The generational prophecy.

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Ben C. Smith
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The generational prophecy.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:49 pm

This thread is a continuation of sorts from another recent thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3804.

The following passages are often treated quite separately, but it seems to me that they deserve to be assessed together, since they appear to be versions of the same basic concept:

Version 1.

Matthew 16.28: 28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Mark 9.1: 1 And Jesus was saying to them, "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."

Luke 9.27: 27 "But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."

Version 2.

Matthew 24.34-35: 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Mark 13.30-31: 30 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away."

Luke 21.32-33: 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."

Version 3.

John 21.21-23: 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"

Version 4.

1 Corinthians 15.51-52: 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4.16-17: 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The meaning of all four versions seems to be clear: certain apocalyptic events are going to happen, and they will happen at a time at which some of the people alive right now are going to still be alive, while others will have died. The generation in view ("this generation") in all four versions is that of the apostles (Peter and company, the beloved disciple, and Paul, at the very least).

Version 1 specifically relates to the coming of the Son of Man, who will be ashamed then of those who are ashamed of him now (Matthew 16.27; Mark 8.38; Luke 9.26). Version 2 specifically relates to the coming of the Son of Man and the regathering of the elect (Matthew 24.29-31; Mark 13.24-27; Luke 21.25-28). Versions 3 and 4 specifically relate to the resurrection from the dead and the simultaneous transformation of the living ("that disciple would not die," "we shall not all sleep"). Arguably, none of the four versions has yet fully come true even today.

What can we say about the origins of this body of material? Does it not seem evident that it had to have arisen during the lifetimes of the apostles? What would bring someone of a later date, well after the death of the last apostle, to even suggest that at least some of the apostles would still be alive to witness these events which even today have not yet transpired? If someone has solid ideas along these lines — ideas, I might add, which would not make me sound like a Christian apologist were I to adopt them — then I am most interested in hearing them.

The more so since it appears to me that there has been damage control and back pedaling with respect to these very predictions.

Version 1 is mitigated by being placed six or eight days before the Transfiguration, leading a lot of modern Christians to think that the Transfiguration is, in fact, the intended fulfillment of the prediction. The awkwardness of Jesus thus being made to predict that "some" of his disciples would still be alive in a week's time, not to mention the conspicuous absence of a true coming of the Son of Man, in whatever sense, seems to escape such exegetes. But modern Christians still sometimes follow this interpretation, so perhaps somebody in antiquity actually planned for it by locating the Transfiguration in that spot.

Version 2 is mitigated in Luke by a rather complex strategy of rewriting the material we find in Matthew and Mark. I am not going to go into it here and now, but suffice it to say that Luke seems to make room for an indefinite period called "the times of the gentiles" in 21.24. Version 2 appears to be mitigated in Matthew, Mark, and Acts (nominally the sequel to Luke) by the following passages:

Matthew 24.36: 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Mark 13.32: 32 "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Didache 16.1: 1 Watch concerning your life; let not your lamps be quenched or your loins be loosed, but be ready, for you do not know the hour at which our Lord is coming.

Acts 1.6-8: 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons [χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς] which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

Did the same mind which promised certain events within the lifespan of a generation also state that nobody could know when they would happen? Modern Christians sometimes get around this conundrum by positing that Jesus knew which generation the events would take place in, but not the exact day or hour within that generation; depending upon their eschatological outlook, then, they go on to posit either that "this generation" was the apostolic one, and the events described (such as the gathering of the elect) happened in a spiritual manner, behind the scenes in heaven somehow, or that "this generation" refers to the future generation which would witness the events in question, thus interpreting this version of the prediction quite apart from the other three versions. These apologetic interpretations are made possible by the insertion of the mitigating statement that nobody knows the day or the hour.

Furthermore, Acts 1.7 draws out the end into the realm of "times" and "seasons" — these καιροὶ καὶ χρόνοι are the long stretches, the epochs or eras, the ebb and flow of history, the coming and going of kingdoms and empires upon the earth:

Ecclesiastes 3.1: 1 For all things there is a time [χρόνος], and there is a season [καιρὸς] for every event under heaven.

