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Date Posted:14/04/2006 1:57 PMCopy HTML

Seeing as Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes, what does this say about his ethics?  Were his comments on how to act toward opposition and injustice, etc coloured by his belief that God would enact judgement in a very short period of time?  Would he have taught very differnt ethics had he known that we would be around for at least another 2000 years?  Would things like 'turn the other cheek' and 'walk the extra mile' have never been said had he known that he wasn't coming back?
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:14/04/2006 6:33 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Seeing as Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes,

But did he and where in the Bible did you find this Mr J.?

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:16/04/2006 5:29 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

But did he and where in the Bible did you find this Mr J.?anon

In Matthew 24 of course...

Not only did Jesus, according to the gospel accounts, predict that the Son of Man would "come in power" before "some standing" there had "tasted death;" but he also predicted that the "Son of Man would come" to "gather his elect from the four winds" before "this generation," meaning Jesus' own, had "passed away," which coincides perfectly with his former statement. What were the circumstances of this prediction? According to Matthew, chapter 24 [see also Mark 13 and Luke 21] Jesus predicted that the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. Whereupon his disciples asked him:

...When will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? [Mat 24:3] [12]

Jesus then laid out a number of events and signs, like false Christs arising, wars, earthquakes, famines [Luke added "pestilences" and "terrors and great signs from heaven"]; his followers would be persecuted and brought before kings and governors; the gospel would be preached to the whole world; a "desolating sacrilege" would be set up "in the holy place" [Instead of mentioning that "sacrilege," Luke substituted: "you will see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand"]; followed by a time of great tribulation when people in Judea should flee to the mountains; a time of tribulation so great that if it were not ended "no human being would be saved" [Luke alone adds, "great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people (the Jews)," they will fall by the sword, and be lead away as captives to "all the nations," and "Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."] [13]; then Jesus warned of "false Christs and false prophets" [plural, as opposed to a singular "anti-Christ"]; and pointed out how unmistakable the coming of the Son of Man would be ["as the lightning shines from the east to the west, lighting up the sky from one side to the other" Mat & Lk]. [14] Jesus added that "immediately" [Mat 24:29] after this time of tribulation the sun and moon would darken; stars would fall from heaven; "they will see the Son of Man coming;" and his angels would "gather the elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven" [Luke adds, "when these things begin to take place (including Jerusalem's fall in 70 A.D.), look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near"]. Jesus then spoke of the fig tree (the budding of its leaves tells you summer is near), "when you see these things happening [Matthew says, 'all these things...'], recognize that He is near" [Luke substitutes, "recognize that the kingdom of God is near"]; Matthew & Mark add, "...at the door." Followed by the prediction:

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. [Mat 24:34 = Mk 13:30]

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. [Lk 21:32]place."

As professor James D. Tabor explains:

In the [end-times chapters of the gospels], Mk 13, Mat 24, and Lk 21, Jesus connects the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to the more general "signs of the end of the age": false prophets, war and disruptions, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, persecution, and a world-wide proclamation of his message...The scheme is very tightly connected, and Jesus declares at the end that "this generation shall not pass away until all these thing are fulfilled" [Mk 13:30]. [17]

A.J. Mattill Jr. adds, concerning an important verse in Matthew's end-time chapter:

The eutheos of Matthew 24:29 should be translated "immediately" as elsewhere [in the New Testament] and means that at once after the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem there were to occur cosmic disasters and the coming of the Son of Man to write the finis to the world drama. [18]

To Dr. Mattill's argument may be added these observations of Dr. Strauss:

Not only does Mark in 13:24 [a parallel to Matthew 24:29], by the words, "in those days, after that tribulation," place the ["coming of the Son of Man"] in uninterrupted chronological succession with [the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem]; but also, shortly after the [coming of the Son of Man] is discussed in each of the narratives, we find the assurance that all this will be witnessed by the existing generation. [19]

Another attempt to save face by Christian apologists is to reinterpret "this generation" as "that generation," i.e., to say that Jesus was addressing a much later generation, not his own. But, this explanation is also unacceptable. Jesus used the phrase "this generation" many times, unmistakably in reference to his contemporaries. It does not refer to people born two thousand years hence:

It shall be required of this generation... [Lk 11:51]

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation... [Mat 12:41 = Lk 11:32]

This is an evil generation... [Lk 11:29]

This adulterous and sinful generation... [Mk 8:38]

That upon you [the Pharisees] may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth. Truly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. [Mat 23:35-36]

The final verse listed above is nearly identical to "Truly, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place," so there is no doubt which "generation" Jesus was addressing. As Christian theologian, Dewey M. Beegle, has reminded Hal Lindsey fans:

If Jesus was referring to a distant future, the least he could have done was to say "that generation" and thus give his hearers a clue that the events he was discussing would occur in some future generation, not theirs. But "this" is close to "that," and so [Hal Lindsey fans] just add a little filler. Cover things from this end and do not worry too much about how the disciples and early Christians understood things. [20]

Even the evangelical Christian scholar, F. F. Bruce, admitted:

The phrase "this generation" is found too often on Jesus' lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it suddenly takes on a different meaning in the saying we are now examining. Moreover, if the generation of the end-time had been intended, 'that generation' would have been a more natural way of referring to it than 'this generation.' [21]

So, if words have any fundamental meaning at all, then the authors of the Gospels told their readers that Jesus predicted the world to end within a "generation" of his preaching. Besides which, people predicting "the end of the world" always complain loudly about the evils of their own generation, exactly as Jesus did in the many instances cited above!

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:16/04/2006 5:32 PMCopy HTML

Footnotes for the post above

[12] Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7 simply have the disciples asking Jesus about "the sign" when "all these things will be," or, "when they are about to take place." There is no "and" in their questions, connecting what some Christian apologists say may be two separate questions. This is important to remember, since many Christian apologists attempt to split the disciple's question [in Mat 24:3] in half, thereby dividing Jesus' predictions in these end-times chapters into: 1) predictions related to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., and 2) signs that can be used to predict when the Son of Man will come in power to judge the earth two thousand years later. Needless to say, such a dissection of Jesus' apocalyptic discourses (based only on Matthew's version of the disciples' question) does not take into consideration the beliefs and understanding of the audience to whom the discourse was originally addressed. As David F. Strauss pointed out in The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations":

The...attempt to discover in the discourse before us the immense interval which, looking from our position in the present day, is fixed between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of all things, having failed; we are taught in a practical fashion that that interval lies only in our own conception, which we are not justified in introducing into the text. And when we consider that we owe our idea of that interval only to the experience of many centuries, which have elapsed since the destruction of Jerusalem: it cannot be difficult for us to imagine how the author of this discourse, who had not had this experience, might entertain the belief that shortly after the fall of the Jewish sanctuary, the world itself, of which, in the Jewish idea, that sanctuary was the center, would also come to an end, and the [Son of Man] appear in judgment.

[13] Luke 21:24. Does "the times of the Gentiles" refer to a lengthy period of time, perhaps thousands of years in the future? Dr. Mattill thinks not:

Luke was evidently mindful of the Gentile king of Dan 7:25 who would "wear out the saints of the Most High;...and they shall be given into his hand until the time and times and half a time" [see also Dan 8:13 & 12:7]...Nor would Luke have overlooked Ezek 30:3, "The day of Yahweh is near; it shall be...a time of the nations."...Luke may well have known something like the widely circulated prophecy that is now preserved in Rev 11:2, where John is commanded to measure the temple but not the temple court, "for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months." [None of these examples presumes a lengthy period lasting thousands of years, but rather, a few years, less than ten at most.]

The word "times" (kairoi) also has richer overtones than mere chronological time (chronos). It can also mean "opportunity," "eschatological opportunity," "the time of crisis," the "last times." Hence the phrase, "the times of the Gentiles" would seem to refer to more than their allotted time to occupy Jerusalem. It would include the "eschatological opportunities" that the Gentiles have to accept the Gospel...Paul wrote: "Now is the acceptable time (kairos); behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2)...Kairos denotes the "season when God visits people with the offer of salvation."...Luke uses kairos in just such a way in his gospel, which stated that Israel did not know the "time" (kairos) of its visitation (Lk 19:44), that is, "the time when God came to save you" (Today's English Version) [So, Luke depicted both the "time (kairos) of Israel" and "times (kairoi) of the Gentiles!"]

[Also note that Luke displays in Acts his knowledge of Paul's mission to the Gentiles, and must have been familiar with Paul's idea that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent but will last only until the complete number of Gentiles come to God]:

"...their voice [of Christian evangelists] has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the [predominantly Gentile] world." But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? At the first Moses says, "I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a [Gentile] nation without understanding will I anger you." [Rom 10:18-19]

...by their [the Jews'] transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [the Jews'] fulfillment be? [Rom 11:11-12]...

