𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Response to sam shamoun’s claim regarding the bible’s prophecie about the end of time
First before i will discuss this prophecie in detail, i recommend the reader to read Mathew chapter 24 below, this with the purpose to understand the discussion point and arguments better which will be used in this rebuttal against sam shamoun.
1And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3And 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?
4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6And 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.
7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9Then 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.
10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24For 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.
25Behold, I have told you before.
26Wherefore 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.
27For 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.
28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29Immediately 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:
30And 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.
31And 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.
32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
After reading Mathew chapter 24 the reader will notice how the bible says: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. This would mean that the end of time prophecie (jesus his second coming and the raiging of the death back to life) should occur during the first century (in the time of the generation to which jesus spoke in the bible) , the christian faces a dilemma. Well how do the christian apolegist reponse to this dilemma? See for yourself below sam shamoun’s comments:
Sam shamoun told the readers:
In relation to Matthew 24:34, there are three possible responses. First, the term “generation” is the Greek geneous, a synonym of genes which can mean race. Hence, the race of Jews whom Jesus was addressing would not pass away until the culmination of the age.
Furthermore, Jesus may not have even been referring to his generation per se, but to the generation that would witness the signs that Christ predicted would occur before his Second Coming. (Cf. Mat. 24:15-33)
Finally, Christ may not have even been referring to his Second Coming. Rather, Christ could have been referring to his coming in judgment against Jerusalem. Christ had predicted that the temple and the people living in Jerusalem would be destroyed. This bears out in light of what is said elsewhere in Scripture
Point A will be discussed as last one in this article (since point A needs a long reponse)
Response to Point B
Sam shamoun’s statement here is impossible, for the simple reason that the text Mathew 24:34 reads: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Clearly jesus (according to the bible) ment his generation who witnessed his speech, those who were living at that time! Jesus makes clear that ‘this generation’ , those who were standing in front of him would witness al those signs!
Response to Point C
The chapter clearly says: 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 ?
This chapter clearly speaks about the end of the world , better knows as the end of times in which jesus will return. Pay close attention to the verse below:
27For 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. 28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29Immediately 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: 30And 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. 31And 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.
So the sun will be darkened, and the moon that day will not give light. Also jesus will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, this refers to the resurection of the death. So the proof is enough to point out that this prophecie clearly refers to the end of time and jesus second during that day.
Response to Point A
Can the greek word genea mean nation/race ? Many christians are force to say yes, because when they say ‘no’ it means their bible prophecie was never fullfilled and failed:
Gary DeMar (1997) “First, “this generation” always means the generation to whom Jesus is speaking. It is the contemporary generation, the generation alive at the hearing of Jesus’ words… Those who deny that ‘this generation’ refers to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking in the Matthew 24 context must maintain that “this generation” means something different from the way it is used in other places in Matthew and the rest of the New Testament!” (Last Days Madness, p. 33)
The greek word for race/nation = ethnos (see: http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/words/1/1134758067-3280.html) , which is used in the verses :
Acts 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations (ethnos) to walk in their own ways.
John 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all [men] will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation (ethnos)
Mathew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation (ethnos) bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Had Jesus been speaking along “racial” lines as in Jews only in Mt 24:34 then he could/would have used the word “ethos” from which ethic is derived. For Jesus’ use of this see Jn 11:48-52 and note the word “nation” – this is definitely racial as in Jews only; yet even then according to the context still only pertained to “that generation.” And speaking of context, Mt 23:37 “this generation” to Mt 24:34 “this generation” are book-ends to the whole “last days” prophecy, and as has been adequately pointed out by others, every other place where “this generation” is used contextually makes sense as pertaining to Jesus’ contemporaries.
-what did scholars say about the meaning of the greek word ‘genea ‘used in Mathew 24:34
David Brown (1858)
“Does not this tell us plainly as words could do it, that the whole prophecy was meant to apply to the destruction of Jerusalem? There is but one way of setting this aside, but how forced it is, must, I think, appear to every unbiased mind. It is by translating, not ‘this generation,’ …but ‘this nation shall not pass away:”
in other words, the Jewish nation shall survive all the things here predicted! Nothing but some fancied necessity, arising out of their view of the prophecy, could have led so many sensible men to put this gloss upon our Lord’s words. Only try the effect of it upon the perfectly parallel announcement in the previous chapter:
‘Fill ye up them the measure of your fathers.. Wherefore, behold, I send you 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 from city to city… that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation‘ … Matt. xxiii. 32, 34-36). Does not the Lord here mean the then existing generation of the Israelites? Beyond all question he does; and if so, what can be plainer than that this is his meaning in the passage before us? (Christ’s Second Coming, Will it be Pre-millennial?, p. 435)
(Note: the prophecie did also aply to the end of times, since mathew 24:33 also speaks about the son of man coming with the sound of the trumpet, which clearly refers to the end of days and resurrection of the death Mathew 24:31 : 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. , but this christian is honest in admitting that the prophecie can only be applied to the generation jesus, the first century followers of him )
David Chilton (1996)
“Some have sought to get around the force of this text by saying that the word generation here really means race, and that Jesus was simply saying that the Jewish race would not die out until all these things took place. Is that true?
I challenge you: Get out your concordance and look up every New Testament occurrence of the word generation (in Greek, genea) and see if it ever means ‘race’ in any other context. Here are all the references for the Gospels: Matthew 1:17; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 1:48, 50; 7:31; 9:41; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51; 18:8; 17:25; 21:32. Not one of these references is speaking of the entire Jewish race over thousands of years; all use the word in its normal sense of the sum total of those living at the same time.
It always refers to contemporaries. (In fact, those who say it means “race” tend to acknowledge this fact, but explain that the word suddenly changes its meaning when Jesus uses it in Matthew 24! We can smile at such a transparent error, but we should also remember that this is very serious. We are dealing with the Word of the living God.).” (The Great Tribulation, p. 3)
J.C. Fenton (1863)
“Although attempts have been made to interpret this generation to the Jews, or as the human race in general, it is more likely that originally it meant the generation living at the time of Jesus.” (p. 391)
“Many commentators play around with the word ‘generation’ (genea), and thinking to avoid embarrassment, project its application to the generation which will be alive during the last days immediately preceding the Second Coming of the Messiah. Others, expand its meaning to include the whole nation of Israel, which, in spite of the intensity of the great tribulation, will nevertheless be preserved as a nation right up till the end of the present age.
