Re: Syn. Apoc. (Parable of the Fig Tree)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Sep 05 1995 - 12:02:47 EDT

Bruce, it has been my assumption hitherto in considering the Parable of the
Fig Tree that (1) we have to look at Mark's version first, but, more
importantly, (2) we have to look at this in association with the incident
of the fig tree cursed by Jesus that withers overnight (Mk 11:12-14, 20-21,
par.) As this incident as Mark relates it sandwiches in the "Cleansing of
the Temple," the withering of the fig tree surely, it seems to me, is a
portent of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Moreover, if one
interprets (as is my inclination) Mark's Apocalypse in chapter 13 to mean
that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple is part and parcel of the
train of events associated with the apocalyptic end-time, it would seem
that Jesus approaches the Temple seeking the "fruits of righteousness" in
accordance with the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen and, not finding them,
pronounces doom upon Temple and City. Is this an outrageous interpretation?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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