...a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [Rom 11:25]

Now look at the verse in Luke again, keeping Paul's verses (above) in mind:

Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. [Lk 21:24]

["The times of the Gentiles" refers to the Gentiles' opportunity to hear the gospel, and it would be "fulfilled" once a certain number of Gentiles, known only to God, had been saved. Neither did Paul or Luke seem to assume that this "time" would exceed a "generation."] The Gentile mission was well on the way toward completion with Paul's arrival in Rome: "...the Good News...has been proclaimed in the whole creation under Heaven..." [Col 1:23 (Weymouth)]. Were Paul to preach longer in Rome, where "all meet from every quarter [of the earth]" (Irenaeus), or in Spain [Rom 15:24; 1 Clem 5:7], or elsewhere [Pastoral Epistles], and were others to continue their labors [Acts 11:20; 1 Clem 42:3-4], they would need all the encouragement and support possible from the churches to give all men everywhere opportunity to repent [Acts 17:30]. As his part in this evangelistic effort Luke wrote to insure that the world mission would be completed during the "times of the Gentiles" [Lk 21:24] to prepare the way for the "consolation of Israel" [Lk 2:25] and the "restoration of all things" [Acts 3:21]. [Keep in mind that for Luke and Paul, the Roman Empire constituted "the whole world"]...we conclude with an impressive group of critics that "Luke does not give a date, but his gospel agrees with Matthew and Mark that Jesus said, 'the present generation will live to see it all!' [Lk 21:32]" - A.J. Mattill, Jr., Luke and the Last Things, pp. 134-135,233.

[14] Evangelical apologists sometimes try to divert attention away from the verses that plainly predict the soon "coming of the Son of Man" by emphasizing the following section in Luke that states, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed":

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed: nor will they say "Look here it is!" or "There it is!" For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst [or, sometimes translated, "the kingdom of God is within you"]. And he said to the disciples, The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it... [Lk 17:20-22]

Does this divert sufficient attention away from what Jesus said about the "Son of Man coming" before "some standing there" had "tasted death," or within a "generation?" No. That "the kingdom of God is in your midst" does not refute that soon "the Son of Man will be revealed" [Lk 17:30], you just have to read a little further in the same chapter to see that. Neither does the above passage indicate that the disciples would not live to see the Son of Man return. Nothing about their "death" is mentioned or even hinted at. It just says they will "long to see one of the days of the Son of Man," and, "not seeing it," or, not being able to see it, as they had yearned to, others will say to them, "Look here, Look there," trying to entice Christians to run after false prophets. Therefore it is a warning to "keep the faith" and wait for the unmistakable revealing of the true Son of Man. The section in Luke continues:

...And they will say to you "Look here! Look there!" Do not run after them. [Many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Mat 24:11 And if anyone says, "Behold, here is the Christ, or there," do not believe him, for false Christs will arise. Mark 13:21] For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day...as it happened in the days of Noah...the flood came and destroyed them all...as happened in the days of Lot...it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed...one will be taken, and the other will be left. [Lk 17:23-35]

So, the passage in Luke is not a prediction that Jesus made to his disciples, telling them that they will not live to see the coming of the Son of Man, but rather, it is a warning to those who doubt they will, and go running off after "false Christ's!" "For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day..." etc. And yes, the "kingdom of God" can refer to either an immediate reality or a future promise. It depends on whether or not the words "come," "near" or "at hand" are contextually related to the words, "kingdom of God." For instance, speaking of the future promise, there is the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come..." Or, "I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes" [Lk 22:18]. Or, "When you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place" [Lk 21:31-32]. Or, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." Naturally, the same goes for the "Son of Man," which is simply a name or title for Jesus. But combine that name with the word, "coming," and the only thing it can refer to is a future promise - a failed promise, since the Son of Man did not "come" within the time he and his inspired disciples predicted he would.

[15] David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

[16] Ibid.

[17] James D. Tabor, "The Future," What the Bible Really Says, eds. Morton Smith and R. Joseph Hoffman (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989), p. 48. And notice how Jesus' end-times discourses described events that could easily apply to his own era:

False prophets and false Christs?

What about Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8, and Bar Kochba, leader of a messianic revolt (132-135 A.D.)? See Richard Horsley and John Hanson's Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus (New York: Harpur & Row, Pub., Inc., 1985), and, Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green and Ernest S. Frerich, eds., Judaisms and their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: 1988). And of course, the New Testament's own obvious statements such as Paul's that "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work," and 1 John's, that "many antichrists have arisen," i.e., in their generation.

Rumors of War and Wars?

"War," along with some of the other "signs" described, was a standard apocalyptic stage prop. And, there was a first revolt of Palestinian Jews against their Roman occupiers in A.D. 66-70 that preceded Rome's war against Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Earthquakes?

They occur continually all over the world. But most occur, as expected, along the coasts of continents that border the Pacific Ocean - the "ring of fire" - and are due to huge tectonic plates underlying each continent, pressing and buckling against each other. This no doubt has little to do with prophecy. According to geological studies conducted since the first highly sensitive seismographic instruments were installed on the earth's surface around the beginning of this century, the sizes and intervals of quakes world-wide do not display any discernable pattern of increase or decrease. Even the folks at the Institute for Creation Research have agreed with that fact, as evidenced in their Impact pamphlet #198, "Earthquakes in These Last Days."

Famines?

According to Luke, "...a great famine all over the world...took place in the reign of Claudius" [Acts 11:28], i.e., in Luke's own generation.

Persecution of Christians?

This occurred in Paul's generation too. He persecuted Christians. Stephen was stoned to death. Paul was also brought before magistrates and kings to give an account of his faith.

The World Wide Proclamation of Jesus' Message?

According to Paul and Luke the Roman Empire was the "whole world." Paul also wrote several times that the gospel "had" been preached to the "whole world," i.e., in his day.

So the "birth pangs" that Jesus (or the Gospel authors) claimed must occur first, before the end arrived, were already occurring, or had already occurred, in the days of the first Christians! Neither did any of the New Testament authors have any difficulty envisioning their own generation as the last, or predicting that the Son of Man would (or must) come soon.

[18] A.J. Mattill Jr., "A Zoo-Full of Monsters," The Journal of Faith and Thought (Montclair, N.J.: First Baptist Church of Montclair), Vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1986), p. 16.

[19] David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

[20] Dewey M. Beegle, Prophecy and Prediction (Ann Arbor, MI: Pryor Pettengill, 1978), pp. 212-213.

[21] F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), p. 227. Some Christian apologists point out that the word translated "generation" is derived from a Greek word whose root means "race." So, Jesus may have been saying that "this race" shall not pass away until all these things take place. But there is no point in Jesus addressing either the human race or the Jewish race since in neither case is there any hint in the Bible that either "race" may cease to exist before the end of the world. What point would there be in such a vague prediction? It would be like saying, "At some time in the indefinite future all these things will take place." It should also be noted that when the full word, not merely its root, is focused upon, Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament cites not a single instance where the word means, "race." And in the language that Jesus and his apostles were raised upon, Hebrew and Aramaic, there is not the least possibility of confusion between "generation" and "race." Lastly, as A.J. Mattill Jr. has ascertained:

Of the 38 appearances of the word in the New Testament all have the temporal meaning, primarily that of "contemporaries." Our check of every instance in the New Testament verifies Olshausen's contention that the word is not used once in the New Testament in the sense of "race." [A.J. Mattill Jr., Luke and the Last Things (Dillsboro, NC: Western Carolina Press, 1979), p. 100]


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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:16/04/2006 8:36 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Footnotes for the post above[12] Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7 simply have the disciples asking Jesus about "the sign" when "all these things will be," or, "when they are about to take place." There is no "and" in their questions, connecting what some Christian apologists say may be two separate questions. This is important to remember, since many Christian apologists attempt to split the disciple's question [in Mat 24:3] in half, thereby dividing Jesus' predictions in these end-times chapters into: 1) predictions related to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., and 2) signs that can be used to predict when the Son of Man will come in power to judge the earth two thousand years later. Needless to say, such a dissection of Jesus' apocalyptic discourses (based only on Matthew's version of the disciples' question) d

Nice academic argument with a lot of  prooftext. Mathew 24 states he was talking to His disciples NOT His apostles as you stated .  So where did you copy and paste this from ? this is obviously not your own work.

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:16/04/2006 10:37 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Nice academic argument with a lot of  prooftext. Mathew 24 states he was talking to His disciples NOT His apostles as you stated . 

Semantics.  Disciples, Apostles...  The thing was, he said to some standing there AT THE TIME that some of them would not taste death until they saw the signs he described.  So are you, along with the Mormons, a believer in the notion that two 1st century disciples secretly walk the earth today? 

How do you escape the fact that Jesus predicted his return within the lifetime of disciples in his hearing at that time?

So where did you copy and paste this from ? this is obviously not your own work.

Too right.  Why reinvent the wheel?  I should have added a source.  The entire article is worth reading...    http://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action=viewAsset&id=86

I would love to hear some reasons for refutation of the arguments he presents.

 

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:16/04/2006 11:39 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

As an interesting addage... if I may cut and paste also:

It would appear as if there are four positions relative to understanding Jesus' words about his returning within the lifetime of those then living.

