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What does Jesus mean by "this generation will not pass away"?


Matthew 24:34

ESV - 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 10 2013 Open uri20160627 14123 1lvmavp Jason Winn Supporter

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Raccoo Bob Johnson Layperson. Self Educated Theologically - see full bio
In Matthew 24 Jesus was not addressing the "end of the world" in reference to "this Generation". That was not the Disciple's question in the first couple of verses. They were asking about the end of the age. It's not the same as the end of the world. We cannot confuse the two or we come up with a bad theology. The KJV translates it incorrectly. Always look at the Greek. The word "World" in Greek is "Kosmos". "Age" in Greek is "Aion". The text says "Aion" which is "Age" in English. Throughout the N.T. there are many references to the end being near. The Bible is not blowing smoke about this. The end was near. (Hebrews 1:2 is just one of over 30 examples I could give). And that is just what Jesus is addressing in Matthew 24. The Jewish age ended in A.D. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Jesus ended up saying that "this Generation" (the generation then living") would not pass away before the end of the age. It is a mis-interpretation to say "this Generation" means the Jewish as a people, or race. However there may be (and probably is) a multiple fulfillment to Jesus' answer: One being the end of the age in A.D. 70 (which is like the end of the world for a Jew) and the end of the times of the Gentiles (our world) yet in the future.

June 08 2013 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ed Smith Retired teacher
I'm no Greek scholar either. But I found this question so interesting that I did some research. The word fro Greek translated "generation" in the phrase "this generation shall not pass" is used over 20 times in the New Testament and it always means those living at the time of Jesus. It seems that the problem comes in when we misunderstand the context where it is found (for instance in Matthew 24).The temple in Jerusalem must have been a marvelous structure. It was so beautiful that even as many times as Jesus had seen it, His disciples, as they walked away from it, must have said to Jesus something like, "Just look; look at this wonderful building." Jesus then told them that it was going to be destroyed. The disciples said, "Tell lus, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (Matt. 24:3)
They actually asked two questions. Question one, when would the temple be destroyed, and question two, what would be a sign of His returning and the end of the world. He answered question one in verses five through thirty four. He answered the second question starting in verse thirty six. He said in regards to His coming and the end of the world there would be no signs given. It wojuld be like in the days of Noah (Matt. 24:36-37).
That generation didn't pass until the temple was destroyed in AD70.

June 07 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Gary Beecham
I'm not a scholar of the Greek, but have been told that "generation" can have several meanings. It seems to me that the most likely is the meaning "race" as in a "people group" or ethnic group, ie: The Jewish nation. In other words the Jews will endure as a nation (a distinct people) untill all these events come to pass. The use of "generation" as a reference to those alive at the time Jesus said these things does not make sense to me. Again, I am not an authority on this, just my opinion.

April 11 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Donald Johnson
It appears that the context of this generation shall not pass until all these things are completed is widely interpreted by many differently. If one takes the time to research the context of Matthew 24 and understand the chapters before it and after it, one might come to the conclusion there is evidence to the concept that the the generation of Jesus was the generation being spoken to. 

Consider Matthew 23 were it say at least 26 times “you”. "You" being a second person plural, everyone would agree that in Matthew 23, that is talking about the Scribes and Pharisees and hypocrites; but when “you” is used in Matthew 24, it is re interpreted to mean the generation that sees these things. The consistency in interpretation should always be context and audience, first through observation, then interpretation; but today it is common to use text out of context, which causes confusion.

May 16 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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