Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees, James Tissot (1836-1902) | Source: Wikimedia Commons


Why is Matthew 24:34 difficult to understand?

Mat 24:34 KJV Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:34 NET I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

‘Verily I say unto you’ According to Thayer ‘verily’ in the KJV means ‘at the beginning of a discourse – surely, truly, of a truth’.

Jesus used ‘verily’ to emphasise His statement. Having the attention of His audience, He continued with a simple declaration concerning His generation.

A Quote from the New English Translation Notes

  • Matthew 24:34 ‘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.’

‘This is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to interpret’ Seriously, what an embarrassing admission. The New English Translation Notes provides an example of how far some commentators will go to defend their eschatological view. In my opinion, Matthew 24:34 is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to misinterpret! Read More>>