However, if Scripture be compared with Scripture, such verbal games are soon exposed as being nothing but armchair gymnastics (cf. Matthew 11:16; 12:41-45; 23:36; Luke 11:50, 51; Hebrews 3:10). The word is generally used to signify a people belonging to a particular period of time, or more loosely, to a period defined by what might be considered as an average life span of a man.” (p. 32)
“…the whole of the xxivth of Matthew, and particularly the 36th and following verses, relate solely to the destruction of Jerusalem, exclusively of a second coming, and of the end of the world.” (Echos of the Ministry., p.131)
(Note: however History does not confirm that the death were brought back to live 70 AD, and they were be judged by the son of man, which the bible tells us about the end of time, so the prophecie of mathew 24:34 failed )
Dr. E. Robinson (1843)
‘The question now arises whether, under these limitations of time, a reference of our Lord’s language to the day of judgment and the end of the world, in our sense of these terms, is possible. Those who maintain this view attempt to dispose of the difficulties arising from these limitations in different ways. Some assign to (genea) the meaning suddenly, as it is employed by the LXX in Job v. 3, for the Hebrew. But even in this passage the purpose of the writer is simply to mark an immediate sequence — to intimate that another and consequent event happens forthwith.
Nor would anything be gained even could the word (genea) be thus disposed of, so long as the subsequent limitation to ‘this generation’ remained. And in this again others have tried to refer genea to the race of the Jews, or to the disciples of Christ, not only without the slightest ground, but contrary to all usage and all analogy. All these attempts to apply force to the meaning of the language are in vain, and are now abandoned by most commentators of note.” (Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 1 – 1843)
G.R. Beasly-Murray (1954)
“The meaning of ‘this generation’ is now generally acknowledged. While in earlier Greek genea meant ‘birth,’ ‘progeny,’ and so ‘race,’ in the sense of those descended from a common ancestor, in the LXX it commonly translates the term dor, meaning ‘age,’ ‘age of man,’ or ‘generation’ in the sense of contemporaries.
On the lips of Jesus ‘this generation’ always signifies the contemporaries of Jesus, but at the same time always carries an implicit criticism. For Mark the eschatological discourse expounds the implication of the prophecy of judgment in verse 2, and so implies the perversity of ‘this generation,’ which must suffer the doom predicted. (Jesus and the Kingdom of God, pp. 333-334).
Thomas Ice (1999)“While it is true that other uses of “this generation” refer to Christ’s contemporaries, that is because they are historical texts. The use of “this generation” in the Olivet Discourse in the fig tree passages are prophetic texts.
In fact, when one compares the historical use of “this generation” at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 23:36 (which is an undisputed reference to A.D.70) with the prophetic use in 24:34, a contrast is obvious.” [Ice and Gentry, The Great Tribulation Past or Future (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1999), 103-104.]
KEN GENTRY REBUTS THIS ARGUMENT:
“Ice tries to distinguish Jesus’ use of “this generation” in Matthew 23:36 from the same phrase in 24:34 on the basis that 23:36 is “historical” while 24:34 is “prophetical.” Bute note: (1) Both are prophetic. In Matthew 23 Jesus prophesies future persecution for his own disciples (23:34) and the catastrophic calamity to befall the Pharisees in A.D.70 (23:35). Declaring future events in advance is, by definition, “prophetic.” [Ice and Gentry, The Great Tribulation Past or Future (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1999), 182.]
Below more proof which shows that genea in mathew 24:34 can only mean ‘this generation’ part 1 :
Jesus prophecie about his second coming during the lifetime of HIS generation is consistent with the Scripture, the Greek words in the NT, and the historical records of bible interpretation. Most Futurists’ views have fallen short in their failure to properly take into account the historical-grammatical-cultural context of the prophecies (specifically what they meant to their first-century audience).
One of many problems some futurists have is identifying the correct definition of the word, “generation.” They interpret the word, “generation” as it is used today or in the future. The Bible was written for us, but it was not written to us. We will look into the eschatological passages of the Bible with this word “generation.” The Bible I am using is the New American Standard Bible.
When you see the phase “this generation,” ask yourself, the question, “which generation?” We can look the word “generation” in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, and we can see that the Greek word is “genea.” It says, “The whole multitude of men living at the same time.” Also we find in William F. Arndt and Wilber Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and Other Early Christian Literature: “basically, the sum total of those born at the same time, expanded to include all those living at a given time. Contemporaries.”
Many Bible commentators and christians like Sam Shamoun dance around the meaning of the word “generation.” Some say that Jesus was speaking to a generation that was not going to exist until thousands of years in the future. Others claim that the whole Jewish “race” was in view. Those are NOT sound Biblical interpretations. The Greek word “genos” rather than “genea” is the best translated “race” as in Acts 7:19; 17:28; Gal. 1:14; Phil. 3:5; 1 Peter 2:9. Take a look at the following passages that contain the word “generation,” which is the period from 30-70 AD (40 years):
1. Matt. 11:16 (Luke 7:31) – “But what shall I compare this generation?” In previous verses Jesus was talking about John the Baptist, who was Elijah the prophet in Mal. 4:5,6 (see Luke 1:13-17 & Matt. 17:10-13) before the great and terrible day of the Lord in 66- 70 AD.. So, Jesus cannot compare “this” generation of the wicked with any other generation.
2. Matt. 12:39 – “But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craved for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.”Clearly, Jesus was speaking to the Jewish leaders, an evil and adulterous generation that was seeking for a sign. Let us look at the illustration of Jonah which Jesus said applied to Him:
-Jonah was a sign to Ninevah.
-Jesus was a sign to Jerusalem.
The word genea clearly means generation.
3. Matt. 12:41, 42 – “The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something is greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” Jesus was saying that the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South would rise up (from the dead) with this generation at the judgement. This is CRITICAL!
4. Matt. 12:43-45 – Read these passages and Jesus say, “That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” He was talking about how the demoniac spirits will get worse in the generation to which He was speaking.
5. Matt. 16:4 – “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them, and went away.” Jesus was repeatedly saying that the Jewish leaders were still seeking after a sign in an evil and adulterous generation. Clearly again the word genea refers to generation.
6. Matt. 17:17 (Mark 9:19 & Luke 9:41) – “And Jesus answered and said, “O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” Jesus knew many were in the unbelieving and perverted generation He was addressing- a generation with much demoniac activity around them, Again genea refers to generation.
