Tribal Conflict or Harmony? Original Aramaic reveals harmony in Mark 13:30

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Summary/Excerpt:

In the year 1960, author C.S. Lewis wrote infamously regarding Mark 13:30, “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the bible.”  C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night” (1960).

Lewis wrote this because Mark 13:30 is commonly translated (from the Greek) as a potentially unfulfilled prophecy, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass until all of these will occur.”

Why do skeptics say ‘unfulfilled’? Among the many prophecies in Mark 13, notice the penultimate prophecy here, “And in the days after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man when He comes in the clouds with great power and with glory.  Then He will send His angels and assemble His chosen from the four winds, from its beginning of the earth and until to its beginning of heaven.”  Mark 13:24-27.

Well, here we are now in the year 2020.  And the skeptics ask, ‘Has any group of people in history ever literally seen (Mark 13:26: “they will see”) the Son of Man coming on clouds with great power and with glory’?  The answer would be ‘no’ in the ordinary physical sense of ‘seeing’, unless…

“For before sunset throughout all parts of the country [of Judea] chariots were seen in the air and armed battalions hurtling through the clouds and encompassing the cities.” Josephus, Jewish Wars 6:299; as cited in Martin, E., Signs of the Times in the First Century (1982).

Christian Preterism asserts the Mark 13 prophecies happened ‘metaphorically’ or ‘spiritually’ around 66AD to 70AD with the overthrow of Jerusalem, because the ‘sun, moon, and stars’ are routinely metaphorical in the Old Testament (see e.g., Genesis 37:9-11; Ecclesiastes 12:1-2; Isaiah 5:30; 13:10; 34:1-6; 58:8-11; 59:9-10; 60:15-20; Jeremiah 4:23-28; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 3:15; Amos 5:18-20; 8:9; Micah 3:6-12; Zephaniah 1:14-15), and clouds are also metaphors (Psalm 18:9-12; 68:34; 78:23; 97:1-6; 104:3; Ecclesiastes 12:2; Isaiah 19:1; Jeremiah 4:13; Ezekiel 30:3; Daniel 7:13; Joel 2:2; Nehemiah 1:3; Zephaniah 1:15).

I should also mention there are some apologists who have cited Josephus’ testimony that the sun may have physically darkened around that time (albeit temporarily), and some other astronomical observations (e.g., “So it was when a star resembling a sword, stood over the city [Jerusalem] and a comet which continued for a year.” Josephus, Jewish Wars 6:289).

There is a distinct likelihood these Preterist researchers are right that Mark 13 was fulfilled or partially fulfilled around the 66AD – 70AD overthrow of Jerusalem.  Indeed, there is even the possibility that the prophecy was foreshadowing and will be fulfilled yet again (‘repeated’) in a more literal or fuller sense at the end of this current modern age.

In any case, it is because of this eschatological uncertainty that C.S. Lewis made his “most embarrassing” remark above (to his credit though Lewis caveated by quoting Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”)

If only C.S. Lewis read the Aramaic Peshitta rather than the Greek translation, he might not have been so easily limited in his thinking that the Mark 13:30 prophecy must be fulfilled in a single generation.  Most bible skeptics fall for the same trap with Greek translations of Mark 13:30 because they too focus solely on the Greek word genea (“generation”).

Fortunately though, when scholars observe that genea is merely a Greek translation of the word 0tbr4 spoken by Yahshua, as recorded faithfully in the Peshitta, then the skeptics must go back to square one, because ‘ShrbTha’ can mean any of these plural or singular nouns: tribe(s), family(ies), race(s), nation(s), generation(s), genealogy(ies)… and most importantly, as this article will illustrate, ‘ShrbTha’ ultimately means ‘line of power’, because that is the one common thread running conceptually through all of its multiple definitions.

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One Reply to “Tribal Conflict or Harmony? Original Aramaic reveals harmony in Mark 13:30”

  1. Fortunately though, when scholars observe that genea is merely a Greek translation of the word 0tbr4 spoken by Yahshua, as recorded faithfully in the Peshitta, then the skeptics must go back to square one, because ‘ShrbTha’ can mean any of these plural or singular nouns: tribe(s), family(ies), race(s), nation(s), generation(s), genealogy(ies)… and most importantly, as this article will illustrate, ‘ShrbTha’ ultimately means ‘line of power’, because that is the one common thread running conceptually through all of its multiple definitions.
    I speak, write and read fluent Spanish as well as English, several translations in both languages has it as generation.
    Following your line of reason would make it impossible to know the exact translation. And almost anyone I know that wants to debunk a particular scripture almost always goes back to point out error in the translation. To my knowledge, the translators of KJV were among the most studied and able, and I find no fault in those who translated the Reina Valera in Spanish. I would use either language scholars choice of ‘generation’ for translation.
    If one can’t accepte what excellent scholars translated for common terms, how can one accept the remainder.
    Also, ‘soveriegndom’ is a rather unusual word, and I’m not aware of what translation would use that term. Please tell me where that is found. Thanks

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