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Did Jesus err by affirming that the signs of the end time would be fulfilled in His era? MATTHEW 24:34

MATTHEW 24:34—Did err by affirming that the signs of the end time would be fulfilled in His era?

: spoke of signs and wonders regarding His second coming. But said “ generation” would not end before all these events took place. Did mean that these events would occur in the lifetime of His hearers?

: These events (e.g., the Great Tribulation, the sign of Christ’s return, and the end of the age) did not occur in the lifetime of Christ’s hearers. Therefore, it is reasonable to understand their fulfillment as something yet to come. calls for a closer examination of the of “generation” for meanings other than that of ’ contemporaries.

First, “generation” in Greek (genea) can mean “race.” In particular instance, ’ statement could mean that the race would not pass away until all things are fulfilled. there were promises to , including the eternal inheritance of the land of Palestine (Gen. 12; 14–15; 17) and the Davidic kingdom (2 Sam. 7), then could be referring to ’s preservation of the nation of in order to fulfill His promises to them. Indeed, speaks of a future of the nation of when they will be reinstated in ’s covenantal promises (Rom. 11:11–26). And ’ response to His disciples’ last question implied there would yet be a future kingdom for , when they asked: “Lord, will at time restore the kingdom to ?” Rather than rebuking them for their misunderstanding, He replied that “It is not for to know times seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:6–7). Indeed, in Romans 11 speaks of the nation of being restored to ’s promised blessings (cf. vv. 25–26).

Second, “generation” could also refer to a generation in its commonly understood sense of the people alive at the time indicated. In case, “generation” would refer to the group of people who are alive when these things come to pass in the future. In other words, the generation alive when these things (the abomination of desolation [v.15], the great tribulation such as has never been seen before [v. 21], the sign of the Son of in heaven [v. 30], etc.) begin to come to pass will still be alive when these judgments are completed. it is commonly believed that the tribulation is a period of some seven years (Dan. 9:27; cf. Rev. 11:2) at the end of the age, then Jesus would be saying that “ generation” alive at the beginning of the tribulation will still be alive at the end of it. In any event, there is reason to assume that Jesus made the obviously false assertion that the world would come to an end within the lifetime of His contemporaries.

[1]

 

[1]Geisler, N. L., & , T. A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible difficulties (358). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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