The End Of The World

Dedicated to the scholarly study of the bible as text and the discussion thereof

Moderator: Moderators

DavidLeon
Under Probation
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 12:07 pm
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 31 times

The End Of The World

Post #1

Post by DavidLeon »

Some Bible critics think the Bible says that the end would come within the lifetime of Jesus' listeners. I will demonstrate why this is not the case by explaining the verses they use to conclude this. They mistake the transfiguration, the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus being at the right hand of power, and John's Revelation at Patmos.

Matthew 16:28 - Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Also see Mark 9:1 / Luke 9:27)

The Interpreter's Bible says: "The prediction was not fulfilled, and later Christians found it necessary to explain that it was metaphorical."

What believers and skeptics alike seem to have glossed over is the fact that in the very next verse Matthew reveals that just 6 days later this prophecy was fulfilled. Peter, James and John witnessed the transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-2; Luke 9:27-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18)

Matthew 23:36 - Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Also see Matthew 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32)

All of the above verses differ from the verses given in consideration of Matthew 16:28. British scholar G. R. Beasley-Murray: "The phrase 'this generation' should cause no difficulty for interpreters. While admittedly genea in earlier Greek meant birth, progeny, and so race, . . . in the [Greek Septuagint] it most frequently translated the Hebrew term dor, meaning age, age of humankind, or generation in the sense of contemporaries. . . . In sayings attributed to Jesus the term appears to have a twofold connotation: on the one hand it always signifies his contemporaries, and on the other hand it always carries an implicit criticism."

So Jesus could have been directing that statement to the Jewish opposition there around him at that time, who, within a generation would see the destruction of Jerusalem in 66 - 70 C.E. by Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian where 1,100,000 Jews died and 97,000 were taken captive, most of whom died horrible deaths and the Christians who knew it would come were saved. (Matthew 24:16, 22) And Jesus may have been applying the same to those in opposition in the future as well.

Matthew 26:64 and Mark 14:62 are parallel accounts to one another and you won't have to wait or look far to see them fulfilled. Acts 7:55-56: "But he, being full of holy spirit gazed into heaven and caught sight of God's glory and of Jesus standing at God's right hand, and he said: "Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God's right hand." Also see Psalm 110:1; Luke 22:69; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1.

John 21:20-23 is somewhat interesting. Jesus may have been telling Peter that John would live longer than him, and in fact John would live 70 years, but more likely he might have been referring to the prophetic vision that John was given at the end of his life while in exile on the island of Patmos. As recorded in the book of Revelation John was transported to "the Lords day." (Revelation 1:1, 10; Revelation 22:20)

Was The End Meant To Come Within The Lifetime Of The New Testament Authors.

Jesus taught his followers that no one, not even Jesus himself, knew the time of the end of the world. (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7)

Also at this point some clarification should be made as to what exactly is the "end of the world." The Bible says that Earth was given to man for him to fill and subdue it, that the meek will inherit the earth and live forever upon it, and that it will last forever. (Genesis 1:28; Psalm 37:29; 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4) The end of the world is the end of the present system of things and all that involves. Of Satan's influence and sin, which, upon conclusion, brings much destruction, but when ended, allows peace.

1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 7:29; Philippians 1:10 all convey the importance of the missionary work in the early stages of Christianity. They all had important work to do before the end of their lives. Nowhere in any of these passages is it conveyed that they expected the end of the system of things to occur during that time.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 is often used to support the rapture, but actually it is referring to some who were mourning the death of their fellow Christians. Paul was reminding them as well as faithful Christians in the future of the resurrection hope, some to heaven immediately upon death and some to paradise earth upon resurrection.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 refers to the presence of Jesus Christ. The Greek noun parousia is used. It means "being alongside." In his work on The Parousia, Israel P. Warren, D.D., wrote: "Had our translators done with this technical word 'parousia' as they did with 'baptisma,' - transferring it unchanged, - or if translated using its exact etymological equivalent, presence, and had it been well understood, as it then would have been, that there is no such thing as a 'Second Presence,' I believe that the entire doctrine would have been different from what it now is. The phrases, 'second advent,' and 'second coming,' would never have been heard of. The church would have been taught to speak of The Presence Of The Lord, as that from which its hopes were to be realized, whether in the near future or at the remotest period, - that under which the world was to be made new, a resurrection both spiritual and corporeal should be attained, and justice and everlasting awards administered."

The word occurs 24 times in the Christian Greek scripture: Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 16:17; 2 Corinthians 7:6, 7; 10:10; Philippians 1:26; 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8, 9; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28.

