[B-Greek] Matthew 24:34

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Jun 16 05:52:16 EDT 2003

At 2:17 AM -0700 6/16/03, K.Bratanov wrote:
>Hello everybody,
>Would you please help with the correct translation of Mat 24:34
>The Greek says:
	   (should be:PARELQHi hH GENEA hAUTH)

>I was surprised to find conjunctive, and "an" particle, instead of
>future (according to the versions I've read) It'd be interesting for
>me what is your proposal for literal translation as well.
>I think that the particle "AN" makes the meaning little different
>from defining *historical* points of beginning and end (for ex. the
>sec. half of the I-st c.). Perhaps Jesus of Nazareth speaks rather of
>period of continuance, e.g. less than 30 yrs, not mentioning the
>historical point of beginning? Which would mean that we could only
>get from here an idea of *how much time* those events would take, but
>in now way *when* exactly they'd begin and, respectively, end ?

"Truly I tell you, this GENEA will not pass until all these things have
taken place."

The real question is precisely what hH GENEA hAUTH was intended to  mean.
Here's what NET note on it says:
"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 v (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. "

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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