What about Bible’s Mayan-like Hoax?

What about Bible’s Mayan-like Hoax?

Exactly how accurate was Bible’s calendar

 

Question Mark

Introduction

 

On 21 December, 2012, people at answering-islam were mocking about the fiasco of Mayan calendar and its incorrectness in predicting the end of the world. In the process they obviously took their shot at Islam:

 

“21 December 2012

Millions of people believe that the world is going to end today, because the Mayan calendar comes to an end – the calendar of a civilization that has ended a long time ago. However, Jesus says: Nobody knows the time or the hour (Mark 13). Jesus will come back as Lord and Judge, but certainly not when a multitude of people who do not even believe in him expect the world to end. (When faith in the true God is thrown out of the window, superstition creeps in by the backdoor.) Even though Islam has many cracks in its foundations, and many more people will eventually recognize this and abandon Islam, neither Islam nor the world as a whole has come to its end just yet. It is still necessary and worth the time and effort to provide our readers with a clear presentation of the Gospel and good arguments that are relevant to the discussions between Christians and Muslims. Therefore, here are our latest articles…:”

 

However, hardly did they realize that a similar, if not a greater, debacle had already materialized in the pages of Bible. Nevertheless, it understandably goes tacitly in the pages of Christian history year after year – now for at least 2000 years.

Thus, in this paper, while accepting that the Mayans were indeed flawed with their reckoning of the end of world; we would like to do justice that the authors of Bible, attributing words upon Jesus (peace be upon him), were also flawed in their calculation of the end of world.

 

 

The “Son of man” who never came, let alone with army of “Angels”!

 

Consider the following instance where Jesus (peace be upon him) predicted about his second coming:

 

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 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. (Matthew 16:21-28) (1.)

The point that we want to argue is obvious. However, before we get to it, observe the flow of the passage. Jesus (peace be upon him) intimated about his suffering in Jerusalem so much so that he would “be killed and be raised again the third day”.  Therefore, he insisted that his disciples should expect similar fates for themselves as well. They would have to undergo hardship as well; they will have to “deny themselves, take up their cross…” etc.

Nevertheless, Jesus (peace be upon him) immediately consoled his disciples by informing them that because of their rather ephemeral suffering, they would be sufficiently rewarded since he is soon returning (i) “in the glory of his Father and (ii) “with his angels” when (iii) “he shall reward every man according to his works”. And all of this would happen in life time of “some” standing then; (iv) and thus they would see his “kingdom”.

However, we know for a fact that none of it ever happened!  And, in contrast to “some” of them present there, categorically all of them have tasted death for good now! Thus, it is one of those Mayan-like hoaxes in the fabulous history of “orthodox” Christianity (2.) which never came to happen.

Later in the same gospel, Jesus (peace be upon him) gave even more vivid account of his second return [although the verse quoted below is long, but it worth it’s read]:

 

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 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. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.  (Matthew 24:3-35)

 

 

It is very important to observe that the query of disciples was very specific, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” To which Jesus (peace be upon him) gave various signatures like “darkening of sun”, “falling of stars” etc and amidst such supernatural events would he appear!

Nevertheless, Jesus (peace be upon him) again qualified that the generation then would not die before they have witnessed all of it. He was so confident about his prophecy that he emphatically asserted that heaven and earth would be destroyed but his words would/should come to pass!

Disappointingly, none of the events occurred, Jesus (peace be upon him) is yet to return and all the New Testament figures are dealing with their fate in their graves; and to add to it, heaven and earth, luckily, have not passed as yet!

 

Mark also relates a similar assertion from Jesus (peace be upon him) in his brand of gospel:

 

 

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (Mark 8:38, 9:1)

 

Scholars accept that Mark 8:38 where Chapter 8 ends, and the very next verse, namely, Mark 9:1 are part of one and the same passage and should not be separated:

 

Mark 8:38

When he cometh (hotan elthēi). Aorist active subjunctive with reference to the future second coming of Christ with the glory of the Father with his holy angels (cf. Mat_16:27). This is a clear prediction of the final eschatological coming of Christ. This verse could not be separated from Mar_9:1 as the chapter division does. These two verses in Mar_8:38; Mar_9:1 form one paragraph and should go together. (Robertson’s Word Picture)

 

Observe Robertson accepts that Jesus (peace be upon him) asserted that some from his generation would remain alive to witness his “future second coming”!

