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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
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Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Skeptic Questions about Jesus answered, 4

The contention: Did Jesus give a false prophecy in Matthew 24:34's Olivet discourse saying that the generation that lived then must see all Jesus' prophecies fulfilled?

Matthew 24:

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὑτη ἑως ἂν πάντα ταῦτα γένηται.

ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσεται, οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρέλθωσιν.

34 Truly I say to you, In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred.

35 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away, never! (LITV)

The specific word of being put aside, of passing away in removal (such as by neglect from being upheld and affirmed) is pererchomai. In verse 34, it is found in the aorist subjunctive active. In verse 35, it is found first in the future middle, then in the aorist subjunctive middle.

The aorist subjunctive active is speaking of a simple undefined action being accomplished by the subject of the verb in the subjunctive mood, or that assertion about which there is some doubt upon the part of the hearer. In the Aorist subjuctive middle, the speaker here is concerning himself or acting in some way as to infer upon himself that his words will NEVER BE SET ASIDE, and NEVER PASS AWAY. Ou shows that it will "certainly not", and me speaks of a conditional negative. Therefore, not even an astronomical chance...or under no condition ...will -- such and such -- pass away.

But what is that such and such in verse 35? His words. Now in verse 34, is there a condition of certainly not under any condition the generation passing away, or his words?

In Matthew 1:17, we see Matthew uses genea as a "genealogical circle of time" as a synonym to genesis (Matthew 1:1) in which he lists the Patriarchial lineage from Abraham down to Messiah's step-father.

Matthew's other applications of genea are found in 11:16, 12:39, 12:41, 12:42, 12:45, 16:4, 17:17, and 23:36.

Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation [this people]? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation [this people] seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, [this people], and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation [this people], and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation [people] seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation [people], , how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you [this people here in Israel and in the diaspora] prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: [such as the context of the book of Acts] 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew [who slew Zacharias, that generation, or that people..i.e., their fathers?] between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation [this people].

In the context that Matthew consistently uses, in no way shall this people...i.e., the Jew...pass away, until all these things be fulfilled.
The confusion is because of the oft either / or dual application in which genea could be descriptive of this generation as well as this people.

In other words, Christ affirms the Covenant of Faith made to Abraham, Christ affirms the prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 31 of that book, and Christ affirms that He is devoted to them, despite their whoring after other gods and idols like their Fathers before them for the last 15 plus centuries. And the application of how Jesus interprets the Burning Bush passage as testifying how that G-D is a G-D of the Living and that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are testified to as being alive in Exodus 3...also needs to be brought in how to interpret Jesus properly.

In Torah, G-D consistently offers heavenly things...the Jew demands earthly things. No to manna, yes to cabbages and leeks and quail. No to the commandments and a Heavenly voice, yes to open fornications and revelry and worship of wealth as a golden calf and god. No to Divine appointment such as Moses and Aaron's offices, yes to rebellion and self appointment (like Korah). Paul in Galatians 3:5-18 points to a better way.

Until the Jew (or Gentile, for that mater) can grasp the Heavenly, and deny the Earthly, he will always reject G-D and His Christ...and accept pretender after pretender who appeals to his earthy nature instead. This is the perverse genea...any people in any generation who reject G-D's Messhiach, the breath of our nostrils (Lamentations 4:20).

As I noted, there is a synonymous link between genea and genesis in Matthew 1:17 and 1:1.

This genea...
This genesis of people.

What is Jesus saying?

He is saying, "Beginning here" after the form of his teaching about Himself as the foundation stone of the Church, and Peter being the first little rock who is laid upon the New Testament foundation of Christ (Matthew 16:16-18).

Thou art Peter, and upon Me I will build My Church. But moreso than that.

Re: Revelation 19:10c - "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Or inverted - "the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus."

Hence, "beginning here, upon My word of Revelation" I will build my Church, I will build a generation or genea of people who will never pass away. This is what is implied, and how to read Christ.

In Matthew 24, what is the context of the verse in question?

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

So who shall not pass away? In the context of the above, the genea that is called "the elect". Christ redeems His "Christians" who are truly believe Him by Faith and practice their daily trusting into the Father through Him.

Matthew 24:14
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

The Gospel was not preached in every nation as yet.

Earlier in the same chapter we read another condition:
"For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

This is yet to be fulfilled, for these imply deceiving magics and miracles so as to fool the lost. But at the same time, we know that Mathew 24:14 will be fulfilled only when Revelation's 144,000 Israeli men who are virgins will evangelize the world for Jesus in every nation on Earth. This prophecy is yet to come. It cannot be discounted because Christianity has never ceased to exist.

Hence, because the Jews still exist as a race and people, and Christianity still exists and has always had Jews as part of that Faith, the prophecy of Jesus stands. And because the end of the world and the passing away of the Earth has never come, we will never be able to stand in judgment in the Present to say whether Jesus' words could not survive the passing away of this planet. In fact, we would be obliged to confirm its likelihood, be they shipped off to another galaxy in a satellite by NASA; or by faith, accepting that Jesus as G-D from G-D, is above and beyond Time and Creation, which He Himself spake into Being as from G-D the Father, way back when at the Beginning.

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