Wisdom of Solomon 7.17-21: 17 For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; 18 the beginning and end and middle of times [χρόνων], the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons [καιρῶν], 19 the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars, 20 the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and the reasonings of men, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots; 21 I learned both what is secret and what is manifest.

Wisdom of Solomon 8.8: 8 And if any one longs for wide experience, she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come; she understands turns of speech and the solutions of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and of the outcome of seasons and times [καιρῶν καὶ χρόνων].

Daniel 2.21: 21 "And it is He who changes seasons and times [καιροὺς καὶ χρόνους]; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding."

The mitigation of version 2 can also apply to version 1, incidentally, should the timing of the Transfiguration trick not seem up to the task.

Version 3 is mitigated within the Johannine passage itself; the whole purpose of the passage is to "correctly" interpret the rumor about the beloved disciple, so the rumor is both mentioned and then reinterpreted ("he said 'if,' nimrods") in the same breath.

Version 4 is not really mitigated in 1 Corinthians; I think the fact that one might take the first person plural "we" to mean believers in general may have allowed this passage to pass without later remark. Indeed, on its own, that would probably not be the worst interpretation in the world: Paul is presumably still living as he writes, after all, and if he does not know the day or the hour he cannot very well guarantee that he will be dead when the time comes, so he is practically forced to group himself with the living. It is the juxtaposition of his expectation with the other versions of the prediction that make me question this logic.

The prediction in 1 Thessalonians, however, is mitigated by what I take to be an interpolation in 5.1-11. The relevant portion is:

1 Thessalonians 5.1-2: 1 Now as to the times and the seasons [τῶν χρόνων καὶ τῶν καιρῶν], brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

We are back to the broad stretches of history ("the times and the seasons") again; we are back to the unknown day and hour (the "thief in the night"). It appears to me that the same strategy used in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and Acts 1 has been used here, as well: the generational prediction has been blunted with the sober knowledge that nobody knows the times and seasons, much less the exact day and hour.

Once these initial tactics had been employed against the generational prophecy (which C. S. Lewis once called "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible"), the way was clear for more thoroughgoing approaches:

2 Peter 3.3-9: 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Epistle of the Apostles 16-17a: 16 Then said we to him, "Lord, that which thou hast revealed unto us is great. Wilt thou come in the power of any creature or in an appearance of any kind?" He answered and said unto us, "Verily I say unto you, I shall come like the sun when it is risen, and my brightness will be seven times the brightness thereof! The wings of the clouds shall bear me in brightness, and the sign of the cross shall go before me, and I shall come upon earth to judge the quick and the dead." 17a We said unto him, "Lord, after how many years shall this come to pass?" He said unto us, "When the hundredth part and the twentieth part is fulfilled, between the Pentecost and the feast of unleavened bread, then shall the coming of my Father be" [thus reads the Coptic, but the Ethiopic has, "When a hundred and fifty years are past, in the days of the feast of Passover and Pentecost"].

It seems that the Epistle of the Apostles originally predicted that the resurrection would happen 120 years after Christ's ministry, a figure which was eventually adjusted upward by 30 years when no amount of calendrical twisting could make the 120 years work any longer.

None of the earliest mitigating strategies is entirely effective, but all of them are still used by various Christians to this day. Taking both the original prediction and its unsuccessful mitigation seriously, I find myself led to believe (A) that the prediction, originating during the apostolic period, was so widespread and entrenched that it could not be ignored, even when it did not come to pass, and (B) that Christians constructed modifications to the prediction which were "good enough" — ad hoc and patchy, to be sure, but "good enough" to allow intelligent exegetes to wriggle out of the obvious implications.

But I am willing to be persuaded otherwise: how could these predictions feasibly have arisen after the apostles were all dead and gone?

Ben.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:22 pm

to Ben,
A few remarks:
For Mk 9:1, Jesus is addressing people & disciples, not only disciples.
"some standing" could be about 5 years old. Accepting that Jesus "ministered" in 27-28 AD (according to my research), that would put these hypothetical 5 years old at around 48 years old in 71, 64 in 87 and 79 in 102.
I think that in Version 2 of your first set of quotes "this generation" should be understood as "the last ones of this generation" in light of Version 1.
BTW, 70-71 is my dating of gMark, 82-92 for gLuke & gMatthew, 97-107 for gJohn.
If you think "Mark" was thinking to at least 15 years old among the "some standing", then the ages would be respectively 58, 74 & 89.
If the alleged "disciple the Jesus loved best" in gJohn was 20 in 27, he would be 95 years old in 102.