7. Matt. 23:36 – “Truly I say to you, all these things shall be upon this generation.” Jesus pronounced His “woes” on the Jewish leaders in this chapter (read all of Matt. 23). Jesus ended His indictment of Israel’s first century religious leaders with this shocking surprise: “Behold, your house (temple) is being left to you desolate!” (v. 38). The temple was burned and destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman armies, it’s important to know that jesus predicted the end of time together with this incident (see mathew 24:34)
8. Matt 24:34 (Mark 13:30) – Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Clearly, Jesus answered His disciples’ questions stating the events in this chapter would come upon their generation. Read some of Jesus’ parables that apply to that generation to whom He was speaking (Matt. 21:33-46; 22:1-14 and Luke 19:11-27, 41-44). We should not miss the straightforward manner of which Jesus spoke concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
9. Luke 11:29-32 – The same as in Matt. 12:41, 42. Jesus repeatedly said “this generation” seven times in this chapter (some translation use the word
10. Luke 11:50, 51 (Matt. 23:36) – “In order that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between altar and the House of GOD; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.” Jesus was saying from the beginning (from Abel) to that generation (by 70 AD), all of these people shall rise up in the judgment. Judgement can only refer to the end of times and jesus his second coming according to the bible.
11. Acts 2:40 – “And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation!'” Read Acts 2:16-21 in Peter’s sermon. He told the Jewish people they were living in the last days (Heb. 1:2) before the great and glorious day of the Lord in their generation.
12. Phil. 2:14-16 – “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Clearly, Paul knew he was in the midst of perverse generation because the day of Christ according to the bible was at hand (his second coming)
13. Heb. 3:9-11 – “Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said ‘They always go astray in their hearts; and they did not know My way’; as I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter MY rest.” The writer obvioulsy warned the Jewish Christians not to fall back into Judaism as the Israelites did in the wilderness for 40 years with Moses, i guess because the bible teaches that the seoncd coming of jesus was near and would happen in their generation (first century)
14. Mark 8:38-9:1 – “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” He was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” This is one of clearest and most powerful messages by the mouth of Jesus. We cannot get around this one with the Futurist’s views because the Lord was talking to His disciples, and not some absent and future third parties. Bingo! Case closed! However some christians say:
Sam shamoun concerning these verses stated:
The fulfillment of this promise took place shortly afterwards:
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus.” Matthew 17:1-3
The Apostle Peter indicates that this event was the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to his followers:
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the POWER and COMING (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were EYEWITNESSES of his MAJESTY. For he received HONOR and GLORY from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18
“nor is the word (parousia) , used of any other coming of Christ, and this will be with power; and it designs his more near coming to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, and deliver his people from the afflictions and persecution they laboured under, and which was with great power; see (Matthew 14:3,30) (Mark 9:1) , or more remote, namely, at the last day” – John Gill
The disciples were eyewitnesse of his majesty on the mountian, not of his ‘parousia’ which he predicted tot hem. Peter tried to assure the believers there would be the coming of the Lord very soon and he was not making it up.”
“Power–the opposite of “fables”; compare the contrast of “word” and “power,” 1 Corinthians 4:20. A specimen of His power was given at the Transfiguration also of His “coming” again, and its attendant glory. The Greek for “coming” is always used of His second advent. A refutation of the scoffers (2 Peter 3:4): I, James and John, saw with our own eyes a mysterious sample of His coming glory.” (Critical Commentary, II Peter 1)
The famous bible commentator John gill says about the verse (2 Peter 1:16-18 ) quoted by sam shamoun this:
But were eyewitnesses of his majesty;
meaning, not of the glory of his divine nature by faith, and with the eyes of their understanding, while others only considered him as a mere man; nor of the miracles he wrought, in which there was a display of his glory and majesty, of all which the apostles were eyewitnesses; but of that glory and greatness which were upon him,
when he was transfigured on the mount before them; then his face was as the sun, and such a glory on his whole body, that it darted through his clothes, and made them glitter like light, and as white as snow, and so as no fuller on earth could whiten them; at which time also Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious forms: and now this was a prelude and pledge of his power and coming, of his kingdom coming with power, and of his coming in his own, and his Father’s glory, and in the glory of the holy angels.
“These things are worthy to be always had in remembrance For they are not cunningly devised fables – Like those common among the heathens. While we made known to you the power and coming – That is, the powerful coming of Christ in glory. But if what they advanced of Christ was not true, if it was of their own invention, then to impose such a lie on the world as it was, in the very nature of things, above all human power to defend, and to do this at the expense of life and all things only to enrage the whole world, Jews and gentiles, against them, was no cunning, but was the greatest folly that men could have been guilty of. But were eyewitnesses of his majesty – At his transfiguration, which was a specimen of his glory at the last day.”
These commentaries make clear that sam shamoun’s quoted verse (2 Peter 1:16-18 ) was just a prelude for his second coming, and not the fullfillment of
Mark 8:38-9:1 :”For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” He was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
Luke 21:32 (Matt. 24:34 & Mark 13:30) – “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.”
As we have already read, Jesus said this in Matt. 24:34 (Mark 13:30) but notice in Luke 21:22 says “because these are the days of VENGEANCE, in ORDER THAT ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN MAY BE FULFILLED.” This is a very important passage because it teaches that all things written in Scripture should be fullfilled during lifetime of the jeus his generation (first century) . Also notice in verse 23,
“Woe to those who are with child and those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people.” Of which land and people was Jesus speaking this context? It was the land of Israel and the Jewish people !
Matt 10:23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matt 16:28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
James 5:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand…..Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour.
Rev 1:1,3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place…..Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near…
Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Below more proof which shows that genea in mathew 24:34 can only mean ‘this generation’ part 2:
Truly I say to you, this GENERATION [Greek: genea] will not pass away until all these things take place. ( Matthew 24:34 NASB )
Below a great article written by Mark Smith July 2000 about this issue:
Return for a moment to your pre-teen days. Every neighborhood had one of them, the kid whose sole goal was to win the game at all costs. This kid, if in the middle of a game and losing, would make up his own rules, or redefine words, whatever it took to ensure that he’d win the game. As we all moved up into high school, many of our games acquired referees, we matured enough to follow the rules, and these childish antics were halted.
Certain Christians, however, never matured enough to play by the rules, and instead, to save their savior from being a FALSE PROPHET, create out of thin air new definitions for old words. They try to change the standard definition of the New Testament word generation (from Matthew 24:34) from what it actually is into something else; a group of people that have things in common, and maybe a half dozen other variations- all equally bogus, and all designed to get their savior off the hook.
For example, by one of these bogus definitions, Julius Caesar and I are of the same generation, as we both have “things in common” (eating, breathing, sleeping, etc.). The other bogus definitions are just as ridiculous.
