Wasn't Armageddon Supposed to Happen in the First Century?

by losthobbit 32 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • losthobbit

    To me it's pretty obvious from these verses...

    Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32

    ...that Jesus, talking to his disciples, told them that Armageddon would happen in their generation (the first century). Just wondering if everyone else sees it this way, or have I missed something?

    p.s. I like answers with small words and short sentences.

  • Phizzy

    Armageddon makes its appearance in the Revelation to John , probably written at the end of the 1st century or a bit later, the writer would perhaps have been aware of the Gospels and Luke that deal with the coming judgement, and maybe wrote his book to explain that the end would be soon, perhaps he was surprised that it had not come by his time !

    The other verses that deal with this, like the ones quoted by you, certainly read to me as though they should have occured not long after the writing.

    There is certainly no hint in the Bible that millenia would pass before "the end", I think those early christians expected it "soon", but like modern day Apocalyptics they are chasing a Will O' the Wisp dream, the reality is that mankind is making the world a better place, and will overcome any problems that are thrown at them, and will be here on earh for many hundreds of thousands of years to come.

    No doubt in that distant, better future, many will look back on this time of superstition and ignorant delusion with the utmost amusement.

    By then, the "End TIme" cults, JW's among them, will be long forgotten.

  • losthobbit

    Nice to read such positivity... I look forward to a time of rational thinking if it comes in my generation

  • leavingwt

    This begs the question: Was Jesus a false prophet?

  • WTWizard

    Those verses refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. That was what was supposed to happen before "this generation" passed away. The "a generation" was in fact those around when Jesus spoke those words, and Jerusalem was destroyed in under 40 years from the time the words were spoken.

    However, I don't think Armageddon as Christians think of it is ever going to happen. Whether you believe in the Rapture or that everyone not in your cult is going to get destroyed, nothing of the sort is coming. Rather, we are going to see a total collapse in the whole money system (meaning you are going to lose all your purchasing power). Whether it be in toilet paper bills or in digits in a computer database, it is going to all be worthless. Regulations are going to prevent anyone from U-Do-It schemes like growing your own garden, the U-Fix-It car and computer repair kits, or starting your own business. Now that SOPA is dead, ACTA (the international version of SOPA) is in place and the United Tyranny of Stupidity has signed on. Codex Alimentarius and S-510/S-3767 will be implemented soon. Eventually, the United Tyranny of Stupidity becomes a combine, and then they use it to dredge soldiers to confiscate Africa, Asia, and Oceania along with South America. Mass human enslavement as Agenda 21+ will then happen.

    And, no Christian or Muslim religion is going to save you at that point. God is going to let you and everyone else be enslaved, and do nothing about it.

  • Ding

    Yet in 2 Peter 3 there is reference to a thousand years being as a day to God.

    This is said in the context of people asking why Jesus hasn't returned yet.

    So at least by that time, the idea that it could be millennia before the end times was being written of.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Paul wrote about the problem Christians were facing b/c the first generation was dying before the Second Coming. It is clear that Paul believed it would happen anyday. It is similar to the Witnesses and all the sundry Armageddon dates yet most continue worshipping.

  • losthobbit


    "Was Jesus a false prophet?"

    Seems that way to me.

    WT Wizard...

    "Those verses refer to the destruction of Jerusalem."

    Really? I think it's a lot more than that... this is from Mark (NIV translation -> Sorry if anyone prefers the NWT, but it probably says pretty much the same thing):

    Jesus repeatedly says that the Kingdom of God is about to come within the lifetime of those listening.

    So the obvious questions here are: "What is the coming of the Kingdom of God?" and "Did it happen at the time Jesus specified?"

    Here are some verses that describe the coming of the Kingdom of God

    - Mark 9:1 (It would come within the lifetime of those he was talking to, confirmed again in Luke 9:27, and Matthew 24:34)

    - Mark 9:47 (The Kingdom is something that you can enter - as apposed to hell)

    - Mark 13:2-8 (Gives the impression that it's going to be catastrophic)

    - Mark 13:17 onwards (Describes a pretty massive event, even referring to heaven and earth passing away)


    "we are going to see a total collapse in the whole money system"

    That does seem likely. The money system is sh1t... Wait, I'll stop there... I tend to get into trouble on this forum when I talk about that topic.

    Ding, two things:

    1. It's very clear that these things were supposed to happen in their generation. Saying a thousand years is like a day does not matter... a generation is a generation. The writer of Peter was probably wondering why it hadn't happened and felt he had to defend his beliefs.

