Saturday, 30 September 2017

Matthew, Mark and Luke - the Olivet discourse

Matthew (24) and Marks's (13) accounts of the Olivet discourses are noticeably different from that which is recorded by Luke, which only gives the temple for a location.  (Luke does not mention Olivet but from Luke 21:7 on it may well have been given on Olivet with Luke 21:1-6 in and around the temple courts).  Looking closely, it becomes apparent that the accounts' core differences may well be geographical. You will find these differences noted as you read through the posts.

For this post, however, I just want to look at the initial similarities regarding the locations from which the discourses begin. W begin therefor in Luke chapter 20:-

Luke 20:-
1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up Luk 20:1
This sets the location for Luke chapter 21. The first 4 verses of chapter 21 are still set within the temple:-

    1,  A Jesus looked up and saw the rich  putting their gifts into  the offering box,
    2, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.1
    3, And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.
    4, For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Now, Luke 21 verses 5-6 appear to be in a different location. Luke doesn't tell us this but Matthew and Mark do:-

Luke 21:-
5,  And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,
    6, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Matthew 24:-
   1,  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.
    2, But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, A there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Mark 13:-
 1,  And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
    2, And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
So location number 2 in Luke is outside of the temple, going away. Lets move on to location number 3. Again, no indication from Luke of a change of location but again Matthew and Mark supplement these details:-

Luke 21:-
 7, And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”
Matthew 24:-
 3,  As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? 

Mark 13:-
 3, ¶ And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
 4, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”

In Mark we have:-
1. the Mount of Olives
2. opposite the temple,
3. Peter and James and John and Andrew
4. asked him privately

The question that now arises is this - now we are on the Mount of Olives, the discourses of Matthew and Mark contain different elements to those of Luke. Lets have a look at some of  these quickly

1. Matthew and Mark mention the "abomination of desolation", Luke does not.

2. Only Luke mentions "on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,"

Luke 21 :-
25, ¶ “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For A the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Matthew 24:-
29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mark13:-
24, ¶ “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
25, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

3. Another difference, Luke mentions "great (mega) earthquakes", as opposed to Matthew and Marks' plain "earthquakes".

As you work through this blog, you will find suggestions as to why these differences exist.


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