Albert Barnes also concords that some from Jesus’ (peace be upon him) would remain alive to witness the “day of judgment”:

 

Mark 8:27-38

In the glory of his FatherIn the day of judgment. See the notes at Mat 26:64. The meaning of this verse is, Whosoever shall refuse, through pride or wickedness, to acknowledge and serve Christ here, shall be excluded from his kingdom hereafter. He was lowly, meek, and despised; yet there was an inimitable beauty in his character even then. But he will come again in awful grandeur; not as the babe of Bethlehem, not as the man of Nazareth, but as the Son of God, in majesty and glory. They that would not acknowledge him here must be rejected by him there; they that would not serve him on earth will not enjoy his favor in heaven; they that would cast Him out and despise him must be cast out by him, and consigned to eternal, hopeless sorrow. (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

As Jesus (peace be upon him) oft asserted that some from his generation would remain alive to witness his “second coming” and other supernatural events entailing the end of the world, we see it as a case of inaccurate prophecy because all the people of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) generation are dead and yet he is to return and the world is yet to end! Just like the Mayans miscalculated the end of the world, so did biblical authors attributing the statements to Jesus (peace be upon him)!

 

Luke also reports a verbatim instance in his version of gospel! And quite expectedly Jesus (peace be upon him) asserts the same condition there as well:

 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.  (Luke 9:26-27)

Jesus (peace be upon him) repeated his “prophecy” for the second time in Luke’s gospel!

 

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 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. (Luke 21:25-33)

 

 

Based on the simple observation that multiple Bible authors repeated over and over again about Jesus’ (peace be upon him) second coming, end of the world, the trailing symptoms with it, and the condition that the generation then would be witness of all such preternatural events – we can conclude that they were very sure about it. Nevertheless, this “prophecy” failed just as the Mayan calendar and their reckoning of end of the world failed!

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is not that the historical Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Maryam (may Allah (SWT) be pleased with her), was erroneous in his prophecies, nevertheless, the above (failed) prophecies shows that Bible has gone through human adulteration and the subject instances are just a few examples of it.

In all other cases, we would have to painfully accept that gospel authors wrote of failed prophecies – just like the Mayans and their calendar – and in such situation “Christianity has many cracks in its foundations, and many more people will eventually recognize this and abandon Christianity, neither Christianity nor the world as a whole has come to its end just yet.

In fact rather than searching for “cracks” in Islam, it would be better if these stalwarts at answering-islam put some concrete in the gaping fractures throught the pages of Bible.

 

Footnotes:

(1.) One of the most reliable biblical commentator, John Gill, has expectedly tried to “reconcile” the verse as follows:

 

Matthew 16:28

Verily I say unto you….. This is a strong asseveration, Christ puts his “Amen” to it; declaring it to be a certain truth, which may firmly be believed: there be some standing here; meaning either his disciples, or some of the audience; for it is clear from Mar_8:34 that the people were called unto him with his disciples, when he said these words: which shall not taste of death: that is, shall not die; a phrase frequently used by the Jewish doctors: they say (y), “All the children of the world, טעמין טעמא דמותא, “taste the taste of death”.”

That is, die: till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom; which is not to be understood of his personal coming in his kingdom in the last day, when he will judge quick and dead; for it cannot be thought, that any then present should live to that time, but all tasted of death long before, as they have done; for the story of John’s being alive, and to live till then, is fabulous, and grounded on a mistake which John himself has rectified at the close of his Gospel: nor of the glorious transfiguration of Christ, the account of which immediately follows; when he was seen by Peter, James, and John, persons now present; for that, at most, was but an emblem and a pledge of his future glory: rather, of the appearance of his kingdom, in greater glory and power, upon his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven; when the Spirit was poured down in an extraordinary manner, and the Gospel was preached all over the world; was confirmed by signs and wonders, and made effectual to the conversion and salvation of many souls; which many then present lived to see, and were concerned in: though it seems chiefly to have regard to his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.  (John Gill’s Exposition on the Entire Bible)

At best we can say that it was a very desperate reconciliation we have read of Gill: Firstly, he compares Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven as equal to Jesus (peace be upon him) descending from heaven in the glory of his Father with angels! Obviously the two are quite different.