  1. We can admit that he was incorrect, a position hard but not impossible to accept.
  2. We can agree with the partial preterists, but this possibly demands a large rewrite of other Christian doctrines.
  3. Three, we can understand that Jesus answered the disciples' questions, but that their questions involved the misunderstanding that the end of the Temple would also mean the end of history. Jesus spoke then concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the end of history, and events in the former that foreshadowed the latter. With Jesus's coming, death, burial, and resurrection the last days have begun and in terms of salvation-history the Lord's coming is near. There is nothing else that must be done before Jesus returns.
  4. Four, we may understand that most of the Olivet Discourse does deal with the events leading up to the destruction of the Temple, but that the last part deals with the far distant future, future still to us. This will be developed in the last section of this paper.

http://www.preteristarchive.com/CriticalArticles/02_pegler-stephen_ca_01.html


Did Jesus Return in A.D.79?

"If God is smart and knows the corrupt side of mankind, would He want millions of people freely interpreting His words in all generations? Or would He have a message for the human race clearly defined and easily understood by all?

If you tell your child to clean their room, how many ways can this be interpreted? Answer: Infinite, provided your child does not want to clean their room.

Jesus said He would return soon within the generation to which He spoke 2000 years ago. After suffering the crucifixion, He appeared to the Apostles a number of times. On one occasion He was taken up into a cloud before their eyes. As He was going up, they were told they would see Him come back in the same way they saw Him go up into the heaven. How many ways can this be interpreted?
Answer: Infinite, provided you don't want to believe it.

The Revelation to John ca A.D.69:
I am coming quickly... (3:11)
...I am coming quickly (22:7)
Behold, I am coming quickly... (22:12)]
Yes, I am coming quickly. (22:20)

How many ways can these statements be interpreted?
Answer: Infinite, provided you don't want to believe it.

Did Jesus say He would return when Jerusalem was laid desolate?
Answer: No. Did Jesus say the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple could be interpreted as His return? Answer: No.

Did He say after the distress of those days the sun would be darkened, the moon would not give light, an the stars would fall from the sky, and at that time they would see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky with His angels? Answer: Yes! But did they actually see this?
Answer: Yes! Jesus said they would. But how is this possible?

Jesus warned everyone who hears the words of prophecy of the book of Revelation: Anyone who adds anything to them will be given the plagues described in the book. For anyone who takes words away from the book, God will take away from them their share of tree of life and the holy city described in the book.

Is interpretation not the very act of removing words and replacing them with others? Or is it not adding words that never were written?

In about A.D.30 Jesus told some of His disciples that some of those standing there would not taste death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. A.D.79 marked the end of that generation, and John was still alive. He saw the sun darkened. He saw the moon stop giving light and he saw all the stars falling from the sky. All of this happened in one day and one night. When Mt.Vesuvius erupted on August 24, the ash plume moving from West to East in the upper atmosphere darkened the sun and obscured any light given by the moon. Due to the moving ash plume, all the stars appeared as shooting stars, all falling from the sky.

The Son of Man returned in the clouds of the sky with power and glory. And this is when He sent His angles down to gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other.

After the elect were taken, only the secular were left. The non-believers were left behind, and all original history of the next few years was now written by them. All historical events immediately following A.D. 79 were recorded by their hand only. Believers were no longer around to write more Bible, and they were not around to tell the rest of their experience. That's why God gave the Revelation to John. John, who would remain until Jesus came, completed the last book of the Bible in advance before they were all taken.

The secular would not be expected to recognize the Son of Man or angels; however they might be expected to report unusual phenomena. According to one report, "unusual phenomena" that previously occurred at Mt. Vesuvius was considered "trivial in comparison with what now happened." Numbers of huge men, surpassing any human stature, and compared to Giants, appeared on the mountain, the surrounding country, in the cities, wandering the earth day and night and flitting through the air. Violent earthquakes occurred so the whole plain seethed and jumped. There were frequent rumblings, some subterranean, the sea joined in the roar and the sky echoed it.. The mountain blew, and stones were hurled aloft. Then came fire and endless smoke. The atmosphere was obscured and the sun was hidden. Day turned to night and light to darkness and a sound of trumpets was heard.

The Time Line is found at:

http://members.tripod.com/%7ELynnish/timeline.html

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:17/04/2006 9:09 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

... The thing was, he said to some standing there AT THE TIME that some of them would not taste death until they saw the signs he described.

Where in Mathew 24 does it state in or words to the effect :" AT THE TIME that some of them would not taste death" .?? I can only find words to this effect using my ancient 30 year old concordance in Mathew 16:28. Quoting from from the previous chapter and verse Mathew 16:28 is prooftext and that is the standard methodology that the Revival Centre fellowships use and employ for Biblical Interpretation. Straight after Mathew 16:28 it says "And after six days..." and the Gospel of Mathew then goes into the narrative of the transfiguration on the high mountain with just Jesus, Peter, James and John.

No I am not a mormon, I attend a local Baptist church these days that has been touched by the Toronto Blessing and they/we are really seeing the Kingdom of God come with real power..

But go back to Mathew 24 and it is too obvious that Jesus was entrusting something to His disciples, whom he was talking to there at that moment on the Mount of Olives, on our ( ie your and mine ) behalf.

 Prooftext is a terrible RCI/RF baggage to carry after one has departed from these errant fellowships which can't even paddle their way through Acts 2:38.  

anonymous

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:17/04/2006 3:19 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

I attend a local Baptist church these days that has been touched by the Toronto Blessing and they/we are really seeing the Kingdom of God come with real power..

Toronto Blessing... eek.! Well there goes the bible out the window... and any credibility that might have existed. Let's have one scripture in context that backs up that TB madness.

Real power? Falling over; laughing like an idiot; barking; hooting; shrieking; floorgasms... just when you thought speaking in tongues was getting old and boring, look what comes out of Toronto! Those crazy christians, what will they think of next.

Give me a New Testament example of a christian falling over. The guy who fell out the window asleep doesn't count... The centurians weren't christians, Paul was an enemy of Christ when he fell off the horse. Oh, and the 'drunkards' angle is a bit of a stretch too - that's saying more than what's there (heck, I get drunk all the time without falling over). Did I miss any?

Oops sorry, off topic - Toronto Blessing is an easy target!

Don't mind me... back to your prooftexting exegesis interpelation stuff...

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:18/04/2006 12:20 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : HolyandSinful

Reply to : AnonymousI attend a local Baptist church these days that has been touched by the Toronto Blessing and they/we are really seeing the Kingdom of God come with real power..Toronto Blessing... eek.! Well there goes the bible out the window... andany credibility that might have existed. Let's have one scripture in context that backs up that TB madness.Real power? Falling over; laughing like an idiot; barking; hooting; shrieking; floorgasms... just when you thought speaking in tongues was getting old and boring, look what comes out of Toronto! Those crazy christians, whatwillthey think of next.Give me a New Testament example of a christian falling over. The guy who fell out the window asleep doesn't count... The centurians weren

Well the day will come and you will know that this of indeed God but for you that day may come too late. The same manifestations that are happening at Toronto/ Pensacola AOG were recorded happening in 1801 at Cane Ridge Kentucky and this gave birth to the Denomination which we know as the Churches of Christ. Oh it has been around a lot longer than you think. But you tread a fine line because to speak a word against the Holy Spirit is to commit blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. Fortunately for you you have the grace to prove whether this is of God or not but once you have found that this is in fact God Himself at work, your mouth will slam shut quicker than a door in a cyclone.

anonymous

 

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:18/04/2006 7:33 AMCopy HTML




recorded happening in 1801 at Cane Ridge Kentucky and this gave birth to the Denomination which we know as the Churches of Christ. Oh it has been around a lot longer than you think.



Uh huh... but were they happening 2000 years ago... I think not. Not according to the bible. You can't just go making stuff up... well, I suppose you can.

Is God doing that stuff? I've seen him do amazing stuff, if he's the same guy that created the universe and seahorses etc... rolling around on the floor though? Hmmm, any old human can do that.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:18/04/2006 9:39 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Seeing as Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes, what does this say about his ethics? Were his comments on how to act toward opposition and injustice, etccoloured by his belief that God would enact judgement in a very short period of time? Would he have taught very differnt ethics had he known that we would be around for at least another 2000 years? Would things like'turn the other cheek' and 'walk the extra mile' have never been said had he known that he wasn't coming back?

Jesus's ethics?

Well you're in Matthew anyway, so why not read the Sermon on the Mount? That pretty much sums up his ethics.

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:20/04/2006 10:05 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

The thing was, he said to some standing there AT THE TIME that some of them would not taste death until they saw the signs he described.Where in Mathew 24 does it state in or words to the effect :" AT THE TIME that some of them would not taste death" .?? I can only find words to this effect using my ancient 30 year old concordance in Mathew 16:28. ..

I'll repost the part of the article that answers your question.  Please scroll up to read the footnotes...

