Studying Grammar and the Contextual Flow of The Olivet Discourse to Disprove the Doctrine of Dispensationalism

Michael F. Blume

© 2010 Michael F. Blume

All Rights Reserved

The passages in the three gospel accounts of the Olivet Discourse continue as follows:
Matthew 24:3 KJV And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mark 13:3-4 KJV And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and f and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Luke 21:7 KJV (7) And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
We addressed the first phrase recorded in each gospel account and found them to be one and the same question referring to the same "these things". The rest of the questions asked reveals a variance in wording and terms when all three gospels are compared. Futurists would contend this reveals further evidence of two different conversations in view and not one. The second phrase asks about a SIGN. 

Matthew 24:3 ...and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mark 13:4 ...and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Luke 21:7 ...and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
We used rules of grammar for English literature in the first phrase to learn that the pronoun "these things" pointed back to an antecedent that was stated immediately before the question in which this pronoun is found. That antecedent in all three gospels was Christ's reference to the temple destruction. While Matthew 24 does not mention that same pronoun again after the first question, Mark 13 and Luke 21 both do. Obviously the "these things" mentioned in both Mark and Luke's second question likewise point to the same antecedent that their first question did -- Christ's words about temple destruction. So, we have Mark asking when the temple destruction would occur and what sign would be given for the temple destruction. Luke repeats the same thing. 

A Dispensationalist saw my point as follows and responded as indicated below:

Originally Posted by Dispensationalist
Originally Posted by mfblume
you have a missing antecedent in Mark for their questions about these things, when in my version the antecedent is not missing but is the temple destruction Jesus mentioned.
No I do not!

At the conclusion of the Luke explanation regarding the fate of Herod's Temple, Christ mentioned about THE END OF THE GENTILE AGE.......brought up by the four disciples in Matthew and Mark. (Mark is the twin of Matthew in the OD)

At the conclusion of the Luke explanation regarding the fate of Herod's Temple, Christ mentioned HIS COMING.

Matthew and Mark both point back to THESE references to describe THE SECOND CONVERSATION.
This view is rife with ignorance of English grammar. To have a missing antecedent "in Mark" means Mark did not write the antecedent for the pronouns he used. And missing an antecedent for pronouns used in any given account is simply ignorance and stupidity. People like Mark and Matthew were not that stupid in their writing manners as our friend implies. We do not look for the antecedent to any pronouns Mark and Matthew used in another Gospel they did not write. Correct hermeneutics demands we find what Mark and Matthew wrote as an antecedent, see that it is indeed a viable antecedent, and interpret the pronouns used after it to be understood as referring to it. That is using sound Hermeneutics. Sound hermeneutics, therefore, disallows for futurists to look for the antecedent in Mark and Matthew in Luke's account. 

Exegesis is allowing the written context to teach and inform us as to what we should believe, without reading anything aside from the writing to influence us. This demands we take what Matthew and Mark wrote before they used the pronoun "these things" and understand that it alone is what "these things" refers to. Since the only thing Matthew and Mark wrote before "these things" is Christ's comment on temple destruction, then this proves futurists' claims to be nonsense about this issue.

When Mark and Luke both continue recording questions that use the same pronoun "these things", and nothing else was stated in both accounts after the first question, then we must understand the SIGN for "these things" is likewise speaking of the SIGN when the temple destruction shall occur. This proper exegetical reading of Mark and Luke proves futurism is wrong, as well.

Since Matthew 24 mentions the SIGN and does not phrase it the way Mark and Luke did, how do we understand Matthew's words about the SIGN? We already established that all three gospels refer to temple destruction in their questions about "these things". We established that the "sign" of "these things" is the sign of temple destruction. Since nothing else was mentioned in each writer's account of this immediate part of the conversation between the disciples and Jesus, then we can only come to one conclusion. Matthew's reference to the "Sign of thy coming" is speaking about one and the same sign that Luke and Mark wrote about concerning the temple destruction. ANY OTHER CONCLUSION is nonsensical and based upon ridiculous abandonment of all rules of grammar and exegetical analysis of the said writings. Exegesis demands we realize that Matthew and Mark did not intend us to read at the end of Luke's account of this discussion in order to find what SIGN Matthew and Mark wrote about. Therefore, the single SIGN noted in all three accounts refers to one and the same thing... the temple destruction. This informs us that Jesus' "coming" was responsible for the temple destruction.

And this is precisely what Jesus, Himself, said.
Mat 21:40-41 KJV When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? (41) They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
Destruction is noted in the coming of the Lord. Jerusalem is the vineyard!

Mat 21:33 KJV Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Isa 5:1-2 KJV Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: (2) And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
All agree this is referring to Jerusalem with its "tower" of the temple. God's name is a strong tower, and the temple was built to stand as His name.
Deu 12:5 KJV But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

1Ki 11:36 KJV And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
So, using the same parable Isaiah used, Jesus spoke of Jerusalem and the temple as the vineyard and the tower, and this vineyard was to that which Jesus would come in destruction.

To say the SIGN in Matthew and Mark is not the same SIGN Luke spoke about is to demand the antecedents for the disciples' questions' pronouns BE MISSING FROM THOSE RESPECTIVE accounts. That is grammatically ignorant.




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