Mark 13:30 'The Most Embarrassing Verse in the Bible'

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by RJM Corbet, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    Would @Thomas and @Miken or anyone else be interesting in giving their opinion about the difficult passage where Christ predicts his own return before this generation has passed away?

    A great many generations have since passed away, without the Second Coming yet having occurred. So the debate usually moves around what was meant by the word ‘generation’ in the context?

    The relative verses are, with surrounding verses for context:

    Mark 13:30

    https://biblehub.com/kjv/mark/13.htm
    Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.”
    Matthew 24:34
    https://biblehub.com/context/matthew/24-26.htm
    “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
    Luke 21:32
    https://biblehub.com/kjv/luke/21.htm
    Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

    It is what CS Lewis called ‘The most embarrassing verse in the Bible.’

    It is one of the NT contradictions most thrown-up to discredit it.

    I personally believe Jesus was referring to the destruction of the second Temple by Titus in AD 70? To the Jews, that was the end of the world -- for them -- and I believe the person who wrote down Mark’s gospel merged two separate prophecies into one: the destruction of the Temple ‘within this generation’ and the second coming parousia: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father’.

    Two different events: the destruction of the Temple, and the Parousia. One immanent, the other 'time unknown'.

    It's difficult to explain this to someone unfamiliar with the horrors of the Jewish rebellion that started shortly after the death of Jesus.

    I’m very interested to know what you think.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    Thomas likes this.
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,283
    Likes Received:
    552
    I was completely unaware of this, very interesting!
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    It's important, imo. It's often used as an attempt to shred the credibility of Jesus.

    I have found a commentary on Mark 13 in my own Catholic Bible. I think it explains the issue quite well. At the end is a KJV link to the Mark 13:

    The end of the world

    “The prophets of the scriptures spoke in rather an obscure way about the end of the history that would initiate God’s universal kingdom. According to them all nations of the world would join forces to destroy the Holy City of Jerusalem, but right at the moment of greatest despair God would intervene in triumphant way to establish his own kingdom. (Is 66;18; Ezk 38; Jl 4; Zec 14)

    That is why when Jesus speaks of the destruction of the temple, the apostles think of the end of time. The answer of Jesus is clear: the tragedy that will end with the destruction of Jerusalem is near but that would not be the end of the world.

    This discourse contains Jesus’ warnings about the destruction of the Jewish nation that would occur 30 years later, but what he said regarding these agents clarifies the meaning of the conflicts that occur at present in the whole world.

    When you hear of wars (v7) ... People, confused, are easily fooled by propaganda and ideologies. Fear makes them blind and they persecute those who do not share their fanaticism ...

    Thirty years after Jesus’ death the Jews rebelled against their Roman oppressors. The Roman army reorganized after its first defeats and, its flags adorned with the images of its idols, approached the Holy City. Then many messiahs (v22) appeared, that is, those who claimed to be the saviours of the Jewish nation, and they had many followers.

    The more fanatic Jews locked themselves in the city of Jerusalem waiting for God’s intervention, but they were so divided that they fought amongst themselves. Those who fled from the city because of hunger were arrested by the Romans and crucified in front of the walls. In the end when the Romans entered, burning the temple and the palaces, all those that were not killed – men, women and children – were brought to Rome as slaves.

    Later on … (v24) After announcing the end of the Jewish world, Jesus speaks of an even more important event: the end of the world ...

    The sun will grow dark, the moon will not give its light (v24) These are images taken from Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4 that express the confusion, the surprise and the disintegration of the people and the universe before the majesty of the Supreme Judge.

    He will send the angels (v27) This also a common image in Jewish books that spoke of God’s judgement. Likewise the trumpet referred to in Matthew 24:31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 should not be understood literally.

    Learn a lesson (v28) Jesus comes back to the destruction of Jerusalem.

    (V32) In this paragraph we return to the end of the world. The Day mentioned is the Day of Judgement, called ‘The Day of Yahweh’ in the Prophets. (Amos 5:18; Zep 1:15)

    No-one knows when … Jesus states it clearly. Nevertheless there have always been people who believe they know what the angels do not. People in every century have foretold the impending end of the world.

    Not even the angels, not even the Son, but only the Father … Some are confused by this. Does this not mean that Jesus is not God as the Father is? ... when Jesus speaks of the Father and the Son, he speaks of himself with his human consciousness in relation to the Father ...

    God the Father can communicate to Jesus certain prophecies but cannot tell him, for example: “The end of the world will take place on 12th July 2049” because the date is not fixed ...

