The ‘coming’ of Jesus in Mark 13

With the turn of the lectionary year, next Sunday we are in the first Sunday of Advent in Year B, and our gospel reading of Mark 13.24–37 plunges us straight into the questions around the anticipation of Jesus’ return at The End. (It is worth noting that there is no compelling (theo)logical reason why this … Continue Reading

What makes Ascension Day so important?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it … Continue Reading

What is Matthew 24 all about?

Matthew 24 is the reading set for the fourth Sunday before Advent (i.e. in the countdown to Advent at the ordinary season comes to a close) and its parallel Mark 13 is the reading for the first Sunday of Advent. There is much confusion about both these passages (and the parallel in Luke 21), and … Continue Reading

Why is Ascension Day so important?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it … Continue Reading

What is the meaning of the Ascension?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it … Continue Reading

Will Jesus come ‘soon’ like a taxi?

I recently had a very interesting debate with Ben Witherington about whether the English word ‘taxi’ is derived from the Greek word tachus meaning ‘quickly’. (Depending on where you live, you might be wondering what the connection is.) Witherington is a leading biblical scholar amongst evangelicals in the States, and has written commentaries on every book of … Continue Reading

Making sense of Matthew 24

As it is still Advent, it is still worth reflecting on how we make sense Matt 24 (the reading for the First Sunday of Advent). There appear to be two main ways it is read. 1. Both two main sections, Matt 24.1–35 and Matt 24.36–51 are about Jesus’ second coming at the end of the … Continue Reading