Because of this intellectually dishonest abuse of language, some Christians need to have a “referee” curb their creativity in making up rules and definitions, which they make up solely to win arguments. Dictionaries already exist, scholars already have done the dog work, rules are already in place. These are our referees.
And as you will see from what follows below, the vast majority of Christian scholarship shows that there is little doubt as to what the word “generation” (Greek: “genea”) really means.
The consensus of the referees will be stated below without comment, because no comments are necessary. Readers who want to know the sources of the quotations can match the numbers before the quotations with the numbers in the listings of translations, commentaries, lexicons, etc. at the end of the article. Enjoy!
Fifty-Two Translations: Matthew 24:34.
(1) Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
(2) This generation will not have passed before all this is accomplished.
(3) By no means may this generation be passing by until….
(4) This generation shall not pass away till all these things….
(5) Before the present generation passes away, these things will all happen.
(6) This generation will not pass away….
(7) In no wise shall this generation pass away until all these things shall happen.
(8) This generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.
(9) This generation will not disappear till all this has taken place.
(10) This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things….
(11) …this generation will not pass away….
(12) …this generation will not pass away….
(13) …this generation shall not pass away till….
(14) This generation may not pass away till all these things…
(15) …this generation shall not pass away….
(16) …this generation shall not pass away….
(17) …this generation will not come to an end….
(18) This generation will not have passed away until all these things shall have taken place.
(19) This generation will not disappear until these things happen….
(20) This generation shall not pass until….
(21) In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred.
(22) This generation shall not pass….
(23) This generation shall not pass away….
(24) Before this generation has passed away, all these things will have taken place.
(25) This generation will not pass away….
(26) This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.
(27) The present generation will not pass away until all this takes place.
(28) These people will not pass away till all this happens.
(29) This generation will not pass away….
(30) This generation shall not pass away….
(31) This generation will not pass away before all these things have taken place.
(32) This generation will not come to an end till all these things are complete.
(33) This generation will by no means pass away before all these things take place.
(34) This generation will not pass away….
(35) Before this generation passes away, all these things will happen.
(36) This generation will not pass away….
(37) This generation will not pass away….
(38) Indeed, I can give you solemn assurance that this generation will not have passed away before all this has taken place.
(39) This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.
(40) I tell you, even the present generation will not pass away, till all these things have taken place.
(41) The people of this day will not pass away before all these things have happened.
(42) The present generation shall not pass away till all these things happen.
(43) This present generation shall not pass away until all these things arrive.
(44) The present generation will not pass away till all this happens.
(45) I tell you this: the present generation will live to see it all.
(46) I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation will certainly not pass away without all these things having first taken place.
(47) I assure you, all these things will take place before this present generation passes on.
(48) I swear to God, this generation certainly won’t pass into oblivion before all these things take place!
(49) I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens.
(50) 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.
(51) I tell you the truth–all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living!
(52) Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died.
Five Greek Lexicons: genea.
(1) The interval of time between father & son… from thirty to forty years those living in any one period; this present generation.
(2) A generation of mankind, a step in genealogy.
(3) A generation, an interval in time.
(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.
(5) The sum total of those born at the same time… all those living at the same time… contemporaries… Mt. 24:34.
Twenty-Five Bible Dictionaries: genea.
(1) Those born at the same time constitute a generation… contemporaries.
(2) Thus Herodotus says that “three generations of men make an hundred years.”
(3) It is used of people living at the same time, and by extension… of the time itself… 40 years.
(4) Of the 43 references to genea in the NT… 25 (are) of its occurrences to the Jewish people in the time of Jesus.
(5) The whole multitude of men living at the same time. A period ordinarily occupied by each successive generation, say, of thirty or forty years.
(6) It mostly denotes “generation” in the sense of contemporaries… Mt. 24:34. This generation is to be understood temporally.
(7) The age or period of a body of contemporaries…. The generation lasts as long as any of the members survive.
(8) … from thirty to forty years….
(9) … the sum total of individuals forming a contemporary group.
(10) The period of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children… most biblical writers seem to consider thirty to forty years a normal generation.
(11) …the period from a man’s birth to that of his son–and collectively the people who live in that period.
(12) …the period of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children… the term simply refers to all people living at a particular time.
(13) A body of people who live at the same time in a given period of history.
(14) …from thirty to forty years… contemporaries.
(15) Used in the general sense of a period of time, the span of one human life, or those who live at a particular period of time.
(16) The “circle” of life, spanning from a man’s birth to that of his son… forty years.
(17) Mt. 24:34–“This generation” equals the persons then living contemporary with Christ.
(18) The age or period of a body of contemporaries….
(19) Mt. 24:34–“This generation” equals the persons then living contemporary with Christ.
(20) …about 25 years. A generation is all the people living at about the same period of time, Mt 24:34.
(21) In general, the word generation in the Bible refers to any contemporary group.
(22) It was fixed by some at 100 years, by others at 110, by others at 33, 25, and even at 20 years.
(23) Of all men living at any given time… Mt 24:34… a period of about 30 to 33 years.
(24) Matt xxiv.34, “This generation shall not pass….” All who are at present living shall not be dead when this shall come to pass. There are some at this day living, who shall be witnesses of the evils which I have foretold shall befall the Jews.
(25) We must adhere to the ordinary usage, according to which dor signifies an age, or the men living in a particular age.
Six Bible Encyclopedias: genea.
(1) Genea refers to a period of time loosely defined as the time between a parent’s prime and that of his child…. Those living at a given time in history are referred to as a generation.
(2) Matt. 24:34, genea means the generation or persons then living contemporary with Christ.
(3) Genea: It has the concept of the sum total of those born at the same time–contemporaries.
(4) Genea means the generation of persons then living contemporary with Christ.
(5) Matt. xxix.34, genea means the generation or persons then living contemporary with Christ.
(6) “The present generation” comprises all those who are now alive. Matt xxiv.34, some now living shall witness the event foretold. Our Lord uses the term to express a period of about 36 or 37 years… say about A.D. 70.
Sixteen Bible Commentaries: genea.
(1) …verse 34 solemnly promises that Jesus will return while some of his contemporaries are still alive (a reprise of 16:28)…. The gospel testimony provides strong support for this view: Jesus did not know all things.
(2) (This generation) can only with the greatest of difficulty be made to mean anything other than the generation living when Jesus spoke.
(3) “This generation” clearly designates the contemporaries of Jesus.
(4) The statement in verse 34 is a difficult one. If generation is to be taken in this strict sense, then “all these things” must be limited to the events culminating in A.D. 70…. The majority of the best scholars today insist that generation be taken in its strictest sense.
