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The Eschatological Parables

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Chapter Summary

The Matthean version of the instruction in 24:32 closely resembles the Marcan. In the Marcan context it presents a sign, possibly the sign, that the destruction of the Temple will happen soon; the imminent catastrophes are the eschatological events which intimate that the Final Judgment is near and that the new beginning is about the break. This esschatological discourse has a dramatic form. The Fig Tree refers to the events which indicate the coming of the end-time. The language of the instruction given in 24:32-33 is puzzling, if a fraction clearer than in Mark. The fig-tree imagery symbolizes the blessings of the end-time, the fearfulness of the end-time, and probably the separation of the good from among the bad. The synoptic fig-tree imagery belongs to a body of material used by the Early Church in which the fig tree was an emblem of prosperity, past, present or especially future.

Keywords: eschatological events; Fig Tree; Marcan instruction; Matthean instruction



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