.t. [technical term] for Christ's coming at the end of time...
"The Parousia itself (apart from accompanying events such as the resurrection of the dead or world judgment) is described more specifically only in Mark 13:23-27 par. Matt 24:29-31 / Luke 21:25-27; 1 Thess 4:16f; 2 Thess 1:7-10, 2:8; Rev 14:14-16; 19:11-16. The motifs treated in these texts are derived from OT and Jewish salvation expectations, which anticipate an earthly personality such as the messianic king ... or Yahweh himself (cf. Mic 1:3; Isa 59:20; 63:19; 64:1; 66:15), or a transcendent redeemer figure with human features (cf. Sib. Or. iii.49f, 286f, 652-54; 2 Esdr. 7:28; 12:31f; 2 Bar. 29:3; 53:8-11), whose arrival, esp. in apocalyptic writing, is portrayed in vivid colors. The figure of the coming Son of man is of decisive influence (cf. Dan 7:13 LXX; 1 Enoch 46:1; 53:6; 2 Esdr. 13:3f, 32). His advent from heaven (cf. Acts 3:20f; Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 1:10; 2 Thess 1:7) is the heart of the NT concept of parousia" (Horst Balz, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 2003, p. 44).