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Thread: The Olivet Discourse

  1. #1

    The Olivet Discourse

    Now, in a recent thread I said that I would try to explain how the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in its entirety in the first century, as the Preterist viewpoint generally believes.

    However, before I begin that, I must bring up another point first:

    It was brought up in the other thread that Luke 21 is not the gospel of Luke's version of the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Now, this is not a new idea; I've met a few other people who believe(d) the same thing. But I adamantly believe that all three chapters (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) are the same thing.

    For that, I've prepared a webpage with a table comparing the three chapters.

    http://home.mchsi.com/~avegen/olivetdiscourse.htm

    If anyone who disagrees with this, I respectfully ask that you start another thread about why you disagree, rather than derailing this one. This thread is not to serve the purpose of debating this point, it is solely for the explanation of the Olivet Discourse.

    So before I move on, it must be noted:

    Anyone who reads this thread concedes that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are the same thing at least for the sake of the explanation. Do not debate this point in this thread.

  2. #2
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    Hi Mark

    That is an excellent table, thanks for the effort.

    It is very clear that luke is dealing with the same discourse as Matt/Mk.

    This defines the AOD as being the Roman armies ,and the start of the Great Tribulation-or as luke puts it-the days of vengeance, with the Jews being carried off to the nations,- 70AD..........................

    until the times of the gentiles over Jerusalem end.
    - We had to wait a while for this to be fufilled
    Now for the heavenly signs and the waves...................It maybe time to start raising our heads dont you think....


    "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
    21 "Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city;
    22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.
    23 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;
    24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
    25 "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
    26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
    27 "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.
    28 "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

  3. #3
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    Great post and wonderful chart...how long did it take you to put that together? Good work!

    I never ever heard of anyone not thinking Luke 21 wasn't the same thing as Matthew 24..I mean they are SO similar...how could anyone not think they were speaking of the same things? All four gospels cover much of the same ground, only given by different viewpoints is all...no different then four people seeing a circus together and describing much of the same things...one or two leaving out the clowns but all four mentioning the elephants...one or two going into more detail such as what were the dogs wearing in the way of costumes while the other two barely mention it. They all work together though to give a complete picture of what was going on though. So it would seem odd to not have something this huge not mentioned at least in three of the gospels...

    Oh you might want to clarify..partial Preterist so the mod won't takes down your post since full preterist is not allowed.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  4. #4
    The Second Temple ::: Matthew 24:1-3 ::: Mark 13:1-4 ::: Luke 21:5-7
    When Jesus said "Do you see all these things?" what does "these things" refer to? The buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem. So when Jesus said "not one stone" would be left standing, what stones was He referring to? The stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem. So when the disciples asked "when will this happen," what was the "this" they were asking about? The throwing down of the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem. And what was Jesus' response to their question about when the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem would be thrown down? His response was Matthew 24:4-31, the very same "these things" He was speaking of in Matthew 24:34. So if the entirety of Jesus' Olivet Discourse was a response to the question of when the throwing down of the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem would take place, and His response finished off with "this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened," then obviously the throwing down of the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem was included in the events of "these things."

    Don't Be Deceived ::: Matthew 24:4 ::: Mark 13:5 ::: Luke 21:8
    Jesus had just told His disciples that the second temple would be destroyed. The disciples (Mark relays that it was only four of them: Peter, James, John, and Andrew) asked Jesus when the temple would be destroyed ("When shall these things be?"), and further asked for signs of Jesus' Coming (the Coming of the Son of Man) and the "end of the age." (It is important to note: the disciples equated the second temple's destruction with the Coming and the "end of the age." Jesus did not dispel their beliefs that these three events were related to each other.)

    In response, Jesus begins to describe to them the signs that they asked for - events that would precede (A) the destruction of the second temple, (B) the Coming of Jesus, and (C) the "end of the age."

    Jesus' initial warning is that the disciples be on their guard not to be deceived...