Pareimi is a related verb with the similar meaning of being present. It also occurs 24 times in the Christian Greek scripture: Matthew 26:50; Luke 13:1; John 7:6; 11:28; Acts 10:21, 33; 12:20; 17:6; 24:19; Acts 12:20; 1 Corinthians 5:3, 3; 2 Corinthians 10:2, 11; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 13:2, 10; Galatians 4:18, 20; Colossians 1:6; Hebrews 12:11; 13:5; 2 Peter 1:9, 12; Revelation 17:8.

The Greek word, eleusis (Latin adventu), which conveys the physical act of coming is different and only occurs once in the Christian Greek scripture, at Acts 7:52. Paul was encouraging those with a heavenly hope to remain blameless until their death, or the conclusion of the system of things and the presence, not the physical presence, of Jesus Christ.

In discussing Hebrews 1:2; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; 4:7 it is somewhat difficult to stay on topic of the so called end of the world because the last days that Paul was referring to were not the last days of the present system of things, but rather the last days of the Jewish system of things. Jehovah had given the prophecy of those days 850 years earlier. (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; Hebrews 1:1-2) It was the end of God's favor upon the Jewish congregation and the beginning of his favor for the new Christian congregation.

1 John 2:18 refers to the end of the apostolic period. The work mentioned as important in the scriptures at the beginning of this article were near completion and would conclude upon the death of John shortly after he completed the writing of Revelation.

It is interesting that, as with the case of Philippians 4:5, the Lord that is being referred to isn't Jesus Christ but rather, Jehovah. Codex Sinaiticus, Greek, fourth century C.E., Codex Alexandrinus, Greek, fifth century C.E., Vatican ms 1209, Greek, fourth century C.E., Christian Greek Scriptures in 12 languages, including Hebrew, by Elias Hutter, Nuremberg, 1599, Christian Greek Scriptures, Hebrew, by William Robertson, London, 1661, and the Latin Vulgate, by Jerome, c. 400 C.E. (Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem) all read Jehovah.

James 5:7-8 is talking about the presence (parousia) mentioned earlier in this article.

At Hebrews 10:37 Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:2-3 from the Greek Septuagint, which reads "And the Lord answered [me] and said: Write a vision; write it distinctly in a book that the reader may trace these things [may run]; for the vision is for a time yet to come. But it will spring up at last and will not be vain. Though he may tarry, wait for him; for he will assuredly come and will not fail [and will not tarry]."

Revelation 1:1, 3; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20 may undoubtedly amuse the skeptic, who, of course, is familiar with the Biblical fact that a thousand years are as a watch in the night to God (Psalm 90:4), but to the writers of the Bible, especially John when writing Revelation and who would die shortly afterward, the resurrection hope would follow sleep in death which would seem, upon that resurrection, as the same day as they died, though it actually had been thousands of years.
I no longer post here

User avatar
elphidium55
Student
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:37 pm
Location: Champaign, IL
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: The End Of The World

Post #2

Post by elphidium55 »

There are many passages in the New Testament that seem to convey the idea that the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery that would happen soon but which were non-commital as to it's exact timing. Matthew 16:28 qualifies this expectation with "There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death." This doesn't really seem to be a problem, though. The belief in the gospels and early epistles was that the Second Coming was imminent. Certainly, in the lifetime of the disciples would be "soon" enough on this understanding.

That a day is like a thousand years with God is a latter cop-out. None of the apostles would have truly believed that "soon" meant 2000 years and waiting.

DavidLeon
Under Probation
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 12:07 pm
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Re: The End Of The World

Post #3

Post by DavidLeon »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am There are many passages in the New Testament that seem to convey the idea that the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery that would happen soon but which were non-commital as to it's exact timing. Matthew 16:28 qualifies this expectation with "There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death." This doesn't really seem to be a problem, though. The belief in the gospels and early epistles was that the Second Coming was imminent. Certainly, in the lifetime of the disciples would be "soon" enough on this understanding.

That a day is like a thousand years with God is a latter cop-out. None of the apostles would have truly believed that "soon" meant 2000 years and waiting.
When Jesus was hanging on the xylon (a single upright pole) he told the criminal next to him that today he would be with him in paradise. Jesus was in the tomb for three days afterwards. Before he had come to earth he had been an angel in spirit form. That spirit form went to the abyss for three days. How is it that the man would be in paradise with Jesus that day? Because, the Bible says, when you die you aren't conscious of anything. You are, like the atheists say, worm food. But roughly 2000 years later, and still some indeterminate time later from even now, the man will be resurrected in a new body as if it were, to him, the same day as he died. This is the soon of which we speak.
I no longer post here

User avatar
elphidium55
Student
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:37 pm
Location: Champaign, IL
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: The End Of The World

