Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Olivet Discourse Part 2: Conclusion

I have had this post in my head for some time. I hope it will be short... But maybe not.

We saw last time that Jesus was looking at the temple when He predicted it's downfall. We know for a fact that 70 years later this prediction came to pass. We saw that three questions were asked:
  • Matthew: "When will the destruction occur and what will be the sign of your coming and the sign of the end?"
  • Mark: "When will the destruction start and in what manner will it end?"
  • Luke: "When will the destrcution start and what will that look like?"

Now it becomes difficult (as we saw) to take one gospel and come to a conclusion. That is, until we look at the answer Jesus gives. We need to have the question in our minds: Does Jesus in Matthew's gospel have anything extra to say? This is of course if we assume that Jesus really is predicting the end of the world.

The answer is no. Jesus' answer is pretty much the same in all three synoptic gospels. That means he cannot be predicting the end of the world, based on the fact that He is not answering that question in the other two gospels. We have to say that the disciples were expecting a change of 'age' and not the end of the world.

The next question is: did the age change? Yes it did. We went from old testament to new testament. But the end is not given in the gospels. Only the fall of Jerusalem was predicted in Matthew, Mark and Luke. The judgement coming of Christ on that land happened in CE 70.

Before you run off thinking I am a preterist, please note this: I do not think that Matthew 24 (or Mark or Luke) have much to do with Revelation. I agree with preterists in their interpretation of the Olivet Discourse, but I am weary to agree that it is connected to Revelation. That should whet our appetites before we jump into the final book of the New Testament. God bless!

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