    False Messiahs ::: Matthew 24:4-5 ::: Mark 13:5-6 ::: Luke 21:8
    Jesus warned against false messiahs, people claiming to be the Messiah (Greek Christ). An early example of a false messiah could very well be Simon the magician, a man who was deceiving the people with his sorcery, even convincing people he was "the great power of God." (Acts 8:9-11) There was a Jewish man named Josephus who lived during the first century, who acted as a historian, recording the entirety of Jewish history between the creation and on through his own lifetime, including the events of the first century. He records a man named Theudas who convinced people of Judea that he was a prophet and led many people astray before he himself was killed. (Josephus, The Jewish Antiquities 20.5.1) He even says that during the reign of Nero (rule: 54-68 AD), under the Roman procurator of Judea, Felix (rule: 52-60 AD), there were "imposters" (by context he appears to be referring to Messianic imposters) being put to death nearly every day. (Josephus, The Jewish Antiquities 20.8.5-6) Josephus also makes mention of individuals who made claim of authority during the Jewish Revolt (66-73 AD), that although Josephus did not directly state as much, the contexts of their actions (wearing purple robes, leading people to the Jordan River, etc.) certainly lends to the idea that they were indeed claiming to be the Messiah. This passage was fulfilled, at the least, in 50-70 AD, if not even earlier as well.

    Wars ::: Matthew 24:6 ::: Mark 13:7 ::: Luke 21:9
    During the decades following Jesus' ascension, "wars and rumors of wars" were rampant, especially within Judea. Roman rulers in the regions oppressed the Jewish people, sparking numerous riots and revolts. Following Emperor Nero's suicide, civil war occurs between as various men vie for the title of Emperor. The Batavian Rebellion occurred the same year, in the Roman province Germania Inferior. Within Judea, the First Jewish-Roman War finally erupted as well. Roman historian Tacitus wrote this about the time period; "The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disaster, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors fell by the sword, there were three civil wars, more foreign wars, and often both at the same time." (Tacitus, The Histories 1:2)

    Take special note: The reason this particular prophecy is significant is because it was prophesied during the Pax Romana, the Roman Peace. This prophecy is insignificant if we apply it to our modern world, when wars are constantly going on. That Jesus prophesied about wars indicated that the wars would be an unusual occurance, which would indeed have been the case during the time period of Roman Peace.

    Nations/Kingdoms Fighting ::: Matthew 24:7 ::: Mark 13:8 ::: Luke 21:10
    The rebellion in Roman-controlled Britannia took place in 61 AD, and as already mentioned were the Batavian Rebellion and the First Jewish-Roman War. Two kingdoms from across the Euphrates, Commagene and Sophene, were called upon by the Romans to aid in putting down the Jewish revolt.

    Famines ::: Matthew 24:7 ::: Mark 13:8 ::: Luke 21:11
    A famine is recorded in Acts 11:28. Josephus records famine in the first century (Josephus, The Jewish Antiquities 20.2.5). There was also famine going on during the siege of Jerusalem during the First Jewish-Roman War.

    Earthquakes ::: Matthew 24:7 ::: Mark 13:8 ::: Luke 21:11
    One is recorded in Acts 16:26. Three earthquakes are recorded as taking place at Rome in the 51 AD (Tacitus, The Annals 12.43.1). In 60 AD, an earthquake destroyed the city of Laodicea. Mt. Vesuvius (famous for its 79 AD eruption) was rocked by an earthquake in 69 AD, causing damage around the Bay of Naples and Pompeii.

    Troubles/Plague ::: Mark 13:8 ::: Luke 21:11
    In the first century AD, Rufus of Ephesus, a Greek anatomist, refers to an outbreak of plague in Libya, Egypt, and Syria.

    Fearful Signs From Heaven ::: Luke 21:11
    According to the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, in the years preceding the First Jewish-Roman War, there were such things. He writes of a "star resembling a sword" and a comet that was seen for a full year (Halley’s Comet). He also records that "chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor … running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities" were seen shortly before sunset on a few days after a particular feast. Also, he records that the eastern gate of the inner court of the temple in Jerusalem (described as being extremely heavy) was opened "of its own accord," which the "men of learning understood … that the security of their holy house was dissolved … and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies." Lastly, Josephus describes how at Pentecost, the priests were in the inner court of the temple when "they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us remove from here." (Josephus, The Jewish War 6.5.3) The Roman historian Tacitus also records these events; "In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armor. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure." (Tacitus, The Histories 5.13)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the chart which I printed out and I will be following this thread with interest.

