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DRAFT: A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Olivet Discourse" in Mark 13

Kuruvilla Thomas
Bangalore
Published on 29 December 2023 *




Mark 13 Timeline

Fig. 1


Introduction

This study treats the "Olivet Discourse" in Mark 13 as a cryptochiasmus in order to arrive at a coherent reconfiguration of the text. Text that is structured as a cryptochiasmus must be rearranged based on certain principles to be correctly interpreted. A cryptochiasmus is a new concept; see definition in [1]. If you wish to skip the technicalities of a chiastic parse, you may read starting from Section 4 of the Discussion section, which has the reconfigured text.

The Olivet Discourse is clearly an interweaving of predictions regarding different times into one narrative, and with this chiastic reconstruction, we will show that this prophecy from Jesus makes predictions about three distinct periods. The content of this passage is similar to the Olivet Discourses in Matthew 24 [6] and Luke 21.


Note:
We will use the term "Judahite" to refer to the Israelites - primarily those of the tribe of Judah and their descendants - that remained after the Assyrian exile of the Northern Tribes; we will try to avoid the term "Jew" to avoid the confusion it introduces.


Discussion

1. Presuppositions

In the Olivet passage in Matthew 24, the disciples ask Jesus three questions (Matt 24:3): when will this happen (the destruction of the temple), what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? Jesus' prophetic reply is regarding the three Periods listed below:

  1. The First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD).
  2. The Tribulation Period before Christ's Millennial Reign (2023AD-2027AD). The tribulation and persecution of this Period come from Satan through his human worshippers. The 2023AD date for the start of this Period is from our analysis of Daniel 7 [11] and the 2027AD date for the start of the Millennial Reign is from our parse of Isaiah 60-62 [10].
  3. The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD). Christ returns glory at the beginning of the last days to gather up the faithful. The c. 2967AD date for the End of the Age is from our parse of Daniel 10-12 [8].

2. Parsing the chiasmus

We will use the NIV translation for this parse.

Parsing this chiasmus involves dividing the text into three categories as above. We will call the period of the First Jewish-Roman War Period 1, the period of the Pre-Millennial Tribulation Period 2 and the start of the "End of the Age" Period 3.

Categorizing vs 5-33

Vs 5-13 belong to Period 2. Wars, famines, earthquakes and persecution. Show discernment. The Gospel will be preached to all nations.

Vs 14-20 belong to Period 1. The Judahites are warned to flee as soon as they saw the Roman army ("the abomination") in Jerusalem. God limits the war to a period of 7 years. Note that these verses refer to a localized event in Judea: only the residents of Judea are warned to flee to the mountains; the mention of "winter" implies that this does not apply to the whole world (winter in the Northern Hemisphere is summer in the Southern); and fleeing on the Sabbath is a problem that only affects Judahites.

Vs 21-23 belong to Period 2. Do not be misled by false messiahs and prophets.

Vs 24-27 belong to Period 3. The powers of the heavens are shaken. Christ appears in glory and the elect are gathered.

Vs 28-29 belong to Period 2. The proverb of the fig tree indicates that the Messiah will arrive in a short time, around 2 months into this Period.

Vs 30 belongs to Period 1. The phrase "this generation will not pass away..." points to a period within one generation (around 40 years) of Jesus' time.

Vs 31 belongs to Period 2. The phrase "my words will never pass away" refers to the eternal Gospel that is preached to all nations by this Period, so connecting this verse to vs 10. (See Luke 16:16,17 and the "everlasting gospel" in Revelation 14:6.)

Vs 32-33 belong to Period 3. No one knows the hour of Christ's coming in glory. ( The rest of the chapter, 34-37, is an exhortation to be wise and faithful servants of God, particularly during the Millennial Reign, so as to be worthy of rapture - the same message follows the chiasmus in Matt. 24.)

Original text

We color-code the chiastic units of the original text (NIV) below for easy visual identification using: red for Period 1, blue for Period 2, green for Period 3, and purple for text outside the chiasmus. We have retranslated parts of the text.


Chapter 13 1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”


5 Then Jesus began by telling them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.[a] 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet [b], standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.
20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has limited [c] them.

21 Then [d] if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
24 “But in those days, with [e] that distress,
“‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens [f] will be shaken.’
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that he [g] is near, right at the door.
30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.


Retranslation notes for Mark 13
[a] vs 5 'Then Jesus began by telling them: “Watch out that no one deceives you' instead of 'Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you'. Changed primarily for the balance of the regular chiasmus.
[b] vs 14 inserted "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" from the KJV.
[c] vs 20 "limited" instead of "shortened".
[d] vs 21 "Then" instead of "At that time".
[e] vs 24 "with" instead of "after".
[f] vs 25 "powers of the heavens" instead of "heavenly bodies".
[g] vs 29 "he" instead of "it".

