So here I was this evening, reading the old familiar Matthew 24 with the kids before bedtime, BUT I was reading out of our very nice Contemporary Parallel New Testament, specifically The Message version, and I had this sudden realization: Jesus didn't give us a really complicated, mysterious prophecy that had different types and antitypes -- he was simply continuing his original message (love your neighbor, love God). Remember verse 12 about the love of the many cooling off? The verse right after that talks about enduring to the end. Here's how The Message puts it: "In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in -- nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes. Staying with it -- that's what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry, and you'll be saved." Well, as I see it (and I welcome all comments), "it" is love. He's telling us not to give in to the hatred around us but keep that love of God and neighbor no matter what, and that's what's going to save us. And he says over and over again that "you have no idea when the Son of Man will arrive." As for the preaching, a comparison of the eight different versions gives the idea that people around the world will be aware of Jesus and know about his teachings, but not that every single human being (including the little girl in China picking flowers) is going to have a Watchtower slapped into their hands before "the end" arrives.
It's a lot of fun reading the Bible without help! *Gasp!* Do . . . you . . . think . . .* I *. . . can understand it without six multi-colored books to interpret for me????