Re: Syn. Apoc. (Political Upheaval)

From: Bruce Terry (
Date: Mon Sep 04 1995 - 12:33:00 EDT

On Tue, 29 Aug 1995, Jan Haugland wrote (combining two messages):

>> A: v. 29 Transition from the desolation of Jerusalem ("after those
>> days")
>"*Immediately* after the tribulation of those days", again referring to the
>siege on Jerusalem.
>> B: vv. 30-33 Coming of the Son of Man
>This shift is not possible either. Verse 30 begins with "then" [=tote], so it
>refers directly to the preceding words. These dramatic celestial events (I hope
>this is an audience where I don't have to point out that these are well-used
>symbols in the OT) would be *the* sign of the coming of Christ. THEN he would

And replying to Philip Graber, Jan wrote:
>If Matthew was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, we have him making
>Jesus look very silly in stating that "Immediately after the tribulation of
>those days" (24:29) -- the siege on Jerusalem (v15,16) -- the Son of Man will
>come on the clouds with power and glory (v30), if indeed, He did not come.

I freely grant the presence of the word EUQEWS "immeditately" in this text, a
word which has proven a stumbling block to many interpreters. It is the
presence of this word that causes people to say that this discourse is either
all talking about the second coming (a common understanding in dispensational
circles) or all about the destruction of Jerusalem (a less frequent but
definitely there understanding among those who are strongly anti-
dispensational; Tasker also takes this position in his Tyndale commentary; it
is difficult for me to say whether there are anti-dispensational motivations
behind his position).

The unifying of this passage into one theme is commonly based on a cursory
reading of verses 29 and 30. The text does NOT say, "Immediately after the
tribulation of those days, the Son of man will come," as people commonly read
it. It says that immediately after those days there will be signs in sun,
moon, and stars--language which Jan in other posts has correctly understood as
OT idiom for political upheaval. The coming of the Son of man would be TOTE
"then," either during this time of political upheaval, or next in time
following the political upheaval. The meaning of TOTE is really unimportant
here since the length of time of the political upheaval is not specified. It
could be one year or 3000 in duration as far as the text is concerned. I
suppose it is a matter of faith, rather than scholarship, on my part that I
think we are still in that period.

Bruce Terry E-MAIL:
Box 8426, ACU Station Phone: 915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699 Fax: 915/674-3769

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