Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Olivite Discourse, Mark

Mark, also is distinct from the other two, is generally set aside.

Starting again with the setting, Mark's more resembles Matthew's as it's a private teaching and not a public sermon. But while in Matthew all the Disciples are implied to be present, Mark 13:3 says "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately". So this is even more selective knowledge, at least at first.

Now for Mark's version of the core set of signs all 3 have in common.

Mr 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am He; and shall deceive many.  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
What I neglected to address here before is that the "be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet." And it's equivalent wording in the other accounts is basically saying these aren't signs at all. Chuck Missler likes to call them the "non signs". Their about conditions that exist all through the period of time between The Second and Third Temples. To a lesser extent they can apply to Pre-70 A.D. too, as students of the History know, and could continue into the 70th week also. But for Eschatological Doctrine building purposes this is defining of the Temple-less Diaspora period.

The account of the persecution is more like Luke's because it's defined as being Jewish in origin. But it does have a connection to Matthew's where it talks of the Gospel being preached to all nations. But Mark is saying not to worry for the Church can't be wiped out during this period because the Gospel must be preached to all nations and that hasn't happened yet. While Matthew says that at that time The Gospel will be Preached to all nations, and that is the last thing to happen before the Abomination of Desolation.

The timing distinction between the Non Signs and the Persecution that is so important to the Matthew-Luke distinction doesn't exist at all. As if in Mark this Persecution is during this period, not before or after.

After the Abomination of Desolation part it parallels Matthew's pretty well. But the core of my view of Mark 13 is in how the Abomination of Desolation is described differently in Mark. Matthew says it will happen in the Holy Place, in the Temple. But in Mark.

Mr 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
"Where it ought not", is a pretty interesting distinction. Mark's, unlike every other reference, does not require The Temple to be standing for it to be literally fulfilled. Just an Abomination placed on that same land area.

I think we are dealing with a double fulfillment in this verse. I know your thinking "but the near fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation was Antiochus Epiphanes, already in the past". Some times the multiple fulfillment doctrine has even more then just two. Every key detail of Jesus's First Advent had an OT foreshadowing, and some of the First Advent has a Second Repeat, mainly the Triumphal Entry.

Something that could be viewed as "close enough" was already in the past even in Daniel's time. King Manasseh of Judah, son of Hezekiah, placed Idols in The Temple.

I think the double fulfillment applies only to to the Abomination verse here. I don't see any future Christian persecutions being chiefly Jewish in origin, so what's before it here is the past. But what's after strongly matches Matthew too much for me to see it as different. So this Abomination is a jump forward point. Like how Daniel 8 jumps forward at Antiochus Epiphanes persecution, and Daniel 11:35 at the Maccabees victory.

I believe The Abomination of Desolation that is the near fulfillment here is The Equestrian Statue of Hadrian in the Jupiter Temple complex built over the Holy Mount after the Bar Kochba revolt was crushed. I discus that statue elsewhere, when I talk of my support for the Southern Conjecture or Al-Kas fountain view of The Temple's location.

The Bar Kochba revolt's importance to not just Jewish but Christian History is sadly overlooked. To me it's vital, and I also believe it was Bar Kochba not The Beast Yeshua meant in John 5:43 "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." Though I also consider that a verse not to build Doctrine on at all, least not Prophetic Doctrine, as the "if" makes it purely hypothetical. Like the imagined Psalm 83 War, or the hypothetical Assyrian attack in Micah 5.

What more people need to understand about the schism between Judaism and Christianity, is that it didn't simply go from bad to worse consistently from Stephen to Hitler.

The Jewish-Christian conflicts you see in Acts (and foretold in Luke 21) actually ceased after 70 A.D. Because the sects of Judaism most hostile to Christians, (Sadducees, Zelots, and Shammai following Pharisees) were completely wiped out in the 66-73 A.D. War. And the sect most tolerant of Christians, the Pharisees who followed Hillel The Elder (Hillel's grandson was the Gamaliel of Acts 4) became the sole surviving sect, until it eventually broke up among themselves. So from 75ish on into Hadrian's reign Christians and Jews not only got along, but were the same to outsiders, as historical references linked to Domitian's persecution of both demonstrates.

But in 132 A.D. Simon Bar Kochba started another Jewish revolt,in response to Hadrian's plans to built a Temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount. Christians might have been supportive, but because he proclaimed himself The Messiah, Christians were naturally not wiling to follow him. So he started a vicious persecution of Christians. And resentment towards this Persecution is what Christian Anti-Semitism was born from, we failed this time to follow the example of Stephen's dying words. "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."

I tend to agree with those Prophecy teachers who say that to some extend all of Israel's history has been laid out in advance by God. The Bar Kochba period is definitely of vital importance.

Perhaps to a lesser extent even what happens after the Abomination verse could have a type fulfillment in this period. Bar Kochba certainly was a False Christ(False Messiah) and the Rabbi who wrote the Sedar Olam to try and make the 70 week Prophecy point to him was indeed a False Prophet and/or False Teacher. And them in Judea did flee, many scholars consider this the real beginning of the Diaspora rather then 70 A.D. Indeed in 70 A.D. it was mostly Jews being taken as slaves to Rome, which Luke's Discourse references but not Mark, Hadrian kicked all the Jews out of Jerusalem, and many out of Judea.

Do the three different contexts color the differences in how the Non Signs are expressed? I will address only one. Contrary to what the many Translations say, the Greek text used Christos after "Many shall come in my name, saying, I am....." only in Matthew.

First though does the "in my name" really mean literally claiming to be Jesus? Not really, it can just mean someone usurping his status. Revelation 19 says both "and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself." and "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

You might at first think this usage of the word Christ/Messiah is the opposite of what you'd expect. The two in the contexts of Jewish in origin persecution, and Jewish revolts that involved Messianic claimants. But I think the key is who's being warned not to be deceived. Matthew the most has a Jewish context in mind. While the other two are for more general predominantly Gentile Christians, they weren't vulnerable to thinking Bar Kochba was The Messiah.

Luke's is the one taught publicly because that was the one nearest to be fulfilled, the word needed to spread fast. Matthew and Mark quickly wrote down what future generations needed to know.

Matthew's was heard by all 12 Disciples, so Matthew was again recording something he was an eye witness too, he tends to write down the longest speeches, being trained in short hand as a Roman customs official gave him an advantage there. I believe the statements of the Early Fathers that Mark was writing down what Peter preached in the 40s A.D. is correct, and has possible Biblical support in Peter's referring to Mark in his Epistle. I also believe subtleties of the text in Acts 13 imply Mark's Gospel was already written by the time those events took place. So we have Peter's eye witness account in Mark 13.

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