I think the tradition was started by Paul (according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52), because Paul was pressed into giving a time limit for the resurrections and going to the Kingdom in heaven. But he was careful about not mentioning the exact moment, days, seasons and years.

In times of Jesus & John the Baptist, people would think the Kingdom will come soon, that is at least during their lifetime.

In the epistle of James, the author mentioned the contemporaries of James (wealthy or not) will be alive when the Lord comes (with God's wrath and soon!) (James 5:1-8).

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by pavurcn » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:18 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:49 pm
The meaning of all four versions seems to be clear: certain apocalyptic events are going to happen, and they will happen at a time at which some of the people alive right now are going to still be alive, while others will have died.
But suppose the events actually did happen?

That is, not the specific literal descriptions on a cosmic scale, but in a spiritual sense, the end of the old world and the beginning of the new. "Behold I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5). This was an apocalyptic event of fulfillment known as the Death and Resurrection, bringing about the fulfillment of the time that Jesus preached from the beginning. It is essentially the overthrow of all authorities, kings, emperors (as in the apocalyptic scenarios). "I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). The Resurrection was the unexpected form of the inbreaking of the eschatological era.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn 2:19). The Resurrection brings in a new temple.

Even the early James says "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures" (James 1:18). This seems to mean that a new era has begun, a new birth has taken place (he "brought us forth").

"And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split" (Matt 27:51). The tribulations of the end happened then.

Early Christians may have kept the generational sayings because there was a spiritual meaning they perceived in them, one that could be merged with and referred to and expressed by typical eschatological formulations that may or may not have had particular historical correlations. And the events are not just reserved for the end of time, but the new era has already started: "For the form of this world is passing away" (1 Cor 7:31).

The generational sayings point to the significance and ultimacy of the Christ event.

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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:22 am

Should we not add to the list Mark 14:62? Jesus is addressing either the high priest specifically and/or his accusers more generally:
You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.
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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:24 am

pavurcn wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:18 am
But suppose the events actually did happen?
I think there are indicators that this was the meaning behind the various sayings in the Gospel of Mark. (It is a mistake, I'm sure, to read Mark through the words of Matthew and Luke. Ironically it seems that John is a better interpreter of Mark at times.) As with that other curiosity that GMark introduced, Jesus' baptism by John, subsequent evangelists found ways to minimize and eventually ignore some irregular teaching (Mark's hidden messages were replaced by more literal ones in subsequent gospels) that Mark had introduced with his narrative.
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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:31 am

Ben
Does it not seem evident that it had to have arisen during the lifetimes of the apostles?
Yes, the ideas are present in the writings of Paul.
What would bring someone of a later date, well after the death of the last apostle, to even suggest that at least some of the apostles would still be alive to witness these events which even today have not yet transpired?
Mark's focal character is a portrayed as a contemporary of the apostles who says what we read another contemporary of the apostles actually wrote. That's realism, a plausible goal of Mark's composition. Whether or not what apostolic-era characters said worked out sometime later isn't Mark's problem, nor the problem of any writer qua writer who chooses to set a naturalistic story in the apostolic milieu.
Version 1 is mitigated by being placed six or eight days before the Transfiguration, leading a lot of modern Christians to think that the Transfiguration is, in fact, the intended fulfillment of the prediction.
And if it wasn't the transfiguration, then it would be something else. Team Jesus doesn't believe their man is divine because his predictions have or will come true, they believe his predictions have or will come true because Jesus is divine.
But modern Christians still sometimes follow this interpretation, so perhaps somebody in antiquity actually planned for it by locating the Transfiguration in that spot.
Probably not. The transfiguration is the mid-point of Mark's Gospel, the "point of no return" in the plot where Jesus commits (indeed, after a week's deliberation) to go ahead with the mission to Jerusalem as scheduled, with the ragtag band of disciples he's got. This decision follows the complete failure of his rousing recruiting speech (the end of chapter 8, climaxing at 9:1) to attract any volunteers at all.
Did the same mind which promised certain events within the lifespan of a generation also state that nobody could know when they would happen?
Sure. As (I think) you later answer this question yourself, Paul is both promising events within a lifespan and is also obviously clueless (or shrewd enough to keep his forecast to himself) about any precise day or hour.