A.J. Mattill Jr. adds, concerning an important verse in Matthew's end-time chapter:

The eutheos of Matthew 24:29 should be translated "immediately" as elsewhere [in the New Testament] and means that at once after the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem there were to occur cosmic disasters and the coming of the Son of Man to write the finis to the world drama. [18]

To Dr. Mattill's argument may be added these observations of Dr. Strauss:

Not only does Mark in 13:24 [a parallel to Matthew 24:29], by the words, "in those days, after that tribulation," place the ["coming of the Son of Man"] in uninterrupted chronological succession with [the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem]; but also, shortly after the [coming of the Son of Man] is discussed in each of the narratives, we find the assurance that all this will be witnessed by the existing generation. [19]

Another attempt to save face by Christian apologists is to reinterpret "this generation" as "that generation," i.e., to say that Jesus was addressing a much later generation, not his own. But, this explanation is also unacceptable. Jesus used the phrase "this generation" many times, unmistakably in reference to his contemporaries. It does not refer to people born two thousand years hence:

It shall be required of this generation... [Lk 11:51]

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation... [Mat 12:41 = Lk 11:32]

This is an evil generation... [Lk 11:29]

This adulterous and sinful generation... [Mk 8:38]

That upon you [the Pharisees] may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth. Truly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. [Mat 23:35-36]

The final verse listed above is nearly identical to "Truly, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place," so there is no doubt which "generation" Jesus was addressing. As Christian theologian, Dewey M. Beegle, has reminded Hal Lindsey fans:

If Jesus was referring to a distant future, the least he could have done was to say "that generation" and thus give his hearers a clue that the events he was discussing would occur in some future generation, not theirs. But "this" is close to "that," and so [Hal Lindsey fans] just add a little filler. Cover things from this end and do not worry too much about how the disciples and early Christians understood things. [20]

Even the evangelical Christian scholar, F. F. Bruce, admitted:

The phrase "this generation" is found too often on Jesus' lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it suddenly takes on a different meaning in the saying we are now examining. Moreover, if the generation of the end-time had been intended, 'that generation' would have been a more natural way of referring to it than 'this generation.' [21]

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:20/04/2006 10:11 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Jesus's ethics?

Well you're in Matthew anyway, so why not read the Sermon on the Mount? That pretty much sums up his ethics.


Well, my question again...

How would Jesus have differed in his ethicsHAD HE KNOWN that his return was not imminent?  Would he have had more to say about standing up against injustice rather than putting up with it until Judgement Day?  There is little doubt that he taught a reliance on God to right the wrongs of human existance...AND VERY SOON.  But if he had known that the world was going to 'keep going' for 2000+ more years, do you think he would have said different things?

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:21/04/2006 5:50 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousJesus's ethics?Well you're in Matthew anyway, so why not read the Sermon on the Mount? That pretty much sums up his ethics.Well, my question again...How would Jesus have differed in his ethicsHAD HE KNOWN that his return was not imminent? Would he have had more to say about standing up against injustice rather than putting up with it until Judgement Day? There is little doubt that he taught a reliance on God to right the wrongs of human existance...AND VERY SOON. But if he had known that the world was going to 'keep going' for 2000+ more years, do you think he would have said different things?
You dodged the issue. The Sermon on the Mount sums up Jesus's ethics.
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:21/04/2006 8:21 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

You dodged the issue. The Sermon on the Mount sums up Jesus's ethics.

I did no such thing.  I read your post and took note. 

I didn't realise you were making a point beyond your advice to read said semon. 

Perhaps I misunderstood you, how were you attempting to answer my question ?

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 9:00 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousYou dodged the issue. The Sermon on the Mount sums up Jesus's ethics.I did no such thing. I read your post and took note.I didn't realise you were making a point beyond your advice to read said semon.Perhaps I misunderstood you, how were you attempting to answer my question ?
You made some assumptions about Jesus' ethics based on nothing more than an interpretation of what you think he said about his return. But Jesus himself said quite opnely that he didn't know "the day or the hour" so I suggested you have a look at the Sermon on the Mount. Mr J are you really interested in Jesus ethics or are you just trying to find something to try and bash Christianity with? Again  
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 9:19 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

You made some assumptions about Jesus' ethics based on nothing more than an interpretation of what you think he said about his return.

So how would you interpret the passage in question (ie Matt 24) regarding his return.

But Jesus himself said quite opnely that he didn't know "the day or the hour"

Well perhaps in some verses attributed to him he said exactly that (although if you could list them then that would be great as I really don't remember them anymore)...but then in Matthew 24 he at least gives a more specific time that he expected his return.  So it seems different Bible authours have different things to say about what Jesus said and did...even contradictory things.

so I suggested you have a look at the Sermon on the Mount. Mr J are you really interested in Jesus ethics

And, as I said Mr I, I am asking the question of how Jesus' ethics are to be interpreted in light of his and the apostles' view that the end was imminent.  I know what he has to say...but I rather want to know how much weight people think we should place on what he said seeing as he didn't return and probably never will.

or are you just trying to find something to try and bash Christianity with? Again  

Well, this is the room for asking these questions I thought.  Perhaps you should try and answer my questions rather than just throw patronising veiled insults.  Again

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 9:38 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousYou made someassumptionsabout Jesus' ethics based on nothing more thananinterpretationof what youthinkhe said about his return.So how would you interpret the passage in question (ie Matt 24) regarding his return.But Jesus himself said quite opnely that hedidn'tknow "the day or the hour"Well perhaps in some verses attributed to him he said exactly that (although if you could list them then that would be great as I really don't remember them anymore)...but then in Matthew 24 he at least gives a more specific time that he expected his return. So it seems different Bible authours have different things to say about what Jesus said and did...even contradictory things.s

You've made some pretty bad guesses Mr J (I'm not a MR)   Also I don't think Jesus's ethics are really the issue. You've got a bee in your bonnet about Christianity.

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 11:31 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Unkoolman

Reply to : Mr JWell, this is the room for asking these questions I thought. Perhaps you should try and answer my questions rather than just throw patronising veiled insults. AgainIt certainly is the place for discussion and debate. It would be interesting to hear some thoughts from different viewpoints.Please do take note: This is the non-christian room. All are welcome to join in, but do keep in mind there may be topics that will offend those of the Christian faith.

Mr J

I just got this email. I hope you don't mind me posting it here

Hi XXXXXX,

First up, I wouldn't worry too much about what ?Mr J' writes. He's one man with way too many axes to grind!

But to answer your question, the issue isn't the great crux that Troy makes it out to be. After all, this isn't something that's been hidden these past two thousand years!

I'll begin by suggesting that two separate events are being discussed in Matthew 24. In verses 1 to 3 Jesus predicts the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, so his disciples ask the obvious question, "when"? But at this point I need to emphasise the fact that the disciples' actual question makes the closest possible connection between (1) the destruction of the Temple, and (2) the end of human history itself. This is because to Jews, the Temple was God's dwelling place on earth, and for it to be destroyed would indicate that the end of time (i.e. "the Apocalypse") was somehow near. Jesus' responded directly to this conjoined issue, but I'd also suggest that his disciples missed the point (which wasn't the first or only time that this occurred in the gospel records?consider the crucifixion itself)!

In verses 4 through 25 Jesus prophesied of events that would occur within a generation (or roughly 40 years). Thus we note the results of the 1st Jewish War (including the siege of Jerusalem and the Temple, and its destruction by Flavius Titus). We also identify that Jesus wove into his teaching certain standard rhetorical flourishes, one of which is known as digressio?"digressions"?that were linked by theme more than by chronology (e.g. v.14). It's important to understand that such was a perfectly accepted practice of the day, with examples found in Jewish, Greek and Roman writings from the same period.

Verse 25 serves to close the "rhetorical bookends" that began with the theme of the destruction of the Temple in verse 2. So whilst verses 15 through 25 are certainly catastrophic, they aren't apocalytpic.

In verses 26 to 31 Jesus developed the second part of the disciples' question: the sign of his coming at the end of the age. Verse 29 is curious, because it refers to the "distress of those days." It's fair to ask, "which days"? To answer this question adequately, we need to remember that to the disciples (and to Jews generally), the destruction of the Temple would be viewed apocalyptically?as ?End Time' judgement. But Jewish apocalypticism was also typological: with recurring fulfillments. Both city and Temple were destroyed in 587-86 BC under Nebuchadrezzer. This event was viewed apocalyptically, both at the time, as well as in Jewish memory post the event. The "Abomination of Desolation" prophesied in Daniel 9:27 occurred when Antiochus Epiphanes raised a pagan standard on the Temple mount in 167 BC. It too was viewed apocalyptically. Now both these events served as "types"; however, their respective "anti-types" (or "fulfillments") occurred in AD 70. Similarly, the events of AD 70 served as the "type" for the return of Christ at the end of the age?the eventual "anti-type". Consequently, the sorts of events that happened in the lead up to the destruction of Jerusalem the first time, and the second time, will be found in the period leading up to the return of Christ.

Whilst distinguishable, ultimately the near and distant events that are discussed in Matthew 24 are inseparable. However long the time between them, they are conceptually bound together in the closest possible way.

But to take the discussion forward, JJesus, by virtue of his incarnation, willingly accepted limitations to his exercising his Godly prerogatives. One of these limitations was to his omniscience?to his complete and total knowledge of all events. In verse 36 we find Jesus admitting that he didn't know the time of his return. This might raise further questions in the minds of some people (notably those who don't understand the theology of his ?self-emptying'), but the central mystery of the incarnation is the fusing (without intermingling) of two distinctly different natures: human and divine. I'd be so bold as to suggest that as human beings, we aren't even capable of exhaustive knowledge or insight, so we should simply accept that this is?and probably always will remain?a mystery.

