HERMENEUTICS AND THE FOLLY OF THE "TWO CONVERSATION" ARGUMENT
Studying the Grammar and Contextual Flow of the Olivet Discourse
To Disprove the Doctrine of Dispensationalism
Dispensationalist argument concerning the Olivet Discourse in Matt 24,Mark
one of the most absurd one would ever encounter. It is not based upon
an exegetical reading of the passage whatsoever, but rather is the
result of looking for something to validate its claim that there is a
future tribulation period and that the prophecies of the "time of the
end" (they do not realize it is not the "end of time") have not yet
been fulfilled. In order to conclude this, they have taken the Olivet
Discourse and concocted an idea that states there are two
accounted for. The obvious references to the first century
in the days of the listeners who heard Jesus that day as found inLuke
claimed to be first century fulfillment by the dispensationalist. But
despite the overall similarity of pattern and sequence of elements
listed in all three accounts, are yet unfulfilled.
Dispensationalists claim thata
variance of detailsin
the three accounts proves two conversations are recorded. Whereas every
other synoptic account found in these three gospels uses variance of
terms and are all believed to be one and the same account,
dispensationalists claim this part of the three gospels departs from
that norm. While the three accounts of the demoniac of Gadara differ
even the the extent that Matthew speaks of two demoniacs, everyone
knows it is one and the same story. The differences do not mean more
than one story
Let us analyze this issue and look at all three accounts and see what
exegetically makes more sense. Let's use rules of literature and
grammar as we study these passages, and you will find there is clearly
only one conversation involved.
Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to
him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said
unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There
shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown
down. (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came
unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and
what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him,
Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! (2) And
Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there
shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown
down. (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the
temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4)
Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when
all these things shall be fulfilled?
as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and
gifts, he said, (6) As for these things which ye behold, the days will
come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that
shall not be thrown down. (7) And they asked him, saying, Master, but
when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these
things shall come to pass?
The most powerful proof of one conversation is found in the short
little passages quoted above from each gospel that start the entire
Olivet Discourse. Rules of English literature and grammar are all that
we require in order to see the truth of this passage.
Notice that in all three accounts Jesus is approached and hears
disciples speak of how magnificent the temple is. In all three cases
this is recorded. And in all three cases the very next thing we read is
His comments upon how not one stone of that structure will be left
statement of Jesus sparked everything else that was stated. It inspired
questions from the disciples that are recorded in all three accounts
immediately after those remarks. Nothing else is recorded between that
remark of Jesus and the disciples questions in all three accounts.
In order to interpret this passage correctly we must recognize the
contextual flow from that remark towards the following questions of the
disciples. The first phrase of the questions they pose make reference
to "these things".
Matt 24:3 ...Tell us, when
us, when shallthese
but when shallthese
The term "these" is apronounin
English literature. It is a word used to indicate a person, thing,
idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as present, near,just
mentioned or pointed out.
No writer would record a conversation using the pronoun "these" without
having previously written the reference point that was just mentioned
that stood as the ANTECEDENT for that pronoun.
a word, phrase, or clause, usually a substantive,that
is replaced by a pronoun or other substitute later, or occasionally
earlier, in the same or in another, usually subsequent, sentence.
In, "Jane lost a glove and she can't find it," "Jane" is the antecedent
of "she" and "glove " is the antecedent of "it". (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/antecedent)
This means that the events of the temple destruction are theantecedentfor
"these" in all three questions.There
is nothing else written before the pronoun "these" that would stand as
its antecedent. And what is written immediately before the pronoun
"these" does indeed stand as a fitting and viable antecedent.
Dispensationalists oddly claim this is the case with the same words inLuke
but not inMark
Mark missing the antecedent in his own writing. Rules of proper grammar
demand that we realize this, or else we are misreading the passage
completely. The only other alternative is to believe Mark was
incompetent as far as writing skills were concerned, and we know that
is not true.
Some Dispensationalists claim Mark's record of this question does not
find its antecedent in the remark Jesus made, but claim the same
statement Jesus made is indeed the antecedent to the same question Luke
records in his gospel! This means that Luke used proper rules of
grammar and did not write using a pronoun that indicates something just
mentioned without recording that something. Luke's passage is full as
far as required pronouns and their antecedents goes. However,Mark
is in effect claimed by Dispensationalists to have written about a
conversation that included the pronoun "these" without having written
the antecedent for "these", although in both Mark and Luke the
statement by Jesus immediately precedes the pronoun "these."Using
rules of grammar, we can only conclude one sensible and hermeneutical
conclusion -- the disciples asked when the temple would be destroyed in
all three Gospel accounts.
When Dispensationalists try to tell us that "these" in Mark's account
does not point to the grammatically sound antecedent of Christ's words
concerning temple destruction, they violate the common sense contextual
flow. When the statement of Jesus about temple destruction perfectly
fits as the antecedent in all three gospel accounts of identical
information, to say Luke's case agrees with that but not those of Mark
nor Matthew is to wreak havoc on rules of grammar and render Mark and
Matthew as to be inept writers who did not have the sense to record the
antecedent for a pronoun these used.
Hermeneutics is interpretive study, and obviously involves rules of
grammar. We cannot violate rules of grammar in order to say we are
soundly using hermeneutics. If we are going to say all sorts of rules
of grammar were broken by any given writer, and that we have to imagine
antecedents that are not found in the text, or look for them in another
text not written by the author, and ignore the antecedents that fit
perfectly well that are found in the author's words, we are simply
destroying all sense of sound interpretation when we study a passage.
This proves dispensationalism is incredibly lacking, to say the least,
in its claim that there are two conversations found in the overall
assessment of these gospel accounts.
Let it be established in the minds of all readers that
dispensationalism's demands that we read two different conversations in
the synoptic gospels, and its demand that we accept the nonsense that
Mark has no antecedent in his writing for the disciples' questions
(although Mark's writing does indeed provide one that futurists cannot
accept), is absolute rubbish and nonsense.If
futurists accept Mark's writing as being grammatically fit and proper,
as it it obviously is, then they cannot say Mark is missing an
antecedent for the pronoun THESE.That
means that all three Synoptic Gospel accounts are speaking about the
same conversation. IfLuke
clearly about AD70 events that occurred in the lifetimes of the hearers
of Jesus, as Dispensationalists claim, then so are the Matthew's and
Mark's accounts. The antecedent is right there inMark
all to read: It is Jesus' comment on the temple destruction.
Dispensationalism requires one to abandon all sense of grammatical
correctness by believingMark
antecedent for the pronoun" these" is not found written in Mark's
account. In other words, sacrifice the thought of Mark's ability to
write an account without confusing the reader with missing antecedents
in order to maintain the nonsense of dispensationalism.