The fourteenth chapter of the Apocalypse opens with the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him are the 144,000. The scene almost immediately goes on to include the fall of Babylon, which we have discovered in earlier studies means the fall of Jerusalem. The chapter then concludes with the harvest of the world. So, this part of the Apocalypse has all the marks of the Second Coming of Jesus, the resurrection, the judgment and all that pertains to those events. Moreover, the Apocalypse seems to say that these events transpire at the fall of Jerusalem, which fell in 70 AD! Is this really true? How should we understand these things? Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Mark
When the women came to the sepulcher where Jesus was laid, they found the stone that sealed the tomb (Matthew 27:66) was rolled away (Luke 24:2-3). Luke tells us that the women were perplexed (G1280). That is, didn’t know why the tomb was empty (Luke 24:4-5). In other words, the thought that Jesus had arisen from the dead, hadn’t even occurred to any of them. The Greek word (G1280) is used of Herod being in doubt of who Jesus was in Luke 9:7. It is also used for the confusion of the chief priests and the captain of the Temple when they found out the Apostles had escaped their prison cell and were teaching in the Temple (Acts 5:34). Read the rest of this entry »
When the time had come, that is, the particular day had arrived in which his final meal with his disciples was to be eaten, Jesus came with the Twelve and told them that he longed for this hour or day to arrive. However, we may need to ask what did he mean? Was he referring to that particular meal that he longed to share with his disciples? Or, did he long for a particular day to arrive and share his final meal with them (Luke 22:15)? It seems to me that Jesus referred to a particular day, as is seen in Luke 12:50. Jesus often spoke of his coming sufferings and death (cf. Matthew 20:17-22; Mark 10: 31-38), and the Gospels point to a specific hour or day that Jesus was destined to face (John 4:34, John 7:6-8, 10, John 10:39-41, John 12:27-28, John 18:11, John 19:30). It was this day that he longed to share with his disciples, those closest to him. Read the rest of this entry »
It was only a matter of time before Barnabas and Paul would have split with each heading up his own evangelistic effort, thus training other brethren to labor in the glorious work of Christ, and bringing his Name to places where he was not known. Nevertheless, Luke makes a point of showing that this separation took place earlier than it would have under natural circumstances, and he uses Mark as the impetus in that division. Read the rest of this entry »
Something occurred on Cyprus that left Mark disenchanted with being a part of the missionary efforts that Paul seemed to embrace. What was it? Moreover, why would Paul later be so adamantly against receiving Mark back as a team-member that both he and Barnabas had to separate in order to resolve the issue (Acts 15:37-39). Was this simply a petty matter that Paul just wouldn’t forgive, or is there something here beneath the surface that Luke doesn’t explicitly expose, but, nevertheless, reveals through his choice of words and placement of certain events in Acts? Read the rest of this entry »
Many scholars (but not all) claim the New Testament manuscripts (Synoptic Gospels) were copied from one another and were probably written late in the 1st century AD—after the destruction of Jerusalem, or even early in the 2nd century AD. If we assume as reasonably true the tradition of the Christians of the 2nd century, that Mark is actually Peter’s Gospel, written by Mark who traveled with Peter, then we can see how both Matthew and Luke could be very similar to Mark in many places without actually having a copy of Mark before them. How so?
Well, if, as is presumed by many, the Gospel accounts were an oral tradition for a number of years, then both Matthew and Luke could be very similar to Mark without their having a copy before them as they wrote their accounts. After all, would any American Christian really need a copy of the hymn, Silent Night, before him or her if one wished to write it out for a friend? Once something is memorized one doesn’t need to have the text before him to copy. The Gospel of Mark was written when Peter was in Rome just before he died in the Nero persecution. However, Peter’s Gospel (Gospel of Mark), if it was an ‘oral tradition’ would have been memorized by many for decades, if, indeed, it was Peter’s evangelistic narrative. So, both Matthew and Luke could have been written long before Mark actually wrote down Peter’s Gospel.
In other words, if the presumption of oral tradition during the first century AD is true, all of the Gospel narratives could have been written independently of each other, and any one of them could have been written first, although even Christian tradition puts John last. Each writer, if he were not an Apostle, would certainly have had to interview the eyewitnesses and construct his account accordingly. Luke tells us in the first four verses of his account that he was diligent in tracing out his records to their sources. This would have to have included Peter (traditional source of Mark), whom all the Gospel accounts claim was a chief Apostle. Nevertheless, there is no reason to believe any Gospel narrative bearing the name and written by an Apostle wouldn’t have been corroborated by several other Apostles before copied for distribution.
Personally, I don’t hold to the oral tradition assumption, at least not in the manner that is presently assumed by many of its advocates. That is, oral tradition was a fact of the culture during the first century AD, but this does not mean, as is erroneously assumed by many critics, that nothing was written down very early. So, I want to be upfront about that. Nevertheless, even if the oral tradition is assumed to be exactly like many of its advocates perceive (i.e. without Peter’s Gospel being a written record in Aramaic before Mark wrote it down in Greek) why couldn’t things have occurred just as I have argued above? Is there something in the accounts themselves that would contradict my reasoning and prove it wrong? If so, do you care to discuss it?
When Paul and Barnabas first set out on their missionary journey from Antioch, Mark, Barnabas’ nephew, was with them, but something occurred that caused him to turn around and leave the team. Nevertheless, instead of returning to Antioch from which he had come, he returned to Jerusalem. I believe this is important to know, because it pertains to the reason for Paul’s letter to these churches. When Mark returned to Jerusalem, whether by design through a misunderstanding of Paul’s methods, or by innocent remarks made to high ranking Jews at Jerusalem concerning his experiences with Paul, Mark caused a great deal of trouble for the Gentile churches wherever they were. This did not become evident, until Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch from Galatia. It was at this time that men from James had come to Antioch to check out the Gentile churches there, and it seems that circumcision became a very big issue. Read the rest of this entry »