Thanks for your reply Leolaia:
JCanon....Well, I didn't address it because there is no explicit reference to chronology in Matthew and Mark. But there is an implicit reference in Matthew 24 to the "seventy weeks" survey of history in Daniel 9, as the latter describes the city and sancutary being destroyed at the start of the 70th week and "by the half of the week sacrifice and libation will cease and in the temple there will be an abomination of desolations until the sunteleia" (v. 26-27, LXX-Th), and this is reflected in the references to the destruction of the temple (Matthew 24:2), the installation of the "abomination of desolation" in the "holy place" (v. 15-16), and the sunteleia of the age (v. 3). Although the author does not give an explicit interpretation, it would seem that he expected the end of the 70 weeks to coincide with the end of the age. This is similar to the interpretation of the 70 weeks in the Seder Olam (which has the period end around AD 70) and a number of other sources.
With regard to the timing of the destruction of the temple with respect to the signs that occur, you need Luke 21. Luke 21 never mentions Daniel, nor the "great tribulation" and asserts the destruction of Jerusalem, which you mention but that is not mentioned in either Mark or Matthew, as occurring BEFORE these signs:
LUKE 21: 10 Then he went on to say to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.
12 “But before all these things people will lay their hands upon YOU and persecute YOU , delivering YOU up to the synagogues and prisons, YOU being haled before kings and governors for the sake of my name. 13 It will turn out to YOU for a witness. 14 Therefore settle it in YOUR hearts not to rehearse beforehand how to make YOUR defense, 15 for I will give YOU a mouth and wisdom, which all YOUR opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute. 16 Moreover, YOU will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of YOU to death; 17 and YOU will be objects of hatred by all people because of my name. 18 And yet not a hair of YOUR heads will by any means perish. 19 By endurance on YOUR part YOU will acquire YOUR souls.
20 “Furthermore, when YOU see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. 21 Then let those in Ju·de´a begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; 22 because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.
Therefore, Luke gives a parallel account but includes specifics that neither Mark or Matthew do. Again, only Luke mentions the destruction of Jerusalem and it is placed before the signs given that would be attendant with the "conclusion of the system of things." Also note that Jerusalem would be trampled on by the nations, which is a reference in this context of the "gentile times" until the APPOINTED times of the nations are fulfilled. That is, there is a prescribed chronology of time that was understood that Jerusalem would be trampled while the Jews were in exile. This "appointed times of the nations" was the "system of things" under which the Jews were living and would specifically one day expect to end. Thus when they were inquiring about details associated with the "conclusion of the system of things" they were asking about those things that would be happening when the "appointed times of the nations" was going to end.
Likewise, even as the WTS at one point explained, that it was interpreted that the reference to the fig tree budding was a reference to the end of the gentile times and when the new Jewish state would appear and begin to blossom. That is not an inconsistent interpretation for the context of the end of the "appointed times of the nations." But it only would be after the new Jewish state was established that the messiah would then be near at the doors.
So we know from Luke that this time of the nations and the current "system of things" was to continue after the fall of Jerusalem and the Jews were exiled.
On the other hand, the "great tribulation" mentioned by Daniel was a one-time event. Something that had never happened before nor would happen again. It would occur just prior to the end of the 1290 days and is reflected in Daniel as the "dashing of the holy ones to pieces." Thus the conclusion of the system of things and the end of the 1290 days are the same thing. The Bible though mentions the 1335 days! That is 45 years after the conclusion of the system of things is the date of the second coming. Therefore, you could use Daniel, technically to specifically retrodate the precise year of the end of the appointed times of the nations by simply subtracting 45 years from the date of the second coming.
Thus the "7 times prophecy" which introduces 7 times between the presence on the earth of an earthly king, interrupted when Zedekiah left the throne when Jerusalem was destroyed and restored at the second coming, introduces 2520 years from the fall of Jerusalem and the removal of its last king until the messiah arrives. Since the "end of the gentile times" and 1290 days would occur 45 years earlier, if you knew the correct date for the fall of Jerusalem, you could calculate the date for the end of the gentile times. As you know, there is debate over when Jerusalem actually falls, but it is only three major dates: 607 BCE, 587 BCE or 529 BCE. I prefer 529 BCE based upon my research and the "70 weeks" leading to the first coming of Christ in 29 CE being fulfilled by Cyrus, which dates the 1st of Cyrus in 455 BCE. If we follow Josephus who introduces 70 years of desolation and "servitude" from the last deportation to the 1st of Cyrus, then year 23 of Nebuchadnezzer per Josephus would fall in 525 BCE and the fall of Jerusalem in year 19 in 529 BCE. Presuming that chronology is correct, then the end of 2520 years would fall in 1992 and 45 years later should see the "end of the system of things" of the gentile times, which is 1947. Further, this should come right on the heels of the "great tribulation" for the Jews where, per Zech. 13:8 reflects this great tribulation followed by the end of the gentile times and the restoration of the Jews to their homeland:
8 “And it must occur in all the land,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “[that] two parts in it are what will be cut off [and] expire; and as for the third [part], it will be left remaining in it. 9 And I shall certainly bring the third [part] through the fire; and I shall actually refine them as in the refining of silver, and examine them as in the examining of gold. It, for its part, will call upon my name, and I, for my part, will answer it. I will say, ‘It is my people,’ and it, in its turn, will say, ‘Jehovah is my God.’”