    Cyberseeker
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  6. #6
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    Within a Gen of him saying it,it happened.

    So if the entirety of Jesus' Olivet Discourse was a response to the question of when the throwing down of the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem would take place, and His response finished off with "this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened," then obviously the throwing down of the stones of the buildings of the second temple of Jerusalem was included in the events of "these things."

    But they asked him about his coming as well.
    I see his answer as the times of gentiles over Jerusalem would be fulfilled (return from the exile) as a sign. He then says heavenly signs will happen(from that point).
    He concludes by saying---when you see these things then that generation will not pass away.


    So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.
    32 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.
    33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away

  7. #7
    First list of fulfillments

    Persecution ::: Matthew 24:9 ::: Mark 13:9 ::: Luke 21:12
    Jesus promised His disciples that they would undergo persecution. This persecution is recorded as beginning in the events of Acts. However, an intensified persecution began by the hand of the Emperor Nero, beginning in 64 AD, though dying out of the spotlight in 68 AD with Nero's death, when civil war in Rome stole the public eye, immediately followed by war in Judea. Tacitus records that Nero's persecution began by means of him assigning the blame of the Great Fire of Rome upon the Christians. He goes on to describe various forms of persecution the Christians underwent, including: being covered in animal skins to be attacked by wild beasts, crucifixions, and even to serve as fastened to posts in the city streets to be lit on fire at night to serve as lamps. Tacitus said that the assault upon the Christians under Nero was so extreme that the public at large (who considered Christians to be a superstitious cult) felt great compassion towards the persecuted. (Tacitus, The Annals 15.39-44)



    Gospel Preached ::: Matthew 24:14 ::: Mark 13:10
    Jesus' disciples went on to spread the gospel out beyond Judea, through the various surrounding regions of the Roman Empire. Acts records multiple accounts of the apostles being taken to synagogues and prisons, and being taken in front of kings and governors. Acts also records multiple attacks upon the followers of Christ. Matthew quotes Jesus as saying that the gospel would be preached to "the whole world" (Mark, "to all nations"). Was such a feat fulfilled in the first century? There are a few ways to clarify this:

    The Greek word that is translated in Matthew as "the whole world" is oikoumene. This word, when using its root words, literally means "the inhabited land." Traditionally, the ancient classical world used this word to refer to the extent of the Greek world, and during the reign of the Roman Empire it was used likewise for the Roman world. Translating oikoumene as "the whole world" is misleading because the word itself does not actually mean "the whole world," and neither was it used to refer to the whole world in literalistic terms.

    Now, did the early Christians think that when Jesus said the gospel would be preached to the world, He was speaking of just the Roman world? I say yes, and for support I simply suggest reading the book of Acts. The Acts details the events of the early spreading of the gospel, primarily by the apostles of Jesus, as well as the apostle Paul. Now, Acts starts off with the issuing of the command for the apostles to spread the gospel. Jesus is quoted as saying, "and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Jesus' command was first Jerusalem, second Judea and Samaria, and finally the ends of the earth. The events of Acts start off with the disciples in Jerusalem. (Acts 2) From there, they spread outward into Judea and Samaria. (Acts 8:1) From there, the story shifts over to Paul, and follows his travels through Asia Minor, and eventually to Rome, where the story ends with the statement that Paul boldly preached the gospel in Rome. (Acts 28:30-31) The overall story of Acts directly parallels Jesus' command of Jerusalem then Judea/Samaria then the ends of the earth, with Paul's arrival in Rome being the center of the Roman world. As such, it certainly does seem that the earliest Christians equated the "world" with simply the Roman world.

    There are also a few specific verses from the New Testament that support this idea.

