following is an excerpt from The
May 1, 1999 (p. 11,12)which contains some elements of sound
In the years leading up to 66 C.E., Christians would have seen many of the preliminary elements of the composite sign being fulfilled-wars, famines, even an extensive preaching of the good news of the Kingdom. (Acts 11:28; Colossians 1:23) When, though, would the end come? What did Jesus mean when he said: 'This generation [Greek, ge.ne.a'] will not pass away'? Jesus had often called the contemporaneous mass of opposing Jews, including religious leaders, 'a wicked, adulterous generation.' (Matthew 11:16; 12:39, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36) So when, on the Mount of Olives, he again spoke of "this generation," he evidently did not mean the entire race of Jews throughout history; nor did he mean his followers, even though they were "a chosen race." (1 Peter 2:9) Neither was Jesus saying that "this generation" is a period of time.
Rather, Jesus had in mind the opposing Jews back then who would experience the fulfillment of the sign he gave. Regarding the reference to "this generation" at Luke 21:32, Professor Joel B. Green notes: "In the Third Gospel, 'this generation' (and related phrases) has regularly signified a category of people who are resistant to the purpose of God. . . . [It refers] to people who stubbornly turn their backs on the divine purpose." *
The wicked generation of Jewish opposers who could observe the sign being fulfilled would also experience the end. (Matthew 24:6, 13, 14) And that they did! In 70 C.E., the Roman army returned, led by Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian. The suffering of the Jews who were again bottled up in the city is almost beyond belief." Eyewitness Flavius Josephus reports that by the time the Romans demolished the city, about 1,100,000 Jews had died and some 100,000 were taken captive, most of those soon to perish horribly from starvation or in Roman theaters. Truly, the tribulation of 66-70 C.E. was the greatest that Jerusalem and the Jewish system had ever experienced or would ever experience. How different the outcome was for Christians who had heeded Jesus' prophetic warning and had left Jerusalem after the departure of the Roman armies in 66 C.E.!
Despite the Watchtower's pitiable effort to claim a modern day dual fulfillment of this prophecy, there is no way around the fact that the Matthew 24 GT is an unrepeatable event (Matthew 24: 21 and Luke 21: 24)