(5) Jesus was quite certain that they would happen within the then living generation.
(6) [Matthew] probably believed, however, that the end could come before all of Jesus’ hearers had died.
(7) Further, he [Jesus] insists that his words are infallible, and that they are more certain than the material universe itself….
(8) This verse recalls 16.28, and affirms that some of the disciples would live to see the Parousia. This would presuppose a relatively early date for the event…. Was Jesus in error in his prediction of the nearness of the end?
(9) In the Old Testament a generation was reckoned as forty years. This is the natural way to take verse 34…. He plainly stated in verse 34 that those events would take place in that generation…. One may, of course, accuse Jesus of hopeless confusion…. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that Jesus, as Man, expected the end within the lifetime of his contemporaries.
(10) The hard fact still remains that if Jesus spoke the sayings of St. Mark xiii and St. Matthew xxiv… he misjudged the extent of his own knowledge and uttered a definite prediction which was not fulfilled.
(11) The Synoptists fell into the contradiction… of making Jesus declare at one moment that He did not know the time of the glorious Advent, and at another that it would infallibly happen within that generation.
(12) The affirmation that “all these things” will happen in this generation is clear, and there is no reason to alter the meaning of the word generation from its usual sense except a fear that the Scriptures may be in error if it is not so altered.
(13) Indeed, the fulfillment will take place before this present generation has passed away.
(14) Did Jesus expect the end within the lifetime of those who heard him speak? It seems quite certain that the early church so understood him.
(15) Matthew made it clear that some of the first disciples would live to see the Parousia.
(16) … v. 34; there are those now alive, who shall see Jerusalem destroyed.
Nine Christian Scholars & Authors: genea & Matthew 24:34.
(1) REV. CHUCK SMITH: As a rule, a generation in the Bible lasts 40 years.
(2) DR. DAVID FRIEDRICH STRAUSS: …the word genea… was put to the torture….
(3) GEORGE MURRY: If the saying relates to the parousia, it sets the end time within the bounds of the first generation church. The phrase “this generation” should cause no difficulty for interpreters… It always signifies his [Jesus’] contemporaries.
(4) DR. ALBERT SCHWEITZER: And He [Jesus] was to come, moreover, within the lifetime of the generation to which He had proclaimed the nearness of the Kingdom of God.
(5) GARY DEMAR: No future generation of Jews is meant here.
(6) REV. STUART RUSSELL: Next, our Lord sums up with an affirmation calculated to remove every vestige of doubt or uncertainty, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” One would reasonably suppose that after a note of time so clear and express there could not be room for controversy.
Our Lord Himself has settled the question. Ninety-nine persons in every hundred would undoubtedly understand His words as meaning that the predicted catastrophe would fall within the lifetime of the existing generation. Not that all would live to witness it, but that most or many would. There can be no question that this would be the interpretation which the disciples would place upon the words…. His coming… would come to pass before the existing generation had wholly passed away, and within the limits of their own lifetime.
(7) EDWARD GIBBON: [Members of the primitive church] were obliged to expect the second and glorious coming of the Son of Man in the clouds before that generation was totally extinguished which had beheld his humble condition upon the earth.
(8) REV. MILTON TERRY: The words immediately preceding them show the absurdity of applying them to another generation than that of the apostles: “When ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors.” The teaching of Jesus was emphatic beyond all rational question that that generation should not pass away before all those things of which they inquired should be fulfilled.
(9) DR. WILLIAM LANE CRAIG: Two generations past the time of Jesus lands you in the 2nd Century.
Thirteen Scholars: The “Race” Argument.
(1) DOUGLAS HARE: Some have argued, for example, that “this generation” refers not to Jesus’ contemporaries but to the Jewish nation or to the church. The linguistic evidence in favor of such proposals is not impressive.
(2) ALAN HUGH M’NEILE: “This generation” cannot mean the Jews as a people, believers in Christ, or the future generation that will experience these things. It must be the particular generation of Jews to whom, or of whom, the words were spoken…. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that Jesus, as Man, expected the End within the lifetime of His contemporaries.
(3) CLIFTON ALLEN: The meaning of “this generation” is much disputed. Efforts like those of Jerome, to make it mean the Jewish race, or of Origen and Chrysostom, to refer it to all Christians, are arbitrary, and are to be rejected. “This generation” refers to the contemporaries of Jesus.
(4) HEINRICH MEYER: Ver. 34. Declaration to the effect that all this is to take place before the generation then living should pass away. (It is) well-nigh absurd (the) manner in which it has been attempted to force into the word genea such meaning as: The Creation, The Human Race, The Jewish Nation, The Class of Men Consisting of My Believers, The Generation of the Elect Now in Question, The Future Generation Which is to Witness Those Events… (The Second Coming) is to occur during the lifetime of the generation then existing.
(5) R.T. FRANCE: (Genea) has been taken to mean The Jewish Race, or Unbelieving Judaism. It is unlikely that such an improbable meaning for the noun would have been suggested at all without the constraint of apologetic embarrassment…! Jesus was wrong.
(6) FLOYD FILSON: The end… will come within a generation. Attempts to translate genea as: Human Race, Jewish Race are misguided; the word refers to the generation living when Jesus spoke.
(7) P. DAVIDS, F.F. BRUCE, M. BRAUCH: This has been regarded as a hard saying…. Plainly the idea that the human race is meant cannot be entertained; every description of (the end of the world) implies that human beings will be around to witness it…. Nor is there much more to be said for the idea the Jewish race is meant; there is no hint anywhere in the New Testament that the Jewish race will cease to exist before the end of the world. In any case, what point would there be in such a vague prediction?
It would be as much as to say, “At some time in the indefinite future all these things will take place.” Jesus’ hearers could have understood him to mean only that “all these things” would take place within their generation…. The phrase always means the generation now living.
(8) BIBLE COMMENTARY: …seems to require us here to translate the word genea as meaning “generation,” not, as it is sometimes rendered, race or people. (Generation) is the usual meaning.
(9) REV. PATRICK FAIRBAIRN: It has been maintained by some that… our Lord identified generation with the Jewish race…. But that is a very forced explanation; and not a single example can be produced of an entirely similar use of the word. Whatever difficulties may hang around the interpretation of that part of Christ’s discourse, it is impossible to understand by “the generation that was not to pass away” anything but the existing race of men living at the time when the word was spoken.
