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I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Abomination of Desolation


S: Matthew 24, Luke 21:5-36, Mark 13

O: In the last century, there has been much confusion about what the "the abomination of desolation" refers to. Many Evangelicals interpret it as something to do with the Antichrist which many Evangelicals believe is coming in the future, after or around the time of the Rapture.

However, the Matthew and Mark passages aren't the only testimonies of this discussion. Luke also records it, but he never mentioned "the abomination of desolation".

These parallel passages describe the same incident: the disciples are admiring the grandeur of the Temple in Jerusalem, which prompted Jesus to predict its destruction.

The sign that people should flee from Jerusalem to the hills, as stated in Luke 21:20, is "when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies", instead of "when the abomination of desolation stands in the Holy Place".

The rest of the passages seem to be so much in congruence that it suggests that these two signs are the same thing. Luke was written to a Gentile audience while Matthew was written to a Jewish audience. As Gentiles ourselves, we can get confused by what the "the abomination of desolation" means, so Luke explains it for us, "when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies".

To a Gentile, Jerusalem being surrounded by armies isn't a sign of "abomination of desolation stands in the Holy Place". But to the Jews of Jesus' time, it could well mean that.

History tells us that before A.D. 70, as Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem, the Christian Jews in Judea heeded Jesus' warning and fled. The non-Christian Jews did not, and were massacred. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple so completely that it was said that you couldn't even tell that there was once a city there. Decades later, the Romans under Emperor Hadrian rebuilt as a totally Gentile city and renamed it Aelia Capitolina. Jerusalem remained non-Jewish for almost two millennia after that.

A: When we find things that are confusing and unclear in the Bible, if we can find clarifications from other parts of scripture, it is better to look at that instead of making up fanciful imaginations of our own.

P: Father, thank You for preserving for us Your written Word. Help us to understand it. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

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