So in summary, the "contradictions" that some people find in Matthew 24 are more apparent than they are real. And whilst it's without question that the first Christians fully expected the return of Christ during their own lives, it's altogether a different matter to suggest that Jesus similarly expected this to be the case. Every ancient manuscript that we have that includes Matthew 24, also includes Jesus' words: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." This, I'd suggest, answers the question well enough.

This explanation is the traditional teaching of the Christian Church, from the third through the twenty-first centuries. Of course, there are quite a number of modern scholars who dispute this position. But in the main, these are the same scholars who claim (1) that Jesus never existed, or (2) that he isn't who the Church thinks he is, or (3) that anything supernatural is possible. I suppose one simply has to decide just who, and what, one is prepared to believe; and just as importantly, why.

As for ?Mr J', well, I guess we all know what he doesn't believe p

God bless,

Ian

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 2:03 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

First up, I wouldn't worry too much about what ?Mr J' writes. He's one man with way too many axes to grind!

Ah yes, the old, 'Attack the man" approach.  Good one.  Nevertheless, my posts are cut and pastes so you need to also attack the original author.  Do a Google on him and I am sure you will find a lot of nasty things said about him too.

Anyway, Ian's arguments are, as he said, not new.  But while his argument sounds plausible at first, it does not hold weight upon closer inspection. 

The traditional argument he raised was addressed in the latter half of my earlier post.  The footnotes are just as important so I suggest anyone genuinely curious about this issue should read them.

Let me repost it for those of you who missed it.

Mr J
Former Christian Minister
BA - Biblical Studies (Harvest Bible College (AOG))
Grad Dip - Religion and Theology (Monash University)

=============

Christian apologists have tried to sub-divide the context of this prediction, making, "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place," refer only to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and not also to "the coming of the Son of Man." They ignore the fact that Jesus' "this generation" prediction is preceded in all three gospels by Jesus' discussion of the "coming of the Son of Man" and intimately linked with it, contextually. Such apologists also ignore that Jesus said, "all these things," and divert attention to Jesus' other saying (which appears a few verses after Jesus' long disproved prediction), that "no man knows the day or the hour." However, they forget that "days and hours" imply nearness in time. "Days and hours" lie within a "generation." As Strauss pointed out over a century ago:

[Naturally there is a distinction] between an inexact indication of the space of time, beyond which the event will not be deferred (a "generation"), and the determination of the precise date and time (the "day and the hour") at which it will occur; the former Jesus gives, the latter he declares himself unable to give. [16]

Furthermore, having admitted that he did not know the precise "day or the hour," Jesus continued to address his listeners as though that "day or hour" could not be further than a mere "generation" away:

Therefore be on the alert, for you [his listeners, circa 30 A.D.] do not know which day your Lord is coming...at an hour when you do not think he will [Mat 24:36,42,44]

Definitely not a "day" or "hour" that was "two millenniums" from then! Compare Luke 21:36:

But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you [his first century listeners] may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Obviously, Jesus included the "coming of the Son of Man" among "all these things that are about to take place."

As professor James D. Tabor explains:

In the [end-times chapters of the gospels], Mk 13, Mat 24, and Lk 21, Jesus connects the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to the more general "signs of the end of the age": false prophets, war and disruptions, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, persecution, and a world-wide proclamation of his message...The scheme is very tightly connected, and Jesus declares at the end that "this generation shall not pass away until all these thing are fulfilled" [Mk 13:30]. [17]

A.J. Mattill Jr. adds, concerning an important verse in Matthew's end-time chapter:

The eutheos of Matthew 24:29 should be translated "immediately" as elsewhere [in the New Testament] and means that at once after the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem there were to occur cosmic disasters and the coming of the Son of Man to write the finis to the world drama. [18]

To Dr. Mattill's argument may be added these observations of Dr. Strauss:

Not only does Mark in 13:24 [a parallel to Matthew 24:29], by the words, "in those days, after that tribulation," place the ["coming of the Son of Man"] in uninterrupted chronological succession with [the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem]; but also, shortly after the [coming of the Son of Man] is discussed in each of the narratives, we find the assurance that all this will be witnessed by the existing generation. [19]

Another attempt to save face by Christian apologists is to reinterpret "this generation" as "that generation," i.e., to say that Jesus was addressing a much later generation, not his own. But, this explanation is also unacceptable. Jesus used the phrase "this generation" many times, unmistakably in reference to his contemporaries. It does not refer to people born two thousand years hence:

It shall be required of this generation... [Lk 11:51]

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation... [Mat 12:41 = Lk 11:32]

This is an evil generation... [Lk 11:29]

This adulterous and sinful generation... [Mk 8:38]

That upon you [the Pharisees] may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth. Truly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. [Mat 23:35-36]

The final verse listed above is nearly identical to "Truly, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place," so there is no doubt which "generation" Jesus was addressing. As Christian theologian, Dewey M. Beegle, has reminded Hal Lindsey fans:

If Jesus was referring to a distant future, the least he could have done was to say "that generation" and thus give his hearers a clue that the events he was discussing would occur in some future generation, not theirs. But "this" is close to "that," and so [Hal Lindsey fans] just add a little filler. Cover things from this end and do not worry too much about how the disciples and early Christians understood things. [20]

Even the evangelical Christian scholar, F. F. Bruce, admitted:

The phrase "this generation" is found too often on Jesus' lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it suddenly takes on a different meaning in the saying we are now examining. Moreover, if the generation of the end-time had been intended, 'that generation' would have been a more natural way of referring to it than 'this generation.' [21]

So, if words have any fundamental meaning at all, then the authors of the Gospels told their readers that Jesus predicted the world to end within a "generation" of his preaching. Besides which, people predicting "the end of the world" always complain loudly about the evils of their own generation, exactly as Jesus did in the many instances cited above!

==============

Footnotes

17] James D. Tabor, "The Future," What the Bible Really Says, eds. Morton Smith and R. Joseph Hoffman (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989), p. 48. And notice how Jesus' end-times discourses described events that could easily apply to his own era:

False prophets and false Christs?

What about Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8, and Bar Kochba, leader of a messianic revolt (132-135 A.D.)? See Richard Horsley and John Hanson's Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus (New York: Harpur & Row, Pub., Inc., 1985), and, Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green and Ernest S. Frerich, eds., Judaisms and their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: 1988). And of course, the New Testament's own obvious statements such as Paul's that "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work," and 1 John's, that "many antichrists have arisen," i.e., in their generation.

Rumors of War and Wars?

"War," along with some of the other "signs" described, was a standard apocalyptic stage prop. And, there was a first revolt of Palestinian Jews against their Roman occupiers in A.D. 66-70 that preceded Rome's war against Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Earthquakes?

They occur continually all over the world. But most occur, as expected, along the coasts of continents that border the Pacific Ocean - the "ring of fire" - and are due to huge tectonic plates underlying each continent, pressing and buckling against each other. This no doubt has little to do with prophecy. According to geological studies conducted since the first highly sensitive seismographic instruments were installed on the earth's surface around the beginning of this century, the sizes and intervals of quakes world-wide do not display any discernable pattern of increase or decrease. Even the folks at the Institute for Creation Research have agreed with that fact, as evidenced in their Impact pamphlet #198, "Earthquakes in These Last Days."

Famines?

According to Luke, "...a great famine all over the world...took place in the reign of Claudius" [Acts 11:28], i.e., in Luke's own generation.

Persecution of Christians?

This occurred in Paul's generation too. He persecuted Christians. Stephen was stoned to death. Paul was also brought before magistrates and kings to give an account of his faith.

The World Wide Proclamation of Jesus' Message?

According to Paul and Luke the Roman Empire was the "whole world." Paul also wrote several times that the gospel "had" been preached to the "whole world," i.e., in his day.

So the "birth pangs" that Jesus (or the Gospel authors) claimed must occur first, before the end arrived, were already occurring, or had already occurred, in the days of the first Christians! Neither did any of the New Testament authors have any difficulty envisioning their own generation as the last, or predicting that the Son of Man would (or must) come soon.

[18] A.J. Mattill Jr., "A Zoo-Full of Monsters," The Journal of Faith and Thought (Montclair, N.J.: First Baptist Church of Montclair), Vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1986), p. 16.

[19] David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

[20] Dewey M. Beegle, Prophecy and Prediction (Ann Arbor, MI: Pryor Pettengill, 1978), pp. 212-213.