(10) BRUCE CHILTON: Some have sought to get around the force of (Mt. 24:34) by saying that the word generation here really means race, and that Jesus was simply saying that the Jewish race would not die out until all these things took place. Is that true? I challenge you: Get out your concordance and look up every New Testament occurrence of the word generation, and see if it ever means “race” in any other context….
Not one of these references is speaking of the entire Jewish race over thousands of years; all use the word in its normal sense of the sum total of those living at the same time. It always refers to contemporaries. In fact, those who say it means “race” tend to acknowledge this fact, but explain that the word suddenly changes its meaning when Jesus uses it in Matthew 24! We can smile at such a transparent error ….
(11) DR. ALBERT SCHWEITZER: These words (Mt. 24:34) must be strained into meaning, not that generation, but the Jewish people. Thus by exegetical art they are saved forever, for the Jewish race will never die out.
(12) REV. MILTON TERRY: The various meanings which, under the pressure of a dogmatic (crisis), have been put upon the phrase “this generation” must appear in the highest degree absurd to an unbiased critic. It has been explained (away) as meaning: The Human Race [Jerome], The Jewish Race [Dorner], The Race of Christian Believers [Chrysostom].
(13) REV. STUART RUSSELL: It has been contended by many that in (Mt 24:34) the word genea should be rendered “race” or “nation….” But we think… without any shadow of doubt that the expression “this generation” so often employed by our Lord, always refers solely and exclusively to His contemporaries, the Jewish people of His own period.
References for 52 Translations of Matthew 24:34.
1) New American Standard Bible, 2) The Holy Bible [Knox], 3) Concordant Literal New Testament, 4) The Modern Reader’s Bible, 5) The Complete Bibles: An American Translation, 6) The New Testament [Cunnington], 7) The Emphasized New Testament, 8) The New King James Bible, 9) The New Testament in Modern English, 10) The New International Version, 11) New Revised Standard Version, 12) Revised Standard Version, 13) The New Testament [Anderson], 14) Young’s Literal Translation, 15) American Standard Version, 16) King James Version, 17) Bible in Basic English, 18) Darby Bible, 19) International Standard Version, 20) 21st Century King James Version, 21) A Literal Translation of The Bible, 22) Green’s Modern King James Version, 23) The Bible in Living English, 24) The New Jerusalem Bible, 25) The New Testament [Revised Rheims], 26) The New World Translation, 27) The New American Bible, 28) An American Translation, 29) The Riverside New Testament, 30) The New Testament [Wesley], 31) The Good News According to Matthew, 32) The New Testament in Basic English, 33) The Authentic New Testament, 34) The Corrected English New Testament, 35) The Four Gospels: A New Translation, 36) The New Testament According To The Eastern Text, 37) [A pre-published translation from the Aramaic by Alexander], 38) God’s New Covenant: A New Testament Translation, 39) Tyndale’s New Testament, 40) The Twentieth Century New Testament, 41) The New Life Testament, 42) Centenary Translation of the New Testament, 43) The Holy Bible in Modern English, 44) The Bibles: A New Translation, 45) The New English Bible, 46) The New Testament in Modern Speech, 47) The Berkeley Version, 48) The Scholar’s Version, 49) Holy Bibles: Contemporary English Version, 50) The Amplified New Testament, 51) The Everyday Bible, New Century Version, 52) Today’s English Version.
References for 5 Greek Lexicons: genea.
1) Greek & English Lexicon of the New Testament [Robinson], 2) The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, 3) The Analytical Lexicon To The Greek New Testament [Mounce], 4) Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 5) A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, Vol. 1 [Arndt & Gingrich].
References for 25 Bible Dictionaries: genea.
1) The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 2) The Imperial Bible Dictionary, 3) New Bible Dictionary, 4) Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 5) An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, 6) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [Kittel], 7) The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, 8) Smith’s Bible Dictionary, 9) Harper’s Bible Dictionary, 10) The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, 11) The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 12) Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, 13) Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 14) Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, 15) Concise Dictionary of The Bible, 16) The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, 17) Easton’s Bible Dictionary, 18) Davis Dictionary of the Bible, 19) Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, 20) A Dictionary of the Bible and Christian Doctrine in Everyday English, 21) Dictionary of The Bible, 22) A Biblical and Theological Dictionary, 23) A Dictionary of the Bible, 24) Cruden’s Dictionary of Bible Terms, 25) The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary.
References for 6 Bible Encylopedia: genea.
1) The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 2) The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopaedia, 3) Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, 4) Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, 5) The Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, 6) The Comprehensive Critical & Explanatory Bible Encyclopaedia.
References for 16 Bible Commentaries: genea.
1) Matthew [Hare], 2) The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 3) Commentary on the Gospel of Mark [Wm Lane], 4) The Wesleyan Bible Commentary [Earle], 5) The Expositor’s Greek Testament [Bruce], 6) The Interpreter’s Bible, 7) The Gospel of Matthew [Robinson], 8) New Century Bibles: The Gospel of Matthew, 9) Word Pictures in the New Testament [A.T. Robinson], 10) Primitive Christian Eschatology [Dewick], 11) The Eschatology of Jesus [Muirhead], 12) The Jerome Biblical Commentary, 13) The Interpreter’s Bible [vol. 7], 14), The Interpreter’s Bible [vol. 8], 15) Peake’s Commentary, 16) The NIV Matthew Henry Commentary.
References for Nine Christian Scholars & Authors: genea & Matthew 24:34.
1) Future Survival, Chuck Smith, The Word for Today, Costa Mesa, CA 1978, page 17
2) The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, Dr. David Friedrich Strauss, Sigler Press, Ramsey, NJ 1994, page 587
3) Jesus and The Last Days, George Murray, Hendrickson Pub., Peabody, Mass. 1993, pages 443-444
4) The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Macmillian, NY, 1968, page 240
5) Last Days Madness, Gary DeMar, American Vision Inc., Atlanta, GA 1994, page 114
6) The Parousia, Stuart Russell, T. Fisher Unwin Pub., London, 1887, page 84
7) The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, Penguin Books, NY 1985, page 276
8) Apocalypse of The Gospels, Milton Terry, (1819), chapter 18 reprinted and its pages renumbered in 1992 by John Bray, PO Box 90129, Lakeland, FL 33804, pages 34 & 38
9) Dr. William Lane Craig lecture attended by Mark Smith, given at Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach, CA, 1-11-99, statement @ 8:33 PM
References for 13 Scholars: The “Race” Argument.