Secondly, Gill equates the mere “preaching” of Gospel and conversion of people with Jesus’ (peace be upon him) assertion of “judging” people for their deeds, let alone the falling of stars and other astral events. Gill conveniently assumes the two to be the same, obviously, for the sake of “reconciliation”.

Nevertheless, the last part of Gill’s exegesis is most exposing. Note that Gill concedes that the verse’s main objective was to show “his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.” Gill is obviously referring to an instance in Luke’s gospel:

 

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” Luke 19:27

 

Notwithstanding that Jesus (peace be upon him) gave other details like coming with Angels and in the honor of his Father etc, Gill has tried to somehow relate Jesus’ (peace be upon him) allusion of authority and regality with the above Lukan verse. However, quite contrary to his comments here, Gill wrote the following inconsistent “exegesis” for Luke 19:27:

 

bring hither, and slay them before me; which had its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem, when multitudes of them were slain with the sword, both with their own, and with their enemies; and to this the parable has a special respect, and of which Christ more largely discourses in this chapter; see Luk_19:41 though it is true of all natural men, that they are enemies to Christ; and so of all negligent and slothful professors, and ministers of the word, who, when Christ shall come a second time, of which his coming to destroy the Jewish nation was an emblem and pledge, will be punished with everlasting destruction by him; and then all other enemies will be slain and destroyed, sin, Satan, the world, and death…(John Gill’s Exposition on the Entire Bible)

 

 

Initially when commenting on Matthew 16:28 Gill reported that Christ’s (peace be upon him) regale authority was evinced when he ordered Jews to be slain “before him”. Nevertheless, while commenting on Luke 19:27 Gill had to change his words to write that Jews being slain by the order of Jesus (peace be upon him) found “its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem”!

 

But, we would ask, was the destruction of Jerusalem done “before him”; was Jesus (peace be upon him) present in the glory of his Father; in the company of Angels; “judging” people for their life-time deeds when the destruction of Jerusalem was being affected? Did destruction of Jerusalem set judgment day? The obvious answer is no.

 

 

(2.) It must be noted that the “orthodox” Christianity we know of was not the only form of Christianity competing for orthodoxy. Separate factions with separate set of books laid their claims on orthodoxy. So it is probable that such verses as Matthew 16:28 were never present in their gospels and in such situation they were more close to truth than their “orthodox” counterparts!

 

Notes:

  • Unless otherwise mentioned all biblical text taken from King James Version.

 

 

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Comments

  • Elisabeth Strout  On December 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Brilliant as usual brother, love reading your posts, as it gives me great starting points for addressing my own family’s beliefs. Barak Allahu fik w jazak alkhayr

    • qmarkmark  On December 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Salam sister, I understand your situation in your house hold. I also realize your yearning for your daddy. I pray your issue be settled in the best possible way. I

  • Alms  On December 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Brother, thank you for your educative articles. Here, you have convincingly demonstrated that the biblical Jesus was a false prophet (for his false prophecies). What is hilarious is that the followers of the false biblical prophet (who is other than Jesus Christ of history whom Muslims took to be a true divine prophet) tried pathetically to cover up this biblical ineptitude by devising ‘human’ harmonizations which naturally fall flat as nothing ‘human’ equals anything ‘divine’.

    • qmarkmark  On December 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks brother. Your comment was very appreciating.

  • Oliver Elphick  On December 31, 2012 at 12:17 am

    These prophecies are still to be fulfilled. As always, you need to take into account everything the bible has to say and integrate all of it. But you don’t want to do that, because you always want to find a reason not to obey God. Therefore your understanding is darkened. Still, maybe this comment will benefit someone whom you might otherwise succeed in deceiving.

    First, the current age will not end until the fullness of the Gentiles is come into the church. God calls all men to repent and trust in Jesus, who has already won the salvation of anyone who will do so and gives new life and his indwelling Holy Spirit to all of them. These are the church. Before any other event of the end times, the church will be removed from the world along with the resurrected saints who have died in Christ. We will be with Christ while the judgement of God is let loose on the world and those who dwell in it – those who have rejected Jesus.

    Second, the prophecies in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 mix together elements about the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple with elements about the end of the age and Jesus’ return to set up his kingdom on earth. They need to be read very carefully, along with other prophetic passages, in order to distinguish which are about the near destruction of the city, which was seen by that generation in 70 AD, and which are about the end of the age. The word for “generation” (γενεα) is deliberately ambiguous and can also mean race or people. In relation to the end times, it refers to the Jewish people, who, of course, have been miraculously preserved without any homeland for many centuries and are only now being regathered, again in accordance with prophecy.

