Category Archives: AD 70

THE DISCIPLES’ CONFUSION AT OLIVET (3)

PMW 2019-004 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third installment in a four-part series on the disciples’ two questions to Jesus in Matt. 24:3: As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'”

I have been showing that throughout his ministry the disciples display confusion regarding his teaching. I believe this explains why they are confused with his short prophecy in Matt. 24:2.

You need to read the two prior articles before reading this one. I will wait a few minutes to give you the time. . . . . There, that should do it.

My previous articles

In the two previous articles I point out: Continue reading

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THE DISCIPLES’ CONFUSION AT OLIVET (2)

PMW 2019-003 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a four-part series on the disciples’ confusion regarding Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s destruction in Matt. 24:2. In Matt. 24:3 they ask privately: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” It is important that we recognize that Jesus untangles their confused thoughts in the Olivet Discourse that follows. What the disciples have joined together, the Son of Man has separated, you might say.

In my forthcoming commentary on Matt. 21–25 and very briefly in this blog series, I will be explaining Jesus’ resolution to the disciples’ confusion. I will be showing that the disciples assume the destruction of the temple will occur at the end of history, the end of the age when the Final Judgment is to occur (of which he had taught them earlier, Matt. 13:39–43, 47–50). Though they claim to understand Jesus’ teaching (Matt. 13:51), Jesus will correct their error by unscrewing what to them was inscrutable. That is, though he will affirm the theological linkage of AD 70 and the Final Judgment, he will declare the historical distinction of these two events: one occurs at the beginning of Christian history, the other at the end of human history. Continue reading

THE DISCIPLES’ CONFUSION AT OLIVET (1)

PMW 2019-002 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Olivet Discourse is a popular and important text in eschatological discussions. Indeed, it is Jesus’ largest recorded eschatological instruction.

Unfortunately, verses can be yanked from their context and be used in a seemingly compelling construct that goes against what Christ is actually teaching. This passage in particular requires careful investigation and thoughtful deliberation. For as D. A. Carson notes (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 8:488): “Few chapters of the Bible have called forth more disagreement among interpreters.” Sentiments such as Carson’s could be multiplied to distraction. (In fact, I am distracted just now, and will go get a Krispy Kreme doughnut. But I will return.) Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (3)

PMW 2018-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third and final article in a brief series showing how the destruction of the temple in AD 70 pointed to and even symbolized the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment.

In the last article I noted that the Jews believed the temple was permanent, existing as long as the world would last. Thus, many scholars comment on this religious perspective in Judaism regarding the temple’s relevance to the world order.

The temple’s relation to the world

Lee I. Levine (2002: 246) notes that the temple “was where God dwelled, this was the cosmic center of the universe (axis mundi), the navel (omphalos) of the world that both nurtured it and bound together heaven and earth.” Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-081 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a three-part study of the temple’s AD 70 destruction as an historical judgment on Israel that pointed to the Final Judgment on the nations.  The last article set up this and the next article by pointing out: (1) the two-schema structure of history (Heb. 1:1–2) and (2) the nature of the Final Judgment (in Matt. 24:31–46). Having laid this groundwork, we can now start looking at the temple to begin considering how its destruction speaks of the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment

The Olivet Discourse can flow quite easily and most naturally from the destruction of the temple in AD 70 to the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment. Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The destruction of the temple in AD 70 not only points to the judgment of God on Israel, but also pictures the judgment of God on the world at the Last Day. We can see this in many ways, one of which is by understanding the temple structure itself — and how it’s meaning pictures the future end of the world.

As noted in previous articles on this site, I am currently working on a commentary on Matt. 21–25 (see conclusion of article below). This section forms a discrete literary unit in Matthew’s Gospel in which we find the Olivet Discourse as its climax. In this commentary I will be demonstrating that the Discourse opens with a prophecy of judgment against the Temple in AD 70, which ends the old covenant era, but then shifts to the Final Judgment of the world, which ends the new covenant era (and history itself). Those who limit all prophecy-fulfillment to AD 70 effectively promote a Jesus who is a Jewish sage, not realizing the fullness of his ministry and the significance of the Olivet Discourse. [1]

In this three-article series I will very briefly offer an interesting insight into the fact that the temple’s judgment not only serves as a judgment on Israel, but also pictures the final judgment upon all nations. But before I do that, I must note the biblical structure of redemptive-history. Continue reading

MATTHEW 24:28 “EAGLES” OR “VULTURES”?

PMW 2018-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In the opening section of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25), Jesus deals initially and significantly with the approaching AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem by Roman imperial forces (vv. 4–34). We may easily surmise this from the local context. After all, the Discourse is introduced by Jesus’ prophesying the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), then linking his prophecy to the temple locale (“the holy place,” v. 15), warning the local residents to flee from the area (Jerusalem is in Judea, v. 16), and informing them generally when it will occur (in “this generation,” v. 34). [1]

The Roman eagle

Matt. 24:28 is an interesting verse embedded in this context. But its frequent mistranslation dulls the cutting edge of Jesus’ warning about the Roman invasion. Continue reading