Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000
#9. Much of the talk about “the end of the world” comes from a single question asked by the Nazarene’s disciples at Matthew 24:3. Because of the way the King James Version translated the question, together with centuries of misunderstanding, this single verse is the cause of so much current talk about the Return of Christ and the complete end of the world. What was this question? From what perspective did the disciples ask it? What, exactly, was Jesus’ answer to these disciples’ question?
#10. Matthew 24:3 reads, according to the highly respected King James Version:
‘Tell us, what shall be the Sign thy Coming and the End of the World?’
#11. Two things have been deduced from this question: a) there will be some kind of “sign” preceding the Return of Christ; and, b) then the whole world will end. As a result of this view ten thousand Christian evangelists and scholars have claimed to have discovered the cryptic “sign,” with many of them going so far as to establish a precise “day and hour” for the “coming” of Christ.
#12. “The end of the world” has been predicted in virtually every century from the time of Christ. Whenever a particular generation witnessed wars, famines, plagues, earthquakes and mysterious comets, then certain prophets foretold doom. Many have developed complex calculations based on the Hebrew Bible Book of Daniel and the Christian Bible Book of Revelation in order to pinpoint an exact day in a precise year. This has been so prominently from the 1,800s when every decade saw a new prophecy. Dates such as 1820,1844, 1874, 1884, 1914, 1918, 1926, 1940, 1975, 1985, and, recently, the year 2,000. As each date passed new explanations were offered.
#13. It cannot pass without notice that these predicted dates served the financial interests of these prophets. Millions of copies of books and booklets raked in untold gain to these teachers. Books or sermons with catchy titles: “THE TIME IS AT HAND,” or “MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE! or “THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH.” It also serves as a means of control over a “deceived” flock. It finally leads to great disappointment and loss of faith on the part of sincere followers.
#14. Any reader who wishes to take the time to read the verses leading up to the disciples’ question of the Nazarene will get a clear idea of the context of their question. These can be found in three Gospels often called the Synoptics: Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21. Please take this precious time and read these verses now. For your own interest and convenience the three Gospels have been combined into one compound paraphrase in a rendering of the Greek.9 Footnotes are provided but you may wish to just read the text first and return to the commentary later.
|9||GREEK. This combination of the three Gospels accounts of the disciples’ question and the Nazarene’s answer is presented in the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM].|
Nazarene Commentary 2000©
Mark Heber Miller
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