Post #4

Post by elphidium55 »

@DavidLeon states:
But roughly 2000 years later, and still some indeterminate time later from even now, the man will be resurrected in a new body as if it were, to him, the same day as he died. This is the soon of which we speak.
Yes -- this is the "soon" of which many current Christians speak. It's just not the "soon" of which Jesus, as conveyed by the gospels, spoke. Saying that "soon" means 2000 + years is an abuse of language. You might as well say that by "rise again" Jesus meant "still in the grave" or that "on the third day" he really meant "next year." If your interpretation of scripture allows you to redefine terms willy-nilly, then any interpretation is possible. And if any interpretations is possible then no real interpretation is going on.

And, FYI, saying that one day is like a thousand years in God's eyes was a cop-out both then and now.

DavidLeon
Under Probation
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 12:07 pm
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Re: The End Of The World

Post #5

Post by DavidLeon »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:07 pm @DavidLeon states:
But roughly 2000 years later, and still some indeterminate time later from even now, the man will be resurrected in a new body as if it were, to him, the same day as he died. This is the soon of which we speak.
Yes -- this is the "soon" of which many current Christians speak. It's just not the "soon" of which Jesus, as conveyed by the gospels, spoke. Saying that "soon" means 2000 + years is an abuse of language. You might as well say that by "rise again" Jesus meant "still in the grave" or that "on the third day" he really meant "next year." If your interpretation of scripture allows you to redefine terms willy-nilly, then any interpretation is possible. And if any interpretations is possible then no real interpretation is going on.

And, FYI, saying that one day is like a thousand years in God's eyes was a cop-out both then and now.
So at Matthew 24:14 when Jesus told his disciples that the good news would spread throughout the earth as a witness to all nations he was expecting them to pull this off by teatime and when John died in 100 CE still proclaiming this event he was "redefining" the term "soon" as well?

If I were to say in my grandfather's day it would mean that my grandfather lived to be 24 hours old or if I said 24 million years ago when planet earth was young that would be redefining the word "young?"
I no longer post here

User avatar
Difflugia
Guru
Posts: 2316
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 1887 times
Been thanked: 1384 times

Re: The End Of The World

Post #6

Post by Difflugia »

DavidLeon wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:19 amWhen Jesus was hanging on the xylon (a single upright pole) he told the criminal next to him that today he would be with him in paradise. Jesus was in the tomb for three days afterwards. Before he had come to earth he had been an angel in spirit form. That spirit form went to the abyss for three days. How is it that the man would be in paradise with Jesus that day? Because, the Bible says, when you die you aren't conscious of anything. You are, like the atheists say, worm food. But roughly 2000 years later, and still some indeterminate time later from even now, the man will be resurrected in a new body as if it were, to him, the same day as he died. This is the soon of which we speak.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of discussion are you looking to have with these "Bible Study" posts? Each of the ones you've made so far has essentially been an apologetic dissertation about why a topic should be interpreted with a particular kind of literalism, but you're not posting in "Christianity & Apologetics" nor are you actually asking a debate question. In the post above, every single sentence is, to put it mildly, arguable. None of them is self-evident from the Bible and you haven't offered any justification of any of them. Is that what you want to discuss? Or are you looking for a structured Bible study where everyone agrees to a certain set of premises and you're laying out what those are? Is it something else and I'm missing the point entirely?

Your theology so far has aligned with that of Jehovah's Witnesses and you've said that you like the NWT. I'm not assuming that you're a baptized Witness or anything, but I am guessing that you're familiar with their Bible studies and that might be sort of what you're going for. Witness Bible studies are generally far too scripted for something similar to unfold organically unless everyone involved has participated in enough such studies to be able to intuit how it might go. If that's what you're looking for, there are enough Witnesses that are regular posters here that you might be able to get that if you let them (and us) know up front that that's what you're after. I'm not looking to rain on your parade if that's what you want and though I can't speak for otseng, I would imagine a subforum that nobody's posted to in four years is probably a fine place to have it.

On the other hand, if you're looking to have a debate with people that disagree with you, I have two bits of advice:

First, if any of your posts were intended as debate starters, the topics are just massively overbroad. Pretty much any sentence above would in itself make a good question for a C&A debate ("What does Luke 23:43 mean?" or "Does the Bible say that when you die, you are no longer conscious?").

Second, it looks to me that you've been reading and internalizing things that rhetorically state their interpretive claims as self-evident or established fact, while dismissing alternate viewpoints as irrelelevant. I offer the suggestion that you consciously try to avoid that yourself. There are already those here that take that tack and it's certainly not against the rules or anything, but if you do, I think you'll just find yourself having the same conversations over and over. That's certainly a comforting way to do things, but based on some of what you've written, that doesn't seem like what you're ultimately chasing. Then again, maybe I'm just projecting.