1) Matthew, Douglas Hare, John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1993, p. 281
2) The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Alan Hugh M’Neile, Macmillan & Co., London 1949, p. 354-355
3) The Broadman Bible Commentary, Vol. 8, Clifton Allen, ed., Broadman Press, Nashville, TN 1969, p. 221
4) Critical and Exegetical Hand-Book To The Gospel of Matthew, Heinrich Meyer (1883), Alpha Pub., Winona Lake, IN 1980, p. 426
5) The Gospel According to Matthew, R.T. France, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985, p. 346
6) A Commentary on The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Floyd Filson, Adam & Charles Black Pub., London, 1960, p. 257
7) Hard Sayings of the Bible, W. Kaiser, P. Davids, F.F. Bruce, M. Brauch, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill, 1996, pp. 445-448
8) Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY 1901, p. 144
9) The Imperial Bible Dictionary, Vol. II, Rev. Patrick Fairbairn, Blackie & Son, London, 1885, p. 352
10) The Great Tribulation, David Chilton, Dominion Press, Ft. Worth, TX 1987, p. 3
11) The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Macmillian, NY, 1968, p. 22
12) Apocalypse of The Gospels, Milton Terry (1819), chapter 18 reprinted and its pages renumbered in 1992 by John Bray, PO Box 90129, Lakeland, FL 33804, p. 34
13) The Parousia, J. Stuart Russell, T. Fisher Unwin Pub., London, 1887, p. 85
The greek word ‘genea’ in mathew 24:34 can only mean ‘this generation’ part 3:
Generation does not mean “race.” Check it with Strong’s. There is a word in the Bible that does mean “race.” It is the Greek word genos. (1085. genos, ghen’-os; from G1096; “kin” (abstr. or concr., lit. or fig., indiv. or coll.):–born, country (-man), diversity, generation, kind (-red), nation, offspring, stock). The word for generation is genea. (1074. genea, ghen-eh-ah’; from (a presumed der. of) G1085; a generation; by impl. an age (the period or the persons):–age, generation, nation, time.)!!
Back to generation: First, it is imperative to understand the Bible’s explicit definition of the word generation. This can be found in the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 3:7-10 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
Another passage that defines the word generation is found in Acts 8 where the Ethiopian eunuch is approached by Philip while reading Isaiah 53:
Acts 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Jesus probably did not live more than thirty three years. “His generation” and “His life” are terms that correlate with each other, signifying the timing of His life and ministry. Also, in Acts, is the sermon of Paul:
Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
What happened after David “served his own generation?” He died. His serving his own generation was the period of time that he was king of Israel. How long did David serve his generation, i.e. how long was he king? We find an indisputable passage that defines the generation of which Paul spoke:
1 Kings 2:11And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
In light of these clear definitions of generation, let us look at the other passages containing the same word.
Matthew 11:16-19 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Jesus in the bible was referring to the Pharisees of His day. This is proven by vs.18, in which He mentions the name of John the Baptist, and vs.19, where He mentions Himself. It was particularly their generation that came into contact with John and Jesus, the bible says that the Pharisees rejected them both; thus, the words: “But whereunto shall I liken THIS generation?”
Matthew 12:38-42 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, WE would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, 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, 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.
Clearly, the Pharisees wanted proof that Jesus was truly the Messiah and the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. Therefore, they wanted to OBSERVE the lame walk, the blind see, and the deaf hear. It is because of this that Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous GENERATION seeketh after a sign.” Jesus was addressing them. Even beyond that, He told them that the Gentiles would rise in the judgment with their generation. Yet another passage that identifies the specific generation to whom Jesus was referring is found in Matthew 17:
Matthew 17:14-17 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with YOU? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
The generation that had the privilege of seeing the miracles of Christ was continually being reproved for its lack of faith. They actually were able to SEE the miracles and still doubted the power of God. Christ, accordingly, designated THEM as a faithless and perverted generation. The question of Christ in regard to their faithlessness is certainly proof of the identity of their generation: “how long shall I be WITH YOU?” It is unmistakably clear in this passage that Christ exactly defined his audience.
Peter told the people in his day to “save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). The whole theme of the epistles was urgently preparing the professing Christians for the Day of the Lord. The Jews of the first-century were warned to not draw back unto the perdition of the condemned Pharisees. Peter compelled the Jews to repent from the dead works of the Pharisees.
In Luke 17, we find a passage pertaining to the second coming that also uses genea:
Luke 17:24-25 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
Interestingly, the bible says, “He must first suffer many things and be rejected of this generation.” This definitely gives strong implication that the timing of the two events (the suffering of jesus according to the bible and His coming: cf. 1 Peter 1:11) is within the same generation, or forty-year period.
Perhaps the strongest passage (besides Hebrews 3:7-10) that classifies the limit of scope pertaining to those who would be alive at the second coming is found in Matthew chapter twenty-three:
Matthew 23:13-39 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 WOE unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you 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: 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 between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Seven times Jesus identifies his audience as “scribes and Pharisees.” He labels them as hypocrites, fools, blind guides, full of extortion and excess, whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness, and lastly, generation of vipers. The Greek word used in vs.33 for generation is different from that in vs.36 It is the word gennema which Strong’s defines as offspring. If Jesus wanted to clarify that He was referring to the race or offspring in vs.36, He certainly would have used gennema. However, this is not the case. Jesus was ever so explicit in declaring to the scribes and the Pharisees that upon them “would 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 between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”; in other words, “upon those living now.”
An extremely lucid passage that unequivocally associates the timing of the first-century generation is in the Gospel of Mark:
Mark 8:38-9:1 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. 9:1 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.
Finally, we see the word generation used in the Olivet discourse. After describing the signs that would take place before the destruction of the Temple, jesus in the bible uses the same word generation to let the hearers know that He would do “all these things” before their forty-year generation would “pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-34 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.
Therefore, the bible teaches that the generation to whom Jesus was speaking would experience His parousia (second coming) .
It must be clear after all the evidences shown in this article that:
Truly I say to you, this GENERATION [Greek: genea] will not pass away until all these things take place. ( Matthew 24:34 NASB )
refers to the first generation christians, the generation of jesus his time.
“Jesus, in the discourses which are attributed to him, announces that he will come back immediately after Jerusalem has been defiled. If the words which are placed in his mouth have any sense, they have this sense; But for everyone who is not a sophist this dilemma poses itself categorically: either Jesus is mistaken or these discourses are not from him. The Christian church cannot without disloyalty escape this dilemma.” (T. Colani, Croyances Messianiques, 252.)