    Modern science shows that time does not pass at the same speed for two persons if one is moving and the other is still, much less equal is the pace between God and us. God knows the time as it can be known in eternity, but this does not mean it corresponds with a certain date in our calendar."

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=KJV
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    A contemplation...

    It has been 2,000 years... since the Crucifixion ...and believers have expected Jesus to return in physical form ever since.

    That appears to be wrong. So where do we go from there?

    A hundred years ago Charles Filmore worked at defining words in the bible metaphysically...beyond the physical understanding.

    As I read it, it appears generation may be looked at as the age of man... or the age of material consciousness.

    Paul said let the mind of Christ be in your mind. I like the understanding that Jesus the wayshower was trying to get us to understand our higher conscious..our Christ Consciousness in our mind. We can only come to the father thru him...thru that level of consciousness that is portrayed in the beatitudes.

    So does generation mean 20 years, 60 years, or the end of human kind? Does return mean physical, or when we understand that Christ is within and heaven is in our midst? Will heaven and earth pass away? or will our understanding of a physical location of heaven and earth pass away.


    Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 13:28-31
    13:28Now from the fig tree learn her parable: when her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; 13:29even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. 13:30Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished. 13:31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

    The above and the following with links to the definitions found in the Metaphysical Bible dictionary can be found here.

    May 15, 1949: Mark:13:28-37
    What does study of the fig tree teach us? That we can learn to predict certain effects from certain natural causes by observing and studying the causes and effects until we understand the law that governs. As budding branches are a sign of the rising of the sap and the coming of spring, so a clear complexion and a springing step are signs of physical health. Likewise negatively, a sluggish condition of the body indicates disease or a tendency toward ill-health.

    Why do true words not “pass away,” that is, become inapplicable to changed conditions or circumstances? Because they are based on principles that govern life and are known to be universal.

    If heaven and earth are destined to pass away, what is to remain to prove the truth of these principles? The inner universe of causes, which we designate as Divine Mind, will always remain, since it is eternal and infinite, subject to no limitations of either time or space.

    Is the ability to foretell the future a desirable development of our perceptive powers? Not unless we “foretell” a future to whose realization we ourselves are prepared to devote the full force of our thought and effort, as when we strive to become proficient in our life-work and persevere in our preparation for it and our pursuit of it. We can cultivate an awareness or quickened sense of law, until we become able to foretell events that are immediately impending. “When ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors.”

    Why are watchfulness and prayer necessary with respect to our future? Since prescience is as yet a largely undeveloped power in us, this lack is compensated for by watchfulness and prayer both of which make the mind alert and resourceful in unforeseen emergencies and situations to which our human faculties prove unequal.

    In the last part of today's text to what correspond the house, the servants, the porter, and “the lord of the house”? The “house” is the body, the “servants” the faculties, the “porter” the intelligence or mental endowment in charge of the body and its activities; “the lord of the house” is the higher law of life, the Spirit of life, that governs the human being.

    If the faculties are lethargic and the mind dulled by the ascendancy of sense desires, do they respond to the higher law of life, the call of the Spirit? No. Such a condition makes the one in whom it prevails unresponsive to spiritual stimuli.

    note: like anything your mileage may vary. The way I see theology/religions is that the words that speak to us at any given time are the words we are ready to hear. Like I may not grock the Catholic, or Buddhist or Hindu, or Norse or Greek understandings at this time... I may understand them in the future...maybe not. And all of any theology doesn't speak to me, there are points of confusion and point of semi clarity and points of AHA, however fleeting.

    I am not presenting fact but contemplations...and maybe not for you...but for someone else...but I am posting so our words will not pass away...
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    Thanks for the response.

    Or the return of The Christ, but this time in victory over nature?

    No, I don't think so. But perhaps the ability to predict certain future events was proof of a prophet's credentials when transmitting the words of God to ordinary people, similar to Jesus saying: What is easier for me to say, your sins are forgiven, or take up your bed and walk?

    Matthew 9:2-7
    https://biblehub.com/kjv/matthew/9.htm

    However the need to define the meaning of the word 'generation' in the passage falls away when it is understood that Jesus was talking about two different future events -- the imminent destruction of the temple, and the 'time unknown' second coming -- that got mixed together by the writer?

    Well understood. But in fact there is no need to view the passage with confusion as Jesus contradicting himself?

    Of course it doesn't mean there isn't also a parallel metaphysical meaning to the passage?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    There are people who like to use this passage to discredit the whole New Testament, where in fact the honest confusion of the writer shows not just the authenticity of transmission but also the time of writing of this gospel of Mark to soon after the death of Jesus, before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem? Imo
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,283
    Likes Received:
    552
    What do you mean here? What nature?
     