[21] F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), p. 227. Some Christian apologists point out that the word translated "generation" is derived from a Greek word whose root means "race." So, Jesus may have been saying that "this race" shall not pass away until all these things take place. But there is no point in Jesus addressing either the human race or the Jewish race since in neither case is there any hint in the Bible that either "race" may cease to exist before the end of the world. What point would there be in such a vague prediction? It would be like saying, "At some time in the indefinite future all these things will take place." It should also be noted that when the full word, not merely its root, is focused upon, Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament cites not a single instance where the word means, "race." And in the language that Jesus and his apostles were raised upon, Hebrew and Aramaic, there is not the least possibility of confusion between "generation" and "race." Lastly, as A.J. Mattill Jr. has ascertained:

Of the 38 appearances of the word in the New Testament all have the temporal meaning, primarily that of "contemporaries." Our check of every instance in the New Testament verifies Olshausen's contention that the word is not used once in the New Testament in the sense of "race." [A.J. Mattill Jr., Luke and the Last Things (Dillsboro, NC: Western Carolina Press, 1979), p. 100]

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 2:32 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousFirst up, I wouldn't worry too much about what ?Mr J' writes. He's one man withwaytoo many axes to grind!Ah yes, the old, 'Attack the man" approach. Good one. Nevertheless, my posts are cut and pastes so you need to also attack the original author. Do a Google on him and I am sure you will find a lot of nasty things said about him too.Anyway, Ian's arguments are, as he said, not new. But while his argument sounds plausible at first, it does not hold weight upon closer inspection.The traditional argument he raised was addressed in the latter half of my earlier post. The footnotes are just as important so I suggest anyone genuinely curious about this issue should read them.Let me

I'm sorry but I don't find those arguments you quoted convincing. It's already been shown that they can be understood differently to what you believe anyway and you agree that what Ian said wasn't new. I reckon the sources you quoted are the ones who are offering all the "new ideas" and none of them have been around long enough to knock down the "old" ones. 

I'm sorry about the comment about you grinding axes  I just copied and pasted the whole email (I probably should've edited it first). But its funny that you always seem to be having a go at Christianity. Do you have an axe to grind?

Were you really a Christian minister? Which church? And what's the "Harvest Bible College" you mentioned? FWIW I've got a BA degree too (UNSW) but it doesn't make me an expert in the Bible  Are your qualifications in theology as good as Ian's? Sorry for all the questions but I'm just trying to work out how much of an "expert" you are in this area. 

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:26/04/2006 8:25 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

I'm sorry but I don't find those arguments you quoted convincing. It's already been shown that they can be understood differently to what you believe anyway and you agree that what Ian said wasn't new.

Well, that's ok.  I think it's a bit of a leap to subscribe to the point of view as presented by Ian, but I also respect other people's positions if they have considred the opposing view points. 

I reckon the sources you quoted are the ones who are offering all the "new ideas" and none of them have been around long enough to knock down the "old" ones. 

Well, the Church believed the earth rotated around the sun and the earth was the centre of the universe for a long time before men like Galileo came along with a 'new' idea.  New or old doesn't necessarily play into the validity of the argument.

But here's an idea...  Jesus may or may not have made the comments of Matthew 24.  Let's, for argument's sake, say he did.  What if he did mean his comments the way I have interpreted them and then they were left in the Bible which by the time it was compiled and canonised had become sacred to the point that people dared not remove those words.  So instead they 'reinterpreted' the passage to be much like Ian presented.  As you see, it is entirely possible that in this case, age doesn't make Ian's interpretation more right, rather it is wrong...for a very long time.

I'm sorry about the comment about you grinding axes  I just copied and pasted the whole email (I probably should've edited it first).

That's ok. 

But its funny that you always seem to be having a go at Christianity. Do you have an axe to grind?

Um, I do feel that I am free to express my opinions and present a different point of view from Christianity.  I also try to keep my not-Xian posts here in this room which is what it was supposed to be for.  So no, I don't think I have an axe to grind.  But maybe I do.  I dunno.

Were you really a Christian minister? Which church?

I was the assistant pastor of the Geelong Assembly of God.  My ministerial credential was in the process of being approved when I found myself at odds with the AOG statement of faith and their overall philosophy of ministry and the Church.  I withdrew my credential application before it was finalised.  Later I was also a team leader of a church planting project through the Churches of Christ in Victoria but never officially applied for ordiniation with them.

And what's the "Harvest Bible College" you mentioned?

Harvest Bible College is an Assemblies of God college in Victoria where I got a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.  The school is dogmatically classically Pentecostal.  So the degree is abidly evangelical in its beliefs.  You can visit their website here: http://www.harvestbc.com.au/.  I then went on to Monash where I did a more radically liberal theology graduate diploma.  Talk about chalk and cheese.

FWIW I've got a BA degree too (UNSW) but it doesn't make me an expert in the Bible  

Agreed.  I make no such claim either.  I feel my degrees gave me a good starting point though.

Are your qualifications in theology as good as Ian's?

Gee, I don't know.  It would depend on the criteria you wanted to use to evaluate our degrees.  I don't even know where Ian studied or who credentialed his degrees.  I undertsnad he has an MTh.  Is that right?

Religion is still very much a part of my lfe, buth rather now from a curious non-believer's position rather than as an adherent of anything.  For example I am now reading a book on the history of Islam, the memoirs of a British Buddhist monk living in Thailand and the Koran.  None of these are an attempt to convert or anything, just purely for interest's sake.  I have also recently had a keen interest in the history of Atheism and how it developed in the West.

Sorry for all the questions but I'm just trying to work out how much of an "expert" you are in this area. 

Well, I actually just pasted an article.  I didn't write it.  But I commend your checking out of sources rather than just accept what people put online.  Perhaps all this might inspire you to research it all for yourself.

Regards
Mr J 

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:27/04/2006 7:47 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousI'm sorry butI don't find thosearguments you quotedconvincing. It's already been shown that they can be understood differently to what you believe anyway and youagree that what Ian saidwasn'tnew.Well, that's ok. I think it's a bit of a leap to subscribe to the point of view as presented by Ian, but I also respect other people's positions if they have considred the opposing view points.Ireckon the sources you quoted are the ones who areoffering allthe "new ideas" and none of them have been around long enough toknock down the "old" ones.Well, the Church believed the earth rotated around the sun and the earth was the centre of the universe for a long time

Mr J

Thanks for the nice reply  I still reckon your sources don't have as much cred as the "old" position and the more reading I do for myself just reinforces this. I had another read of Ian's email too and the bit you posted afterwards. I don't think what you posted really deals with what he posted BTW.

I had a surf at the Harvest Bible College website you gave me and I asked around last nite (emails a gift!). Don't be too offended but Harvest doesn't seem to rate very well. Apparently some people reckon what it teaches isn't "good" theology and one of the people I asked says he doesn't think too much about a college that gives people who can't read pretty basic hebrew and greek degrees in "biblical studies". Monash is a different story though but as you said what you got was a qual in religion not Christian theology. I don't know too much about Ian's theology training (I've never asked him) but one of my friends knows him pretty well and she said his bachelors is from an Australian uni and his masters is from an English uni. I also know that he teaches theology at a college in Sydney.  

I really heven't got a clue what you believe in (but its pretty obvious it isn't Christianity). What you write trys to attack my faith and that worries me a bit especially since you've had a go at being a pastor. Your history kind of puts you in a worrying category for Christians like me  Ian's a different story. A friend of mine that he helped put me onto him a while back. I've gotten heaps of good advice from him and he's answered all my questions and pointed me to stuff to check out for myself. He obviously knows his stuff and it doesn't hurt that he's a Christian either  

L

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:27/04/2006 10:44 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Thanks for the nice reply  I still reckon your sources don't have as much cred as the "old" position and the more reading I do for myself just reinforces this. I had another read of Ian's email too and the bit you posted afterwards. I don't think what you posted really deals with what he posted BTW.

Yet you haven't discussed in this forum the actual points that you don't think work. Old way new way... well, "If everyone thinks alike, then someone isnt thinking." New age stuff is actually very old age stuff rehashed. The old way of the topic at hand seems to be that the disciples thought Jesus was coming back soon. soon soon soon, He kept saying... I doubt they thought soon was over 2000 years.

All the signs were there for the destruction of Jerusalem. The preterist theology is very sound yet room for interpretations exists for a parallel destruction mirrorer perhaps here at this age... although I'm sure every age since Jesus' has had their share of signs that fitted with the imminent return of Jesus. Putting the last 2000 years in perspective, it's only been relatively recently that we've developed the technology to destroy ourselves a hundred times over. We've certainly reached a stage where we can unleash the apocalypse all by ourselves.

I had a surf at the Harvest Bible College website you gave me and I asked around last nite (emails a gift!). Don't be too offended but Harvest doesn't seem to ........an English uni. I also know that he teaches theology at a college in Sydney.  

Toss toss toss toss toss... and lots of ass licking and chest beating... who cares? I know people who go to catholic schools and all they come out with is lots of Catholic knowledge... if you go to pentecostal schools or AOG you get lots of narrow minded smirk lessons.

I really heven't got a clue what you believe in (but its pretty obvious it isn't Christianity). What you write trys to attack my faith and that worries me a bit especially since you've had a go at being a pastor.

You do understand that this particular room is the NON-Christian room... it really should be no surprise that non-christians use this room. I enjoy religion... it's sort of become like a zoo to me. I like to look at them alll but I wouldn't want to get in any of the cages.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:27/04/2006 4:41 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Thanks for the nice reply  I still reckon your sources don't have as much cred as the "old" position and the more reading I do for myself just reinforces this. I had another read of Ian's email too and the bit you posted afterwards. I don't think what you posted really deals with what he posted BTW.

Let me dig a bit more b4 u close the matter ok?  I'm off to Beijing soon and will try to reply when I get back.

I had a surf at the Harvest Bible College website you gave me and I asked around last nite (emails a gift!). Don't be too offended but Harvest doesn't seem to rate very well. Apparently some people reckon what it teaches isn't "good" theology and one of the people I asked says he doesn't think too much about a college that gives people who can't read pretty basic hebrew and greek degrees in "biblical studies".

