What did Jesus mean by "this generation"?

by Doug Mason 37 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    By looking at every occasion that Jesus used the expression "this generation", it is possible to work out what he meant.

    I have listed these occasions, along with some questions, at:


    I am interested to know what you think.


  • Atlantis


    Excellent work Doug! Thank you!


  • Chalam

    Hi Doug,

    I had a skim, some interesting views.

    To tell the truth, I am not that big on working out how every pieces of the end times plays out. We will know for sure "as it is at the door" Matthew 24:33

    For instance, I still am sitting on the pre-trib, post-trib rapture fence.

    Of course "this generation" is key. Even the WT get on the band wagon. We can discount them, they are on their fifth or six guess so it is clear they don't know the first thing about what they are talking about.

    Someone who does is Mike Bickle, I found some refreshing views on the end times, and not just his minority post-trib views.

    Check out what he has to say on the "this generation" issue.

    Jesus Commanded His People to Know the Generation - Mike Bickle 10.9.09

    Knowing the Generation but Not the Day or Hour - Mike Bickle - 10.10.09

    Knowing the Signs of the Times (12 pages) - Mike Bickle



  • LostGeneration

    Pretty simple once you look at it like that. Just think how many GB hours have been spent in brainstorming sessions on what will be the latest this generation teaching. Even worse, how many hours have been spent in FS based on applying this generation to an imaginary date derived from another imaginary date, which was concocted based on a game of bible hopscotch. What a colossal failure of epic proportions.

  • Fatfreek

    Hi Doug,

    Very compelling when you look at all the instances laid out as you have. The context clearly shows that he was addressing and referring to his contemporaries, those living in his day -- his generation.

    If Jesus was talking of a future generation, would he have said to the people in front of him “this generation”, or would he have said “that generation”?

    He would have said "that" but only if the word "that" was available in those days. Hmmm ... let's see, using the WT Lib counter in the four gospel accounts that word exists some 1,277 times. So, yes -- it was available.

    Thanks for sharing the insight.


  • frankiespeakin

    Well if we take Jesus "supposed" words "this generation" in contexts it meant the generation he was in.

    It is a big stretch of imagination to conclude he was talking about some generation 2000 years latter. He was talking to his disciples and was telling them things about the destruction of Jerusalem's temple and the roman destruction of that city all that happened shortly after his death and the only way to get around it is to say Jesus was talking about two different but similar events the old double fulfillment trick used by the WT and other Fundy groups.

  • Sapphy

    I've always had a suspicion that Jesus was talking to the people he was talking to.

    I think that makes me fall into the preterist camp. 30 years studying WT interpretations & my enthusiasm for prophecy has drained away now.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    whatever version the avg JW thinks it is, Jesus meant the other one.

  • TD

    Hi Doug,

    Do you want a "Devils Advocate" here? All I can think of is a minor nit-picky objection:

    "Genea" is a noun. Nouns are not critical or complementary in and of themselves unless that is already part of their definition. For example, if I were to say:

    "Doug is a saint" -- I've complimented you

    "Doug is a thief" --I've insulted you

    "Doug is a man" --I've simply made a nominitive statement of fact because, "Man" is a neutral noun.

    Now we could turn this last example into either a compliment or a criticism by inserting an adjective between 'a' and 'man,' (e.g. "Doug is a good man" -- "Doug is a bad man") but the compliment/criticism is coming from the adjective and would not justify any kind of inductive conclusion about the way the noun, 'Man" would normaly be used.

    Similarly, "Genea" is also a pretty neutral noun insofar as there is nothing built into it's definition that would necessarily be either complimentary or critical

    For example, at Luke 11:29, Jesus said:

    "He genea aute ponera estin" (This is an evil generation)

    This sentence can just as easily be turned into a compliment by changing out the adjective:

    "He genea aute kale estin." (This is a good generation)

    So when you ask, "Did Jesus use the term "this generation" as a compliment? I think a JW could probably object because it sounds like a case is being laid for an esoteric vocabulary unique to Jesus.

    What I understand you to be saying is that Jesus never complimented that generation, which is a slightly different wording than your question, but does not detract from the thrust of your paper.

  • AuntBee

    Gary DeMar makes a case for this same thing in his book "Last Days Madness". It's a great read, and very freeing for people raised on Apocalyptic fear, or even rapture fever. (gotta love the title!)

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