Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mark 13:24-27 Paper

Here's a paper on Mark 13:24-27 I wrote this spring.

Mark 13:24-27:
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven."
Excerpt from the introduction:
"In Mark’s gospel Jesus refers three times to the future coming of the Son of Man (8:38; 13:26; 14:62). These passages have commonly been interpreted as references to the second coming of Christ at the end of this age. A minority of scholars, however, have opted for a different interpretation, arguing that it is not Jesus’ parousia that is in view in these passages but his exaltation in the presence of God after his death. . . . It is my thesis that Mark 13:24-27 points to a time after the tribulation described in Mark 13:14-23 when a series of catastrophic natural events will accompany the powerful and glorious coming of the Son of Man in the clouds to earth. At that time he will send out his angels and he will gather to himself the elect from around the world. In the first section, the exaltation view will be summarized, and then the place of 13:24-27 in Mark’s wider denunciation of the temple will be considered. In the second section, a brief survey of the whole of Mark 13 will be provided, since a careful consideration of the whole of Mark 13 will be required in order to properly interpret 13:24-27. Third, Mark 13:24-27 will be examined carefully, particularly in light of the Old Testament passages it employs. Finally a brief survey of the two parables which close out Mark 13 will be undertaken in order to underline the argument that Mark 13:24-27 does indeed portray the parousia of the Son of Man."

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