Well, I have to agree with you in part that Harvest is not a super intellectual institution.  LOL!!!  Myself and some of my friends who went there are more than hesitant to admit that we went there.    But it was at a very different time in our lives and we joke about it now. 

The reason I don't mind telling u I went there was to make a point.  Harvest is a VERY dogmatic school in the Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions.  Except in the areas of tongues and spiritual gifts, we were pretty much hammered with traditional evangelical beliefs.  I guess what I am trying to say is that therre was a time when I was presented with and believed the more orthodox version of the Xian fath.  Trinity, salvation by grace through faith, ressurection, Bible as the Word of God, etc.  So no one can accuse me of not having had 'proper doctrine' way back when.

Now I don't know much about people not being able to read and getting degrees in anything.  I suspect that isn't true.  It is a Biblical Studies degree and they are recognised by the relevant government agencies to award it.  When I was there we did Introduction to Greek 1 & 2 which was just as it says, an introduction.  I doubt anyone thought it was anything more than that.  I know there are many well recognised Xian ministry and Theology degrees that don't make Hebrew and Greek the main emphasis of their programmes.  I guess your ability to be able to read and write Greek is what distinguishes some as Scrtibes rather than Pharisees.    But anyway, it sounds like I am trying to defend Harvest now doesn't it?  I won't do that.  I went to Monash to get more of a balanced view on Xian theology...and did!

Monash is a different story though but as you said what you got was a qual in religion not Christian theology.

Semantics.  I chose all Christian focussed subjects such as Hermenuetics, Early Christian History, Sociology of Christianity in Australia and then a minor thesis which I chose to research the Revival Centres.

I don't know too much about Ian's theology training (I've never asked him) but one of my friends knows him pretty well and she said his bachelors is from an Australian uni and his masters is from an English uni. I also know that he teaches theology at a college in Sydney.  

Sure.  And that sounds all good.  But again, I cut and pasted and this isn't Troy's degrees vs Ian's degrees...or is it?  After all, both of us are 'new' anyway right?  The sources I quoted are:

A.J. Mattill, Jr., Luke and the Last Things, pp. 134-135,233.

David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

James D. Tabor, "The Future," What the Bible Really Says, eds. Morton Smith and R. Joseph Hoffman (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989), p. 48

Richard Horsley and John Hanson's Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus (New York: Harpur & Row, Pub., Inc., 1985),

Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green and Ernest S. Frerich, eds., Judaisms and their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: 1988).

Dewey M. Beegle, Prophecy and Prediction (Ann Arbor, MI: Pryor Pettengill, 1978

F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983

Maybe you could research these men and see if they are more qualified than Ian or I.  I suspect they are.

I really heven't got a clue what you believe in (but its pretty obvious it isn't Christianity).

That's why I hang out here.

What you write trys to attack my faith and that worries me a bit especially since you've had a go at being a pastor.

Sorry to worry you.  The end of my Xian faith was racked with anxiety.  Truly. 

Your history kind of puts you in a worrying category for Christians like me  

Sure.  And there are plenty of us out there.  Most ex-Xians were Xians at some point. 

Ian's a different story. A friend of mine that he helped put me onto him a while back. I've gotten heaps of good advice from him and he's answered all my questions and pointed me to stuff to check out for myself. He obviously knows his stuff and it doesn't hurt that he's a Christian either  

Yeah well he will certainly reinforce your current beliefs as he believes in the Christian faith.  As I said, I am glad you're open to hear both sides of the issues.  I hope you remain that way.  Many don't.

Ciao
MR J

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:27/04/2006 5:15 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : HolyandSinful

The old way of the topic at hand seems to be that the disciples thought Jesus was coming back soon. soon soon soon, He kept saying... I doubt they thought soon was over 2000 years.

Good point.  It seems that 'soon' means a very long time to Christians and teenagers who promise to clean their rooms or get off the XBox 'soon'...LOL!!!    Whereas it means 'soon' to the rest of us English speakers.  From what I am told, it means 'soon' in the Greek too.  Maybe someone who reads Greek could fill us in.  

All the signs were there for the destruction of Jerusalem. The preterist theology is very sound yet room for interpretations exists for a parallel destruction mirrorer perhaps here at this age... although I'm sure every age since Jesus' has had their share of signs that fitted with the imminent return of Jesus. Putting the last 2000 years in perspective, it's only been relatively recently that we've developed the technology to destroy ourselves a hundred times over. We've certainly reached a stage where we can unleash the apocalypse all by ourselves.

Or just destroy what's left of the temple in Jerusalem.


Toss toss toss toss toss... and lots of ass licking and chest beating... who cares? I know people who go to catholic schools and all they come out with is lots of Catholic knowledge... if you go to pentecostal schools or AOG you get lots of narrow minded smirk lessons.

Yeah, I went to both and got a lot of both. 

I enjoy religion... it's sort of become like a zoo to me. I like to look at them alll but I wouldn't want to get in any of the cages.

I enjoy it too.  My latest finding is that the only distinction between religion and superstition seems to be the degree to which it is or isn't organised and institutionalised.

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:28/04/2006 12:19 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

I know I said I would write after I got back from Beijing but I find myself with a little time and thought I would post. 

You posted:

I'll begin by suggesting that two separate events are being discussed in Matthew 24. In verses 1 to 3 Jesus predicts the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, so his disciples ask the obvious question, "when"? But at this point I need to emphasise the fact that the disciples' actual question makes the closest possible connection between (1) the destruction of the Temple, and (2) the end of human history itself. This is because to Jews, the Temple was God's dwelling place on earth, and for it to be destroyed would indicate that the end of time (i.e. "the Apocalypse") was somehow near. Jesus' responded directly to this conjoined issue, but I'd also suggest that his disciples missed the point (which wasn't the first or only time that this occurred in the gospel records?consider the crucifixion itself)!

When looking at the idea of Jesus talking about two distinct events, there seems to be some plausibilty at first.  But this idea seems less plausible when you look back at what he said earlier...

For the Son of Man is about to come [mello] in the glory of his Father with His angels; and will recompense every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. [Mat 16:27-28]

This makes no mention of the destruction of the Temple at all.  Rather this speaks of the coming of Christ.

Mark attributes something similar to Jesus:

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he was saying to them, Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power. [Mk 8:38-9:1] [10]

Ed Babibnksi notes:

The noted translator and editor of apocalyptic literature, professor James H. Charlesworth, elucidated:

To "come in power" is an expression that has special importance for the apocalyptists, like the authors of Daniel, the Apocalypse of John, 4 Ezra, and 2 Baruch. It denotes a total alteration of time and the earth, and an end to normal history. [11]

Not only did Jesus, according to the gospel accounts, predict that the Son of Man would "come in power" before "some standing" there had "tasted death;" but he also predicted that the "Son of Man would come" to "gather his elect from the four winds" before "this generation," meaning Jesus' own, had "passed away," which coincides perfectly with his former statement.

Again, in these verses there is nothing to indicate Jesus is speaking of the destruction of the temple. 

So even if Jesus was referring only to the destruction of the Temple in Matthew 24, he is claerly referring to his 2nd coming in Matthew 16.  But then, the fact that he speaks of the destruction of the temple, his return and that some will not taste death etc, it seems that the distinction between the destruction of the temple and return of Christ is a fairly large leap.

You also posted:

And whilst it's without question that the first Christians fully expected the return of Christ during their own lives, it's altogether a different matter to suggest that Jesus similarly expected this to be the case.

As we have seen, apparently not.  Jsus fully expected it within the lifetimes of his hearers.

Every ancient manuscript that we have that includes Matthew 24, also includes Jesus' words: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." This, I'd suggest, answers the question well enough.

Let me quote Babinski again,

However, they forget that "days and hours" imply nearness in time. "Days and hours" lie within a "generation." As Strauss pointed out over a century ago:

[Naturally there is a distinction] between an inexact indication of the space of time, beyond which the event will not be deferred (a "generation"), and the determination of the precise date and time (the "day and the hour") at which it will occur; the former Jesus gives, the latter he declares himself unable to give.

Furthermore, having admitted that he did not know the precise "day or the hour," Jesus continued to address his listeners as though that "day or hour" could not be further than a mere "generation" away:

Therefore be on the alert, for you [his listeners, circa 30 A.D.] do not know which day your Lord is coming...at an hour when you do not think he will [Mat 24:36,42,44]

Definitely not a "day" or "hour" that was "two millenniums" from then! Compare Luke 21:36:

But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you [his first century listeners] may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Obviously, Jesus included the "coming of the Son of Man" among "all these things that are about to take place."

I hope this answers your objections.  Please let me know what you take issue with so we can address it in more detail.

Bye
Mr J

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:29/04/2006 10:01 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousThanks for the nice replyI still reckon your sources don't have as much cred as the "old" position and the more reading I do for myself just reinforces this. I had another read of Ian's email tooand the bit you posted afterwards. I don't think whatyou posted really deals with whathe posted BTW.Let me dig a bit more b4 u close the matter ok? I'm off to Beijing soon and will try to reply when I get back.I had asurf at the Harvest Bible College website you gave meand I asked around last nite (emails a gift!). Don't be too offended but Harvest doesn't seem to rate very well. Apparently some people reckon what it teaches isn't"good"theologyand one o

Mr J

Thanks for another gracious reply  I'll look into it a bit further but no promises that I'll backslide!

