Weekly Apologetics Report: Matthew 24

This week, I will report about some commentaries that deal with Matthew 24. And, once again, a Douglas Hamp article is my inspiration:


Matthew 24:32 has this verse:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When it’s branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh.

Douglas Hamp believes that the Fig Tree is the house of Israel:

There are two obvious questions concerning this parable: who or what is the fig tree and how long is a generation? The answer to the first question is unmistakably Israel. God clearly compares Israel with a fig tree. The following verses are given in chronological order:

“I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first fruits on the fig tree in its first season.” (Hosea 9:10, emphasis mine).

Here God compares Israel to grapes and the fathers to fruits of the fig tree. Then in Joel He speaks of “my land” as being comparable to “my fig tree” again showing that Israel (both ethnically/nationally and geographically) is symbolized as a fig tree.

“For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion. He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.” (Joel 1:6-7, emphasis mine)
Besides using Bible verses to support this, he also refers to a anti-canonical work known as the Apocalypse of Peter. According to this link, composition is around 135 A.D:


The earliest possible date can be determined through the date of 4 Esdras -- about 100 CE -- which was probably used in the Apocalypse of Peter and II Peter, the priority of which was demonstrated by F. Spitta. The latest possible date, using the quotations of Theopilus above, is 180. We thus come, with H. Weinel, if in interpreting the Parable of the Fig Tree in c.2 we also relate to the Jewish Antichrist who persecutes the Christians to Bar Chocba, to approximately the year 135 as the probable time of origin.
Here is another link where you can read the texts from the Apocalypse. The Ethiopic text is the one that mentions the Fig Tree being Israel:


Another scripture that Douglas wrote about was Matthew 24:34:

Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, until all these things be fulfilled.
He believes that Jesus is talking about the time when he returns to this earth. However, opinions vary on that, as this article shows:


Joe Hinman also did an article about the Olivet Discourse:




very interesting but one suggestion, the block quotes are done in some colors that show up red and sliver makes hard to read,
Anonymous said…
I know. I wanted to put Jesus's words in red, but I ended up making the background red instead. I want to edit the post, but I don't know how to. Maybe you aren't allowed after a comment has been made.
no you can. hilight choose acoloir from the color pad (white) then highlight again make sure you choose from color text
Jason Pratt said…
I'm a little doubtful that ApocPete is written against the very idea of a canon...? (You mean extra-canonical, not anti-canonical, right?)

Anonymous said…
Well, not anti-canonical, but non-canonical, although it was popular in Rome for a time according to one of the links.

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