Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Note to the Reader

Mark 13:14
(14)  "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

(14)  Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως ἑστηκότα ὅπου οὐ δεῖ, ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω, τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη,

There are a lot of things in Mark 13 that I find to be confusing.  I haven't quite decided where I land with respect to the Olivet Discourse.  What is "this generation?"  What does it mean that the Son does not know the hour that He will return?  These things are a bit confusing.

However, I think that this verse is interesting.  While there are no parentheses in the Greek text, there effectively is one in here.  The phrase ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω literally translates to "let the one reading understand."  This tells me that we are to understand the Gospels as written works that were meant to be preserved.  This stands in contrast to the way some folks see these works.  They were not just oral tradition that happened to be written some centuries later.  This was meant for our eyes. 

Of course, that still doesn't necessarily clear up what this passage refers to.  I lean toward an idea of partial preterism, but I am not sold on it.  In other words, this discourse was partially fulfilled when Jerusalem was sacked in 70 A.D.  I can't adequately describe all the details, but I do know that taking that interpretation clears some things up when it comes to New Testament prophecy.

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