You made me giggle with your comments about the degrees thing. You're the one that brought up your quals here nobody asked you to (was it a cred thing?) so I guess when you do that people will ask questions and make comparisons.

No harm done.

L

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:06/05/2006 2:26 AMCopy HTML

I got back from Beijing and saw you have not posted anything in reply.  Is this because you're too busy or have you found nothing to counter my points?  I am seriously looking forward to your findings.
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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:07/05/2006 10:54 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

I got back from Beijing and saw you have not posted anything in reply. Is this because you're too busy or have you found nothing to counter my points? I am seriously looking forward to your findings.

I guess I'm happy with the answers Ian gave me. I re-read your posts and I don't think they disprove what he said.

L

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:07/05/2006 3:41 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

I guess I'm happy with the answers Ian gave me. I re-read your posts and I don'tthink theydisprove what he said.L

As I said earlier, I was looking forward to your findings.  The reason I say that is that this issue is a HUGE sticking point for me re: Christianity.  But it seems whenever I bring this up with Xians they are hesitant to get into it with me.  Your post (Ian's to be specific) was the best one I had come across in defence of the Christian position.  I think the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple argument had merit.  But as I said, I was hoping to take it further and really nut it out in light of other versus of the same vein that don't mention the Temple.

You may think this is some kind of 'trick' to try to ensnare you in some kind of Biblical conundrum, but I asure you I am not trying to do any such thing.  I really want to hear how Christians defend the seemingly blatant staements of Jesus that he would return in glory and power before his hearers had died.

Could I trouble you to go back to my 3rd last post (from this one) and see what you can find to address the points I raised?  Because from where I sit, they have yet to be answered.  It seems to me that Jesus made a false prediction.

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:07/05/2006 4:43 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousI guess I'm happy with the answers Ian gave me. I re-read your posts and I don'tthink theydisprove what he said.LAs I said earlier, I was looking forward to your findings. The reason I say that is that this issue is a HUGE sticking point for me re: Christianity. But it seems whenever I bring this up with Xians they are hesitant to get into it with me. Your post (Ian's to be specific) was the best one I had come across in defence of the Christian position. I think the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple argument had merit. But as I said, I was hoping to take it further and really nut it out in light of other versus of the same vein that don't mention the Temple.You may think this is some kind of 'trick' to try t

Mr J

I'm sorry that this is a sticking point for you but it really isn't for me. I've been emailing Ian regularly over this subject and he's answered every single question that I've put to him to my total satisfaction, so its not a huge issue as far as I'm concerned. From what I've learned I think the destruction of the temple has a bit to do with it but so does some other things like how prophecy and apocalyptic (spelling?) and the kingdom of God was understood at that time

I couldn't explain it as well as him (and he's asked me not to cut and paste parts of his emails any more) so if you want someone who could probably answer your questions then he might be your best bet. An email address that will get him is ian@pleaseconsider.info

All the best with your searching

L

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:07/05/2006 5:13 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Well that's that then. 

For now I guess I will continue to think Jesus made a false prediction.

Thanks for your input though. 

Mr J

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:09/05/2006 9:10 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Mr J

Reply to : AnonymousWell that's that then.For now I guess I will continue to think Jesus made a false prediction.Thanks for your input though.Mr J

Your welcome

L

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:19/05/2006 12:21 AMCopy HTML

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Reply to : Mr JReply to : AnonymousWell that's that then.For now I guess I will continue to think Jesus made a false prediction.Thanks for your input though.Mr JYour welcomeL

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Re:Jesus' Ethics (Jesus predicted his own return within the Apostles' lifestimes)

Date Posted:29/09/2006 12:59 PMCopy HTML

$%*'`[what???!!!]%*'`@2 Priests Accused of $8.6-Million Theft in Florida
By Jerome Burdi and Mike Clary, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 29, 2006

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. ? Two priests have been accused of stealing more than $8.6 million in cash from the collection plates at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church to bankroll secret lives that included steady girlfriends, real estate investments in Florida and Ireland, and gambling junkets to casinos in Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

Retired Msgr. John A. Skehan, 79, was arrested on a grand theft charge Wednesday night at Palm Beach International Airport upon returning from Ireland. He was pastor at St. Vincent for more than 40 years.

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"He was very remorseful," Delray Beach Det. Thomas Whatley said. Skehan was in Palm Beach County's jail Thursday in lieu of $400,000 bond.

Skehan's successor at St. Vincent, Father Francis B. Guinan, 63, is being sought on a similar grand theft charge. Police suspect he fled the country, they said Thursday. The charges against the popular priests sent waves of disbelief through South Florida's religious community, including dozens of politically connected parishioners at the Delray Beach church.

St. Vincent's is one of the area's largest and oldest parishes, with 3,000 members, and a who's who of politicians and business leaders. "I am shocked," said Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty, whose husband, Kevin, is chairman of the South Florida Water Management District. "[Skehan] married us 26 years ago."

Parishioner June Hefti said "Skehan was the epitome of priesthood." Tears welled in her eyes. "It is incredible."

In a 15-page probable-cause affidavit by Delray Beach police, Skehan and Guinan are accused of skimming cash from weekly church collections to give generous payments to women, invest in real estate, and travel to their native Ireland and resorts.

Skehan used collection plate funds to pay for a Palm Beach County condominium, a $275,000 coin collection, a cottage on the Ireland's scenic Cliffs of Moher and a pub in his hometown of Kilkenny, police allege.

He also made regular cash payments to a woman, described in the affidavit as a "girlfriend," who once worked for him when he was assigned to a church in Hallandale, Fla.

During the summers when other priests were away, one former church employee told police, Skehan "would hide cash from offertories in the ceiling" of his condo, a 16th-floor unit in the oceanfront Connemara on Singer Island. Guinan, who was a pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Palm Beach Gardens before succeeding Skehan at St. Vincent's in September 2003, was described in the affidavit as a gambler who frequented casinos in Las Vegas and the Bahamas, and drew liberally from secret funds over which he had control.

He used church funds to pay for $15,000 worth of dental work, and also made cash payments to his "girlfriend," a former St. Patrick's bookkeeper, according to the affidavit.

He also wrote checks totaling $7,270 to pay tuition for his girlfriend's son at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach. Known for his lavish lifestyle, Guinan also has a reputation as a partyer not loath to take a drink, church employees and parishioners told investigators.

In 2004, he was arrested for driving under the influence, records show.

Public records show he owns several properties, including a home in Port St. Lucie and a Juno Beach condo. The charges of grand theft lodged against the two priests represent the latest in a series of scandals that have shaken the Palm Beach Diocese over the past few years, the most serious of which involved allegations of sexual abuse that led to the resignations of two bishops.

In a news conference Thursday, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito ? named to the post in 2003 with a mandate to bring calm to the diocese ? said the charges against Skehan and Guinan "give rise to grave concern and possible feelings of betrayal and anger."

He said both men had been placed on administrative leave and suspended from duties.

Attorney Ken Johnson, representing Skehan, told the Associated Press that police had exaggerated the alleged theft.

"My reading of the probable-cause affidavit indicates that the amount of money he's actually accused of misappropriating amounts to about $325,000, which is a far cry from $8.6 million," he said.

The investigation into the church finances dates back to September 2003, when Skehan retired and Guinan was named to replace him.

According to diocesan financial administrator Denis Hamel, Guinan, along with a St. Vincent bookkeeper identified as the priest's girlfriend, tried to block a routine audit done to coincide with the change in leadership.

Hamel told police that Guinan, the bookkeeper and other employees familiar with the offertory refused to cooperate and sought attorneys.

But it was not until after an anonymous letter, alleging financial shenanigans at St. Vincent, was sent to the Palm Beach County state attorney in April 2005 that church officials began to talk to Delray Beach police about the suspected thefts.

The affidavit suggests that several others involved in the church's regular Monday morning count of the Sunday offertory may have shared in embezzled funds, as they skimmed cash for the donations and funneled it into slush funds.

Police said more arrests were possible.

Both priests, friends for some 30 years, are accused of directing staffers to make bank deposits in amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid notice and detection.

Former bookkeepers described to police a scheme in which the priests often set up new bank accounts or wrote checks for nonexistent construction projections to cover up their thefts.

Det. Thomas Whatley called the two priests "professional money launderers."

Let's take a closer look at this. One theory goes that the God worshipped in these churches is all knowing. Therefore, we may conclude that this god knew what these priests were doing, indeed must also know about all the child molestation going on. Given that this God is also all powerful, we may conclude that He would also be well able to smite these priests if their behavior did not please him. Therefore, by virtue that so many of these priests have continued their crimes for so long, that the God worshipped in these churches approves and condones of theft, embezzlement, dishonesty, child molestation, etc. and that all the worshippers by extension must approve of such things as well.

Then there is the alternate theory that organized religion is a con game exploiting the fear of death by selling myths and superstitions, that the clergy are con-artists and criminals, and the congregations are just suckers.
RCI prophesies
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