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Matthew 24:34

24:34 I tell you the truth, 1  this generation 2  will not pass away until all these things take place.

Matthew 24:36

Be Ready!

24:36 “But as for that day and hour no one knows it – not even the angels in heaven 3  – except the Father alone.

1 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

2 sn This is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to interpret. Various views exist for what generation means. (1) Some take it as meaning “race” and thus as an assurance that the Jewish race (nation) will not pass away. But it is very questionable that the Greek term γενεά (genea) can have this meaning. Two other options are possible. (2) Generation might mean “this type of generation” and refer to the generation of wicked humanity. Then the point is that humanity will not perish, because God will redeem it. Or (3) generation may refer to “the generation that sees the signs of the end” (v. 30), who will also see the end itself. In other words, once the movement to the return of Christ starts, all the events connected with it happen very quickly, in rapid succession.

3 tc ‡ Some important witnesses, including early Alexandrian and Western mss (א*,2 B D Θ Ë13 pc it vgmss Irlat Hiermss), have the additional words οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός (oude Jo Juios, “nor the son”) here. Although the shorter reading (which lacks this phrase) is suspect in that it seems to soften the prophetic ignorance of Jesus, the final phrase (“except the Father alone”) already implies this. Further, the parallel in Mark 13:32 has οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, with almost no witnesses lacking the expression. Hence, it is doubtful that the absence of “neither the Son” is due to the scribes. In keeping with Matthew’s general softening of Mark’s harsh statements throughout his Gospel, it is more likely that the absence of “neither the Son” is part of the original text of Matthew, being an intentional change on the part of the author. Further, this shorter reading is supported by the first corrector of א as well as L W Ë1 33 Ï vg sy co Hiermss. Admittedly, the external evidence is not as impressive for the shorter reading, but it best explains the rise of the other reading (in particular, how does one account for virtually no mss excising οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός at Mark 13:32 if such an absence here is due to scribal alteration? Although scribes were hardly consistent, for such a theologically significant issue at least some consistency would be expected on the part of a few scribes). Nevertheless, NA27 includes οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός here.

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