Thessalonians 4:13-18But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul writes to inform the Thessalonians of what will take place when the Lord returns. Paul clearly taught that he would still be alive when this event would happen, off course this was because jesus told his followers that he would come soon ‘in this generation’, paul also tells that at the end of time the believers will caught up together to meet their Lord, this is also described in
Mathew 24:30-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Here the angels gather the elect from the earth to appear before the throne. When Christ comes for his church, the church is “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air (Thessalonians 4:17) , all these things should have happened also in the first century according to the bible. It’s a fact that Jesus said in the Bibles:
Mathew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
How could this be possible will a christian say. Well David Brown has a good explenation:
David Brown (1858)
“Does not this tell us plainly as words could do it, that the whole prophecy was meant to apply to the destruction of Jerusalem? There is but one way of setting this aside, but how forced it is, must, I think, appear to every unbiased mind. It is by translating, not ‘this generation,’ …but ‘this nation shall not pass away:” in other words, the Jewish nation shall survive all the things here predicted! Nothing but some fancied necessity, arising out of their view of the prophecy, could have led so many sensible men to put this gloss upon our Lord’s words. Only try the effect of it upon the perfectly parallel announcement in the previous chapter: ‘
Fill ye up them the measure of your fathers.. Wherefore, behold, I send you 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 from city to city… that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation‘ … Matt. xxiii. 32, 34-36). Does not the Lord here mean the then existing generation of the Israelites? Beyond all question he does; and if so, what can be plainer than that this is his meaning in the passage before us? (Christ’s Second Coming, Will it be Pre-millennial?, p. 435)
(Note: mathew 24:33 also speaks about the son of man coming with the sound of the trumpet, which clearly refers to the end of days and the resurrection of the death Mathew 24:31 : 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. , therefor it’s impossible with the present (altered) words in mathew 24:33 to say that this prophecie does not refer to the end of times)
Like before in history it would be no surprise if the church altered and changed some verses of the prophecie in Mathew chapter 24, this could very well have been happened in this case. Like David Brown says: the whole prophecy was meant to apply to the destruction of Jerusalem , perhaps for some reasons (politcal influence/power) the church tampted and altered this prophecie by adding words and descriptions to it, to make it also a prophecie about ‘the end of times ‘ and ‘jesus his second coming’ (while the original prophecie only referred to the destruction of jerusalem.
Remeber that we can’t trust the gospel of Mathew , for example:
“…And as Jesus passed forth thence, HE (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and HE (Jesus) saith unto HIM (Matthew), follow ME (Jesus) and HE (Matthew) arose, and followed HIM (Jesus). (Matthew 9:9)”
Did “Matthew” write this about himself? Why then didn’t Matthew write for example: “he (Jesus) saw ME, and my name is Matthew. I was sitting at the receipt of custom…” etc. we just can’t trust this Gospel.
The authorship of this Gospel is traditionally ascribed to St Matthew, a tax-collector who became an apostle of Jesus. However, most modern scholars are content to let it remain anonymous.
The relation of the gospels to each other is the subject of some debate. Most modern scholars believe that Matthew borrowed from Mark and Q, but some scholars believe that Matthew was written first and that Mark borrowed from Matthew (see: Augustinian hypothesis). Out of a total of 1071 verses, Matthew has 387 in common with Mark and the Gospel of Luke, 130 with Mark, 184 with Luke; only 387 being peculiar to itself.
Like the authors of the other gospels, the author of Matthew wrote this book according to his own plans and aims and from his own point of view, while at the same time borrowing from other sources. According to the two-source hypothesis (the most commonly accepted solution to the synoptic problem), Matthew borrowed from both Mark and a hypothetical sayings collection, known by scholars as Q (for the German Quelle, meaning “source”).
In The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins (published in 1924), Burnett Hillman Streeter argued that a third source, referred to as M and also hypothetical, lies behind the material in Matthew that has no parallel in Mark or Luke. Through the remainder of the 20th century there were various challenges and refinements of Streeter’s hypothesis. For example, in his 1953 book The Gospel Before Mark Pierson Parker posited an early version of Matthew (proto-Matthew) as the primary source of both Matthew and Mark, and Q source used by Matthew
Remember that the church is proven guilty of changing the scripture (by adding verses to it) !
See for proof:
https://www.answering-christianity.com/scholars_refute.htm ( Christian Scholars refuting the status of the NT as an inspired scripture)
The lie of 1 John 5:7 and Timothy 3:16:
Sir Isaac Newton On The Bible
In 1690, Sir Isaac Newton (died 1727) wrote a manuscript on the corruption of the text of the New Testament concerning I John 5:7 and Timothy 3:16. It was entitled, “A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture.” Due to the prevailing environment against criticism, he felt it unwise to profess his beliefs openly and felt that printing it in England would be too dangerous.
Newton sent a copy of this manuscript to John Locke requesting him to have it translated into French for publication in France. Two years later, Newton was informed of an attempt to publish a Latin translation of it anonymously. However, Newton did not approve of its availability in Latin and persuaded Locke to take steps to prevent this publication. Below are excerpts from “A Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture.”
Newton on I John 5:7
Newton states that this verse appeared for the first time in the third edition of Erasmus’s New Testament. When they got the Trinity; into his edition they threw by their manuscript, if they had one, as an almanac out of date. And can such shuffling dealings satisfy considering men?….It is rather a danger in religion than an advantage to make it now lean on a broken reed.
In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome’s time and both before and long enough after it, this text of the “three in heaven” was never once thought of. It is now in everybody’s mouth and accounted the main text for the business and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books. “Let them make good sense of it who are able. For my part, I can make none.
If it be said that we are not to determine what is Scripture what not by our private judgments, I confess it in places not controverted, but in disputed places I love to take up with what I can best understand. It is the temper of the hot and superstitious art of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and therefore take that to be his which is the best.”
Newton on I Timothy 3:16
In all the times of the hot and lasting Arian controversy it never came into play . . . they that read “God manifested in the flesh” think it one of the most obvious and pertinent texts for the business. “The word Deity imports exercise of dominion over subordinate beings and the word God most frequently signifies Lord. Every lord is not God. The exercise of dominion in a spiritual being constitutes a God. If that dominion be real that being is the real God; if it be fictitious, a false God; if it be supreme, a supreme God.” Newton also wrote a discussion on two other texts that Athanasius had attempted to corrupt. This work has not been preserved. He believed that not all the books of the Scriptures have the same authority.
Reference A. Wallace, “Anti-Trinitarian Biographies,” Vol. III, 1850.
One thing is sure after the evidence presented in this article ‘the bible failed to fullfill his own prophecie about the end of time and the second coming of jesus”
Allah swt knows best