    Acts 24:5
    We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.

    Romans 1:8
    I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed in the whole world.

    Romans 10:18
    But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

    Colossians 1:6
    All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.

    Colossians 1:32
    This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

    Both the author of Acts and the apostle Paul seemed to consider that the gospel had been "proclaimed to every creature under heaven" during their own time period, so it certainly seems like they understood "world" to mean "Roman world."



    Abomination of Desolation ::: Matthew 24:15-22 ::: Mark 13:14-20 ::: Luke 21:20-24
    First off, what is important to note is that where Matthew and Mark say

    "When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation'"

    Luke instead says

    "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near."

    All three versions warn the people to flee to the mountains, not even taking the time to gather their belongings to take with them. Each says how woeful it would be for pregnant woman and nursing mothers, and that those fleeing should pray that would not have to "take flight in winter or on the Sabbath." But, where Luke's version is different, it provides a direct insight into what Jesus was referring to when He said "the abomination that causes desolation." He was speaking of invading armies.

    To explain this section: The "abomination that causes desolation" is invading Gentile armies. They would surround Jerusalem. The people in Jerusalem should make sure to flee the city into the mountains, which would be especially difficult for pregnant women or nursing mother. Jesus says that the people should pray that this devastation would not take place in winter, because of the difficulty it would add to their flight. Jesus also warns them to pray against it taking place on the Sabbath, for the Jews would be in violation of the Law for going to places farther than mere walking distance. Jesus says the invading armies are for "punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written," and that they are "wrath against this people." The Jews would be either killed or captured and taken as prisoners to foreign nations. Jerusalem itself would be owned by the Gentiles who invaded it.

    This is quite plainly describing the destruction of Jerusalem by Gentile armies, so it is here that we come full circle back to what Jesus had said that sparked the whole Discourse to begin with. It is during this time that the second temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed, when "not one stone will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

    As pointed out earlier, Jesus stated that "all these things" would be fulfilled within the lifetime of His generation. So far, everything in the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the decades following Jesus' ascension to heaven, still within the lifetime of His generation. And, as you should know, Jerusalem and the temple were also destroyed within the same generation's lifetime.

    In the 60's AD, the Jews began to revolt against their Roman rulers. The conflict got so bad that Roman legions from throughout various regions of the Empire were sent to Judea to put down the revolt. The Romans laid siege to Jerusalem. In 70 AD the Roman legions forced their way into Jerusalem, massacring people throughout the city. Those that lived were enslaved and spread throughout the Roman Empire.

  8. #8
    Second list of fulfillments

    Sun/moon/stars ::: Matthew 24:29 ::: Mark 13:24-25 ::: Luke 21:25-26
    This is often mistaken to say that the universe as a whole is supposed to come to an end, following the above-detailed events. But similar prophetic language is used in various places of the Old Testament, in prophecies made peoples and nations that were ancient even compared to the days of the Roman Empire. Compare the above to the following Old Testament verses.

    2 Samuel 22:8-13
    The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth.

    This was one of the psalms David wrote "when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul." Obviously God didn't literally rides on the clouds down to the earth to destroy Saul and David's other enemies. According to David, God did come, but He came in the sense of judgment; it wasn't a literal coming, it was a figurative coming. Similar passages include: Isaiah 13:9-10, prophesied on Babylon; Isaiah 34:4-5, prophesied on Edom; Ezekiel 32:7-8, prophesied on Egypt. (See this post to see how many of these were fulfilled in a non-literal fashion.)

    Jesus was not saying that the world would come to an end, He was using well-known Jewish prophetic language to speak of how dreadful a coming judgment would be.



    Coming on Clouds ::: Matthew 24:30 ::: Mark 13:26 ::: Luke 21:27
    Matthew's version of this is very similar to a passage in Revelation 1. Matthew says "the sign of the Son of Man" will appear in the sky, causing the nations to mourn. The Revelation, however, says that the mourning will be caused by the "coming on the clouds," so the "sign of the Son of Man" simply seems to be the same thing as the "Son of Man coming on the clouds."