3. Building the reconfigured text

From this parse, it appears that verses 5-31 form a cryptochiasmus as below:

A1   5-13 Period 2. False messiahs, wars, persecution, betrayal
  B1   14-20 Period 1. Abomination of desolation. Flee to the mountains
    C1   21-23 Period 2. False messiahs and prophets
      X   24-27 Period 3. Christ returns in glory, rapture
    C2   28-29 Period 2. Fig tree parable
  B2   30 Period 1. This generation will not pass away
A2   31 Period 2. My words will never pass away


We now reconstruct the passages in the right order based on the chiastic structure above and based on the ordering rules of a cryptochiasmus [1].

We lead with the central pivot point 'X'. The corresponding subunits (For ex., subunit A1 corresponds to A2) are placed contiguously to form units (For ex., A1,A2 is a unit) so that we get a list of such units.


The sequence selected for rearrangement is:

X  [A1,A2]  [B1,B2]  [C1,C2]       (1)

We have the following sequence when we include verse 32-33:
X         - Period 3
[A1,A2] - Period 2
[B1,B2] - Period 1
[C1,C2] - Period 2
v 32-33 - Period 3. No one knows the hour.

We still have text for the Periods in a non-contiguous form. We treat this as a multiply-applied cryptochiasmus as below:


M1   X Period 3
  N1   [A1,A2] Period 2
   XX   [B1,B2] Period 1
  N2   [C1,C2] Period 2
M2   v 32-33 Period 3

The sequence selected for rearrangement is:
XX  [N1,N2]  [M1,M2]        (2)

Note that we placed [N1,N2] before [M1,M2] in order to get the time Periods in chronological sequence. The rules of cryptochiasmus [1] allow this as there is no discernible change in meaning.

Translating this sequence (2) into the sub-units of the first chiasmus, we get:

[B1,B2]  [[A1, A2], [C1,C2]]   [X, v 32-33]        (3)

Further translating (3) into verse numbers, we get:

[14-20,30]  [[5-13,31], [21-23, 28-29]]   [24-27, 32-33]        (4)

We arrive at the reconfigured passage in the next section by rearranging the verses so they are in sequence (4).



4. Mark 13 Reconfigured

Period 1. The First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD) (vs. 14-20, 30)

14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.
17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter,
19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. 20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has limited them. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Period 2. The Tribulation Period before Christ's Millennial Reign (2023AD-2027AD) (vs. 5-13, 31, 21-23, 28-29)

5 Then Jesus began by telling them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9a “You must be on your guard.
9b You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
21 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that he is near, right at the door.

Period 3. The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD) (vs. 24-27, 32-33)

24 “But in those days, with that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.


5. A Commentary on the Reconfigured Text

5.1 Introductory passage (vs. 1-4)

1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”


The disciples were admiring the magnificent temple at Jerusalem, that Herod built, when Jesus predicted that the temple will be completely destroyed. This prediction that "not one stone here will be left on another" came true, quite literally, when the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 AD.



3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”


At the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the temple, the disciples ask for signs that indicate when Jesus' prophecies will take place (this is a summary of the question in Matthew 24:3). As we see below, Jesus gives them details on three events and answers the questions about the signs in three different ways: he gives a definite sign for the immediate start of the first event, a set of signs that indicate that the second event is imminent, and says there will be no sign at all for the third.



5.2 Period 1. The First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD) (vs. 14-20, 30)

This Period is structured as a chiasmus. The pivot, X [17-18], is regarding personal, practical problems that the Judahites may face as they flee. The subunits are summaries of the war, A1 [14-16] focusses on the Romans' arrival in Jerusalem, and A2 [19-20,30] is regarding more general aspects of the war.


14a “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—"


The "abomination" is the Roman army and its allies that laid siege to "the holy place", Jerusalem (see Luke 21:20). The Romans killed almost all the Judahites in the city and destroyed the city and its temple (they "caused desolation"). This "abomination " is mentioned in several places in Daniel (Dan. 9:27 [2], Dan. 11:31, 12:11 [8]), and its presence in Jerusalem is the sure sign indicating the immediate arrival of this period of tribulation. The phrase "let the reader understand" may be an acknowledgement of the difficulty of understanding these prophecies in Daniel (the word translated "reader" can also mean "one who discerns"). (For more details on this Period, see our paper on "The 70 weeks of Daniel" [2] and a history of the war in [3].)



14b then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.


