Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another "end of the world" prediction (When will they ever learn?)

Good news: The Mayans were wrong. The world will not end on December 21, 2012.

Bad news: Another "scholar" has recalculated the biblical data and determined the end will come sometime between 2018 and 2028.

Some people just never learn.
Here we go again. If Hal Lindsey, Edgar Whisenant, and Harold Camping were not enough to teach the lesson that making predictions is pure folly, there’s a newcomer who claims that Jesus will return “sometime between 2018 and 2028, or 70 to 80 years after 1948,” the year Israel was re-established as a nation.

Hal Lindsey made a similar prediction in his 1970 blockbuster The Late Great Planet Earth by predicting that Jesus would return within 40 years of 1948.

“Now, World Bible Society President F. Kenton ‘Doc’ Beshore argues Lindsey’s interpretation of the passage was correct, but he was wrong about the length of a biblical generation.” The passage that Lindsey and Beshore use to make their calculations is found in Matthew 24:34: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

The generation that Jesus was referring to was the generation of His own day not some distant future generation. You can see how “this generation” is used elsewhere by Jesus in the gospels (Matt. 11:16; 12:41, 45; 23:36; Mark 8:12 (twice), 38; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51, 17:25; 21:32). The Greek word genea does not mean “race” (genos) (as in the “Jewish race”). Jesus was predicting what was going to happen to that existing generation symbolized by the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2). Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 when the Roman armies sacked the city of Jerusalem, burned the temple, and exiled what was left of the Jewish nation living in Jerusalem.

In addition to redefining the meaning of “this generation” by making it a distant future generation, “Beshore says a biblical generation is actually 70–80 years, basing this on Psalm 90:10: ‘The days of our life are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 years.’” This would mean that the Second Coming would “occur sometime between 2018 and 2028, or 70 to 80 years after 1948.”
Please be sure to let the section I have boldfaced sink in. Read it, learn it, live it . . . and don't ever come to me again asking what Jesus meant by "this generation."