PMW 2020-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader recently wrote me with the following observations, for which he wondered how I would reply:
I recently read your book, The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. I thought it was very good.
What is your view of the following?
1. “Take place” in Mt. 24:34 does not require completion but only inception. Compare with Luke 1:20. “ginomai” in the aorist subjective indicates coming into existence without speaking at all regarding completion.
2. The reason Jesus gave to flee Jerusalem when surrounded by armies was that the end is not yet. The end would be the Jews defeating Rome and ending the age of the Jews being without a king.
3. The tribulation of which Jesus spoke began prior to 70 A.D., but continues until the bodily return of Jesus to earth.
Olivet Discourse Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)
Verse-by-verse analysis of Christ’s teaching on Jerusalem’s destruction in Matt 24. Shows the great tribulation is past, having occurred in AD 70, and is distinct from the Second Advent at the end of history.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Thanks for reading. And for interacting. However, I believe each one of the points you are concerned about is mistaken.
Actually the first observation you mention about the inceptive nature of the verse is mistaken. The eos (“until”) is linked with the particle an (untranslated) that immediately follows it. Thus, the subjunctive genetai simply implies the indefinite time of the events. That indefinite time is when “all these things take place,” i.e., all the things predicted before this verse. These will occur in “this generation” (of Jesus’ day) but we don’t know how long that will take — though they must occur before that generation vanishes away.
Your second observation is also mistaken. The reason the Jewish believers are to flee Jerusalem is NOT because “the end is not yet.” Rather it is because they will be destroyed if they remain in Jerusalem (vv. 17–22). Thus, they are not to worry about their property items; they are to be concerned for their very lives. And how are “the days cut short” (v. 22) if they have already lasted 2000 years? Your view doesn’t make good sense.
If “the great tribulation” began in AD 70 and continues until Christ’s return, then is isn’t so “great” after all. For I am comfortable — as would be anyone taking their time to use our technology-produced computer to access the Internet to share ideas about Christ, while sitting in an air conditioned room looking through their Christian books that have been widely published for personal study.
Actually, the greatness of the great tribulation is to involve intense warfare from the Roman invaders in that generation long ago (Luke 23:28–30) because of its great evil in rejecting Christ and persecuting his followers (Matt. 23:34–38) — in “this generation” (Matt. 23:36).
I hope these thoughts are helpful!
Thank you for your response. I thought it was very good and I see your point.
Are you saying that “take place” in Mt. 24:34 absolutely cannot be in the ingressive sense, or that the best interpretation is that it is not ingressive?
How would this apply to Luke 1:20? It clearly seems to use the ingressive sense there.
Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball
A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective.
It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.
For more Christian studies see: www.KennethGentry.com
My second reply:
Grammatical rules are not mechanical and invariable mathematical formulas, to be sure. That is why we have so many Greek text commentaries making different assertions on the same texts. That is why we have so many different functions of the aorist tense and subjunctive mode, etc. Greek grammars would be much shorter if we could just give one meaning for a tense or mode.
But I do not see how Luke 1:20 is evidence in the inceptive direction. In fact, it appears to be the exact opposite.
The context shows that Zacharias was being disciplined (v. 20) for not believing that his old wife (v. 7) would have a baby. (v. 18). That is the basic point of the angelic prophecy — for the angel Gabriel came to answer that particular prayer or petition to God about having a child (v. 13). All the other factors of John’s future life are not the issue: Zacharias did not pray for those things; they were additional blessings. Thus we read that “your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John” (v. 13). This is the fact that would bring him joy (v. 14).
So then, on the day of John’s birth wherein he is formally named “John,” Zacharias was “suddenly, immediately, at once” (Gk., parachrema) able to speak (v. 62-64). This is just as the angel prophesied (v. 20).
I hope this is helpful!
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Tagged: this generation