    2. If you read 2 Peter 3, it seems like even the writer of Peter expects it to happen to the people he's writing to.

  • losthobbit

    Band on the Run

    Thanks for that... so it seems Peter, Paul and John were all wondering why this big event had not yet happened.

  • blondie

    I think the concept you are thinking of is preterism. I know people who call themselves partial preterists as well.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Can you imagine how first century Christians felt when Peter, Paul,James, Thomas, Matthew -the whole bunch - started to die. Nicodemus, Mary the Mother, Mary Magdalene? It must have been such a blow to expectations. The Bible does not focus on this. If there were no problem to the church, John of Patmos would never have written Revelation to give hope. Christian hope is depressing when viewed in this light. I wonder why Christians stayed in the church. Just as with 1975, I expect many Christians decided to go back to their native religion.

    The Bible is written from the victor's point of view. Maybe archaeologists will find a manuscript written by those upset Christians. The expectation of immediacy must have presented a very different church from a church not knowing when Christ will come.

  • N.drew

    "This generation" does not mean in a period of time imho, it means the generation that in truth belong to Christ as in Matthew 28:20 " teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

    So as long as there are sons of men who are taken "out" of the "world" to do the will of God, God will not abandon His will. That is what I think it means.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    N. Drew,

    What you state is a nice explanation for believers today. The problem is that there is ample evidence that first century Christians, included Paul who is so often quoted, and John of Patmos expected the Second Coming before they died. I don't think they expected it only within their lifetime but in a matter of weeks or months. They had no 2,000 years of expecting yet. The long wait seems such a waste of time. Jesus had his ministry, his death, and his resurrection. He was ruling in heaven. Why not immediately?

    It is interesting that the gospels have Jesus say that no one knows the hour. It is a clear, express statement. I wonder why convulted chronologies are needed when Jesus said no man.

  • N.drew

    Hi Band thank you. What you say is reasonable. But it is not how I understand it. I do not believe in a "second coming". Not a world wide historical one. The "coming" that I understand means "to each believer". It is happening all the time. Or let's hope so!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I understand what you are saying. It is a nice way to dealing with Jesus' lack of physical presence. Christians constantly revise their core beliefs. I expect every religion does the same. Jews evolved from a belief in Temple worship.

  • N.drew

    Artificial Christianity revises core beliefs. True Christianity remains the same.

    Ephesians 4:4 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

  • cofty

    The gospel writers were in no doubt the parousia would happen within their lifetime.

    You can see Paul having to deal with the unexpected situation of believers dying before the end in 1Cor and Peter's lame apologetics "in the last days there will be scoffers" etc

    You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. - Matt 10:22,23

    If Jesus said the things the gospel writers claim he said then yes Jesus was a false prophet (as if there was any other kind)

  • Fernando

    Hey losthobbit!

    I wonder if the link created by Watchtower and other religionists between the scriptures you cited and "Armaggedon" is tenuous at best?

    Although Revelation seems largely figurative/spiritual I am wondering what to make of "Armaggedon" being described as a "place" rather than an event?

    Could one link v15 to v16 so that those who have remained awake are gathered to this place? That would make it a good place and event?

    NWT suggests "river" as an alternative rendering for "place" which might make it life giving?

    Reading the Bible commentaries on Rev 16:16 at www.bible.cc hasn't helped me at this point.

  • ziddina
    "Wasn't Armageddon Supposed to Happen in the First Century?..."

    Yes it was....

    I thought that it DID, when Rome invaded Judea to put down rebellions and destroyed Jerusalem and most other major Hebrew cities...


  • ziddina

    One thing to keep in mind, is that the book of Revelation was actually written AFTER the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. ....

    I haven't gotten around to reading my copy of "Pliny the Younger, Complete Letters", and breaking down the relationship between that eruption and Revelation yet, but it is obvious that there's a LOT of volcanic imagery written into the book of Revelation...

    For those who might say that the eruption of Vesuvius didn't affect the Jews, let me remind you that Pliny the Younger was an eyewitness to the eruption, wrote at least one clear, solid account of the eruption, which MUST have made the rounds as an account of amazing events, to say the least.

    His account was probably carried, if not by letters, at least by word-of-mouth, to all parts of the Roman Empire, INCLUDING Judea...

    And there were other survivors of the volcanic holocaust, who undoubtedly added THEIR voices to the furor over that destruction.

    That destruction was ALSO probably viewed as "divine judgement", and an indication that the "day of the wrath of god" was very near...


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