    Now, as shown above, Jesus was not prophesying the sun and moon to literally go dark, or the stars to literally fall to the earth, but that He was using familiar Jewish prophetic language to depict the severity of a coming judgment. Similarly, Jesus' use of clouds appeals to two things. First, it goes back directly to a passage in the book of Daniel.

    Daniel 7:13
    In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

    Here we see the Son of Man "coming on the clouds of heaven" to God. He isn't depicted as "coming" to earth, He is depicted as "coming" to God (the Father), who Jesus continually stated was in heaven. So when Jesus was prophesying that the Son of Man would "come" clouds, He was speaking of His being given His power and glory by God in heaven. Now, the second thing that Jesus' "coming on the clouds" appeals to is other Old Testament prophetic language. Just as the darkening sun and moon and stars was common Old Testament language for judgment, the use of clouds to signify dominion and judgment was common as well. The following passages are either descriptions of God, poetry of His previous actions, or prophetic exhortations upon ancient pagan nations who are long gone.

    Deuteronomy 33:26
    There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty.

    2 Samuel 22:8-13
    The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth.

    Psalm 104:2-3
    He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.

    Isaiah 19:1
    An oracle concerning Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.

    Isaiah 20:1-4 tells us that this judgment upon Egypt was exacted through the hands of the Assyrians, taking place between 671 and 667 BC.

    Jeremiah 4:13
    Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! We are ruined!

    Ezekiel 30:3-4
    For the day is near, the day of the LORD is neara day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down.

    Zephaniah 1:15-17
    The great day of the LORD is near - near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth.

    Prophesied against Jerusalem. God's "day of clouds" was made true through Babylon, between 606-587 BC.

    According to the Old Testament, God made many "comings" by way of clouds, but they did not consist of Him literally riding on clouds down to the earth - the clouds were symbolic of His divine right to dominion, and the "comings" were of judgment upon peoples and nations. Likewise, the "coming of the Son of Man" that Jesus prophesied was one of judgment, coinciding with Luke's statement that "this is the time of punishment." This "coming" of judgment likely took place on the same day of the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD. All of the "tribes of the earth" (that is, the tribes of Israel) did mourn the catastrophic loss of their temple, and with this destruction, Jesus was vindicated by the fulfillment of His prophecy.

  9. #9
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    This is really cool stuff Mark.

    What i will say about the Gospel being preached in all the world---somewhere it mentoins every tribe /race etc---Every creature.

    Christ wont come back until all hear it.
    The Australian Aborigines never heard it until a few hundred years ago.

    This gospel will be preached to all...and then the end will come.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffweeder View Post
    What i will say about the Gospel being preached in all the world---somewhere it mentoins every tribe /race etc---Every creature.
    Colossians 1:32
    This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

    Paul says this in past tense.

    Christ wont come back until all hear it.
    The Australian Aborigines never heard it until a few hundred years ago.
    The Greek word that is translated in Matthew as "the whole world" is oikoumene. This word, when using its root words, literally means "the inhabited land." Traditionally, the ancient classical world used this word to refer to the extent of the Greek world, and during the reign of the Roman Empire it was used likewise for the Roman world. Translating oikoumene as "the whole world" is misleading because the word itself does not actually mean "the whole world," and neither was it used to refer to the whole world in literalistic terms.

    Now, did the early Christians think that when Jesus said the gospel would be preached to the world, He was speaking of just the Roman world? I say yes, and for support I simply suggest reading the book of Acts. The Acts details the events of the early spreading of the gospel, primarily by the apostles of Jesus, as well as the apostle Paul. Now, Acts starts off with the issuing of the command for the apostles to spread the gospel. Jesus is quoted as saying, "and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Jesus' command was first Jerusalem, second Judea and Samaria, and finally the ends of the earth. The events of Acts start off with the disciples in Jerusalem. (Acts 2) From there, they spread outward into Judea and Samaria. (Acts 8:1) From there, the story shifts over to Paul, and follows his travels through Asia Minor, and eventually to Rome, where the story ends with the statement that Paul boldly preached the gospel in Rome. (Acts 28:30-31) The overall story of Acts directly parallels Jesus' command of Jerusalem then Judea/Samaria then the ends of the earth, with Paul's arrival in Rome being the center of the Roman world. As such, it certainly does seem that the earliest Christians equated the "world" with simply the Roman world.