Jesus exhorted his followers in Jerusalem and its surroundings to flee immediately on seeing the Roman soldiers. Judahites who see the Romans from their rooftops must not even enter their houses for their belongings, and those outside Jerusalem must not return to the city, even for their cloaks. The entire community of Christian Judahites must exit the city within a day. According to some historians, the Judahites fled to Pella [4] which is located at the foothills of the Transjordanian Mountains.



17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter,


In this pivot, Jesus expresses concern for some of the practical problems the Judahites may face as they fled. Pregnant and nursing mothers would have found it particularly difficult to make this sudden, rushed journey to a refugee camp. The Judahite Christian's prayer that their flight does not take place in winter was apparently answered because it took place in the spring (around Mar.) of 70AD.



19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.


The Romans were completely ruthless and thorough in their efforts to annihilate the Judahites and destroy their city. The extent of misery endured by the Judahites during this time has never been equalled and will never happen again. The historian Josephus wrote about this period, "…Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were…."



20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has limited them.


As we discussed in the paper on "The 70 weeks of Daniel" [2], through a covenant between God and Titus, the Romans were limited to a period of 7 years for the destruction of the Judahites. After that, the Roman assault was "cut short" and God's protection was reinstated over the "elect" - Christian Judahites who fled to the mountains.



30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.


The events of 70 AD happened within a generation of Jesus' time (around 40 years). The Judahites who converted to Christianity were the only people who moved from the Old Covenant to the New without a break.



5.3 Period 2. The Tribulation Period before Christ's Millennial Reign (2023AD-2027AD) (vs. 5-13, 31, 21-23, 28-29)

The passage below (vs 5-13,31,21-23,28-29) is arranged in the form of a two-unit chiasmus:

A1 5-9a Events before the reign of the Beast (30AD-Nov 2023AD)
  B1 9b-10 The reign of the Beast and its end (Nov 2023-Apr 2027)
    X 11 The Spirit will guide the faithful (Nov 2023-Apr 2027)
  B2 12-13,31 The reign of the Beast and its end (Nov 2023-Apr 2027)
A2 21-23,28-29 Events before the reign of the Beast (30AD-Nov 2023AD)

Each of the Subunits A1 and A2 are further divided into two Parts:
  P1: Show discernment, Do not be misled (30AD-Sep 2023AD)
  P2: The beginning of the tribulation (from Sep 2023AD)

Similarly each of the Subunits B1 and B2 are further divided into two Parts:
  P1: The tribulation during the reign of the Beast (Nov 2023-Apr 2027)
  P2: The end of the tribulation (Apr 2027)

( The content of this Period is similar to that of Period 2 in Matthew 24, but the design of this chiasmus is different. Unit A and Subunit B1 in Matthew, are combined into both Subunits A1 and A2 of this chiasmus. Similarly, the Pivot X and Subunit B2 in Matthew are combined into both Subunits B1 and B2 of this chiasmus. The pivot of this chiasmus is not found in Matthew.)



Subunit A1: Events before the reign of the Beast (vs 5-9a)

  Part P1: Show discernment, Do not be misled (30AD-Sep 2023AD) (vs 5-7)

5 Then Jesus began by telling them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Jesus exhorts Christians to show discernment when it comes to these prophecies. In the millennia between Jesus at his First Coming and this Period, many false messiahs will deceive many with false doctrines. There will be great wars, even world wars, and predictions of devastating wars, but these are not signs of the "end" (the "end" spoken of in this passage is the end of Satan's reign - see also "the time of the end" in Daniel 12).



  Part P2: The beginning of the tribulation (from Sep 2023AD) (vs 8)

8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9a “You must be on your guard.

This passage is regarding the beginning of the Pre-Millennial tribulation period that starts around 26 Sep 2023 (date from [8]). At this time, Satan will unleash great turmoil around the word, presumably so that the Beast can come in as saviour of the earth. This turmoil will take many forms - international strife, famines, man-made earthquakes, etc. (the second and third horsemen of Revelation are released - Rev 6:3-6).

This passage seems to contradict the previous passage (vs 5-7), which indicates that wars are not a sign of the "end". However, it is only when all these things come together in an intense period of turmoil that you know the "end" is near. The phrase "be on your guard" is an exhortation to show discernment in this matter, so that the Christian is not troubled by rumours of the end of the world.

The troubles of this entire Period of the reign of the Beast (2023-2027) are the "birth pains" of Christ's Millennial Reign (see Rev 12:1,2).



Subunit B1: The reign of the Beast and its end (vs 9b-10)

  Part P1: The tribulation during the reign of the Beast (Nov 2023-Apr 2027) (vs 9b)

9b You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.


During Satan's reign, Christians will face persecution and inquisitions by authorities. If we take "synagogue", which means "a place of assembly", to represent the organized Christian church (see James 2:2 in Greek), then it appears that the corrupt church of this time will participate in the persecution of the faithful.



