Let My People Think

Posts tagged ‘eschatology’

The most embarrassing verse in the Bible?

2nd_coming

When referring to the predictions of Jesus concerning his 2nd coming, C.S. Lewis in his essay “The World’s Last Night” concludes that at least one of the prophecies of Jesus was a failed one:

“Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘This generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.” [the above paragraph is what C.S. Lewis puts in the mouth of imaginary critics. In the next paragraph, he responds to the criticism]

It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side.

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