    Luke 21:29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.  30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.  31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 

    The fig tree is a biblical symbol for Israel, and when we see Israel beginning to be restored we can know that the end is near. These are the times we are living in. Therefore take heed and repent now, before it is too late.

    Third, the prophecy of Matthew 16, Mark 9 and Luke 9 is immediately fulfilled a few days later, when Jesus was transfigured into his heavenly glory in front of three of his disciples. The transfiguration immediately follows the prophecy in all three gospels. The kingdom is where the king is, and Jesus displays his glory to them, even though the time for it to be extended over the whole earth had not yet (and has not yet) come.

    God’s word never fails; those who refuse to believe it will suffer the punishments described in it. But those who believe it and put their trust in God our Saviour will find joy in his presence for ever.

    • qmarkmark  On December 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Brother Oliver,

      Your posts are always very interesting to read. And I do read all of them. I am, at this instant, not responding you due to time constraints but I would reply soon. Lord of Jesus (p) Willing.

      Sincerely,
      Q.M.

    • mrquestioner2013  On March 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      LETS SEE

      So…γενεα (genea, the word you are disputing) is used 13 times in
      Matthew. 1:17, 11:16, 12:39, 12:41, 12:42, 12:45, 16:4, 17:17, 23:26,
      and 24:34. There is quite a bit of γενεα in the Gospel, and it is on a
      theme – Jesus is condemning “this generation,” an “evil and adulterous
      generation.” The Gospel started out using γενεα precisely to describe
      the generations of christ, it hits the same point in 8 successive
      verses, and hammers it home with the prophecy of the parousia coming
      before “this generation” passes away. This is a clear literary
      construction that builds up γενεα and then climaxes with the prophecy
      being directed at “this generation.” Yet you think that in the final
      use – and only the final use – of γενεα it has a separate sense that
      is nowhere else in the Synoptics. (The others of course have parallel
      constructions. It’s more elaborate in both Matthew and Luke than in
      Mark.) Why it switches is for no reason other than theological
      convenience – it’s an ad hoc apologetic technique that even millenial
      Christians are having to back away from out of sheer embarrassment. No
      translation of any theological bent that I’m aware of uses your
      “nation” gloss for γενεα.

      Mmm, if you read Ezra and Nehemiah you’ll see that Hebrew was already
      dying out as a spoken language by the mid-5th C bce (they needed
      interpreters to “give the sense” to the laymen). Many Jews were using
      the Greek Septuagint in the 1st C, as did the first Christians. After
      the bar-Kochba revolt it’s doubtful any Jews were speaking Hebrew
      except in synagogues

      γενεα is glossed as “generation” in the Synoptics. Universally. You
      cannot show me one single use of γενεα in koine that is not referring
      to the current era or generation. There is not one reputable scholar
      of any bent who will gloss γενεα as “race” or “nation” or “the Jews”
      in Matt. 24:34. Theological conservatives have given it up in
      embarrassment because the argument for it is so bad.

      Throughout the Synoptics γενεα is used as a referent for “this
      generation.” It’s a pattern. Every verse in Matthew, Mark and Luke
      with it is glossed as generation. The author of Matthew clearly knew
      it meant “generation,” he used it as such in his first chapter (Matt
      1:17). Look it up in Strong’s, it’s word #1074. It’s always used in
      the NT in a sense that refers not to a “race” for all ages – there
      were better words that could have easily been used – but to an era or
      one’s contemporaries (i.e., a generation).

      I was using Matthew 1:17 to establish why the gloss of every single
      translation of the Bible and every single commentator, except for some
      desperate millennial Christians, of “generation” for γενεα is correct.
      Obviously it’s a problem if you believe in some kind of millennialism
      – but that’s your problem, not mine.