Bernard
I think the tradition was started by Paul (according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52), because Paul was pressed into giving a time limit for the resurrections and going to the Kingdom in heaven.
I wasn't there, but I'd bet a few bucks that Paul had volunteered in his early preaching to the Corinthians that, "You, yes you my friend, will not die!" Years later, maybe he wasn't pressed into giving a time limit so much as a time limit he'd over-enthusiastically imposed on himself was becoming a stumbling block to his converts' salvation, and he found it prudent to clarify his earlier remarks.

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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by hakeem » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:09 am

It is most fascinating to see the absurd reasoning of those who believe the Christian Bible is really a historical document when it can be easily seen that the supposed "generational prophecy" was an invention.

In gMark, gMatthew and gLuke the supposed generational prophecy occurred 6-8 days before a specific event called the Transfiguration.

When did the Transfiguration happen??

In which century??

In which month??

On which day??


The date of the "generational prophecy" is directly linked to a non-historical event--an event which never happened and could not have happened.

Matthew 16: 28 & 17:1-2
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9 :1-2
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.


Luke 9:28-30
And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias..


Based on the Gospels, the generational prophecy happened six to eight days before noneteenth day in the month of Never.

Were the authors embarrassed about the Transfiguration which never happened?
Were the supposed early Christians embarrassed about the Transfiguration which could not have happened?

The "generational prophecy" by Jesus is no different to the Transfiguration"--both of them are non-historical events.

The "generational prophecy" and the Transfiguration are virtually completely useless to determine when the authors wrote their propaganda fables called Gospels.

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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:29 am

pavurcn wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:18 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:49 pm
The meaning of all four versions seems to be clear: certain apocalyptic events are going to happen, and they will happen at a time at which some of the people alive right now are going to still be alive, while others will have died.
But suppose the events actually did happen?

That is, not the specific literal descriptions on a cosmic scale, but in a spiritual sense, the end of the old world and the beginning of the new. "Behold I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5).
With most of the symbolism used in the Olivet discourse, I can easily go in this direction. But there are details which, even after they have been glazed over with as much symbolism as I can conscientiously apply, still did not come true. Chief among them, probably, is the gathering by angels (Mark 13.27 and parallels). Scouring the Hebrew scriptures for the meaning of this symbol produces: the regathering of Israel into the homeland, a restoration symbolized by resurrection in Ezekiel's valley of bones and then later including a resurrection in Daniel 12.1-3. Even if you remove the resurrection from the regathering, on the grounds that Mark does not explicitly mention it in this context, you still have the regathering of Israel. The other symbols in the Olivet discourse (the falling stars, for example) can all be applied to the fall of Jerusalem and the attendant change in government and so on; that works for me, based on the Hebrew scriptural symbolism; but the regathering of Israel is a stumbling block. In what sense was Israel regathered within a generation of Jesus' alleged words? Let us assume that the church is somehow the new Israel ("the elect"), so now it is believers, including gentiles, which are being gathered. In what sense did that happen at that time (τότε)? How were the gentiles gathered in any way that was not already true before 70 and still remained true after 70?

The only answers that I can find so far to this question involve spiritualization of a kind that is obviously meant to rescue the false prediction.
It is essentially the overthrow of all authorities, kings, emperors (as in the apocalyptic scenarios). "I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). The Resurrection was the unexpected form of the inbreaking of the eschatological era.
So here you seem to be applying the generational prophecy to the death and resurrection of Jesus himself, producing a scenario in which Jesus promised that the generation whose apostolic representatives he was addressing on Olivet would not die out for, oh, say, another few days. Besides, how can one apply the rest of chapter 13 to the resurrection without sacrificing intellectual integrity? That is a serious question: how?
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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:49 pm
This thread is a continuation of sorts from another recent thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3804.

The following passages are often treated quite separately, but it seems to me that they deserve to be assessed together, since they appear to be versions of the same basic concept:
...
The meaning of all four versions seems to be clear: certain apocalyptic events are going to happen, and they will happen at a time at which some of the people alive right now are going to still be alive, while others will have died. The generation in view ("this generation") in all four versions is that of the apostles (Peter and company, the beloved disciple, and Paul, at the very least).

*Version 1 specifically relates to the coming of the Son of Man, who will be ashamed then of those who are ashamed of him now (Matthew 16.27; Mark 8.38; Luke 9.26).
*Version 2 specifically relates to the coming of the Son of Man and the regathering of the elect (Matthew 24.29-31; Mark 13.24-27; Luke 21.25-28).
*Versions 3 and 4 specifically relate to the resurrection from the dead and the simultaneous transformation of the living ("that disciple would not die," "we shall not all sleep").
Arguably, none of the four versions has yet fully come true even today.

What can we say about the origins of this body of material? Does it not seem evident that it had to have arisen during the lifetimes of the apostles? What would bring someone of a later date, well after the death of the last apostle, to even suggest that at least some of the apostles would still be alive to witness these events which even today have not yet transpired? If someone has solid ideas along these lines — ideas, I might add, which would not make me sound like a Christian apologist were I to adopt them — then I am most interested in hearing them.

The more so since it appears to me that there has been damage control and back pedaling with respect to these very predictions.
...
Once these initial tactics had been employed against the generational prophecy (which C. S. Lewis once called "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible"), the way was clear for more thoroughgoing approaches:
...
None of the earliest mitigating strategies is entirely effective, but all of them are still used by various Christians to this day. Taking both the original prediction and its unsuccessful mitigation seriously, I find myself led to believe (A) that the prediction, originating during the apostolic period, was so widespread and entrenched that it could not be ignored, even when it did not come to pass, and (B) that Christians constructed modifications to the prediction which were "good enough" — ad hoc and patchy, to be sure, but "good enough" to allow intelligent exegetes to wriggle out of the obvious implications.

But I am willing to be persuaded otherwise: how could these predictions feasibly have arisen after the apostles were all dead and gone?
To me, these passages are traces of the rationalizations made to reduce cognitive dissonance caused by the fact that Jesus (assuming he was real and physical) seems to have predicted an imminent coming of the final "age" which did not come as expected. "Reasons" had to be developed to explain this situation. Yet I do not see why the presence of the "apostles" (however defined) is required for rationalization to occur. Is this an authority issue (i.e., could only "apostles" have sufficient authority within the movement to change the interpretation of Jesus' statements)?

I do not think that anyone (here at least) is applying sociological theory to the process of "changing ones mind." I mention cognitive dissonance above, as this was an early attempt by Leon Festinger to explain the phenomenon relating to dealing with dissonance (specifically, failed "prophecy," in his case study When Prophecy Fails).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails
However, there are other models: Freud and his followers also had a model for this phenomenon.

It might take a little effort to research this and apply it to the evidence you resent, but it would bear fruit I think. You are quite correct that the "mitigating" you refer to continues on to this day among Christians. What I am suggesting is that there may be some sociological principals involved in this/these rationalization process(es) (for that is what it/they is/are :scratch: ) that are applicable to all human beings in every age.

DCH

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Re: The generational prophecy.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:35 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:31 am
Did the same mind which promised certain events within the lifespan of a generation also state that nobody could know when they would happen?
Sure. As (I think) you later answer this question yourself, Paul is both promising events within a lifespan and is also obviously clueless (or shrewd enough to keep his forecast to himself) about any precise day or hour.
No, actually I stated that Paul did not do both of these things. I am basically persuaded that 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11 is an interpolation. I think that Paul expected the resurrection in his lifetime, essentially within a generation. (Even where Paul imagines himself rhetorically as being among the dead to be raised, in 2 Corinthians 4.7-15, he imagines himself being raised to join the living Corinthians... if that is what this difficult passage means in the first place.) Somebody else added 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11, on the basis of Matthew 24 = Mark 13, so as to buffer that expectation.
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