It indicates that two-thirds would be exterminated and one third would be restored to God's favor and thus to their homeland. Of course, the end of the gentile times on November 30, 1947 comes on the heels of the Holocaust where "six million" Jews were exterminated out of an estimated nine million Jews in the area of the "great tribulation" which would thus be WWII.
So as I indicated, the signs given by Jesus were simply specific things that would happen in connection with what was already specifically timed, the APPOINTED times of the nations, in connection with the fall of Jerusalem. So since Daniel tells us exactly the year of the second coming as well as the precise time of the end of the "appointed times of the nations" these issues were not in question. Just what events would be associated with these already "appointed" times. Therefore, "this generation" would be during the lifetime of those who would see the "conclusion of the system of things", that is, the end of the gentile times, which was in 1947.
Finally, with the issue of the two groups where one was understood to remain alive until the second coming, one considers the context of John 21:18-23. The setting here is that Jesus was telling Peter about his old age and death. Jesus was telling Peter that he would die. When he asked Jesus about John, Jesus' direct response was that if it was his will, then John would not die until he returned. So Jesus understood was was being asked, which was, basically in which group, those dying and resurrected and those who would be chosen to live without dying, would John be in. So this was an appropriate and direct response to what John was asking, which was? What about John, would he die or live?
18 Most truly I say to you, When you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk about where you wanted. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and another [man] will gird you and bear you where you do not wish.” 19 This he said to signify by what sort of death he would glorify God. So, when he had said this, he said to him: “Continue following me.” 20 Upon turning about Peter saw the disciple whom Jesus used to love following, the one who at the evening meal had also leaned back upon his breast and said: “Lord, who is the one betraying you?” 21 Accordingly, when he caught sight of him, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what will this [man do]?” 22 Jesus said to him: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you? You continue following me.” 23 In consequence, this saying went out among the brothers, that that disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?”
Again, those who survive until Christ arrives would not die. Those surviving until Christ returned would be joined by those who would be resurrected, a distinct second group.
So when Jesus elsewhere said..." 28 Truly I say to YOU that there are some of those standing here that will not taste death at all until first they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
John was one of those standing there. How long some would live would depend directly upon when Christ would arrive in his kingdom and not the other way around, that is, a normal lifespan. We can see that Peter would die of old age, so John living until Christ arrived was a contrast to that. That is, he would not himself die shortly after Peter being old too, but "that disciple would not die."
Now, again, the key to whether Jesus would return during the extended lifetime of those alive at this time or 1900+ years later, is entirely dependent upon any specific chronology linked to the second coming, and we have that specific chronology x 3 prophecies in DANIEL, which are:
1. "7 times" or 2520 years from the fall of Jerusalem.
2. "1335 days" 45 years after the "end of the gentile times".
3. "End of gift and sacrifice" in the middle of the 70th week, for both the first and second coming. That is, there is a second 70-weeks period that occurs for the second coming in which the messiah arrives at mid-70th week. To determine that, we can cross-reference the closest 70 weeks (490 years) that occur 2520 years after the fall of Jerusalem. Whether dated to 607, 587 or 529 BCE they all point to the 20th century. You thus calculate 490-year periods from 36 CE to get down to the 20th century, which is X4, that is 1960 years. Thus the 70 weeks of the second coming would end in 1996. 1960+36=1996. The 70th week would be 1989-1996 and the mid-week passover and Lord's supper that Jesus ends upon his arrival of April 6, 1993. That, in turn, should be within a year of 45 years after the end of the gentile times and the new Jewish state. 1993 minus 45 is 1948.
So the question is, among the "eagles", those select few who are around the messiah, the "carcass" who would see him, is there a belief that John and also Paul survived through the centuries down to our day? That answer is YES. In fact, I've seen both them myself in person. I saw Paul first before I realized he included himself in the "WE who survive..." Keep in mind 1 Thessalonians is in the context of the first resurrection, when Christ comes and resurrects everybody who had died to join those still alive.
15 For this is what we tell YOU by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep [in death]; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with [the] Lord.
This clearly shows Paul knew he would be alive at the parousia of the Lord, an event that happens 2520 years after the fall of Jerusalem. Therefore it's consistent for him to use the word "survive to the presence of the Lord" and the time of the first resurrection.