      “No one knows the hour or day” does not contradict “this generation
      shall not pass.” That’s pretty simple, actually – if I say something
      will happen in the next 10 years but I don’t know the hour or the day,
      I’m not saying that it will happen at any time in the future and could
      be 200 years from now, I’m saying it will happen within the next 10
      years, at some time I do not know right now. If 10 years pass and it
      doesn’t happen, the conclusion should be that I was wrong, not that it
      will happen “sometime.” Jesus was giving a prophecy that was not
      certain in time but neither was it unlimited. He gave a clear end
      time: this generation – the generation that is listening, which he has
      chastized throughout the Gospel as a theme – will not pass until these
      things (the coming of the Son of Man in glory) have occurred. No one
      knows the specifics, but the outlines are clear, and the parousia
      needs to have happened before 100 CE or so for the prophecy to have
      been true. The two verses make perfect sense in
      their mutual context.

      Mark, Matthew and Luke were written in Greek, not Aramaic. There is no
      evidence of their having been translated from Aramaic, and no
      reputable scholar holds this position. The prophecy uses γενεα, and
      you’ve got to live with it. In any case, $RBT) is also used in Matt.
      1:17 in the Peshitta, so you’re still stuck with the “generation”
      gloss.

      So you don’t believe in plenary verbal inspiration, then?

      A hypothetical Aramaic “original” is not supported by the style of the
      Gospels. Linguistically, regardless of what Jesus “himself” may or may
      not have spoken, we are discussing documents that were written in
      Greek straight from the author’s pen. There are no credible theories
      right now in textual criticism that suggest any kind of Aramaic
      primacy; this board’s history is littered with the proof, as it used
      to be frequented by a vocal Peshitta primacist.

      In any case, the Aramaic word used in the Peshitta, $RBT), has the
      same problems that γενεα has in Matt. 1:17 and throughout the
      Synoptics, where it is used in the list of generations at the start
      and then used to denounce the current generation as a recurring theme.
      Why have you not answered this objection but instead just repeated the
      same material? Why have you not brought in one analysis from a textual
      critic (not an apologist) discussing the meaning of γενεα? Why hasn’t
      one single translation team from a theologically conservative
      translation of the NT used “race” for γενεα in Matt 14:34? (The answer
      to the last one is that this is a notoriously hard verse, and the
      gloss that you are trying to push is such an ad hoc construction that
      nobody would seriously stake his or her reputation on it.)

      Even if γενεα somehow weaseled you out of one failed prophecy – and it
      doesn’t – you still have a second failed prophecy in Matt 16:28,
      “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they
      see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” Unless you think that some
      people who listened to Jesus are still alive in the world, this didn’t
      happen.

      And you have not been able to provide any reason to use the gloss of
      “race” for γενεα – or $RBT), since you apparently believe in oral
      Aramaic primacy – in Matt. 24:34 in contradistinction to the other
      uses in Matthew. The word is used 13 times in the book. I’ve already
      brought up Matt. 1:17, where “race” could not possibly be the gloss.
      For instance, in Matt. 11:16 γενεα is used in a context where
      “generation” is the only possible translation. Jesus is discussing the
      generation that saw John the Baptist and now him (Jesus), and he uses
      γενεα in Greek, with $RBT) in Aramaic. Throughout the Gospel, the
      author – and Jesus – use γενεα in a way that unambiguously translates
      as “generation.” Yet all you can do is bleat “the word has a few
      different meanings.” Not here. Not according to any Bible scholars –
      apologists and preachers don’t count. I’m not even aware of a
      translation that notes “or race” in a footnote.

      And you haven’t dealt with the prediction in Matt. 16:28 that some
      “shall not taste of death” until the coming of the Son of Man in
      glory, which clearly agrees with the standard, accepted gloss of
      “generation” in Matt. 23:43.

      We don’t know that Jesus said anything. What we have are copies of the
      Greek NT, which use γενεα. The Syriac copies of the NT that we do have
      don’t support your ad hoc thesis, because $RBT) is also used for
      “generation” in Matt. 1:17, which is the same problem that you have
      with γενεα in the Greek. In either case, Christian apologists have
      made this incredibly weak case – not “Bible experts.” No credible
      biblical scholars stand by a “race” gloss in Matt. 24:34. (And this is
      a field where the majority are Christian believers.) You have not
      dealt with any of these issues.

      It is interesting that this argument has to turn its back on biblical
      usage and look at classical writers. That in itself should discourage
      you from such wayward efforts.

