So far in our series on Mark 13, we have seen three different approaches. One is to switch back and forth from AD70 to the Second Coming, and the other two either push the text into the past or into the future. Each view has the same difficulty: verses don’t want to fit!
Tag: Understanding Mark 13
As noted in the opening post, one difficulty with interpreting Mark 13 is that some verses appear to refer to Jesus’ near future, but others to the distant future. Stein embraced this tension by seeing Jesus as switching back and forth from near to far future. Wright and France attempted to resolve the tension by pulling the passage – or most of it – into the past. Another solution is to do the opposite and push the entire text into the distant future and see Jesus as speaking entirely of the events leading up to the Second Coming
As we saw in the previous post on Mark 13, it is difficult to see where Jesus switches from describing the destruction of the temple in AD70 to His return. What if the answer is that Mark 13 isn’t about His second coming at all?
One of the factors that makes Mark 13 so difficult to interpret is that some verses seem to refer to a soon destruction of the temple, while other verses seem to present His second coming. What’s more, these texts are not divided nicely in the middle, but are scattered throughout the chapter. How are we to understand the flow of the passage, then? In Jesus, The Temple and the Coming Son of Man, Robert Stein presents his solution.
Of all the eschatological passages in the Bible, perhaps the Jesus’ Olivet Discourse is the most enigmatic (though I may have said that about Daniel 9:24-27!). This is due to a number of factors: