Did Jesus say the Second Coming would happen in the first century? [Akin]

http://jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/second-coming-300x300.jpgIn this episode of Catholic Answers Live (April 20, 2017, 2nd hour), Jimmy answers the following questions:

2:22 Did Jesus falsely prophesy that he would return before the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70?

13:39 Did some of the disciples initially think Jesus was a ghost after his resurrection?

17:50 What is “hermeneutics”? How to respond to the “All have sinned” passage in Romans with respect to the Immaculate Conception of Mary?

28:50 How should we evaluate Buddhism in relation to the Christian Faith?

38:50 How to deal with a problematic family situation that may even be dangerous?

47:23 Did the Council of Nicaea invent the divinity of Christ? Did it arbitrarily select books of the Bible? What was Constantine’s role in it? Was he a sincere Christian? How to know the truth about all this?

53:39 Catholic Answers MORE begins

In this episode of Catholic Answers More (April 20, 2017), Cy and Jimmy discuss:

  • Beards!
  • The origin of “Rindercella”
  • Spoonerisms and other eech sperrors
  • Hee-Haw comedian Archie Campbell
  • Why the Church accepted 1 and 2 Maccabees into the canon but not 3 and 4 Maccabees
  • Easter foods
  • Why eggs are associated with Easter

Special appearance by Nick Chamberlain!

Archie Campbell does “Rindercella”: youtu.be/1FcUc2Tk0GQ

Click this link to watch the Catholic Answers Live show on YouTube.



Regarding the first question (and the title of this thread), what Jimmy Akin says is that the passage being quoted of Jesus coming in the clouds is really the transfiguration that three of his disciples saw and not The Second Coming. He also says that the passages regarding Jesus coming don’t all refer to The Second Coming and some refer to other events.

There is a problem with that. If we take Matthew 24 (and there are parallel passages in Mark and Luke) verse 21 says:

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

If this is a distress that will never be equaled again, then this sounds like the beginnings of The Second Coming; but that’s not even the point as we’ll see.

Verses 29 through 31 give signs of these days:

Immediately after the distress of those days
 ‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

So we know these are visible signs that all people of all nations will see. This isn’t describing the transfiguration that only a very select few allegedly saw.

Finally verse 34 gives a timeframe for these events to occur:

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

So let’s put it all together:

  1. There was predicted a great event the likes of which haven’t been seen and wouldn’t be seen again.
  2. Jesus is describing a singular event with multiple signs and not multiple events.
  3. There are several signs to show this event occurring, including stars falling from the sky.
  4. Those signs would be seen by all and all would mourn upon seeing Jesus in the clouds.
  5. This event has not yet occurred.
  6. Jesus said this event would occur within the lifetime of some of the people he was speaking to.
  7. All of the people Jesus spoke to are long since dead.

Therefore Jesus’ prophecy did not come true. According to Deuteronomy 18:22 if a prophet speaks a prophecy that does not come true then he is not of the Lord.

What New Jersey Mike said.


There’s a terrific book about this very subject: What Jesus Really Said About the End of the World by David B. Currie.

Currie points out that the Bible contains literary devices we usually don’t use anymore, such as inclusios and chiasms and that these are the keys to understanding the relevant passages.

Fascinating book.

If this is something that you’ve read could you summarize it here?

I’ve read it twice, but a summary would be difficult. Basically, Currie says that folks put Jesus’ predictions about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world together as though they are one. The author proposes that there are two separate sets of predictions, one about Jerusalem and a different one about the end of the world.

I think he makes a good case for it since these predictions are separated from one another in one of the gospels.

You’d have to read the book to get the full argument, but you can go to Amazon and click on the book cover to read the first few pages, including one of the chiasms:


Kay Cee, thanks for the link. Where I am at right now has Amazon blocked so I’ll have to check it out tonight.

From the start I’m a bit curious how the author is going to put Matthew 24 into a chiasmic structure to describe two separate events.

The way we normally write a paragraph is:

Supporting statement 1
Supporting statement 2
Supporting statement 3

But a chiasm is more like:

Supporting statement 1
Supporting statement 2
Supporting statement 3
Optional general statement
Rephrasing of supporting statement 3
Rephrasing of supporting statement 2
Rephrasing of supporting statement 1

Even though the structure is different it still tends to pertain to one thing. Still, I could always be wrong, so like I said I’ll check it out tonight.

I read those first free pages via that Amazon link you gave, Kay Cee. He’s suggesting that everything from Matthew 23:36 (“Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation”) to Matthew 24:34 (“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”) is a chiasm and that everything in Matthew 24 after that is a different topic.

I have a few problems with that:

Everything in Matthew 24 from verse 4 on is Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ collective question about the signs they should watch for and the time they’ll occur.
There is nothing that Jesus says that indicates he’s changing topics. In fact…

Matthew 24:36 refers to “that day or hour” linking the passages after to the passages before.
The interlinear Bible I’m using on biblehub.com says the word is ἐκείνης (ekeinēs) which is “that” in the same way we use “that”, a pronoun to refer to that which was earlier referred. In this case it’s linking not know the time to the signs he listed several sentences earlier.

Even if the passages after Matthew 24:34 are part of a different topic (which the words themselves say they are not), the conflict that I mentioned in my first post are all contained with the alleged chiasm.
In brief, verse 21 says this is a distress then will never be equaled. Verse 29 lists the celestial signs that would occur immediately after the distress. Verse 30 says every person on Earth would see Jesus in the clouds and all would mourn. Verse 34 says these signs would all occur within the lifetimes of the people Jesus was speaking to. Since the signs in verses 29 and 30 didn’t happen within the time frame given in verse 34, then the Bible says Jesus gave a false prophecy. As I noted earlier Deuteronomy said to ignore any prophet who has even one false prophecy.

Pretty interesting, this could have some huge implications.

Glad I could help. :slight_smile:

Kay Cee, is there anything in my assessment that you think is incorrect? It appears that Matthew 24 is a failed prophecy by Jesus and the author doesn’t give anything to dispute that.

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