      We have clear precedents in the gospels for the meaning of h genea
      auth. The Matthean version was adapted from Mark 13:30. That gospel
      has the same phrase at 8:12, “Why does this generation seek a sign?”
      Do you seriously want to suggest that should be “Why does this race
      seek a sign?” You wouldn’t. Your position is merely an attempt to
      fiddle the text, because you don’t like what it clearly says. So the
      following has no philological basis:

      Can you find one example where genea in the new testament has to mean
      “tribe/people/race”? Have you found one commercial translation since
      the KJV that translates it that way? Doesn’t that make you reconsider?
      Of course not. But see below…

      I just want to get a little more out there for people who don’t
      understand the problems with ibelieveinhymn’s gloss of “race” for
      γενεα/$RBT) in Matt 24:34.

      There is a sense of γενεα that means a group of people, as in a race.
      However, it doesn’t mean what our word “race” means, because “race” is
      a word that doesn’t have a temporal component. The Greek word γενεα –
      and its Aramaic equivalent $RBT) which iBIh thinks we should consider
      as original – is glossed in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New
      Testament as “(4) The whole multitude of men living at the same time–
      Mt xxiv.34… used esp. of the Jewish race living at one and the same
      period.” This is the sense in which the Amplified Bible, which uses
      expanded meanings for somewhat ambiguous words in the NT, uses to
      clarify “generation” in Matt. 24:34.

      IBIH has tried to make this word just mean “race,” but that’s a really
      poor reading of the text. The word primarily means “generation,” and
      even if you could find a definition of “generation” in the OED that
      means “race,” you would have to find an explanation for why the author
      didn’t use a word that means “race.” It’s possible that Matt 24:34 is
      referring to the Jewish race – at the time that Jesus was speaking.
      For instance if you read Matt. 1:17 or Matt. 11:16 it’s quite obvious
      that this means “generation” in its context throughout the Gospel.
      This is why no one has actually used the gloss “race” that he is so
      insistent upon. Its sense as “race” is handled in the Amplified Bible:
      “Truly, I tell you, this generation–that is, the whole multitude of
      people living at the same time, in a definite, given period–will not
      pass away till all these things taken together take place.”
      Translating it as “race” without qualifying that it is tightly bound
      to the current time is downright misleading, incorrect, and not
      supported by any translator or Bible scholar.

      • Oliver Elphick  On March 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Those who say that γενεα only means generation are influenced by the understanding of those who came before them. It was translated generatio in the Vulgate and that has fixed the matter in the minds of translators since.

        But in the prophecy of the end times it obviously cannot mean the generation then living.

        Definition of γενεα:

        I. Of the persons in a family, 1. race, stock, family: of horses, a breed: also a tribe, nation 2. a race, generation 3. offspring

        II. of time or place in reference to birth: 1. a birth-place; of an eagle’s eyrie 2 age, time of life 3. time of birth

        The translation race or nation makes good sense in the context and is the primary meaning of the word.

      • Oliver Elphick  On March 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I can also point out that John received the Revelation near the end of his life, when almost all the generation that Jesus spoke to had died, and John’s own students, such as Ignatius, saw no problem with this issue.

  • Jesus  On December 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

    @ Oliver Elphick

    You comment is nothing but a usual apologetic ploy and none of the points what you wrote rebutts the actual claim of this article .

    The following highly acclaimed Jesus Scholars are also of the view that Jesus predicted the imminent end of the world

    Albert Schweitzer, Johannes Weiss , E.P Sanders , Bart Ehrman , Maurice Casey, Paula Fredriksen and Bultmann .

    Dale C Allison and Helen Bond the latest Jesus scholars who are highly regarded for their works on the historical Jesus also support the same view .

    So next time when you comment just don’t gasp at straw and come to the terms that the Biblical Jesus indeed predicted a false prophecy .

    Surprisingly all the historians and scholars dealing with the subject of early Christianity say that ALL of the early Christians were of the view that the word will end very soon . Read the works of C.S Lewis , a famous theologian who also agrees with the same .

    So Oliver leave the false and pagan religion of Christianity and come to Islam

    • Oliver Elphick  On December 31, 2012 at 11:42 am

      There is no point in providing a parade of academic theologians, as if I should be impressed by them.

      Jesus wants us all to be ready at all times, however long it may be until he returns; we should all be living as if he were sure to come for us today. The bible addresses that very point and your own attitude:

      2 Peter 3:2 …you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles,  3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,  6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

        8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

  • Oliver Elphick  On December 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Incidentally, CS Lewis, though a fine writer and one whose works were instrumental in my own conversion, was not a theologian but Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature.

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