User avatar
JehovahsWitness
Savant
Posts: 18123
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:03 am
Has thanked: 437 times
Been thanked: 671 times
Contact:

Re: The End Of The World

Post #7

Post by JehovahsWitness »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am There are many passages in the New Testament that seem to convey the idea that the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery ...
Emphasis MINE


the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery: This is somewhat strange terminology; in modern English one would usually simply say that "the New Testament that seem to convey the idea that...[no one can know when the kingdom would come] . The expression "the idea that the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery" is no only somewhat heavy handed and awkward to read but since A MYSTERY is essentially " something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain" , coupling mystery with the simple act of somethings arrival seems inappropriate. One either knows when something will happen or one does not there is nothing "difficult or impossible to understand" therein. Perhaps you were trying to convey another idea in which case clarification would be in order.

More seriously you failed to define your terms so many discussion on the coming of the kingdom demand
i) the kingdom be defined

ii) what is meant by (i) "coming"
Since this is a bible study subforum it seems reasonable to expect both terms be defined within the context of scripture with relevant references provided.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

User avatar
JehovahsWitness
Savant
Posts: 18123
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:03 am
Has thanked: 437 times
Been thanked: 671 times
Contact:

Re: The End Of The World

Post #8

Post by JehovahsWitness »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am that would happen soon
Upon the definition of the subject (see post above) we would then have the challenge of defining the relative and highly subjective question of how soon is soon.

Everything is relative, so "soon" for a black hole might be viewed as an eternity for a fruitfly. Given this is a bible study subforum if one is going to suggest 2000 years is or is not "soon" in the context of the verse in question, and the wider context of the bible as a whole, I would expect the specific verse(s) to be cited and argumentation to be presented. To suggest that since "2000" is many times the average human lifetime it cannot be what was being referred to, is to presume one accepts this as an axiom which is far from the case.


elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:07 pm Saying that "soon" means 2000 + years is an abuse of language.
Soon is relative and there is no getting away from this linguistic fact. It is not the abuse of language it is the use of language. There is no need to go full on hyperbole and talk about "abuse" if the scope and limitations of any given word is demonstrated.


elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:07 pm Yes -- this is the "soon" of which many current Christians speak. It's just not the "soon" of which Jesus, as conveyed by the gospels, spoke.
A bold statement indeed. I take it you understand that your simply stating something doesn't constitute the presentation of argumentation. Since we are in bible study subforum I await scripture to support this statement.




JW
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:23 am, edited 5 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

User avatar
JehovahsWitness
Savant
Posts: 18123
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:03 am
Has thanked: 437 times
Been thanked: 671 times
Contact:

Re: The End Of The World

Post #9

Post by JehovahsWitness »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am There are many passages in the New Testament that seem to convey the idea that the coming of the Kingdom was a mystery that would happen soon .... Matthew 16:28 qualifies this expectation with "There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death."

Here is then crux of the matter:
- first one would have to establish what "the kingdom" is

- then in what sense it was "to come"

- then one would have to establish that Matthew 16:28 refersnspecifically to (i) and (ii)

On that basis on would be in a position to begin any kind of analysis. I presume that is why you are here.



JW
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

User avatar
JehovahsWitness
Savant
Posts: 18123
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:03 am
Has thanked: 437 times
Been thanked: 671 times
Contact:

Re: The End Of The World

Post #10

Post by JehovahsWitness »

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am The belief in the gospels and early epistles was that the Second Coming was imminent. Certainly, in the lifetime of the disciples would be "soon" enough on this understanding.
I presume you mean that the gospel writers and/or the individuals described in the gospels are depicted as ...believing "the Second Coming" was imminent (in the lifetime of the disciples that were alive at the time of Christ).

I'm loathe to re-write but clarity demands we establish the ideas being proposed. If the above is indeed what is being proposed, my response would be: we can only speculate as to what the bible writers thought since few and far between (albeit more frequently the writers of Matthew and John) are the interjections of the writers own comments as they relate events. That said the above is definitely at least a possibility.
I wonder however what the significance of this might be since it doesn't mean that JESUS intended such an idea or that his (Jesus) words as recorded in scripture should thus be understood.

elphidium55 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 am ... None of the apostles would have truly believed that "soon" meant 2000 years and waiting.


You will have a tough time proving your negative from scripture, but even if you could my response would be...."So what?! " (See above in blue)


JW
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

Post Reply