I think they see Moses as the Messiah figure and Elijah as the John the Baptist figure, it is suppose to confirm the prophecies about the Messiah.
Luke 9:27. How does The Watchtower explain it?
I think they see Moses as the Messiah figure and Elijah as the John the Baptist figure
John the baptist isn't part of God's kingdom either. Why would he be represented as being part of God's kingdom?
In Witness eschatology John the Baptist is considered to be one of the future princes on the earth. In this particular setting he is seen as a key supporter of the Messiah and a necessary figure in pointing out who the Messiah would be ie the Baptism scene.
So The Watchtower thinks that Jesus made the comment that some will still be living to see an event that happened only a week later?
Something is strange here.
Exactly. Note also that Jesus uses the solemn amen amen expression, which intensifies the unusualness of the promise. So not only is it taken to be strange that all his disciples there should be alive a week later, but it is apparently very, very strange that they should all be alive just a week later!
The explanation also ignores the context of the promise. It is the culmination of the "Way of the Cross" saying, which in the immediately preceding verses says: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:23-26). Jesus is here talking about persecution of his disciples and he is telling them that they must not be ashamed of him and deny them when persecution comes to them, and Jesus is adamant that such persecution would take the lives of those who follow him. This explains why Jesus is talking about "tasting death" in the very next verse. Jesus is promising his disciples that not all of them will die but that some will still be alive when the Son of Man comes. None of the Transfiguration stories have intense persecution as a plot point, do they? This promise is thus parallel to similar statements in the Olivet discourse:
Luke 17:22-23, 32-35: "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, 'Lo, there!' or 'Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them...Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left".
Luke 21:10-19: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their heands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and a wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair on your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives".
Matthew 24:21-22: "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened".
Consider also the fact that the promise in Luke 9:26-27 concerns the "coming of the Son of Man in the glory of the Father and the holy angels". The synoptic gospels contain many such promises about those who knew Jesus remaining alive when the Son of Man comes (at a time of intense perseuction of the disciples), which is designated as Jesus' future parousia:
Matthew 10:17-23: "Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear tesitmony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes".
Matthew 16:24-28: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of Man is to come with the angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay to every man for what he has done. Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom".
Matthew 24:9-10, 21-22, 29-34, 25:31-32, 46: "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all the nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved....For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.... Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels will a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other....So when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place....When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd seperates the sheep from the goats ... and they will go away into eternal punishment but the righteous into eternal life".
Matthew 26:64: "And the high priest said to him, 'I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God'. Jesus said to him, 'You have said so. But I tell you, you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven' ".
Note that the latter two promises are made after the Transfiguration in the plot of the synoptic gospels, nor did the Transfiguration involve any judgment of the peoples of the earth and rewarding them according to their deeds, as is promised in Matthew 16:24-28, Mark 8:34-9:1, and Luke 9:23-27. The coming of the Son of Man accompanied with his angels and in glory refers to the parousia still expected in the future. It is in this event, on Judgment Day, that the Son of Man "will repay every man for what he has done". The promise that those who put Jesus to death would see him return (as expressed in Matthew 26:64) is expressed again in Revelation: "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be!" (1:7), "Behold, I am coming quickly and my reward is with me, to repay every man for what he has done" (22:12).
Now, it is probably not a coincidence that the Transfiguration story is placed directly after the Way of the Cross saying, as Jesus demonstrates a foretaste of the glory that he will have during his parousia, but in no sense is the Transfiguration intended to be the fulfillment of the promise in the preceding verses, as the Transfiguration was not preceded by intense persecution and martyrdom of Jesus' disciples in the few days preceding it and Jesus did not judge the whole world at the Transfiguration according to their deeds, such that those who have denied the Son of Man (who would that be?) would be ashamed at him at his Transfiguration (which was viewed only by three disciples).
John was most likely one of the ones to whom Jesus was referring. In John 21, we read: "Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?"
It wasn't that John wasn't going to die; it's that he would tarry, or remain, until Christ's Kingdom was established (see Daniel 2) . That kingdom would be established in the days of the individual nation states after the fall of Rome.
There may have been possibly others who were translated that we don't know anything about. But that's what I think.
Excellent question VM44 :)
This is a good answer Bible Studies: Luke 9:27 Seeing the kingdom of God, Luke 9:27 ...
All the best,
This Scripture should be an issue for any Christian, as it shows that Jesus preached that the second coming was going to be in their life time.
Ah a Preterist.
Reading the Gospels in light of the post Second Temple Jewish Sages and the Talmud, Jesus could very well have been talking about the 'kingdom within' one's spiritual life expressed outwardly by the kindnesses done to others.
Another take on this is that Jesus claimed that the kingdom of God was within them and after his ressurection, when he appeared to his disciples and, as per Matthew, stated that all authority had been given unto him and when, in John, he gave unto all of them the HS and, as in ACTS, when he returned to heaven and they saw him going, all that MAY be viewed as them "seeing" the Kingdom of God.
Of course he may have meant John who saw the Kingdom in his Revelation that God gave him through Jesus.
The transfiguration was really just a "glimps' of Jesus's divinity for those disciples that Jesus felt would be more "notworthy", as we can see by their writings after his death and ressurection.
Truly, other than Paul, the only other disciples of "note" were Peter, John and James, add to that Jude too.