Posted: Jan 06, 2012 2:46 pm
by John P. M.
GakuseiDon wrote:The problem is that it is possible to over-analyze these passages, to the point that any interpretation is possible.

You can say that again.

GakuseiDon wrote:
    Seeley (2000) observes:

    "Thus, as Jesus and his disciples return to Jerusalem (apparently) from Bethany, he tells them that, if they have faith, they can successfully command "this mountain" to be taken up and cast into the sea (Mark 11:23). What is "this mountain"? Bethany is to the southeast of Jerusalem, and so as one approached the city, the temple mount would stand out prominently."

    This observation is also echoed by Duff (1992), who sees the mountain saying as further condemnation of the Temple.

So... to be slightly facetious, what I've learned from this thread is that figs are not figs, trees are not trees, and mountains are not mountains. Fair enough - that's what parables are all about.

However - if we glue all this information together, it seems we get a passage where Jesus says to his disciples (according to gMatthew) "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only condemn the Jewish people like I just did, but even if you wish to have the temple destroyed, it will happen."

Seems kinda weird to me.

Another thing that occurred to me: if we go for the 'condemnation of the Jews for their lacking faith and works' explanation, it seems that Christian Zionists / Restorationists could use it to say "See? The fig tree was not in season yet, but there will come a time again, as with all fig trees", while those who would say the Jews were condemned forever could say "No no - the fig tree was whithered from the root, and died completely - there's no way".