  11. #11
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    Wars ::: Matthew 24:6 ::: Mark 13:7 ::: Luke 21:9
    During the decades following Jesus' ascension, "wars and rumors of wars" were rampant, especially within Judea. Roman rulers in the regions oppressed the Jewish people, sparking numerous riots and revolts. Following Emperor Nero's suicide, civil war occurs between as various men vie for the title of Emperor. The Batavian Rebellion occurred the same year, in the Roman province Germania Inferior. Within Judea, the First Jewish-Roman War finally erupted as well. Roman historian Tacitus wrote this about the time period; "The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disaster, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors fell by the sword, there were three civil wars, more foreign wars, and often both at the same time." (Tacitus, The Histories 1:2)

    Take special note: The reason this particular prophecy is significant is because it was prophesied during the Pax Romana, the Roman Peace. This prophecy is insignificant if we apply it to our modern world, when wars are constantly going on. That Jesus prophesied about wars indicated that the wars would be an unusual occurance, which would indeed have been the case during the time period of Roman Peace.
    I didn't know this! Thanks for the information...following with interest...

    Yea jeffweeder, the gospel has already been preached to the whole world (back then the world was alot smaller...you missed that in mark's post) There are websites about when Rome ruled the world...Rome WAS the world back then...they ruled with terror but they ruled...

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    I didn't know this! Thanks for the information...following with interest...
    Just to make sure people know: there were occasional minor conflicts during the time period of the Pax Romana, and there were disputes on the edges and outside the Roman Empire, but within the Empire, there were no all-out wars until after Jesus ascended to heaven, which is why His prophecy about "wars and rumors of wars" would have individually carried some importance with it during the time of the first-century Christians.

    Jeffweeder:

    In this post I provided a few Biblical cases where the Roman world was considered "the whole world."

    Also consider these:

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke 2:1
    And it came to pass in those days, there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world be enrolled...
    Some translations say "that the Roman world be enrolled" because it is understood that Augustus would have only called for a consensus of the Roman Empire - there's no way he would have been abled to have a consensus of the whole world, such as India or China. The only word used is the Greek oikoumene.

  13. #13
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    Mark...check your link ..didn't work...went to the main board here and not to a post.

    Yea on Rome I have seen not just websites but even documentaries referring to Rome as the world...(from the past point of view of course) The mighty Roman Empire.... That is a good verse you posted I always struggle when I try to explain to people what the 'world' was back then...everyone is seeing the 'world' literally as in the whole earth and everyone on it but that isn't what these scriptures are talking about. I had a hard time at first too understanding that. As little children we are shown a globe..and told this is the 'world'...so when we read the bible and see the word, 'world'...that is what we picture in our minds! Someone needs to explain at an early age how to read 'bible'...not just 'the' bible...but 'bible' ...we do it with many other things when we read it such as we know the Sword in many places means the Word of God and not a real sword. Could give alot of other examples here too...you know what I mean, but we tend to still read too much from a worldly (secular) point of view, I think...

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    Mark...check your link ..didn't work...went to the main board here and not to a post.
    Alright, I think I fixed it. Thanks for the notice.

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    Jeffweeder:

    In this post I provided a few Biblical cases where the Roman world was considered "the whole world."

    Also consider these:

    What im alluding to ,is that the Aborigines would of existed in Romes day, but knowone knew about them.
    God most certainly did, and i cant see him not wanting the gospel to go to them also.
    Cant blame Paul for thinking that the Gospel had gone to the known world, but apparantley not to the very end of the earth.
    Surely God is not going forget about them right....welll he hasnt, as some have heard..and believe.....thanks be to God.

    God bless ya

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