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    The greater wheel of spirit turns the lesser wheel of nature, but is not turned by it. Plato's cave. Paul's through a glass darkly?

    Spirit surrounds and contains and permeates nature. Spirit weaves nature ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    A Cup Of Tea likes this.
  9. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,188
    Likes Received:
    726
    Embarrassing? Hardly. Well, for CS Lewis perhaps. The way I read it, "generation" is not being used to describe individuals born at or near the same period of time, but rather the generation of mankind. In other words, mankind will continue to be born in the flesh until these things have come to pass. At which point there will be no semblance of the former things, but for God's word.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Similar line...
     
  11. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    Use of the word 'generation' to mean mankind as a whole makes the word meaningless in the contest? You may as well say mankind will not come to an end before mankind comes to an end? Why use the word 'generation' in the context?

    It doesn't mean anything; why bother to say it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  12. Miken

    Miken Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    38
    It is clear that in early Christianity it was expected that Jesus was going to return soon. We can see this in Paul.

    Paul speaks a number of times as if he will witness the return of Jesus in his lifetime. Some examples:

    1 Corinthians 15
    51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

    1 Thessalonians 4
    15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

    1 Corinthians 7
    26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

    It is not surprising that Mark should say that the return of Jesus and the end of days will happen in the lifetime of those alive in the time of Jesus.

    Mark 13
    30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
    31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

    The list of things Mark prefaced this with included the return of the Son of Man. Heaven and earth passing away is a reference to Isaiah describing the end of days.

    The ‘this generation’ reference in the Oliver Discourse discussed above ties back to this:

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

    Mark clearly intended the reader to understand a very quick return of Jesus after the destruction of the Temple, as described in the Olivet Discourse.

    Concerning ‘this generation’, there are those who claim that it is just those alive when the Son of Man returns. This reduces the meaning to ‘those who are still alive when it happens will not be dead yet’, which is meaningless. The ‘not taste death’ passage makes it clear that ‘this generation’ is the generation that was alive when the living Jesus spoke.

    Matthew and Luke also include the Olivet Discourse and the ‘this generation’ and the earlier ‘not taste death’ language.
     
  13. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,188
    Likes Received:
    726
    That's not what's being said though. You skipped the last sentence of my post. "At which point there will be no semblance of the former things, but for God's word." In other words, the world as we knew it in the flesh will cease to be upon Jesus' return and we'll all be back in spiritual form. The generation of the flesh will have ended.
     
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    I do apologise but I edited my post for greater clarity before your post landed. However it amounts to the same thing? Sorry, again.
    But in this case it's not about the early Christians' expectation of the imminent return of Christ, but about the words that Christ himself spoke?

    We can't say Jesus didn't say that, because then we cannot trust anything else Jesus is said to have said either?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    Jesus clearly and correctly predicted the destruction of the temple before the end of his own generation. He just as clearly explained the not the Son and not the angels but only the Father knew when the final end of the world would happen.

    Two different predictions got jumbled together in the same passage?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  16. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,188
    Likes Received:
    726
    No need, changes not the question nor the answer. ;)
    Perhaps one prediction is being used as an analogy of sorts for the other?
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    This is the challenge with religious study and the bible... Say the bible were written today...and during a down pour Jesus said it was raining cats and dogs. So Mathew Mark and Luke have a Jesus quote saying it was raining cats and dogs. Despite the fact that the bible was written 2000 years ago, despite the fact that all the books were written decades after Jesus moved on, despite the fact that some books were not even written by the author first suspected and named after, despite the fact that the books are full of parables, allegory, and colloquilisms, despite the fact that over pones lifetime word meanings evolve, despite the fact that Jesus spoke aramaic and hebrew not greek, despite the fact that it has all been translated and retranslated, interpretted and reinterpretted...people take some words as....err...gospel!

    And then arugue voluminously that they have the interpretation right....

    What it means to you and How you grow in your understanding and that you can use your interpretation to benefit your existence on this planet and with your relationships with others is good enough to me...

    https://greeklexicon.org/lexicon/strongs/1074/
     
  18. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,188
    Likes Received:
    726
    Man, I just hope nobody steps in a poodle! :D
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Yup, we would be arguing that it actually happened...
     
  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    732
    The gospel of Mark was obviously written before the destruction of the temple in AD 70. They're supposed to be the words that Peter dictated in prison.
    The actual words of Jesus?
     

Share This Page