So whether you use the actual historical event of when the "appointed times of the nations" ends and you see the Jews back in control of their homeland in 1947, or you calculate it based upon either the 70 weeks ending in 36 CE or if you have the accurate date for the fall of Jerusalem, you still get the same dates in the 20th Century: 1947 for the EOGT and 1992 for the second coming. Except, there are actually two appearances of the messiah. There is the time when he is born and the time when he is anointed as the messiah, just as though Christ was born in 2 BC he didn't actually become the messiah until 29 CE. So apparently, when Jesus is noting that the messiah would arrive shortly after the end of the system of things, meaning the end of the gentile times, and within a "generation" of the beginning of those signs, the first being a world war, it must have been in relation to the appearance of the "sign of the son of man" in the heavens and the actual birth of the messiah which would come closely on the heels of the EOGT and before a generation of 40 years expired in 1954. The second-coming messiah is tested for 40 years before he presents at the beginning of the 70th week and thus by 1949-1950 at which time the "sign of the son of man" would appear to the "eagles", not to the entire world, and even they would only get of glimpse of him in person as his appearance would be like lightening, meaning just a flash. Even so, "every eye shall see him" is fulfilled in the reference of everyone seeing the "sign of the son of man" since that sign depicts him. Thus the sign of the son of man, to fulfill Mattew 24, would have to begin to appear prior to 1954 and shortly after the Jews set up the State of Israel, but no later than 1949-1950 if the messiah's testing of 40 years was to be complete by the beginning of the 70th week in the fall of 1989.
But even so, since John and others from that generation would live over 1900 years to the second coming, it's a moot point if you want to apply "this generation" was that current generation. That's because in order for that generation to pass away, the last person in that generation would have to die, and since John wasn't going to ever die, technically that generation never would pass away until the second coming. So you can have it either way; a generation of 40 years from 1914-1954 that would see all these signs, or some members of Jesus' generation never passing away over 1900 years until he comes. So "this generation" works as a reference either way or both ways!
Furthermore, as you note, it is clear that Daniel was to be resurrected near the time of the conclusion of the system of things or the "last days". Do we really think Daniel was resurrected during the extended lifetime of some of those during Jesus' time with the majority of that generation having died? Why resurrect John in the 2nd Century CE? And did Christ's millennium begin back then? Satan is abyssed at the beginning of Christ's millennium. So was Satan abyssed for 1000 years somewhere around the 2nd Century CE? Thus it is quite problematic for the first resurrection and the abyssing of Satan and the millennium to be relevant during those early times, but the most problematic is the implied "7 times" expanded by the "day for a year" formula found in the Bible. 2520 years from the removal of Zedekiah to the second comng of Christ as king. That's 1914, 1934 or 1992, you pick. But since the second coming must follow the EOGT in 1947, 1914 and 1934 are inaccurate dates. 1992 is the only option. As well, was the Jewish state reestablished in the 2nd century CE? No. Not until 1947.
Example of the interpretation of the fig tree as representing the nation of Israel as did once the WTS:
On November 29, 1947 (Kislev 17), The UN voted 33 to 10 to partition the land of Palestine, and establish a nation of Israel. Everyone quotes Luke 21:29 to joyously proclaim that the fig tree is shooting forth (National Israel is signified by the fig tree).... http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/gammadim/blogslb/
2. When Israel blooms again, the Kingdom of God will be near
Bible passage: Luke 21:29-31
Recorded: about 30 AD
To be fulfilled: End Times
In Luke 21:29-31, Jesus said that when the fig tree blooms again, people will know that the End Times and Kingdom of God is near. Some Christian scholars believe that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. This passage is sometimes interpreted to mean that the End Times would not begin until sometime after the nation of Israel regains sovereignty. When Jesus delivered this prophecy about 2000 years ago, Israel was ruled over by the Roman Empire. The people of Israel did not have sovereignty over their own land during that era. But, after centuries of exile, the Jews were able to return to Israel and reclaim sovereignty, in 1948.
- Copyright 100prophecies.orgLuke 21:29-31
He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
3. The Messiah will appear after the Jews return to Israel
Bible passage: Jeremiah 23:3-6
Written: sometime from 626 to about 586 BC
Fulfilled: end times
In Jeremiah 23:3-6, there is a prophecy that indicates when the Messiah is to appear in the land of Israel. Jeremiah said that it would be after the exiled people of Israel return to their homeland. From a Christian point of view, this is of special interest because Jesus is supposed to appear twice. And this coincides with the fact that the people of Israel have been expelled from their homeland twice, and that they are currently in the process of returning after the second expulsion.
More than 2500 years ago, the Assyrians and Babylonians forced the people of Israel out of their homeland. Many returned during the centuries that followed and then Jesus appeared, about 2000 years ago, and announced that he is the Messiah. Later, the people of Israel were again forced out of their land (by the Romans in 135 AD) and scattered to countries throughout the world.
But, during the past few centuries, millions of exiled Jews around the world have returned to their ancient homeland. And this is one of the reasons why Christians say that the world is being prepared for the return of Jesus Christ. Because, as Jeremiah had prophesied long ago, the Messiah is to appear after the people of Israel return to their land.
The phrase, in Jeremiah 23:5, "I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King," refers to the Messiah, and that he will be a king and a descendant of King David, who reigned over Israel about 3000 years ago. Christians believe that when Jesus returns, he will establish a kingdom of peace and righteousness.
- Copyright 100prophecies.orgJeremiah 23:3-6
"I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the Lord. "The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.