  Part P2: The end of the tribulation (Apr 2027) (vs 10)

10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.


The everlasting Gospel (good message) of the one true God and Christ will be preached to all the nations (see also Rev. 14:6). After this, Satan's reign on earth ends and Christ's begins.



Pivot X: The Spirit will guide the faithful (vs 11)

11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Christians who are brought to trial during the reign of the Beast need not worry about what to say. The Spirit (the angels of God) will guide the faithful in the defence their faith.



Subunit B2: The reign of the Beast and its end (vs 12-13,31)

  Part P1: The tribulation during the reign of the Beast (Nov 2023-Apr 2027) (vs 12-13)

12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

The righteous will be betrayed by their own family for the benefits they receive from doing so. Christianity and its adherents will be vilified. Many Christians will fail this test of tribulation, but those who patiently endure, even unto death, will save their eternal soul (see also Dan. 11:33-35, Rev 13:5-10).



  Part P2: The end of the tribulation (Apr 2027) (vs 31)

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

This passage concludes vs 10 in the corresponding Subunit B1. By the end of Satan's reign, the everlasting Gospel (good message) will be preached to all the nations (see also Rev. 14:6).



Subunit A2: Events before the reign of the Beast (vs 21-23,28-29)

  Part P1: Show discernment, Do not be misled (30AD-Sep 2023AD) (vs 21-23)

21 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.


In the millennia between Christ and this Period, many false messiahs and false prophets will perform fake miracles to deceive people, and they will especially target the elect of Christ, the Christians. Although this prophecy will remain sealed throughout this time, those who know their Bible will be aware of this warning ("See, I have told you ahead of time").



  Part P2: The beginning of the tribulation (from Sep 2023AD) (vs 28-29)

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that he is near, right at the door.


Just as tender twigs and sprouting leaves on a fig tree in spring indicate summer is coming soon, so also the signs of this Period (wars, famines, earthquakes etc. - see Subunit A1, Part P2) indicate that the coming Messiah will soon appear.



5.4 Period 3. The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD) (vs. 24-27, 32-33)

This Period is structured as a chiasmus. The pivot, X [26-27], predicts the return of Christ and the accompanying rapture. The subunits, A1 [24-25] and A2 [32-33], exhort Christians to be worthy of rapture, so that they will not face the End-Times Tribulation at Christ's sudden arrival.


24 “But in those days, with that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

At Christ's return, the political structure of the fallen angels in heaven will be dismantled, and consequently the nations they control on earth will see great political turmoil ("that distress"). ( The "earthquakes" of Rev 6:12 and the "roaring and tossing of the sea" of Luke 21:25 figuratively refer to this political upheaval.)

The sun, moon and stars represent Satan's angels ("powers of the heavens") that control the nations outside the New Israel (Deut. 17:3, Luke 21:26) - their reign ends and they face judgement (see Isaiah 24:21-23, Psalm 82:6-8 and the opening of the 6th seal Rev 6:12-14).



26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

This pivot predicts that, at the start of the End-Times tribulation, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, will return in glory. Righteous Christians ("elect") will be gathered up in the rapture from throughout the earth and sky into the presence of God (see Rev 7:9-17). The "clouds of heaven" are a short-term transport mechanism between the spiritual and physical realms (see also Dan. 7:13, Rev 1:7) - Christ will immediately return to heaven with the raptured (Rev. 7:9). Note that the events in this pivot take place shortly before the events of Subunit A1.



32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

Jesus Christ will return at a completely unexpected time, not even he will know in advance the hour of his coming. Christians are exhorted to be prepared for Christ and to be faithful stewards, for those found living unrighteous lives at the time will not be raptured and instead will face the End-Times Tribulations.



Conclusion

With this chiastic reconfiguration, we have shown that this passage contains three interwoven prophecies regarding times of great tribulation in a sophisticated, multi-layered chiastic design.

It should be abundantly clear from these reconfigurations of the Olivet passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke that the Gospels were dictated by God. Otherwise you must believe that the human Gospel writers colluded to invent these complex chiastic designs with variations between the versions, and, more importantly, made these accurate predictions regarding the distant future.





References

[1] A Definition of Cryptochiasmus
[2] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The 70 Weeks Of Daniel"
[3] First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) by Wikipedia.
[4] Flight to Pella by Wikipedia
[5] Jewish Christian by Wikipedia
[6] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Olivet Discourse" in Matthew 24
[7] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 8
[8] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 10-12. Part 3: Daniel 12.
[9] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Revelation 12
[10] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Isaiah 60-62
[11] A Commentary on Daniel 7





* First version published on 3 October 2017.